Concluding Remarks

The updates to our testbed do come with a power penalty because of the addition of three Intel ESA I-340 NICs and the OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid.Using Visible Energy's UFO Power Center, we obtained some power consumption numbers:

2012 AnandTech NAS Testbed Power Consumption
Idle 146.25 W
Single VM + Intel NASPT Run 157.55 W
25 VMs + IOMeter 128K Sequential Reads 179.61 W
25 VMs + IOMeter 128K Sequential Reads and Writes 164.76 W
25 VMs + IOMeter Random 8K / 60% Random 4K 161.42 W

The workstation didn't consume more than 180 W at any point in our workload. This translates to less than 7.2 W per client, bettering the power density of 13 W that we achieved with our earlier configuration. The Netgear ProSafe GSM7352S consumed around 74 W in the testbed at all times. Adding 10 GbE clients is likely to drive this number higher.

We have also been working on creating IOMeter workloads corresponding to typical home usage scenarios (for evaluating 2 to 6-bay NAS units meant for home users serving media and acting as a backup target). More details will be forthcoming in our next home NAS review.

We conclude the piece with a table summarizing the updated build.

2012 AnandTech NAS Testbed Configuration
Motherboard Asus Z9PE-D8 WS Dual LGA2011 SSI-EEB
CPU 2 x Intel Xeon E5-2630L
Coolers 2 x Dynatron R17
Memory G.Skill RipjawsZ F3-12800CL10Q2-64GBZL (8x8GB) CAS 10-10-10-30
OS Drive OCZ Technology Vertex 4 128GB
Secondary Drive OCZ Technology Vertex 4 128GB
Tertiary Drive OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid (1TB HDD + 100GB NAND)
Other Drives 12 x OCZ Technology Vertex 4 64GB (Offline in the Host OS)
Network Cards 6 x Intel ESA I-340 Quad-GbE Port Network Adapter
Chassis SilverStoneTek Raven RV03
PSU SilverStoneTek Strider Plus Gold Evoluion 850W
OS Windows Server 2008 R2
Network Switch Netgear ProSafe GSM7352S-200

Thank You!

We thank the following companies for making our NAS testbed build a reality:

Thecus N4800: Testbed in Action


View All Comments

  • extide - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    It is not very clear if you are actually making use of the 1TB revo drive thing as just simply a 1TB hdd, or if you are indeed using it with the acceleration software and the SSD caching the 1TB HD.

    So, how is that bit set up?

    Honestly if I were you guys, I would set up things a bit differently. Since all the VM's are almost identical you could save a lot of space and end up making much better use of that 100GB of SSD cache. Use differencing VMDK files, so instead of having 13 copies of a 64GB VMDK, you have on copy of the 64GB VM, along with 13 vmdk's that store the "differences". This way you could probably fit everything into 100GB and either just store it on the SSD natively or use the SSD as an accelerator for the 1TB hdd, but it would have pretty much everything the VM's need/use stored on the SSD. Now, exactly how you set this up varies based on what VM app you are using, but I know it is possible with ones like VMWare and Oracle Virtual Box (which is free!).

    What do you think? I mean you could also apply this sort of concept to the rest of the VM's and condense the storage down significantly. Use one big ssd for the main file, and then several other ssd's for the difference files, perhaps say 4 difference files per 64GB ssd.
  • ganeshts - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    extide, Thanks for the comments.

    No, we aren't using the acceleration software with the RevoDrive Hybrid, as it works only for boot disks.

    I am reading up on Hyper-V differencing disks [ ], and it definitely looks like a better way to go about the process. I will experiment with the differencing method and see whether things get simplified in terms of storage requirements while also retaining ease of use.
  • yupsay - Friday, November 30, 2012 - link

    I've been using differencing disks & saving space, improving performance by a bit like that. One of the downsides to be noted is as differencing disks are dynamic under windows 2008 r2 you will be adding chunks of 2 MB at a time while Win 2008 it would be 512 kb. Problem starts when you 've multiple machines running & expanding their VHD footprint. Look out for fragmentation. Reply
  • BellaLohan - Sunday, December 02, 2012 - link

    just as Randy responded I'm in shock that people able to get paid $7078 in four weeks on the network.(Click on Home)
  • eanazag - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    I'd like to know when Netgear is going to support 10 GbE over cat 6 Ethernet copper. I have some new Intel copper X-540 T-2 10 GbE NICs and the switch market is incredibly weak for these. Fiber is getting decent attention, but not Ethernet. I'd love to see even low port count switches ~8 ports. I don't care if it takes a whole 1U to pull off. I don't care about LACP today. Give me even a dumb switch. VLANs would be nice. I just need a switch though. I have them direct connected at the moment and I am really losing out on use scenarios.

    All the switches (Dell and some other vendors) that support 10GbE over copper Ethernet Cat 6/a cable are $10,000+ for 24 ports.

    I have the NICs setup between ESXi and Nexenta iSCSI. I am trying to push the NAS on low counts of data streams (ie. low number of VMs to take advantage of the caching and RAID capabilities of Nexenta).
  • pablo906 - Friday, November 30, 2012 - link

    A few weeks ago the only 10GB over Cu switches slated for the near future were Cisco. This may have changed but I doubt it. Whenever Motorola comes up with a integrated design incorporating the feature then you'll see a ton of other vendors suddenly supporting the feature. Reply
  • jhh - Friday, November 30, 2012 - link

    One of the problem is that no one is making 10G switch chips with only 4-8 ports. Broadcom's smallest switch has 24 10G ports. Some of their older chips had 24 1G ports and 4 10G ports, but no one has made those into switches with 10G Base T ports. Broadcom does have some 4x10G Base-T Phy chips coming in 1Q13, which should help, but I doubt the prices will be extremely low. The 24 port gigabit switches had a cost of close to $2000, so we aren't in the $100 switch range. Then, once one puts warranty expense, R&D recovery, and room for discounts for big customers, the price is quite often 2x or more of the cost, especially for these high-end items.

    The other option is to use SFP+ and direct connect cables, but that doesn't help with the X-540.
  • d3v1on - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Hi there, I have the same motherboard and was just wondering if the holes line up on the RV 03 case. As I understand it, Asus has decided to include 3 proprietary holes and despite having an EEB compatible case, those 3 holes wouldn't line up.

    Was this an issue when completing this build?
  • ganeshts - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    It was not much of an issue. I remember some holes didn't line up, but the locations were such that it didn't cause any problems related to the stability of the motherboard inside the chassis. Reply
  • d3v1on - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - link

    Thanks heaps Ganesh. Appreciate the quick reply. Reply

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