MicroNet MaxNAS 2.5TB Server ReviewNemo - November 27, 2009
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The Intel NAS Performance Toolkit is a set of tools used to test and analyze file systems and enable direct comparison of the performance levels of different network attached storage devices. It utilizes a set of tests based on real world applications such as HD video playback and record, office productivity, photo album manipulation and file and directory copying. The toolkit uses a set of traces based on these applications and mimics the file system traffic generated and records the system response. In our evaluation, the toolkit was run in batch mode, which runs the series of tests five times in succession and the median throughput value is used to report the results. The hard drives were reconfigured and the MaxNAS was rebooted before each test was run. The RAID 1 array contained two drives.
HD Video Playback (higher is better)
The HD Video Playback series of tests involve streaming a 720p HD video file using Windows Media Player and 256kb reads. The tests play either 1, 2 or 4 files simultaneously using different percentages of sequential reads (99.5% for the single file, 18.1% for the 2x HD Video Playback and 9.6% for the 4x HD Video Playback).
2x HD Video Playback (higher is better)
4x HD Video Playback (higher is better)
In this first series of three tests the emphasis is on reading large files. When set up in a RAID 0 configuration, the MaxNAS trails the QNAP TS-509 and Synology DS408 in all the tests; whereas the other units posted increasing throughput when going from a single stream to the 4x playback, the MaxNAS displayed the opposite trend with throughput dropping from around 38MB/s to 35MB/s. In RAID 1 the MaxNAS fares much better, besting the QNAP unit in all three tests and beating the Synology DS408 in all but one where it was only a fraction slower.
A business-class NAS server is more likely to be configured in RAID 5 or RAID 6 and the MaxNAS can't keep up with the QNAP TS-509 in either configuration. In RAID 6, the MaxNAS and DS408 traded spots a few times with Synology unit, taking four of the six tests, although two of those wins were very close.
HD Video Record (higher is better)
This test writes a single 720p HD video file to the NAS device employing 99.9% sequential 256kb writes.
In the HD Video record test it's all about writing to the NAS unit, and while the MaxNAS turned in solid results, it just can't quite manage to score a win in any configuration, and came in second across the board. Although it did best the Synology in three of the four tests, it lagged behind the QNAP TS-509 in both the RAID 5 and RAID 6 setups by a significant amount.
HD Playback and Record (higher is better)
The HD Video Playback and Record test combines the two previous tests and reads and writes a HD 720p video file simultaneously.
Adding write operations into the mix doesn't really change the standings much. The MaxNAS trailed both its competitors in RAID 0 and then turned around and posted the best throughput in RAID 1. Things get back to normal in the RAID 5 and 6 volumes with the MaxNAS beating the DS408 but coming in second to the QNAP TS-509.