by November 3, 2010 0 comments

Given the unprecedented growth of digital data and the need to archive and backup same, it’s become a challenge for IT managers to manage the storage demands of the workgroup users. This is where the role of Network Attached Storage devices comes in to store, share and backup users’ data from a central point. We received nine NAS devices that meet the storage requirements of mid-market segment. The NAS boxes have HDD trays ranging from 2 to 7, thus covering the whole gamut from a SOHO environment to enterprise usage. Based on the prices, we segmented the NAS devices into three categories, below Rs. 40,000, between Rs.40,000 – Rs. 80,000 and the final category was above Rs. 80,000.

How we tested?
To gauge the performance of the NAS devices, we used Intel NAS Performance Toolkit (NASPT) and Iometer as benchmarking tools. While Iometer was used to evaluate the throughput of the NAS device, NASPT was used as a comprehensive benchmark that emulate the behavior of actual application and uses a set of real world workload traces gathered from typical digital applications. NASPT reproduces the file system traffic recorded in these traces onto the NAS device under test and records the system response. The benchmark test suite included ‘HD video playback and record’, in which a 500MB video file is simultaneously read and written to NAS, ‘content creation’ that have 95% of the writes having a mix of 1k, 4k and little reads, ‘File Copy to NAS’ in which a 4.3 GB file is written to NAS. And likewise in ‘File Copy from NAS’, the same file is read from the NAS. In ‘Directory Copy to NAS’ and ‘Directory Copy from NAS’, a directory containing 2833 files in 44 folders is written and read from NAS respectively. We used Brown-Gibson method to normalize the various results from the benchmarks and converted them into a score out of 100. The same was done for feature, and price & warranty to arrive at normalized scoring out of 100 respectively. Therefore, a NAS device could score a maximum of 300, and the scores given in NAS comparison table are derived from this method.

We benchmarked the NAS devices on an isolated gigabit network and the client machine having specs as Intel Core 2 2.93 GHz, 2 GB RAM. Since NASPT requires an Intel based
Windows XP SP3 machine as the client, the same was used in our setup. The NAS devices that are bare-metal boxes, we used Seagate Barracuda 7200 RPM drives on them. Also, the NAS device configurations were set on default settings, except RAID which was configured to RAID 0 as the NAS devices were multi-drives, and this would also result in getting maximum performance.

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NAS between Rs.40,000 – Rs.80,000

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