A couple of weeks ago my curiosity turned a light working weekend into a full on charge in exploring the ins and outs of NAS server file systems. While testing the Crucial RealSSD C300, we moved away from the ASUS P6T7 WS SuperComputer motherboard that was used to test storage released products and started using the GIGABYTE X58A-UD7. This left me with a free system at a key time to start taking a deep dive into file systems on NAS servers. At first it started out as a harmless test with a single drive on a different file system to see what would happen to performance. Forty-eight hours later has evolved into a nonstop Bawls fueled obsession to see how much improvement we could find just by setting our NAS up differently.
NAS server testing takes time. Formatting a large array in RAID 5 or 6 can take up to 24 hours. This is a really long lead time just to get in an hour long test with Intel's NAS Performance Test. Needless to say, this editorial took several hours to complete and including the information in a standard review would make the review of the Thecus N7700 Pro almost unbearable for the reader.
Today we are going to look at several performance tests in three file formats found on many Thecus products. The default setting for Thecus is the EXT3 file system; the same is true on QNAP NAS servers. Thecus also includes the option to use ZFS and XFT while QNAP only offers EXT4 as an alternative. Let's take a look at the finer details and get to exploring performance on the new Thecus N7700 Pro.