Review: NETGEAR SC101 Storage Central

Performance - Write

As I do with all NAS testing, I used IOzone to check out the SC's file system performance (the full testing setup and methodology are described on this page).

NOTES:
• SC firmware version tested was 4.12.0
• Drives used were Hitachi Deskstar 7K80 series, 80GB 7200RPM and 2MB buffer (

Figure 8: SC101 Write Performance
(click image to enlarge)

Due to the SC's high performance claims, I think it's fair to see how the SC stacks up against an internal IDE drive. Figure 9 shows IOzone write test results using the hard drive of the machine running IOzone as the target drive. While the hard drive's peak cached performance is significantly higher than the SC, that's not the most important part of the plot.

Another close look at Figure 8 reveals that performance falls off sharply with file sizes of 4MBytes and larger. Actually, the performance drop occurs with a 2MB file size and record sizes of 256 kB and up. This means that if you're copying large files, such as music, video or even pictures from high pixel digital cameras, you're going to be waiting awhile.

Figure 9: Hard drive Write Performance
(click image to enlarge)

Figure 10 shows write performance with the SC loaded with two drives and configured with a 20GB mirrored volume.

Figure 10: SC101 Mirrored Write Performance
(click image to enlarge)

The good news is that peak cached performance isn't much different with mirroring than without. But the downside is that once you get past the cached performance area, write speed falls to about half what you get without mirroring - averaging about 2.5 MBytes/sec. Actually, if you don't upgrade to at least the 1.42 firmware version, you'll get even worse mirrored performance!