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QNAP TS-963X NAS Review

By: Chris Ramseyer | SOHO NAS/DAS in Storage | Posted: Dec 9, 2018 2:32 am

SMB Performance Testing


Testing Notes


We use a Quanta QCT enterprise server to a Supermicro switch with 10-gigabit Ethernet connectivity to test network storage products.


We use Seagate IronWolf Pro 12TB drives in our storage systems.


Sequential Read Performance






We see excellent scaling with the QNAP TS-963X as we progress through the blocks sizes. We can say the same for the queue depth test where we use 128KB blocks through QD1 to QD128. The one area that stands out is the TS-963X with the cache enabled using SanDisk Extreme Pro MLC SSDs.



QNAP shows the TS-963X delivering between 500 and 600 MB/s on the official product page but we managed to reach just over 750 MB/s with a heavy workload.


Sequential Write Performance






The block size test again shows a wide difference between the uncached and cached results but the two converge in the queue depth test. The TS-963X shows impressive sequential write performance with only five drives installed in the system. The low-power processor holds the array back slightly, but users benefit from the power and cost savings.


Sequential Mixed Workload Performance




All storage devices slow with mixed workloads. Mixing reads and writes are more difficult on SATA-based drives because the interface can't read and write data at the same time. It's also an issue for HDDs because the mechanical nature of the technology.


Random Read Performance






Random data doesn't benefit as much as sequential data over a 10-gigabit interface but we often see slightly lower latency under heavy workloads. Processor performance and the system memory has a larger impact to performance. Again we see excellent scaling with the TS-963X as we increase the workload through block sizes and queue depth.


The queue depth test shows us what happens when the cache warms up. This is the first test where the cached array outperforms the uncached RAID 5 array.


Random Write Performance






The TS-963X finishes the four-corner workloads with a strong random write display. We compared the system to popular models but never expect to sweep with this series before even enabling QNAP's Qtier technology.


Random Mixed Workload Performance




The random mixed workload test doesn't follow the traditional bathtub curve thanks to strong system caching on the read data. QNAP has always configured the Linux operating system, which runs under the GUI layer the end-user sees, to aggressively cache random data to playback at high speeds.


Traditional Server Workloads










Putting the pure synthetic workloads aside after learning a lot about the performance of these systems, we can now move to realistic workloads. These charts show latency (vertical) and IOPS (input-output operations per second).


Many of the other systems don't scale as we increase the workload. As you ask those systems to perform more tasks, the actual performance doesn't increase, the latency just increases. The cause of this is often processing power. The other systems are simply overran with IO, so the processor struggles to keep pace.


The QNAP TS-963X on the other had scales as we pound the system with progressively more IO. This is the behavior you want to see when running applications. The ideal model shows a long steady drift to the right (more IOPS) before a sharp upward (latency) shift.


Multiclient Office-Worker Performance






Our multi-client test uses additional computers to increase the workload rather than artificial queue depth coming from the same computer. This test runs Microsoft Office applications on up to 120 different virtual machines, each with a dedicated gigabit network port.


The test shows the peak throughput before the NAS starts to lose performance from latency increases that comes from the additional workers in the office. The TX-963X performed amazingly well, and even with 120 workers, the latency never cracked 4 milliseconds.

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