NAS speeds slower than expected

Hi there,

I recently acquired two NAS devices for my home network and I'm a touch confused about their lack of performance.

I'm running an SMC 16-port Layer 2 Gigabit switch and Cat6 cabling in my network.

Between two computers on the network, it is definately the hard drives limiting the file copy speed.

When I got my first NAS device - a Buffalo Linkstation (with gigabit interface) I copied a couple large, 1GB files to it - the maximum speed it hit was 12MBytes/second. I was disappointed and wrote the lack of speed off on the fact that it was a single drive and the hard drive might be the source of problem.

This week, I went out and got another NAS device, this time it was a NAS enclosure powered by an Intel 82541 Gigabit controller, an embedded 400MHz Intel processor and packing 512MB DDR400 memory. It sounds pretty good. I plugged in my four SATA II HDD's went through setup, configured a RAID 0 array to see what high end performance I could expect from the device - being leary of my past experience.

Low and behold, 4 SATA II HDD's in RAID 0 writing two different 1GB files at a blistering 12Mbytes/second?! I know RAID 0 offers more speed than that, and I know that Gigabit should, on paper offer 125MBytes/second - and it offers between 40 and 80MBytes/second between two PC's on my network.

Does anyone know why both units are performing at Megabit speeds? Both units operate through web interfaces ONLY (as far as I know) and my SMC switch detects both port speeds to be 1000Mbps Full Duplex. Ideas anyone? or reasons?

I'd appreciate any input i can get. Thanks.
13 answers Last reply
More about speeds slower expected
  1. I'd contact the manufacturers. Both devices should be much faster than 12MB/s. As a last ditch effort, you could try connecting the NAS directly to one of your PCs with a crossover cable to see if taking the switch out of the equation somehow makes a difference.
  2. Sorry guys but none of those boxes are going to perform at gigabit speeds. 12Mbyte/sec is pretty typical.

    See: Tom's NAS Charts
    Intel Box review Performance

    I personally own a Infrant ReadyNAS, have had it for about a year. It does everything I wanted, easy to maintain, setup, etc. The only drawback is the speed.
  3. That just doesn't seem right. What kind of read speeds are you getting? If those charts are to be believed, then it must be the platform limiting the speeds, because I can easily push 200-300 mbps with a single drive. Four drives should be able come close to saturating the real world bandwidth of GbE.
  4. Quote:
    That just doesn't seem right. What kind of read speeds are you getting? If those charts are to be believed, then it must be the platform limiting the speeds, because I can easily push 200-300 mbps with a single drive. Four drives should be able come close to saturating the real world bandwidth of GbE.

    Like it or not, They are all slow. :cry: I think it has something to do with the use of 5$ CPU's... The performance with 100 vs 1000 ethernet was about a factor of 2x with my readyNAS. Read performance is about 20-50% faster... (I don't remember off hand)
  5. I'm interested to see what kind of results I get from my homemade NAS once I get a GbE NIC for it. I have four 250GB WD hdds in RAID5 with a Celeron 2GHz, needless to say it maxes out 100mbps Ethernet. I was expecting 300-400mbps, but now I have to wonder.
  6. I have determined that despite what my switch says and despite what the manufacturer has stated, they seem to have set the NIC in my newest NAS to operate at 100Mbps Full Duplex. I have contacted them and I'm looking for a user name and password for the telnet interface (I can connect to the point of it asking for a user name and password). That is the only way I can figure getting into the device.

    As for gigabit speeds once I set the NIC to operate at those speeds - I am hoping to exploit the full bandwidth of my network - upwards of 80MBytes/second.

    To Fred there, I am very sure that building your own NAS purposed computer will provide you with the best possible speeds - with the limitations being the hardware you use and your networks capabilities. Good luck on that.

    To the rest of you, I refuse to believe that 200-300Mbps is the best one of these units is capable of. I am hoping to prove you all wrong! :lol:
  7. stevecat,

    Please do a little research into what processor and other hardware is in your NAS. I believe you will find that there is no hidden treasure. Just join the fray of discontent low end NAS users. I expect a year or 3 may bring a new round of hardware that will blow the socks off this defunked generation.

    Please read the articles I linked to on Tom's Networking. I would find it hard to believe that the none of the MFG have not complained/offered guidance to make their NAS faster. If the benchmarks were notably wrong, then the manufacturer would surely speak up.

    As for your box; it is unlikely that you would get 12Mbyte/sec if your NAS was somehow 'set' to 100Mbit, even though your NIC/Switch/etc say otherwise. You would likely see 8-10 Mbyte/sec if that were the case.
  8. I agree that for a NIC operating at 100Mbit it would seem unlikely that it would operate at perfect 100Mbit speeds, but I do honestly believe that the box is packing a little more power than that.

    I may, however be wrong. As you pointed out, many reviews of "gigabit" NAS units have turned up sour, but in every section of the hardware market, there is always one product that has an edge on all others in performance - who's to say this isn't the one........yet?
  9. I would verify that all of your ethernet ports are running at gig speeds. All of your test indicate 100 mbps speed.
  10. While the optimism's nice to see, I also think that it's misplaced. If you look elsewhere around here, you'll see an admission from Buffalo tech to that effect concerning another one of their NAS devices.

    The Thecus 5200 IIRC is one of the newer products with somewhat better performance -- it uses a 600 MHz Celeron-M CPU.

    Still, a DIY box will often be faster, simply because we take advantage of the affordability of high-performance desktop CPUs, etc.

    I've done > 93 MB/s transfers to a 2-drive RAID 0 setup (with a 10 GB file) using desktop machines, consumer OS's and networking, etc.

    Some other measurements were given here:

    In a couple of years, perhaps fakegigabit (tm) NAS boxes will be a thing of the past.
  11. Y'know, I've been wondering,..

    with all these companies giving false claims to gigabit speeds, would we as consumers be in the position to claim that they are falsely advertising their products?

    Thy claim that their chips can achieve up to gigabit speeds, yet even under the best of conditions, minus jumbo frames, file transfers aren't exceeding 12 Mbyte/sec.
  12. Check this out and give me some feedback.

    I have a buffalo 10/100 linkstation 120gb that I upgraded to a 250gb. I was thinking of upgrading to the new gigabit buffalo 500gb unit. I also have 2 external firewire cases.

    I store a lot of data, video and program files. Right now I am tranfering video files between 2 P4 2.4gh computers and one p D 840 3.2gh. All computers have zonet $10.99 gigabit cards tied together with a trendnet 5 port gigabit switch $14.99. Each have firewire 400 cards.

    I decided to see which way to go. Wether the firewire or buffalo. Although I don't particulary like the file format of the buffalo I have recently lost 160gb of video on a firewire drive. Never lost anything on the buffalo in 2 years.


    The P D 840 3.2gh is running xpsp1 and I transferred a 2.8gb video file to a P4 2.4gh computer running xpsp1 via firewire. it took 3 1/2 minutes.


    I then transfered the same file to the other p4 2.4gh machine which is dual boot and was in w2k via gigabit. It took just under 7 minutes!

    Thought something was wierd so I booted it to xpsp1, deleted the file and transfered the file again. 2 minutes flat!

    If my math is correct, that is real world 23.33 meg/sec or 1.399.8 gig/min.
  13. This topic has been moved from the section Networking to section Storage by Jpishgar
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