NASLite Network Attached Storage

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:05 pm 
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Location: Belgium
Hey guys & girls

I was playing with diskwriggler to speedtest my nas
received a disappointing 3MBs score

I'm not sure where the bottleneck is, it might be the cpu/memory combination
Or it could be the 10/100 ethernet connection
Nas specs are:
P-III 500
384 MB ram
1 750 GB pata drive
1 LSI megaraid i4 raid 5 array with 4x400 pata drives (3+1 hotspare)

I had another pc lying around
P-4 Celeron 2.4
512 MB ram
with my drives in it I got 10MBs
But I got some IRQ conflicts so I changed it al back

First I was thinking about upgrading to a more powerfull machine
But reading a lot of threads in the hardware section I think I better invest in some more ram and a gigabit NIC

Now I was planning to do something like this:

my current home network looks like this:
Image

I have a Netgear WNR834Bv2 router
connected are (downstairs) the htpc and the naslite
upstairs I have a 5-port switch with 3 pc's and 1 networkprinter attached

What if I replaced the 10/100 switch with an gigabit one
and placed a gigabit switch right next to the router
So it would look like this
Image

Am I correct in my assumption that the internet traffic will still be 10/100
but the "internal" network is 1000
So I can connect to the nas much faster, getting better read/write speeds

Will this work?
Do I need to upgrade the ethernetcables?
What's a good gigabit nic for naslite (chipset)?

Thanks
Tim


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:35 pm 
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At 3MB/s you are not even close to pushing the limit of 100mbps network so upgrading to gigabit would probably not result in any performance gain at all.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:58 pm 
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So it's another hardware problem?
am I being held back by the Pentium 3-500Hz?

The celeron 2.4 gave me around 10MB/s
I think that's closer to the 100 mbps max

So
What's the verdict?
Faster hardware?

Any recommendations on mobo/cpu combinations that are fast and energy efficient?
Does Naslite supports 'cool-n-quit' from AMD?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 5:21 pm 
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Location: Up State NY in the USA!!!!
A faster processor and more RAM should help with the performance but it sounds like there is some sort of hardware issue to me.

If it were me I would get a single 8 port switch and plug all the computers into that. As far as the speed between the router and the rest of your network, it doesn't matter since I doubt that you, like us here in the USA, have 100Mb fibre connections like Japan. Your limit will be the speed of the link to the internet and likely even 10Mb would be just fine. The less switches you have the better.

Can't answer about the cool-n-quiet hardware but until we have a NL version that is based on a modern kernel I doubt it will work the way you want or expect.

Mike


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:53 am 
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Location: Bruges, Belgium
Make sure you're running the most recent version of the drivers of the network cards (onboard or other) in your systems. I know from experience this can make the world of difference!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:33 am 
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Drivers?

All the drivers are included in the naslite kernel mate :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:44 am 
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mikeiver1 wrote:
A faster processor and more RAM should help with the performance but it sounds like there is some sort of hardware issue to me.

If it were me I would get a single 8 port switch and plug all the computers into that. As far as the speed between the router and the rest of your network, it doesn't matter since I doubt that you, like us here in the USA, have 100Mb fibre connections like Japan. Your limit will be the speed of the link to the internet and likely even 10Mb would be just fine. The less switches you have the better.

Can't answer about the cool-n-quiet hardware but until we have a NL version that is based on a modern kernel I doubt it will work the way you want or expect.

Mike



oooohhh
pluggin everything in the same switch would mean extensive cable laying around the house.
(don't think the misses wil apreciate that).
As a test I could move the nas upstairs, plug it in this switch and try again.

I also have an old HP vectra (P-III 933) at my disposale, this might be a nice one.
another test I can do :mrgreen:

Mike,
the setup with the 2 switches, would that create a Gigabit network?
or will it drop down to 100 if 1 of the connected hardware is 10/100?


thanks everybody


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:56 am 
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test results:

The P-III 933 with 256MB ram got 9 MB/s write average and 7.5 MB/s read average
Better, but the board didn't like the 256MB ram from the P-III 500, so "only" 256MB here


The extra memory in the P-III 500 did help a little (it now has 640MB, this board isn't picky about memory)
write 4.4 MB/s, read 6.4 MB/s
nice to see the read-speed has gone up dramaticaly

still a long way from 25-30 MB/s
sigh

perhaps a ebay-session to score some upscale hardware


Last edited by totalchaos on Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:23 pm 
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Location: Up State NY in the USA!!!!
First, I think by drivers he meant on the CLIENT machines, you have no access on the NL box to them.

