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ReadyNAS Performance Expectations

By dbott | May 15, 2010

So, you’ve got your new ReadyNAS device and are wondering why it’s not screaming at gigabit speeds.  Before going to much further, let’s be sure that our equipment is capable of delivering the speeds we’re looking for.

The Slowest Network Link

One of the problems is that many people fail to take into account that network performance is limited to the speed of the slowest link. Even though the ReadyNAS has a gigabit interface, if your router or network switch does not support gigabit, you will only get speeds that match the network device (typically 100 Mbps for most devices).

You also need to consider the speed on the network card on the PC.  If the NIC on the PC is not gigabit or you’re  using a wireless connection, performance will also be reduced.

In order to achieve maximum performance, all device connections would need to be wired gigabit connections. This requires:

If you’re looking to upgrade any of your network equipment, be sure to check the Hardware Compatibility List to make sure that the equipment is supported by the ReadyNAS.

Bits-per-second vs. Bytes-per-second

Network throughput is generally measured in bits-per-second (i.e. 100 Mbps, 54 Mbps, etc.) and disk I/O is typically measured in bytes-per-second (i.e. MB/s). When measuring performance, pay close attention to the big B (as in Bytes) vs. the little b (as in bits). A hard-wired connection of 100 Mbps is theoretically capable of 12.5 MB/s (12.5 MB/s x 8 bits-per-byte = 100 Mbps), however, network overhead typically reduces it to about 80% (9 MB/s on average). Same for wireless 802.11g, however, the overhead is much greater and results in about 22 Mbps max (or approximately 3 MB/s).

The only way to maximize performance is to make all links wired gigabit, which should increase disk I/O to it’s maximum.

Typical Performance Expectations

There are a number of factors that can affect performance, such as the size, type and number of files, as well as the protocol used (CIFS, NFS, AFP, FTP, HTTP, etc.).  Under ideal conditions, a typical user should be able to achieve the following performance:

  1. Wireless 802.11g: 2-3 MB/s average (Vista / Windows 7 users should read this)
  2. Wireless 802.11n: up to 6 or 7 MB/s average
  3. Fast ethernet (wired 100 Mbps): Max 12.5 MB/s – average 9-10 MB/s
  4. Gigabit ethernet (wired 1000 Mbps):
    • Click on the link for each model to get detailed performance specs & hardware used
    • ReadyNAS Duo/NV+: 25 – 40 MB/s
    • ReadyNAS NVX/2100: 70-80 MB/s
    • ReadyNAS Ultra4/Ultra6: 80-90 MB/s (depending on model)
    • ReadyNAS Pro/3100/3200: 100+ MB/s
  5. 10 GbE (wired 10,000 MB/s):
    • ReadyNAS 4200: 852 MB/s (using 802.3 ad Teaming, drag & drop 20 GB file over CIFS)

ReadyNAS Device Limitations

Performance is also limited by the CPU in the ReadyNAS device itself.  The ReadyNAS devices that use the sparc-based IT3107 CPU are limited to a maximum speed of about 25-40 MB/s, where as the Intel-based models like the Pro can surpass 100 MB/s. There are also a number of tweaks that you can make in order to optimize performance on the NAS.  Be sure to read the article on optimizing performance: http://www.readynas.com/?p=310

Desktop PC Limitations

Another limitation people fail to take into consideration is the performance of the desktop client computer that they’re using.  The disk I/O of most desktop-class PCs are limited to about 60 MB/s and would never be able to reach the capabilities of a product like the ReadyNAS Pro, unless your PC was configured for some sort of RAID.  Some might wonder what the benefit of owning a ReadyNAS Pro is if you will never be able to max out the performance.  A single PC might not be able to max out the Pro, however, if you have multiple gigabit clients simultaneously reading and writing to the Pro, it will be able to keep up.  Using 802.3ad LAG, the ReadyNAS Pro has achieved 240 MB/s read speeds and 140 MB/s write speeds when being accessed with multiple Macs.

Next Steps

Okay, so you’ve checked everything and you’re still not getting the performance you expect.  What should you try next?

Topics: ReadyNAS, Tech | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “ReadyNAS Performance Expectations”

  1. KaiBosh Says:
    September 22nd, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Excellent information, directly presented, nicely written. Exactly what I needed to know. Cheers!

  2. Ed Hammock Says:
    January 2nd, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Dave,

    As ever, cracking information. I was interested in the speed as a webserver. My Duo 2110 is very fast in local mode but incredibly slow external to my network (feel free to browse). Being able to self host was a bonus, however having got used to it I am now seeking to improve my speed!!

    Many thanks for the article,

    Ed Hammock

  3. dbott Says:
    January 17th, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Hi Ed,

    I just checked out your site and performance wasn’t all that bad. 1-2 seconds per page load from across the Atlantic! :) Not sure if you’ve changed anything since you originally posted, but it’s pretty respectable from my point of view.

    -Dave

  4. kobbi Says:
    January 22nd, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    the most importen thing on the nv+ is disabling all the jornaling thing. now it write in 37MB/s.

  5. Mag.Swiss Says:
    February 10th, 2011 at 7:18 am

    We come to about 4 to 5 MB/seconds with a readynas nv+ on a gigabit ethernet, even if we directly connect the NAS to one of our desktop pcs. Our setup is:

    Core i3 and i5 clients
    Complete Cat 6 cabling
    Nas shows: Online / 1000 Mbit / Auto Negotiation
    Backup test setup: 295 files with 1.12 GByte of size
    Backup duration: between 3 and 4 minutes

    Netio performance
    Tested from one ethernet end point to the other:
    min. 75 MB/sec
    max. 112 MB/sec
    Depending on packet size (over 8000 MTU the trouputh falls under 100 MB/s)

    Any suggestions? What else can we do to improve performane?