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Qnap TS-509 New Firmware performance & bug report

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Dennis Wood

Senior Member
September 19th, 2008 update: A few issues still with firmware 2.0.2: http://forums.smallnetbuilder.com/showpost.php?p=2992&postcount=38

September 16th, 2008 update: firmware 2.0.2 released
http://forums.smallnetbuilder.com/showpost.php?p=2924&postcount=25)

Make sure your TS509 is using the new 2.0.2 firmware downloadable from QNAP.com!

All of the issues we were seeing appear to be resolved with a beta code update.

1. Backup to esata works fine now.
2. Schedule shutdown and start works now.
3. Larger files are copying over much better at around 30 to 40 MB/s via SMB2 and the NAS is not bogging under multiple loads.
4. WOL is working. I'm using FUSION WOL, a free windows app. Haven't tested Qfinder yet.
5. Transfer rates to eSATA drive over the LAN are much faster..about 20MB/s

More testing to come using our standard test suite.

Original post:

The 2.0.1 code update for the just-released TS-509 apparently addresses the very slow writes to RAID5 for files larger than 1GB: www.qnap.com EDIT: the problem still exists for multiple workstation access...write speeds slow to 5MB/s

With the shipped firmware, we saw very poor RAID 5 performance with writes at 10 MB/s, and reads of 42MB/s where files exceeded 1GB in size. With version 2.0.1, this issue appears to have been addressed. Using a Vista workstation with local RAID 0 array (3 drives), large file writes are now at a sustained 37 MB/s and reads have been improved to a measured 80MB/s. This is using a 5.3GB file set with various file sizes up to 1.8GB. EDIT: as files approach 20GB, it slows right down as before...

Just using Vista's copy, the OS reported 37MB/s writes and 97 MB/s reads. We've only been able to exceed that read rate in tests between two RAID 0 Vista workstations! In fact, sustained read rates that high are well beyond what a locally attached, Esata drive has tested out here at about 68MB/s max read. (smaller file sets)

FTP write rates for a 2.4GB zip file are in around 25MB/s with reads at a blistering 103 MB/s. The FTP software used was SmartFTP.

I've attached screen grabs that compare the QNAP's performance over gigabit to a Vista SP1 RAID 0 workstation (locally attached), and then to the gigabit performance using another RAID0 Vista SP1 workstation over the LAN. Given that these are RAID0 workstations, I'd say the QNAP holds up very well. It's RAID 5 write performance is about 10% higher than we could achieve with a workstation's ICHR7 RAID5 over the LAN. (Please see post 4...more problems)
 

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Great news for the 509 crowd ... :)

... now, I'm hoping that they address the same issue in the 409's with a firmware update. I have the most recent version installed and am still getting slow speeds. :(
 
Hopefully, they'll fix you up!?

A few more issues that do not seem to be resolved with the updated TS-509 code.

1. Auto-shutdown works, but the unit never starts up again.
2. Wake on LAN packets don't wake the unit up.
3. Backup to eSATA drives doesn't work.

With the error messages rather generic, and the assorted bugs I'm finding, building one's own NAS like Tim is working on makes more and more sense. At least in that scenario you can get under the hood a lot easier to address various issues. The whole point in purchasing a packaged unit is simply to avoid debugging your own problems...and if these units don't do that, then building your own makes some sense. Onward ho :)
 
Thanks for the report, Dennis. I don't follow the graphs you posted, however.
The first one (Vista SP1 vs. QNAP 2.0.1) shows reads much higher than writes at what looks like chose to gigabit wire speed. That doesn't smell right.
The "Vista SP1 RAID0 Workstation" graph is a test of the local array, correct?
And "Vista SP1 RAID Workstations" is between two RAID0 machines?

Also, what is the "Total Length" parameter (set to 256MB)?
 
Tim, the app doesn't allow anything higher...I just posted the pics as a visual reference, but I think I'll just use IOZONE graphs from here on in to fit in better with your own testing. Your assumptions were correct on the configurations. I am seeing reads from the unit at up to 87MB/s based on the measured test.

At this point, however I cannot recommend the TS509 for several reasons (and perhaps you could edit this thread title as "TS509 New Firmare Bug Reports"?). It's a shame as the unit has some features that could represent a niche in the SOHO market if they actually worked as advertised :

1. Running multiple workstation backups to this unit is not possible, and file writes over the 5.3 GB test limit slow to 5 MB/s. Multiple workstation access at this point is very, very slow.

