640MB in 90 seconds... good or bad for a Gigabit NAS?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Sesshi, Jul 29, 2006.

  1. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #1
    I've copied my music folders over to the NAS and by gum it seemed to take ages - seemingly longer than when I did the same thing to a Windows Server 2003.

    To those who're familiar with things NAS-y, how's that transfer speed (copy TO NAS)?
     
  2. kevin.rivers macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

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    #2
    My firewire is faster than that. That seems really slow for NAS.
     
  3. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #3
    Well of course it's going to be slower than Firewire! It's a NetworkAS.
     
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #4
    7MB/s... that's not miserable for a network transfer, but I can say from experience that's significantly slower than a gigabit link to a server with decent drives will get you (I see roughly 50MB/s to a single 7200RPM drive on an XServe). As for hardware NAS, no idea. Probably going to generally be slower, especially if we're talking the budget little NAS units here.

    [Edit: You said music folders, which should mean large-ish files, but copying a bunch of smaller files can be drastically slower than one large one, even more so depending on the protocol you're connecting with.]
     
  5. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #5
    the topic time was a single movie file. When I sit down and think about it, 7MB/sec as you say is not bad but also as I put before and as you point out, I'm fairly certain I got notably better throughput on a Windows Server box.

    The NAS in question is the QNAP TS-101.
    http://www.qnap.com.tw/pro_detail_feature.asp?p_id=67

    Haven't put on the latest firmware yet, will try it. I was attracted to the combination of SATA, gigabit and lack of a fan. I got it very recently and have been running some data out of it as well as becoming familiar with the functions. It is truly pretty silent (except for drive noise - helps to put it on sorbothane feet) and although I'm putting it in the range of an oscillating fan when it's been incredibly hot over the last few days, it looks as though it can work in ambient temps of at least 26C without any issues at all.

    I'm not exactly bowled over by the network performance and this might prove to be an issue. I had planned to have a few of these dotted around, each serving different media (i.e. one for movies, one for music, etc).

    I was wondering what people typically get with other Gigabit NAS's like the Linkstation or even Megabit NAS's.
     
  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #6
    Wow, that's a loaded little NAS box. With all those features, I assume it's running some flavor of embedded Linux--just has to be.

    That said, there's a graph right at the bottom of the page you linked that shows 8.38MB/s Samba Upload and 7.35MB/s FTP upload. That's on a gigabit network with a 100MB file, and one assumes they're going to be quoting the highest performance they can possibly get out of it since it's advertising material.

    Give that you're getting 7.11MB/s, it's obviously performing pretty much as well as the manufacturer claims it will. This isn't to say that other NAS units won't perform better, but this one sounds like it's running to spec.

    That said, a full-fledged server is clearly going to get you drastically better performance than that--like I said, I have no problem getting about 50MB/s to an XServe, and I'd assume a well-equipped Windows (or Linux) server would do the same. I assume this NAS unit just has a very minimal processor running the embedded OS, so that's all it can manage to push through the pipe.

    My point here is that the speed you're seeing isn't a limitation of a gigabit network, and it's not a limitation of fileservers or the protocol in general, it's just as fast as that particular NAS is designed to go. I'd assume that if other NAS manufacturers quote network throughput much higher than that, you'll probably get it. If you can't find any budget NAS offering more speed, then you're going to have to either go with a higher-end one or a full-on server.

    This is just musing, but if I was going to spend the cash for a server, I'd probably just get an Intel mini and a FW drive for it. Bit pricer, but more compact than a budget Linux box and probably a lot quieter, a heckuva lot easier to set up, and the gigabit port on it can probably saturate the FW bus using built-in filesharing. But that's a couple of full tiers up in pricing.
     
  7. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #7
    Thanks, it's always good to have a second confirming opinion. I'll have to figure out whether the performance is 'good enough', although I must say I'm very happy with the environmental aspects of this system but the only option to fill it effectively seems to be via the LAN and that is a bit limiting. Once I fill it up though it may not be such an issue to keep it updated, and the QNAP has built-in RAID1 (which I'll be hanging off an Enermax Laureate enclosure + another Barracuda from) for reliability - although that might slow down the unit further, I'll have to experiment.

