Benchmarks - Multi-Client Test
The Intel NAS Performance Tool (NASPT) is an excellent way to determine NAS performance in a single user environment. Any review that only uses NASPT assumes that only a single computer will access the target NAS at one time. We took issue with this method of testing and spent over a year designing, building, programming and finally validating the TweakTown Multi-Client Test.
The test uses Microsoft Office data recorded to traces and played back to the NAS from up to 120 client Windows 7 installations (clients). We record total throughput of all clients and average response time per client.
Over time we'll populate the two multi-client charts with several NAS products from a span of categories. The products range from a dual Xeon server with 2x 10GbE to a 2-bay NAS with a single gigabit Ethernet connection. The products will fall into their performance categories based on performance and not marketing material or opinion.
In the previous two reviews, I received a couple of emails about the Thecus N8900 in the chart. Its performance is quite a bit higher than the others and that's because it's running 10GbE and not gigabit Ethernet. Eventually we'll have to divide the products, but for now we want to show what's possible if you have the means to invest in hardware.
In a way, this is a marketing document to show what we've achieved over the last 13 months. Our maximum performance with a dual Xeon system and SSDs is over 9K Mbps throughput. Look for a full report on this test and watch for incremental evolutions like power over time during the full test and Mbps per Dollar, IOPS per Dollar and so forth.
The QNAP TS-669L has the lowest throughput on our chart, but our chart is filled with a mix of products that span different categories. The TS-669L is a low-cost model and the only 'budget' NAS on the list at this time. QNAP's current programming (firmware) seems to favor large sequential file transfers like what home users need. This test uses Microsoft Office files that are smaller file sizes.
The QNAP software allows the administrator or home user to tune the performance by selecting the RAID stripe size when building the array. In our test we always select the default stripe size.
The QNAP TS-669L also produced the highest latency in all of the tests. This again comes down to tuning. As we get deeper into the R&D of the test, we'll be able to tune products for best case performance.