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Discussion Starter #1
I have a Fantom NAS with gigabit ethernet that I'm trying to use to hold all my media files.


I had been banging my head against the wall trying to get it to mount via NFS, trying multiple things, but finally found

http://i1.dk/misc/automount_nfs_volumes_on_mac_osx/


I think the -P was the critical point, and I still have not figured out if I can mount via CMD-K in the Finder (I can do SMB mount that way)


On to benchmarking..


via SMB I am only getting ~150Mbps on large file copy (1.75G file, 96 seconds). I can get 3x that on an internal HD -> internal HD copy (only ~30 seconds) (Mac G4 Pro). My G4 and the NAS have gigabit ethernet, and are plugged in to adjacent ports on my Airport Extreme gigabit router, so I should be able to do much better than only ~1/7th of the gigabit speed. These are IDE drives on an ATA100 bus (I believe), so 800 Mbps should be their max xfer rate... HD->HD achieves slightly better than 50% of that.


I was hoping to see NFS do better than SMB's 150Mbps.. but initial tests are actually worse than SMB.. what have other folks seen?


thanks,

Mike


PS. In general I cannot recommend the Fantom b/c of having 2 defective units already (1 bad HD, 1 bad cooling fan.. and lousy firmware all around)... but since I bought from buy.com, I am stuck with it (no refunds once you open it.. I shoulda just paid the restock fee...)...
 

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Discussion Starter #3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimpware /forum/post/14347363


NFS should be faster, although typically more annoying to get set up. Check out this article to optimize performance:

NFS Performance

Thanks.. looks like I have some reading, and experimenting to do. Will report back results.
 

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I had previously tried to use NFS from a few unix servers to my macs, and found the performance horrible compared to appletalk and smb. It's a flaw with the Finder, IIRC. I haven't tried it with 10.5.
 

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Discussion Starter #5

Quote:
Originally Posted by greedo /forum/post/14350306


I had previously tried to use NFS from a few unix servers to my macs, and found the performance horrible compared to appletalk and smb. It's a flaw with the Finder, IIRC. I haven't tried it with 10.5.

This begins to remind me of the sign above one of my favorite places eat in a small town in Fla... its a deli at the general store, and the sign at the counter reads (with regard to when you will get your food)....
Quote:
I only have 2 speeds.. and if you don't like this one, you really won't like the other one

Using suggestions from multiple google searches, I am doing benchmarks with various tweaks, system settings, etc.


SMB has gotten as good as ~240Mbps (2G file copy in 113 seconds)

NFS (automount): ~54Mbps ... ouch


these were all cmd line copies


time dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/testfile bs=1048576k count=4


and the SMB seemed better than it did via Finder copies, so I will have to play more with that when I get home (this was done via ssh)


With such miserable NFS #s, maybe I need to focus on optimizing SMB instead.... blech.
 

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Here's a test to see just what your network and server/NAS are capable of.
  1. Install iStat Menus or the widget, enable network traffic monitoring
  2. Mount the share from the NAS
  3. Create a large file of some type at the root of the share
  4. Open up terminal and type cd /Volumes/name_of_share where name_of_share is the name of the share you mounted, however it shows up in Finder. You can type a few characters and press tab to autocomplete
  5. type 'cp filename /dev/null' no quotes, where filename is the name of the large file you created earlier


This will cause your machine to copy the file and just dump it right away but you'll see the true single file transfer potential of your whole setup. You can open up additional terminals and copy the same file multiple times. You'll might see that it can transfer two files quicker than just one. On my mini, I can transfer one file at about 50MB/s. Although my server has more to give, the mini's CPU just can't handle it, one of the cores is at 100%. If I transfer a second file at the same time I can get closer to 70MB/s which is all the server can give.


I think the above test provides the best way to find bottlenecks while removing the clients hard drive from the mix. Your client machine is probably considerably slower than the NAS when it comes to disk I/O. With gigabit ethernet the CPU can actually be the second bottleneck after disks. The only way around that is to use high quality server grade NICs that offload TCP checksumming.
 

