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Wi-Fi Router Charts

Click for Wi-Fi Router Charts

Mesh System Charts

Click for Wi-Fi Mesh System Charts

Performance - Competitive

I thought I had tested more new four-drive NASes with the new test bed than I found in the NAS Charts. But it appears that I have recently tested everything but! So I was only able to gather the Seagate BlackArmor 440 and Buffalo TeraStation III for comparison.

Figure 13 shows the RAID 5 write results. A glance at the value table below the plot shows that once cache effects to away, the NSS3000 has about half the RAID 5 write throughput of the Seagate and Buffalo NASes.

Competitive RAID 5 write comparison  - 1000 Mbps LAN

Figure 13: Competitive RAID 5 write comparison - 1000 Mbps LAN

Figure 14 compares the RAID 5 read performance, where the 3000 does comparatively worse. From the 512 MB file size on up, the 3000's read speeds are 60% lower than the Seagate's and 70% lower than the Buffalo's.

Competitive RAID 5 read comparison  - 1000 Mbps LAN

Figure 14: Competitive RAID 5 read comparison - 1000 Mbps LAN

Performance - File Copy

Vista SP1 1000 Mbps RAID 5 file copy write results in Figure 15 show the NSS3000 in last place when I filtered the results for only four-bay NASes.

1000 Mbps LAN Vista SP1 File Copy RAID 5 Write

Figure 15: 1000 Mbps LAN Vista SP1 File Copy RAID 5 Write

Figure 16 shows the 1000 Mbps RAID 5 File Copy read, with slightly higher thoughput, but the same ranking.

1000 Mbps LAN Vista SP1 File Copy RAID 5 read

Figure 16: 1000 Mbps LAN Vista SP1 File Copy RAID 5 Read

Use the NAS Charts to further explore performance.

Closing Thoughts

Frankly, I don't understand how Cisco could introduce a "business" NAS with performance that is in no way competitive with other NASes introduced this year. While mid-to-low teen MB/s speeds may have been ok last year, the low water mark for even inexpensive consumer NASes is at least twice that for RAID 5 write and 4X for read.

While it does have some attractive features such as the ability to export storage to DFS arrays, multiple volumes and LAN access controls, the NSS3000 falls short on backup flexibility, hot spare and iSCSI support.

Even at around the $530 online price I've seen for the diskless NSS3000, I don't think that it's a good buy if you're looking for current-generation performance. But if you don't mind last-generation speed, can live with limited backup features and prefer to see the Cisco name on your NAS' front panel, then you could certainly do worse for the money.

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