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 dual 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 results of our multiclient test surprised us. The FreeNAS Mini is the pink line in the throughput chart, and it took quite a while to ramp up the bandwidth. We expected more from the Western Digital RE 7,200 RPM drives in the system, especially after taking into consideration the SSD cache in front of them.
Once moving, the Mini delivered very high bandwidth for a large user base. The peak performance came from 48 users working with Microsoft Office files on the NAS.
The latency remained low throughout the test to 120 clients. The iXsystems FreeNAS Mini was firmly in the performance group with the LaCie 5big NAS Pro and Netgear ReadyNAS 516.
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