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.
The Netgear ReadyNAS 516 finished our multi-client test with more throughput at 120 clients, but the NAS took longer to ramp up performance than many others on the chart. We wanted to see if this was due to the Toshiba HDDs that shipped with the NAS, so we replaced the Toshibas with Western Digital Red 1TB drives. The Reds performed better than the Toshiba drives but the performance profile was the same aside from a slight increase in performance. The dip at 48 clients was the same with both sets of drives.
Latency was also slightly better with the WD Red 1TB drives over the Toshiba drives the ReadyNAS 516 shipped with. Here you can see two distinct groups on the latency test, models with low latency and models with higher latency when used with more clients connected to the NAS.