Thecus N3200XXX NAS Server ReviewNemo - October 6, 2011
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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 recording, 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 N3200XXX was rebooted before each test was run.
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)
The video playback tests concentrates on reading large files, such as one might find if you were streaming video. The tests measure a single stream as well as two and four simultaneous streams. What we see across these tests is the N3200XXX outperforming its Thecus siblings across the board. We don't expect it to outperform the Synology DS408 or the QNAP TS-509 that contain four and five drives respectively compared to only three drives in the N3200XXX. That is what we see in configuration where number of spindles makes a difference, i.e. in the RAID 0 and RAID 5 tests. However, the N3200XXX held some surprises for us in the RAID 1 and JBOD setups, where it beat all contestants and came out ahead in all tests.
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.
This test flips the tables on the previous tests as it concentrates solely on writing to the server. Not only are the tests flipped, but the results are as well, as the N3200XXX throughput falls behind that of its predecessor, the N3200PRO, in three of the four tests, coming out ahead of the N3200PRO only in the RAID 5 test. While it bested its Thecus N4100PRO relative, it couldn't beat the QNAP or Synology units.
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.
Things got interesting when we threw simultaneous reads and writes into the equation. The N3200XXX came in third when configured as a RAID 0 volume, but came back to take home first place honors in all the other categories, even beating out the Synology and QNAP units in the RAID 5 test.