Doing NAS on the cheap the Linux way... :-(

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Max Burke, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. Max Burke

    Max Burke Guest

    Recently I added a NAS unit (Raidon SL3610-2S-LB2) and installed 2
    Western Digital 1 TB 32M CACHE 3.5" Internal SATA hard drives in it.

    This NAS has a Gigabit interface
    http://www.raidon.com.tw/content.php?sno=0000096&p_id=42

    I have not set up the RAID options. (the NAS only supports RAID 0 or 1)
    but I didn't want a RAID backup system anyway.

    After about a week of use, I ran some speed tests using LAN Speed Test
    (http://download.cnet.com/LAN-Speed-Test/3000-2085_4-10908738.html)

    I found that transfers between the computers on the network using a
    D-Link DIR655 Gigabit router were getting up to Gigabit speeds but the
    NAS was only ever getting up to 100Megabit read/write speeds.

    I thought I must have missed a setting in the router to allow the NAS to
    get up to the claimed 1 Gigabit transfer speeds, but couldn't find
    anything in the setup or advanced options on the router.

    I sent an email to D-Link technical support, and received a reply in
    under 24 hours.
    Unfortunately they could not help me as they said if the NAS has a
    Gigabit interface it should be getting transfer rates up to 1 Gigaits on
    the router, and there is no setting that needed to be set in the router
    to allow that.

    They suggested I run some tests by plugging the NAS directly into the
    Gigabit ports on the computers to see what the read/write speeds would be.

    Those tests also showed that reading or writing to the NAS drives was
    only ever getting up to 100Megabits/sec.

    I also sent 2 emails to Raidon Tech support, but have not heard back
    from them.

    I couldn't find anything/forums/user comments on Google about the actual
    Raidon NAS unit but I finally found the cause of the 'problem' at Toms
    Hardware user forum.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/23259-42-mybook-world-edition-speed-problems

    The discussion relates to w Western Digital Gigabit NAS unit but the
    comments are 'interesting and relevant' to say the least.

    It appears that many/most 'consumer' Gigabit NAS units have a Gigabit
    interface for the network connection so it doesn't slow down the
    network, but the internal interface between the CPU, ram/buffers,
    embedded OS, and hard drives is 'done on the cheap' and is only a
    100Megabit interface.

    Several reasons appear to be that it keeps hardware costs down, and the
    CPU used in most consumer NAS units cant handle Gigabit transfers to
    hard drives (wtf???) and that the embedded OS (nearly always a minimal
    version of Linux) has it's Gigabit transfer capabilities 'stripped out'
    when the manufacturer designs the unit to keep the OS as small as possible.

    My take on this:
    It appears if you want true Gigabit NAS performance you'll need to find
    a unit that doesn't compromise of Hardware and more importantly doesn't
    have a crippled OS.

    It's all very well using Linux to keep costs down but not when you
    cripple the performance of the product for your customers.

    In this case it may be 'free' but at what cost to the end user????

    As I only use the NAS for backups I can live with the slow read/write
    speeds (I'm not using it for streaming multimedia content although the
    manual says I can) but if you're looking for true Gigabit performance in
    a NAS you'll have to pay for it, and make sure it has a better OS than a
    stripped down/crippled version of Linux.

    --


    Found Images
    http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/~mlvburke
    Max Burke, Feb 20, 2010
    #1
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  2. Max Burke

