Single Client Performance - CIFS & iSCSI on Windows

The single client CIFS and iSCSI performance of the QNAP TS-451+ was evaluated on the Windows platforms using Intel NASPT and our standard robocopy benchmark. This was run from one of the virtual machines in our NAS testbed. All data for the robocopy benchmark on the client side was put in a RAM disk (created using OSFMount) to ensure that the client's storage system shortcomings wouldn't affect the benchmark results. It must be noted that all the shares / iSCSI LUNs are created in a RAID-5 volume.

The QNAP TS-451+ manages to be amongst the top three in almost every benchmark trace. If at all one could nit-pick, it is the write performance. In real-life situations (with one or two clients), this minor performance aspect will hardly be noticed by users.

HD Video Playback - CIFS

2x HD Playback - CIFS

4x HD Playback - CIFS

HD Video Record - CIFS

HD Playback and Record - CIFS

Content Creation - CIFS

Office Productivity - CIFS

File Copy to NAS - CIFS

File Copy from NAS - CIFS

Dir Copy to NAS - CIFS

Dir Copy from NAS - CIFS

Photo Album - CIFS

robocopy (Write to NAS) - CIFS

robocopy (Read from NAS) - CIFS

We created a 250 GB iSCSI LUN / target and mapped it on to a Windows VM in our testbed. The same NASPT benchmarks were run and the results are presented below. The observations we had in the CIFS subsection above hold true here too.

HD Video Playback - iSCSI

2x HD Playback - iSCSI

4x HD Playback - iSCSI

HD Video Record - iSCSI

HD Playback and Record - iSCSI

Content Creation - iSCSI

Office Productivity - iSCSI

File Copy to NAS - iSCSI

File Copy from NAS - iSCSI

Dir Copy to NAS - iSCSI

Dir Copy from NAS - iSCSI

Photo Album - iSCSI

robocopy (Write to NAS) - iSCSI

robocopy (Read from NAS) - iSCSI

A few iSCSI benchmarks exhibited extensive caching behavior in some of the NASPT test passes. One of the issues we found was that setting the unit to report a volatile write cache would actually prevent Windows from turning off the write cache for the iSCSI volume. In any case, the iSCSI performance comes in the top three of the list, just like what we saw in the CIFS case.

Introduction and Testbed Setup Encryption Support Evaluation
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  • BedfordTim - Friday, February 19, 2016 - link

    If you look at Amazon reviews you will find that there is no customer support for a NAS either. At least with off the shelf parts if your power brick fails you can just buy another one. If your proprietary Netgear power brick fails you are facing hours on a premium rate phone line as they don't respond to web requests.
  • kmmatney - Sunday, November 1, 2015 - link

    I never got over the pricing either, and went the WHS route. I started out with a machine built with spare parts 6 years ago, and added hard drives to the system as I went, and now have 9 drives in it. I use Stablebit drivepool for drive pooling and redundancy, which I like better than using RAID. It started out with a Sempron processor which was fine in the beginning, but upgraded to a core i5 Devil's Canyon so I could run several minecraft servers. Too bad they stopped support for WHS. I'll probably just move to Windows 10 in the future.
  • bsd228 - Friday, November 6, 2015 - link

    That's a list price. The predecessor (the 451 non plus - essentially the same but with a 2.4ghz dual core instead of this 2ghz quad core) sells in the 300 (great sale) to 450 range. Amazon already lists the 451+ at 529 for the 2gig memory model.

    If size doesn't matter, and you're up to the task on the software side, then yeah, you can make something better for the same money. Or do it slightly cheaper. And I've done that many times with HP Microservers, and might again with a Fractal Design 304 case. But if it's not your expertise or your time is better spent elsewhere, these turnkey solutions are great. Qnap and Synology have a lot of applets, and now even the ability to run a VM for additional wants.
  • Oscarcharliezulu - Friday, October 30, 2015 - link

    Article mentions raid rebuild is fast but if I'm reading it right rebuilds take 8 hours plus! Why do they (all) take so long? QNAP needs to support btrfs or ZfS so we can have a file system that properly protects against file corruption not just disk failure.
  • Sivar - Friday, October 30, 2015 - link

    An important and oft-overlooked issue with most home NAS units (QNAP, Drobo, Synology) is that if your unit dies out of warranty, that's it -- these companies offer no repair option or support.

    This is a problem with Drobo especially because they use a proprietary file system. You can of course buy another unit, if available, and move the drives over, or buy a newer model and hope for turnkey compatibility.

    With a custom home NAS, well within the capabilities (if not spare time) of most Anandtech readers, you can upgrade and repair parts easily.
  • DanNeely - Friday, October 30, 2015 - link

    Linux based NASes - like almost everything but the Drobo - use standard Filesystems, and can be recovered by sticking the drives in a normal Linux box.
  • BedfordTim - Friday, February 19, 2016 - link

    It isn't much better if they die in warranty. All NAS makers have dire reviews for customer support. Netgear has a premium number for support and a healthy queue length (30-60 minutes this morning) to maximise revenue.
  • Navvie - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    What would be nice is a comparison with a roll-your-own NAS solution. For example, a HP Microserver G2020T running FreeNAS or nas4free.
  • colonelclaw - Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - link

    We've been running a QNAP box that's extremely similar to this one in our office for the last couple of years, and I have to say we're extremely happy with it. We use it as an online archive of completed projects that have already been backed up, so it doesn't get a huge amount of use, but it probably shunts a terabyte or two around every week.
    My one criticism is that it feels like every time I log onto the admin console via a web browser it asks to install a new firmware update, but I can put up with this (mainly by not needing to log in that often).
  • akdubya - Wednesday, November 4, 2015 - link

    "For the TS-451+ to become a compelling choice, the pricing aspect needs to be addressed."

    You aren't kidding. I recently put together a comparable Braswell (N3700) system for under $250. And the Braswell SoC's feature AES NI, 4K and HEVC. Yikes! Between the anemic warranties and the severely underpowered and/or overpriced hardware I'm just not seeing the value in these proprietary SOHO NAS boxes. Is it really so hard to jam PLEX/Kodi/Samba on an Ubuntu server these days? And no need to jump through hoops to "use it like a PC" because it is a PC.

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