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MicroNet MaxNAS 2.5TB Server Review

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Content Creation (higher is better)

This test simulates content creation on the NAS device such as might occur when rendering a video. There are 99 files used and is composed of 95% write operations with up to 64kb block sizes and consists of 39.1% sequential operations.























The content creation test involves a large number of write operations and it is not unusual to see rates drop on this test. With throughput dropping to the 10-12MB/s range, the MaxNAS unit lagged behind the QNAP server and managed to hang with the Synology DS408 in the RAID 5 and 6 configurations.

Office Productivity (higher is better)

The Office Productivity test is roughly evenly distributed between read and write operations using 607 small files consisting of 1KB and 4KB reads and mostly 1KB writes.







If you've read our previous reviews then you'll know that the office productivity test is a killer; it is the longest and one of the most arduous tests in the Intel NAS Toolkit suite and not many units make it through unscathed, the QNAP TS-509 being a rare exception. Here you'll see the results for the MaxNAS plummet to levels below 5MB/s, similar to what we saw with the Synology DS408. Obviously, the graphs speak for themselves when it comes to comparing it to the TS-509. One thing of interest is how the performance of the unit using iSCSI took off on this test. I'll spend more time on the iSCSI setup later in the review, but this test certainly played up to the strengths of iSCSI.

File Copy to NAS (higher is better)

The File Copy test copies a single large file to the NAS unit using 100% sequential 64kb write operations.







Copying a large file to the NAS resulted in throughput rates of 30-36MB/s, which put the MaxNAS behind the QNAP in all but the RAID 1 configuration where it eked out a win. The MaxNAS gave up the RAID 0 and RAID 1 configurations to the Synology but came out a winner in the RAID 5 and RAID 6 configurations when compared to the DS408

File Copy From NAS

This test reads the single large (1.4GB) file from the File Copy test from the NAS using 64kb read operations.







Copying the large file back from the NAS produced similar results as the copy to the NAS. With throughput solidly in the 31-33MB/s range the only real change in position is in the RAID 5 configuration where a strong showing by the Synology DS408 put the MaxNAS in last place for that category.

Dir Copy to NAS (higher is better)

This test copies a directory structure with 126 files to the NAS device using predominantly 64kb writes but also includes a wide distribution under 16kb.







The MaxNAS held up very well on the directory copy to NAS test turning in similar results on the RAID 1 setup. In the RAID 5 and 6 volume configuration, the MaxNAS beat out the QNAP TS-509 and tied the Synology DS-408 on both setups.


Dir Copy From NAS (higher is better)

This test copies the same directory structure of 126 files from the NAS device using 64kb reads.








Performance when copying the directory back from the NAS ran in the mid 16GB/s range except for the RAID 6 setup where it dropped down to 14.7GB/s. Although these scores were not out of line with the other units, they were lower than the comparison units across the board, earning it a third-place finish.

Photo Album (higher is better)

The Photo Album test simulates the viewing of 169 photo files of various sizes stored on the NAS and consists of 100% read operations.







The photo album test is another one of those that stresses the units and test their ability to read large files. Like the other units, the MaxNAS turned in a consistent performance across all configurations, but was slower than both comparison units.

First, let's visit the RAID 10 performance that I intentionally avoided when going through the individual tests. I was pleased to see the MaxNAS offer RAID 10 as it is often touted as having the speed benefits of RAID 0 with the redundancy of a RAID 1 array. So why didn't I talk about it during the tests? On the MaxNAS, the RAID 10 performance was consistently behind both RAID 5 and RAID 6 setups. It compared favorably to RAID 1, but there's no compelling reason to implement it on the MaxNAS when you could have just as good or better performance using RAID 5 or RAID 6.

So now that we've come to the end of our performance testing, what conclusions can we draw? The MaxNAS offers good, solid performance in all but the office productivity test where, like the Synology DS408, it came up short. However, the QNAP TS-509 outperformed the unit in most tests, often by a rather significant margin.

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