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Mesh System Charts

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Since the 200d has a lot more horsepower than any of the other units I've tested, I was interested to see if the extra memory and CPU speed would translate into faster filesystem performance. Note that the 200d supports 1000 Mbps (gigabit) network connection, but I was only able to test at 100 Mbps since I'm not yet gigabit-equipped.

I tested the networked data read and write performance using the iozone tool as described on this page. The test was run under Windows XP on a Dell Inspiron 1000 notebook with 2.2GHz Mobile Intel Celeron and 320MB of RAM running Win XP Home. File system performance, i.e. how fast your computer can read / write data to a drive, depends on many factors that are specific to the system running the test.

NOTE!NOTE: As you review the results, keep in mind that the maximum raw data rate for 100 Mbps Ethernet is 12500 kBytes/sec.

Read Performance
Figure 7: Read Performance
(click on image to enlarge)

Figure 7 shows impressive read performance - higher than any NAS I've tested so far. So it appears that the extra horsepower present in the 200d does translate into improved performance. Figure 8 also shows high write performance, although values are much higher than in the read test due to write caching effects in Win XP.

Write Performance
Figure 8: Write Performance
(click on image to enlarge)

To put the results in perspective, I also ran the same iozone tests against a Linksys NSLU2, Buffalo Technology Kuro Box, Synology Diskstation, Maxtor Simple Share, Tritton Simple NAS and Hawking Net-Stor using the same parameters, network connections and XP system. Note that these products did not use the same hard drive in all cases.

The plots in Figures 9 and 10 show read and write speeds respectively for a fixed file size of 128 MBytes and record sizes from 64 to 16384 kBytes. Experience has shown that a file size of 128 MBytes usually reflects performance free of caching effects and therefore more indicative of what the product itself is capable of.

Read comparison at 128M file size
Figure 9: Read comparison at 128M file size
(click on image to enlarge)

Figure 9 shows the 200d's read performance outdistances its nearest competitor - Buffalo's Kuro Box - by around 50%. You can also see relatively consistent speed with varying record sizes.

Figure 10 shows 200d once again commands a significant lead over the other NAS - about twice the rate of its nearest competitor, this time the Synology DS101. But then you can see that for record sizes of 512 kBytes and above, write speed drops to be comparable to the pack of relatively inexpensive consumer-level NAS.

Write comparison at 128M file size
Figure 10: Write comparison at 128M file size
(click on image to enlarge)

This is a behavior I had not seen before, so to make sure that I wasn't just seeing a temporary anomaly, I ran the test twice with the same results. I also checked the results with Iomega, who suggested disabling the Windows disk Indexing service. But when I did this and reran the test, I still obtained essentially the same result.

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