Second, I didn't realize that physical constraints required the use of a pair of switches. There should be no real noticeable difference in the performance of your network with a pair of switches cascaded like you have drawn. The only issue you may run into is if the cable is not of good quality connecting the two switches, they could drop back to 100Mb. I have seen this in the past, give it a go and see. The worst that happens is that the end up running a new piece of quality CAT5e between the switches. I like Superior BLOCKED_WORD cable and use it almost exclusively and never have an issue.

As far as performance is concerned about 10MB/sec is about all that you can expect from a 100Mb/sec network (That's you right now). Hardware performance differs and varies wildly. My old NASLite install on a Tyan MB with an Intel P200MMX, 192MB RAM, and a 3Com 3C905 NIC gave me 7-8MB/sec consistent. More and more over time I have found my self gravitating to Intel processors and chip sets, they just seem to run stable and quick. HP and Compaq have always been problematic in my experience.

Hope this helps a bit more.

Mike


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:13 pm 
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mikeiver1 wrote:
First, I think by drivers he meant on the CLIENT machines, you have no access on the NL box to them.


Yeah,
I realised that later on to
Sorry Bart, niet doorgedacht. :oops: (He'll understand)



So, worst case I need to change some cables, I can handle that
Will make that a project after I upgrade the hardware
I got my eye on a Athlon XP2500 with an Asus A7V600 mobo and 2x512DDR


Thanks
Tim


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:10 pm 
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Location: Up State NY in the USA!!!!
My experience with the Athlon's has been less than favorable in the past. I again would recommend that you look for an Intel motherboard and processor combo for your NAS. I have seldom, well actually never, had any issues with an Intel processor and chipset combo and you can find older P4 and Celeron MB/processor combos all over Ebay for cheap. If you really want stable look for an Intel server MB that uses Reg ECC memory. All of my serious machines use this and I NEVER have BSOD or any other sort of problem with them.

As far as a re-cable is concerned, no need if all the links between the different NICs and switches are running at gigabit. If you need a bit more detailed info regarding structured cabling you can refer to my post here http://serverelements.com/forums/viewto ... f=5&t=2471 and post any questions you may have there.

Good luck,

Mike


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:35 pm 
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Location: Belgium
OK

Copy that tip on the Intel combo

I already found your thread on network do's and dont's
Learned a lot out of it


Thanks,
Tim


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:44 pm 
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Location: Bruges, Belgium
totalchaos wrote:
mikeiver1 wrote:
First, I think by drivers he meant on the CLIENT machines, you have no access on the NL box to them.


Yeah,
I realised that later on to
Sorry Bart, niet doorgedacht. :oops: (He'll understand)

:) No worries. I indeed meant your client PC's, like the XP Pc en the HTPC.

I've only read this thread diagonally, so this has probably been suggested, but you might indeed check your cables. Check which connection you've got. Bad cables can cause your client PC to drop back to 100 Mbit. Also, disable flow control in the hardware setup of your NIC's. That also might help.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:50 pm 
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mikeiver1 wrote:
you can find older P4 and Celeron MB/processor combos all over Ebay for cheap. If you really want stable look for an Intel server MB that uses Reg ECC memory. All of my serious machines use this and I NEVER have BSOD or any other sort of problem with them.

Agreed, but not about the P4. P4 was a decent processor, but it ran scorching hot and guzzled up power like it was free. He's probably better off buying a reasonably cheap P35 motherboard and an Intel Core based CPU from the E2x00 or E4x00 series. This should not cost him more than 150 euro.

Reg ECC RAM is also a good suggestion, but this will up the price a lot since those DIMMS are a lot more expensive.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:52 pm 
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Location: Up State NY in the USA!!!!
The P4 was not all that bad and you can down clock it if you want to save a bit of power.

The Reg ECC will require that he purchase a server class MB with a server class chip set in order to support it. This would blow the 150 euro price out the door. Better off getting an older Xeon processor, MB, and memory off of Ebay. There are a bunch there all day long for cheap. Again, just down clock it to save a euro or two.

As far as the cables are concerned that was addressed but it never hurts to mention it again, simple things like a single pair malfunction in the cable will drop you back to 100Mb. Remember that all 4 pairs are needed for 1000Mb/sec.

Mike


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