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Rubbish Network Write Speed/nas Write Speed - What's Likely Up Here?


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Ok all you networking gurus - riddle me this!

 

Having actually been out a couple of times lately and taken photos, I was horrified by the speed it was taking to empty my CF cards onto my NAS box before processing the pics. So I figured a little bit of LAN testing was in order.

 

Now recently I rebuilt my main PC as a mackintosh and it performs fine but I can't help but think this issue could relate to that perhaps, except that it mostly just seems to be files going to the NAS boxes that are chronic slow.

 

So I used 'Helios LanTest' freebie software to test from the Hackintosh how long it takes on average to write 300mb files to various network resources. Here's the results:

 

  • Writing to Local SSD = 246MB/sec = 2000Mbps = 2Gbps (max theoretical 6Gbps)
  • Writing to NAS1 MBL* = 17MB/sec = 136Mbps = 0.136Gbps (Western Digital MyBook Live 2TB)
  • Writing to Littlegeek** = 27MB/sec = 216Mbps = 0.216Gbps (Tiny Windows7 media PC)
  • Writing to NAS2 LHS*** = 12MB/sec = 96Mbps = 0.096Gbps (Buffalo Linkstation LS-CHL500)
  • Writing to Macbook**** = 71MB/sec = 568Mbps = 0.568Gbps (2011 Macbook Pro 13")

 

*through single Gb switch

**through 5x Gb switches

***through single Gb switch

****through 5x Gb switches

 

All the network devices tested are using Gigabit ethernet connectivity. The network has 5 separate gigabit switches (including the router itself).

 

As you can see - the write speed to the internal SSD is super fast, and furthest away, the write speed to the Macbook (going through 5 separate network switches) still is pretty good at over half a Gbps.

But writing to both of the NAS boxes and the Windows box is appallingly slow for some reason.

 

I'd guess the original gripe about reading the CF cards is partly just that interface being through USB and will never be that quick, but the problem is not so much that as the write speeds to my LAN devices really.

 

Any suggestions on why it's so crap and what I can do about it? They're going through a single gigabit switch, and the macbook (which is tons faster to write to) is through that same switch, then 4 additional ones, so it's not that switch at fault I don't think.

 

Cheers folks!

Edited by Cret
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Ok - one test update is that I pulled the ethernet cable out of the Linkstation which writes at 12MB/s and put the cable into the macbook instead.

Ran the test again from the Hackintosh to the Macbook, and got 73MB/s write speed.

 

So the macbook is more or less consistent whether at the far end of the network going through all 5 switches, or connected directly to the first one. It writes 5x faster than the NAS box that it is using the same cable from. So I'm pretty sure it's these bloody NAS boxes that are the culprits, even though they are gigabit ethernet themselves.

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Writing between the Macs will be using AFP (Apple Filing Protocol).

 

Writing from the hackintosh to the NASs & Windows 7 box will be using SMB (Samba). Apple's implementation of SMB is slightly different to Microsoft's so the whole thing doesn't work too nicely together and is prone to running slowly and often crashing.

 

You can dick about with the smb.conf on the Mac to see if you can make it work better.

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Linkstations are notoriously slow. I had one and it's now in pieces from the frustration it caused.

Try a file transfer to it over FTP and see if the scores improve any. That'd point the finger at Buffalo's SMB.

 

Also, you might want to enable some of the speedy options in the smb.conf file. They made a big difference for me with a Linux server hosting to Windows/OSX machines, but I know some options are client-side too.

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Thanks - that's useful to know. I'll google it obviously, but any idea offhand what sort of settings in that file I should be putting in? Might be more apparent once I look at the file.

 

I've read in the past about the linkstation being slow but it's less important as that's a backup box. Would be nice to get the mybook working faster though.

For the minute, I've allocated a chunk of my main SSD to transfer CF card content to, so that the files open and process nice and fast, then I move them later to the nas boxes.

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If you can find your way into the Linkstation's SMB.conf, you can enable raw reads and writes as well as increasing the cache somewhat (LS RAM dependent.) They're never going to be quick though, the CPU is godawful.

socket options = SO_KEEPALIVE TCP_NODELAY SO_SNDBUF=65536 SO_RCVBUF=65536

 

I know that last time I looked, there was a fair tinkering community for the Linkstations (http://buffalo.nas-central.org/wiki/Category:LS-CHL)

On the forum, there are a few custom firmwares as well, I've used them without a problem and they did speed things up a fair bit, but YMMV. I have a feeling you have the same model as I do (did, seeing as it's gutted and in a box somewhere).

Edited by AcousticallyChallenged
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Wow AC you is a proper geek do you speak like a robot like that beardy steve burrows?

 

And as for you Cret, shame on you running a hackintosh thumbsup.gif the fun police will no doubt at some point be on here to give you a good old telling off.

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Wow AC you is a proper geek do you speak like a robot like that beardy steve burrows?

 

And as for you Cret, shame on you running a hackintosh thumbsup.gif the fun police will no doubt at some point be on here to give you a good old telling off.

It's a necessity, I've learnt it all from experience and shouting at things until they work. I compensate for it by hitting my car with a spanner under the bonnet occasionally.

 

Hackintoshes are wonderful, the OS is rather nice for a lot of purposes, especially dumb end-users or multimedia applications. As well as the flexibility of Unix with the usability of Apple.

I think the next PC I own will have to be a hackintosh. I've had a couple of hackintosh laptops, as well as a couple of MacBooks in the past,

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