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 the average response time per client.
Over time, we will 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 two-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.
Despite crushing the other servers in the single client SMB/CIFS and iSCSI tests, the ReadyNAS RN716X is significantly slower in our multi-client test that scales from one to 120 SMB clients reading and writing office files to and from the NAS. The workload is nearly all small files, updates, and saves to genuine office files. In the single client tests, we observed the comparison products performing faster than the RN716X, and that carries over to this test as well.
Here we see the latency chart for comparing these three 10GbE NAS systems. While it looks like a very large separation between the systems, the trick is the latency never gets above 2.55 ms, even with 120 clients reading and writing to the RN716X. It's important to remember that in reviews we split hairs to find differences in products. The charts take a small difference, and magnify it.
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