    AD. Guest

    Re: Doing NAS on the cheap the Linux way... :-(

    On Feb 21, 12:44 pm, Max Burke <> wrote:
    > Recently I added a NAS unit (Raidon SL3610-2S-LB2) and installed 2
    > Western Digital 1 TB 32M CACHE 3.5" Internal SATA hard drives in it.
    >
    > This NAS has a Gigabit interfacehttp://www.raidon.com.tw/content.php?sno=0000096&p_id=42
    >
    > I have not set up the RAID options. (the NAS only supports RAID 0 or 1)
    > but I didn't want a RAID backup system anyway.
    >
    > After about a week of use, I ran some speed tests using LAN Speed Test
    > (http://download.cnet.com/LAN-Speed-Test/3000-2085_4-10908738.html)
    >
    > I found that transfers between the computers on the network using a
    > D-Link DIR655 Gigabit router were getting up to Gigabit speeds but the
    > NAS was only ever getting up to 100Megabit read/write speeds.
    >
    > I thought I must have missed a setting in the router to allow the NAS to
    > get up to the claimed 1 Gigabit transfer speeds, but couldn't find
    > anything in the setup or advanced options on the router.
    >
    > I sent an email to D-Link technical support, and received a reply in
    > under 24 hours.
    > Unfortunately they could not help me as they said if the NAS has a
    > Gigabit interface it should be getting transfer rates up to 1 Gigaits on
    > the router, and there is no setting that needed to be set in the router
    > to allow that.
    >
    > They suggested I run some tests by plugging the NAS directly into the
    > Gigabit ports on the computers to see what the read/write speeds would be..
    >
    > Those tests also showed that reading or writing to the NAS drives was
    > only ever getting up to 100Megabits/sec.
    >
    > I also sent 2 emails to Raidon Tech support, but have not heard back
    > from them.
    >
    > I couldn't find anything/forums/user comments on Google about the actual
    > Raidon NAS unit but I finally found the cause of the 'problem' at Toms
    > Hardware user forum.http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/23259-42-mybook-world-edition-speed...
    >
    > The discussion relates to w Western Digital Gigabit NAS unit but the
    > comments are 'interesting and relevant' to say the least.
    >
    > It appears that many/most 'consumer' Gigabit NAS units have a Gigabit
    > interface for the network connection so it doesn't slow down the
    > network, but the internal interface between the CPU, ram/buffers,
    > embedded OS, and hard drives is 'done on the cheap' and is only a
    > 100Megabit interface.
    >
    > Several reasons appear to be that it keeps hardware costs down, and the
    > CPU used in most consumer NAS units cant handle Gigabit transfers to
    > hard drives (wtf???) and that the embedded OS (nearly always a minimal
    > version of Linux) has it's Gigabit transfer capabilities 'stripped out'
    > when the manufacturer designs the unit to keep the OS as small as possible.
    >
    > My take on this:
    > It appears if you want true Gigabit NAS performance you'll need to find
    > a unit that doesn't compromise of Hardware and more importantly doesn't
    > have a crippled OS.
    >
    > It's all very well using Linux to keep costs down but not when you
    > cripple the performance of the product for your customers.
    >
    > In this case it may be 'free' but at what cost to the end user????
    >
    > As I only use the NAS for backups I can live with the slow read/write
    > speeds (I'm not using it for streaming multimedia content although the
    > manual says I can) but if you're looking for true Gigabit performance in
    > a NAS you'll have to pay for it, and make sure it has a better OS than a
    > stripped down/crippled version of Linux.


    It really sounds like you're trying to tar Linux with something Max.
    There is nothing Linux specific about this at all.

    Many of the low end embedded CPUs used in these cheap units would
    struggle to saturate a 100Mb/s link on a good day - some don't even
    get close to that. It would make no difference whether or not that
    part of Linux is stripped out or not, and frankly that sounds a bit
    absurd anyway, as there is very little space saving to be had there
    (it would still be the same driver after all) and flash memory is very
    cheap.

    This class of hardware is incapable of that performance and it
    wouldn't matter what OS was on them.

    Even the much more expensive ReadyNAS NV+ (with 1GB RAM installed)
    which is still up in the $1000-$2000 range depending on disks
    struggles to beat old desktop PCs. Newer higher end ReadyNAS units
    have much gruntier Intel CPUs and faster performance, but they are
    even more expensive.

    You seem shocked that these cheap consumer level NAS units are running
    Linux. Where you expecting a NAS that costs slightly more than an OEM
    copy of WIndows Home Server to actually be running Windows or
    something?

    --
    Cheers
    Anton
    AD., Feb 21, 2010
    #2
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  3. Max Burke

    paddy

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1
    Arrgh, NOW I find out! Thanks for that Max.

    I just purchased and configured one of these units yesterday as a RAID-1 server. I was pretty pleased about the price, but now I'm finding the same thing! Network reports gigabit protocol but only getting 100 Mb/s transfer on the disks. Well, I didn't use a fancy tool to 'determine' this, I just fired a large file through and timed it. A disk should easily handle gigabit data rates, but this is not getting close.

    It seems they have been rather misleading. If a product designed soley for network storage says it provides gigabit LAN, one would assume that something close to gigabit speeds would be achievable.

    And you're right, Anton. Linux would not be to blame. I'm sure it'll be sitting there patiently waiting for my data to filter through a bunch of rubbishy hardware.

    Time to go shopping again I guess... =(
    paddy, Jun 12, 2010
    #3
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