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Discussion Starter #7

Quote:
Originally Posted by mym6 /forum/post/14357679


Here's a test to see just what your network and server/NAS are capable of.
  1. Install iStat Menus or the widget, enable network traffic monitoring
  2. Mount the share from the NAS
  3. Create a large file of some type at the root of the share
  4. Open up terminal and type cd /Volumes/name_of_share where name_of_share is the name of the share you mounted, however it shows up in Finder. You can type a few characters and press tab to autocomplete
  5. type 'cp filename /dev/null' no quotes, where filename is the name of the large file you created earlier


This will cause your machine to copy the file and just dump it right away but you'll see the true single file transfer potential of your whole setup. You can open up additional terminals and copy the same file multiple times. You'll might see that it can transfer two files quicker than just one. On my mini, I can transfer one file at about 50MB/s. Although my server has more to give, the mini's CPU just can't handle it, one of the cores is at 100%. If I transfer a second file at the same time I can get closer to 70MB/s which is all the server can give.


I think the above test provides the best way to find bottlenecks while removing the clients hard drive from the mix. Your client machine is probably considerably slower than the NAS when it comes to disk I/O. With gigabit ethernet the CPU can actually be the second bottleneck after disks. The only way around that is to use high quality server grade NICs that offload TCP checksumming.

There are (at least) 2 issues...


a) I am finding that NFS performance (at least under 10.4) absolutely blows chunks. I am going to try some benchmarks tonite under 10.5, but under 10.4, SMB is achieving up to 6x my NFS performance.


b) Copying in the Finder _appears_ to incur a 50% penalty.. ie, my benchmark #'s in Terminal (using dd and large files) are ~2x the data xfer rate I see when I copy file by hand in the Finder... ah.. perhaps that is b/c in the Terminal benchmark, I am not reading.. only writing.. so in some ways only doing half as much.. that may be it.. but I don't know... since the sending drive should be able to sustain 100 MB/s.. does it send a chunk and wait for the write to be ack'd? or does it only incur a penalty on the initial read and then stream the rest of the file (in which case there should be no "duplex" slowdown)


The best I was able to get with any method so far (writing zero'd files) was ~250 Mbps, which is only 25% of the gigabit connection.


Tonite I will also try a file copy from the G4 internal drive to my Mini's drive over the same gigabit network and see what rates I get on that for the sake of comparison. Will also try the experiments mentioned in your note.


Given the lack of (poor) reliability of the Fantom device, I think I am simply going to yank the 2 500G SATA drives out of it soon, toss the enclosure and replace it with a 2-bay JBOD enclosure ($50 Rosewill from newegg). I don't like having so little control over the NAS side configuration. I did dig into their firmware files, which are just tarballs/rarballs, and found their smb.conf file, but not the nfs.conf file. Also don't like having to sit the unit on my hacked-up "laptop cooler" that I made out of spare fans (since the fan in the unit failed, and/or their firmware refuses to turn it on, which was cooking the drives).
 

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There has to be some kind of tuning for NFS that will improve the speed. It shouldn't perform worse than SMB.


I also tend to agree that Finder can introduce its own issues while copying files but the bigger issue is probably that you are reading from that drive as well. By reading from the drive you're creating more overhead in hardware interrupts causing greater CPU usage. That read operation might get interrupted do read other files the OS needs or if you are limited on RAM it might be hitting swap. All of which will really kill the peak transfer rate.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Did more tests last night... same 1.75G file


on Mac Mini (10.5.4) SMB did 65 seconds (~30% faster than G4/10.4.11), but NFS was still half the speed (>120 seconds).


Copying from Mac Mini to G4 was no faster than Mac Mini to NAS.


In summary, using a 1.75G file as my test, G4 = 10.4.11, Mini=10.5.4, NAS is Fantom MegaDisk, firwmare 2.6.3n.. all times approx


G4 to NAS via SMB: 95 seconds

G4 to NAS via NFS: 360 seconds

Mini to NAS via SMB: 65 seconds

Mini to NAS via NFS: 130 seconds

Mini to G4 via finder: 65 seconds

G4 to G4 (internal HD copy): 30 seconds
 

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In my experience performance is as follows: AFP, SMB, NFS. NFS is slow enough that I tend not to use unless it's a requirement.
 

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Discussion Starter #11

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew67 /forum/post/14368207


In my experience performance is as follows: AFP, SMB, NFS. NFS is slow enough that I tend not to use unless it's a requirement.

I figured anything unix-based had to be better than Windoze based .. guess I was wrong



How's the selection of NAS with AFP?
 
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