ReadyNAS NV+ Read/Write performance test

June 1, 2007 at 7:26 pm Leave a comment

All of these tests were performed using a ReadyNAS NV+ with 256 MB of RAM. All machines mentioned were directly connected to a Netgear 8 port Gigabit Ethernet switch. Jumbo frame support was not enabled.

In each instance, a 2.02 GB file (2,169,841,445 bytes to be exact) was copied from or to the ReadyNAS NV+. The web interface of the ReadyNAS was not being used during these tests. Anti-virus was disabled on all machines for the duration of the test.

The ReadyNAS has a feature to “Optimize for OS X” for the SMB protocol. Be aware that this feature is known to cause issues with Windows NT clients. It did not seem to cause issues with Windows XP clients during my testing. To see just how this option affects performance, both read and write tests were performed with this option enabled and again with it disabled.

For comparison, the maximum theoretical speed of 100 Megabit Ethernet (with absolutely no protocol overhead) can be calculated this way:

100 Megabit = 100 million bits per second = 100,000,000 bits per second
There are 8 bits in a byte, so:
100,000,000 / 8 = 12,500,000 bytes per second
Convert bytes to Megabytes:
12,500,000 / 1024 / 1024 = 11.92 MB/second
11.92 MB/second = 715.2 MB/minute = 41.9 GB/hour

The following tests were performed with this client:
20″ Intel iMac Core Duo at 2.0 Ghz w/ 2 GB RAM running Mac OS X 10.4.9

Test: READ via AFP
Time: 2:20
Speed: 886.8 MB/minute (51.9 GB/hour)

Test: WRITE via AFP
Time: 3:35
Speed: 577.5 MB/minute (33.8 GB/hour)

Test: READ via SMB w/ “Optimize for OS X” disabled on ReadyNAS
Time: 4:20
Speed: 477.5 MB/minute (27.9 GB/hour)

Test: WRITE via SMB w/ “Optimize for OS X” disabled on ReadyNAS
Time: 4:10
Speed: 496.6 MB/minute (29.1 GB/hour)

Test: READ via SMB w/ “Optimize for OS X” enabled on ReadyNAS
Time: 2:24
Speed: 862.2 MB/minute (50.5 GB/hour)

Test: WRITE via SMB w/ “Optimize for OS X” enabled on ReadyNAS
Time: 3:30
Speed: 591.2 MB/minute (34.6 GB/hour)

The remaining tests were performed with this client:
Dell 1.8 Ghz Celeron w/ 1.5 GB RAM and dual 36 GB 10000 RPM Raptor drives using an onboard Intel 1000 NIC running Windows XP Pro SP2.

Test: READ via SMB w/ “Optimize for OS X” enabled on ReadyNAS
Time: 2:23
Speed: 868.2 MB/minute (50.8 GB/hour)

Test: WRITE via SMB w/ “Optimize for OS X” enabled on ReadyNAS
Time: 4:37
Speed: 448.2 MB/minute (26.2 GB/hour)

Test: READ via SMB w/ “Optimize for OS X” disabled on ReadyNAS
Time: 2:19
Speed: 893.2 MB/minute (52.3 GB/hour)

Test: WRITE via SMB w/ “Optimize for OS X” disabled on ReadyNAS
Time: 4:23
Speed: 472.0 MB/minute (27.6 GB/hour)

I find it very interesting that the WRITE performance from a Windows client was so poor regardless of the “Optimize for OS X” setting. I expected it to be at least on par with the AFP performance for a Mac client. Perhaps this was simply a problem with this individual client, but I do not have any other Windows machines that are connected via Gigabit to test with currently.

Conclusion:
If you want to use SMB for your mixed network (with no Windows NT clients), go ahead and enable the “Optimize for OS X” option. It appears to have a minimal negative effect on real Windows clients and provides a major boost in performance for Mac clients.

If you do have Windows NT clients or you don’t mind using both AFP and SMB, then leave the “Optimize for OS X” option off and just use AFP for Mac clients and SMB for Windows clients.

As for speed, when using large files, Read speeds just north of 50 GB per hour and Write speeds of around 30 GB per hour are typical for clients of a ReadyNAS NV+ where all parties are connected at Gigabit speed.  Since the theoretical maximum for 100 Megabit Ethernet is 41.9 GB per hour, having a Gigabit connection to a ReadyNAS NV+ is worth it at least for the read performance, though it’s not a huge improvement over what I would expect to see (Just a bit south of 40 GB per hour) from plain old 100 Meg Ethernet.

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Entry filed under: Networking.

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