NASLite Network Attached Storage

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 Post subject: SMART On/Off ... ?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:42 am
Posts: 135
Location: Arkansas, USA
A question for the Forum. Is there any critical operational downside to turning the SMART test off on the server. The obvious is that you are open to a degradation that you won't "see" ... but ... I am experiencing a fair amount of "video/audio jitters" when streaming video (ISO, DivX) from the server.
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I await your sound, informed, and valued guidance ...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 5:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:18 pm
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Location: North Carolina, USA
I have it off on mine, but only becuase I have an old 80GB drive that doesn't support it and the beeping was driving me crazy :lol:

Does your video stream better after the NASLite+ machine has been running for an hour or so? If not it may not have anything to do with SMART testing.

Is your network 10Mbit, 100Mbit, or 1Gbit? That will make a lot of difference.


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 Post subject: SMART
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 5:32 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:42 am
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Location: Arkansas, USA
smeyer: Thanks for the reply. I am Netgear gigabit out of NASLite into a Netgear gigabit switch, connecting to 100Mbit Ethernet port of Mediagate-35 STB. There is indeed a better (but not perfect) stream after the first hour of SMART tests, in fact it is almost impossible to stream video in the first 1-1.5 hours after the server boots. Does turning Off SMART really stop these tests from running or is it just stopped from reporting?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:18 pm
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Location: North Carolina, USA
On my machine I don't notice any speed difference from power up to 2 hrs later. (SMART turned off)

My guess is that NASLite+ tells the drive to do a surface scan as part of the initial SMART test, and this is what is taking 1.5hrs and slowing down the read speeds. The other info SMART reports shouldn't take more than a second or two to transmit at power up.

You could try running diskwriggler on your system to see what kind of transfer rates you're getting. 9-11MB/sec would be typical for a 100Mbit ethernet. Also check if your cables are gigabit capable.

XVID or regular DVD should be fine if you get 9MB/sec. High def DVD may need more bandwidth at times. My NASLite will stream regular DVD video to an XP machine without problems on a 100Mbit ethernet with cat 6 cables.

I'm not familiar with the Mediagate, but can you configure it to buffer more data locally to cover any network slowdowns?

What else is going on in your network when you get stuttering of video? If something else is using bandwidth NASLite won't be able to use it all.


Last edited by smeyer on Wed Mar 29, 2006 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:18 pm
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Location: North Carolina, USA
Ok, downloaded the MG35 manual and found this on page 43 where it's talking about playing DVD vob files from VIDEO_TS.IFO

Quote:
When you play DVD file in networking computer, playback time might be delayed, so it’s not possible to play DVD files on networks. Recommend to use built-in HDD.


This tells me they know it will stutter over the network, and they recommend copying to the local hard drive and playing from there.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 3:26 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 8:01 am
Posts: 170
Location: Staffordshire UK
smeyer wrote:
Ok, downloaded the MG35 manual and found this on page 43 where it's talking about playing DVD vob files from VIDEO_TS.IFO

Quote:
When you play DVD file in networking computer, playback time might be delayed, so it’s not possible to play DVD files on networks. Recommend to use built-in HDD.


This tells me they know it will stutter over the network, and they recommend copying to the local hard drive and playing from there.


smeyer, I agree it does look like the MG35 doesn't like streamed movies, I had initial problems with the LAN speed(upped it all to gigabit) and also the ATA speed, my old m/board only supported UDA66, the new one supports UDMA 100, that and the gigabit upgrade makes it possible to stream HD movies now smoothly to my HTPC running MCE2005, before the upgrades normal DVD VOB files played ok but the HD stuff was a no no. I have been looking at a number of "HD" media players for a fiend of mine but none of them have gone for gigabit network ports which I think will create bottlenecks for anyone trying to stream HD material.

How many of you guys switch your NAS off each day? I leave mine running 24/7 so the SMART test from the initial boot doesn't really affect the day to day running of my NAS.


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 Post subject: SMART Update
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:28 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:42 am
Posts: 135
Location: Arkansas, USA
[ smeyer - wilbur ]
SMART has been Off for a day. Not one stutter, hiccup, or jitter in any video I've streamed - anytime. FYI the Mediagate-35 manual does say "do not attempt this at home" regarding streaming "DVDs", but in reality they stream perfectly as either .ISOs or .VOBs - full DVD quality - that is all I stream, I do not use AVI or DivX. I can't believe the difference turning off SMART has had on video streaming. Also FYI I kept the home network under as much load as I could generate - will no ill effect.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:27 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 633
Location: California
Hello Grumpa and smeyer and wilbur:

I leave my NASLite+ USB running 24/7. SMART is OFF.

If you turn SMART ON and monitor the "Disk-#.htm" file, it will tell you how many % of self-test remains. I have not run speed tests, and you guys are ahead of me in regards to streaming video ( I currently use only audio (mp3) and archive JPG and other important files ). However, I feel it is extremely likely that at any time while any of your drives have not completed the self-test after power-on you will experience performance issues on intensive (video streaming) operations. For multiple drives, they are running the SMART in parallel (simultaneously), and the time it takes to complete each will depend on the vendor and size and speed of the drive itself.

As far as throughput is concerned: UDMA100, or 66 or 33 or 133 or whatever ... in my experience this number alone is not the sole determining factor. Ofcourse shooting for the higher numbers makes sense ... BUT ... Many other factors of the hardware interact to ding you or give you a bonus in performance. I have direct evidence using UDMA100 motherboards that not only does the CPU and FSB speed make a difference, but much more critically the chipset and the vendors MoBo design ... I have a modern ECS 800MHz FSB Intel 848P chipset with P4 3.2GHz Prescott and UDMA100 drives that performs at 1/5 the transfer rate when doing a PowerQuest DriveImage Disk-to-Disk (200MB/min) compared to an Albatron 800FSB Intel865G chipset with P4 2.6GHz Northwood (1,000MB/min). Supposedly the 848 is a poor-mans version of the 865 ... but on my previous system with a genuine Intel MoBo + P4 1.8GHz Williamette, 400FSB, Intel 845 chipset (old) it ran at 700MB/min ! (Intel Mobo's do well integrating their own chipsets ... as, apparently does Albatron ... not so in the case of ECS, even though they claim UDMA133 (the Intel MoBo is only UDMA100). All drives are UDMA100 spec at 7,200rpm and 8MB buffer size. )

Go figure ... not that I want to muddy the (your) water ... just thought I should share my experience.

:) Georg


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