    If this doesn't work then I'll have to buy another Mini with the stacking drives and place it out of the way someplace. I already have a Mini and it is my iTunes/Front Row front end but I'm very sensiive to drive/fan noise especially in my living room so the only thing I can really do is e.g. have a load of 2.5" Freecom FHD-2's connected to the machine which isn't really economical.
     
  8. PatrickF macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Hmm, missed the point there I think.

    Firewire: 400mbit (of course or 800 but that's only for the lucky few)
    GIGABIT Network: 1024mbit

    You do the math. 100mbit Ethernet is of course much slower than even standard firewire, however, Gigabit should definitely be faster.

    To the OP, on 100mbit Ethernet I would normally get around 6-7MB/s easily.
     
  9. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #9
    The differences in how they work makes Gigabit Ethernet slower than Firewire for the most part. Try it, even with a good built-in-mobo implementation between two reasonably high-end PC / server platforms. Maths and practical experience doesn't always match.

    I'm going to email QNAP and see if they can offer any advice. Apart from that this is a pretty nice NAS. If anyone is considering one, I'd definitely say include it on your shortlist.
     
  10. LoveMacMini macrumors regular

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  11. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #11
    No, I have little mice who communicate to each other using semaphore signals.
     
  12. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #12
    Oops, I went a bit British there :p

    Sustained transfer speeds do seem to hover at 7~8MB/sec. Not brilliant. Usable, but lower than I expected certainly given the reviews about how fast this thing was. The bigger unexpected problem that's cropped up seems to be the SMB/CIFS interaction (I presume it's using SMB/CIFS) between the Mac and the NAS - it takes ages to scan through folders and as a result it's playing havoc with iTunes :(
     
  13. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #13
    I myself have seen major problems with the speed of displaying large folders using SMB sharing, and it's not isolated to a NAS.

    Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but basically every situation I can think of involving Windows sharing (Win server to Mac, Mac server to Win, even Win server to Win), directories seem to take an inordinately long time to display. If there are custom app icons on a Mac-based SMB share mounted in Windows it slows to a crawl (I can only think that it's scanning the entire files for the icons or something).

    Perhaps somebody else has a suggestion about speeding up SMB mounts...
     
  14. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #14
    It's the iTunes folder which is especially a problem. Sometimes it can come up just like that, but at other times it's very slow. I think it's mostly the Mac issues with SMB as you say, although there is probably a NAS issue as well (but in the case of the folder problem, perhaps to a much lesser extent). Better throughput certainly would help matters along though.

    And yup if anyone knows of a way to improve performance with SMB mounts that would be great too. I wonder if there's third-party software which improves this?

    And going back to the original question, what're other people getting on Megabit or Gigabit NAS's?
     
  15. daveL macrumors 68020

    daveL

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    #15
    The product description says it supports afp. Have you tried that? personally, 7 MB/sec over gigE seems terrible to me. And similar for FTP? I'd say that little puppy doesn't have much poop.
     
  16. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #16
    I did try it before and it occured to me that I didn't turn off SMB. I can't do it now as I'm copying stuff from the Windows machine to the NAS. (which is also working out at about 7~8MB/sec - so the throughput issue isn't down to SMB implementation issues on the Mac) Finished RAID1ing it today with a USB disk and it seems not to be having any effect on what performance the unit has. It's great having a completely fanless RAID1 setup.
     
  17. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #17
    Hmm... the story gets worse.

    100Gb worth of documents and charts/schematics, ranging from 10kb in size to 600MB.

    Copy started 20:00 yesterday - on a PC - It is only half done as of now. Lots of small files seems to cripple the NAS. The network is definitely running at Gigabit. I'm inclined to reverse my previous recommendation. It wouldn't be bad for a Megabit NAS maybe, but seeeeeeeerious problems for a Gigabit NAS no doubt.
     

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