QNAP TS-509 Pro Turbo NAS

Posted on October 9, 2008
Author: Sean Potter
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6
Tags: NAS, iSCSI, NFS

Performance

Of course, my real interest is the unit's performance. What I learned about QNAP's units from the TS-409U is that they utilize Linux software raid, which has it's pros and cons: easy setup, easy repairs, and maintenance, but it's limited by a system's CPU.

Add to this Samba, NFS, and a handful other other services all running concurrently and the need for a faster CPU becomes apparent. This was the case with the TS-409U, which ran on a 500MHz CPU. The TS-509 Pro is based on a 1.6GHz Celeron, which should increase the overall performance of the unit significantly compared to previous models.

To test the unit, I'll be look at two protocols: Samba and NFS. These are the three most frequently used protocols in office environments, and should show the TS-509's true colors.

Samba

Samba is Linux' implementation of the SMB protocol, which Windows utilizes to transfer files across a network. In my review of the TS-409U, I found the speeds to be mediocre, but workable. Hopefully with a faster CPU and twice the RAM, the TS-509 Pro will be able to impress.

In this test, I'll transfer a 750MB Movie file to the TS-509U, and then back again.

NFS

NFS support is one of the features I was really excited about in the TS-409U, as previous NAS I've looked at in past reviews and jobs. The TS-509 Pro also, unsurprisingly, supports NFS. Like Samba, NFS performance is dependent on CPU speed. In the TS-409U, mediocre transfer speeds around 25MB/sec were observed in file transfers. Let's see how the TS-509 Pro stacks up.

Internal Tests

Much like QNAP's TS-409U, the TS-509 Pro also supports SSH connections. I was able to log in with my administrator account, which the unit treated as a root account. From this, I was able to do things such as edit files, look at my CPU info, and more.

While in the Linux shell, I tested the drive speeds with hdparm. The results were the same as any other Linux machine utilizing these drives: 72MB/sec to 75MB/sec. Like previous models, the TS-509 Pro utilizes software RAID rather than a dedicated controller. While using hdparm to test the array's read speed, hdparm reported 85.7MB/sec. This is over twice as fast as the TS-409U.

Faster speeds may be possible if four identical drivers were used, but this performance is reasonable enough for network usage.

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