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Performance

We benchmarked our DS411 using Intel NASPT 1.7.1 and Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS hard disk drives (SATA II, 500 GB, 7200 RPM, 32 MB cache). The same disks were used to test the NAS’s I/O interfaces. We created a RAID and a shared folder on the NAS and enabled Jumbo Frames. We did not turn on the extra services although today’s midrange and top-end NASes are quite capable of fully utilizing a Gigabit Ethernet connection we use in our test, so our testing method needs revising in terms of new usage scenarios. On the other hand, similar hardware platforms are prone to deliver similar performance, so the price and firmware capabilities become more important than sheer speed. Let’s see now what the DS411 can show in our standard tests. The first graph shows its performance with the DSM 3.2-1955 firmware.

As expected, the peak read and write speeds of the DS411 are close to those of the fastest NASes we’ve tested in our labs so far: about 90 MB/s at reading and 120 MB/s at writing. Take note that the mirror is faster than the single disk whereas the RAID5 is not much slower than the RAOD0. This indicates good firmware optimization. The RAID6 is slower at writing, but this array time is hardly optimal for a 4-disk NAS because of the reduction in storage space.

We’ve described the new functions of the upcoming DSM 4.0 firmware above, but how fast is it? The next diagram compares versions 4.0-2166 and 3.2-1955 with 4-disk RAID0 and RAID5 arrays.

As you can see, the new firmware is just as fast as the previous version.

The DS411 offering USB 2.0 and eSATA ports for external disks, its support for NTFS, ext3 and ext4 allows using such disks permanently. Unfortunately, the DS411 lacks a USB 3.0 controller whereas its USB 2.0 interface is rather too slow by today’s standards as you can see in the next diagram.

As it could be expected, the NAS prefers ext3 and ext4, delivering 30 MB/s at reading and 40 MB/s at writing via USB 2.0. NTFS allows reading data at the same speed but is only half as fast at writing. FAT32 is similar to NTFS but it can hardly be a good option due to its limitations concerning the maximum file size.

It’s different when the same HDD is connected to the NAS’s eSATA port, though.

With ext3 and ext4, the speed is almost as high as with the internal HDDs. We can remind you that the eSATA port is based on the SATA controller integrated into the NAS’s processor. NTFS has the lowest performance benefits from the faster interface, the speed of writing being almost at the same level as before.

 
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