My NAS build manages around 60 to 70MiB/s which means I can transfer a 1GB movie file in about 12 seconds, pretty good! My network is Gigabit, and most networks nowadays will Gigabit enabled. Just remember, even if your modem is Gigabit, unless you’re using CAT6 cabling you won’t get full speed. You will also need all your network gear to be Gigabit capable including switches, routers, NIC,s and CAT6 cabling.
Network Interface Cards
I am using the on-board Ethernet port which is a Qualcomm Atheros Gb LAN AR8131 and I’m not convinced it’s doing the NAS justice (I am unable to find specifications for it either). I have a free PCI-E x1 slot and two free traditional PCI slots so I am going to setup Linux Interface Bonding and install a nice Intel CT PCI-E Gigabit Adapter as the master NIC, and two TP-Link TG-3269 PCI Gigabit Adapters as slaves. This requires messing around with adapters and different IP addresses, SSL certs etc for the Web Config but will be worth it. Also note that for Linux Bonding to work using the 802.3ad Protocol your switch also has to support 802.3ad. Look for “802.3ad” or “Link Aggregation” on the spec sheet for your switch. I am using a TP-Link TL-SG1008 8 port rack switch which supports 802.3ad.
I didn’t notice that during building I just plugged in any old LAN cable not realizing it was an older CAT5, but my entire network is Gigabit enabled so I was missing out on some speed. I replaced this cable with a full CAT6 compatible one.
So after making those changes, I am now getting between 85 to 93MiB/s which is about the fastest I will get for RAID-5 because at this stage, it’s the disk write speeds that is holding things back. This is when things like SAS hard drives come in as they run at 10k or 15k rpm with duplex transfer speeds compared to SATA, but obviously price goes up steeply. You can also increase disk write speed with a RAID card cache of 512MB or more if your card supports it. Also, If all you want is speed and capacity without redundancy, choose RAID-0 when configuring your RAID card in earlier part of this guide.
As this is a home NAS system and a redundant RAID-5 array, I am delighted with the results. I can store everything I have on it along with complete backups of all my PC’s, some client PC’s and my family computers too.
If you went ahead and built your NAS box following this guide, let me know how it performs in the comments. If you are in the middle of building and having some issues, also let me know I’de be glad to help.Cheers! Richie
Reference & Related Links
- NAS OPERATING SYSTEMS
- TurnKey File Server
- NAS & RAID
- Network-attached storage at Wikipedia
- RAID at Wikipedia
- RAID-5 at TechTarget
- RAID-6 at TechTarget
- RAID-0 at TechTarget
- Dell PERC H310 RAID Card at Dell
- Dell RAID Controller Cards (all) at Dell
- 802.3ad protocol at Juniper
- Link Aggregation at Wikipedia
- Link Aggregation Protocol at Wikipedia
- NIC Bonding at Debian.org
- Bonding Modes at CloudiBee
- HARD DRIVES, SATA, SAS, SCSI, ATA
- Understanding SCSI, ATA, SAS and SATA
- Seagate Desktop Hard Drives at Seagate.com