2. The auto-wakeup function doesn't work. It shuts off, then never turns on.

3. Wake on Lan packets sent from Qget (admin software) do not wake it up.

4. Backup to eSATA drive fails, although the drive is accessible over the LAN.

Reviewing the QNAP forum, my biggest concern is that I see these problems are not isolated...and there are many forum posts there with no replies on problems across the product line. At the price point of this unit, I'm hard pressed to justify debugging it, and based on what I see at the forum, I'm not holding up to much hope for the technical help request form I just submitted. In other words, I suspect we won't be using it much longer. After over 15 years in the computer side of things, my spidey sense tells me that this product is not ready for professional use.

The Intel SS4200, other than arriving with a loose DIMM (unit was unresponsive, but properly snapping in the DIMM fixed it) worked flawlessly during tests....
 
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So the "Vista SP1 vs. QNAP 2.0.1" plot is incorrect?

Your take on QNAP (and most likely Thecus and Synology) is, unfortunately correct. They just don't have the size and/or infrastructure to support business users...at least not in the U.S.

Of the three, Synology seems to be making the best efforts. Support phone # is clearly posted in Support section of site and there are very active Forums.

On the other hand, I wonder how good support for the Intel NAS is? Have you had occasion to try it?
 
The NAS plot for the Qnap is correct, but only reflects smaller file sizes. The new firmware is almost unusable if you've got multiple file loads on the NAS :-(

In contrast, the same backup job, (that brings the QNAP unit to its knees), run to another Vista SP workstation, hums along at 47MB/s with a file size 300GB... and still allows access. You can guess where the NAS project is going next.
 
The NAS plot for the Qnap is correct, but only reflects smaller file sizes.

Ah. Sorry. I read the 8192 KB as 8 GB! D'oh!

In contrast, the same backup job, (that brings the QNAP unit to its knees), run to another Vista SP workstation, hums along at 47MB/s with a file size 300GB... and still allows access. You can guess where the NAS project is going next.
As long as you don't need more than 10 simultaneous users...
 
Tim, the app doesn't allow anything higher...I just posted the pics as a visual reference, but I think I'll just use IOZONE graphs from here on in to fit in better with your own testing. Your assumptions were correct on the configurations. I am seeing reads from the unit at up to 87MB/s based on the measured test. (snip)

Well, I have just taken delivery of the TS-509 and I configured it up just last night (single disk for now) - with the latest firmware (2.01). I have tried WOL and Auto Shut Down / Start Up and they work fine for me (WOL works from the QNAP Finder btw). After reading your post I tested these features explicitly:).

While I don't need the e-SATA backup feature I will now try this and report back.

I did copy over ~8GB of assorted files to the NAS from a single internal (Raptor 74GB) system disk. I did not measure the time but Windows claimed 18 mins (although it seemed shorter than that). I will do some more testing, but for me performance is more than adequate (over GBit Ethernet). I will do some more scientific testing once I have my RAID 5 setup working (3 WD7500AAKS disks).

For me your 1st issue may not matter. I have a very small (2 PC network) and run primarily photo editing software (Adobe Lightroom) and I "only" want to use the NAS as a large and secure (RAID 5) archive for my RAW files (all around 8 to 13 MB each). I will (continue) to use Retrospect for workstation backup (to the NAS rather than my existing "array" of external Firewire disks) so the built in backup program is of no real interest (Retrospect is an Industrial Strength product!).

I guess, as they say, YMMV!
 
I "only" want to use the NAS as a large and secure (RAID 5) archive for my RAW files (all around 8 to 13 MB each).
Remember that RAID is more "robust" than "secure". A power supply or controller failure during disk activity can kill an entire array.
 
Tim,

Of course. I will be using my exisiting collection of external disks for my backup (using Retrospect) to cover for NAS failure.
 
Exactly...for home use or single user, it's likely fine. I tried another WOL application and the unit does the same thing. The network indicator on the front of the unit flashes 3 times, but the unit remains off.

The Esata port was one of the reasons we decided to test this unit. During a recovery, with the drive connected to a standard PC, we're seeing read rates at a constant 50 MB/s from the same drive. Backing up 3 or 4 TB over the NAS USB would take days at the rate it's running. Btw, the same drive works on USB...just not eSATA.

I reset the unit and reloaded firmware..then got 1100 alerts to my email box regarding a process reset overnight. I had to move the USB based APC UPS (which worked great previously) and reset the unit.

This is would be great if I'd built the box and was messing around with it, but this box is being marketed for business use. Once the issues are sorted, and support is upgraded (no reply yet on my problems), it could represent an excellent niche market for "servers in a box". As it stands, we'll likely return it.
 
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TS-509 Pro loses configuration

I would be happy if I could use my TS-509 at all.
Ordered it last weekend, received it this Wednesday and tried to set it up yesterday. Didn't look very difficult. Installed two Hitachi HDS721010KLA330 (1TB) in tray 1 and 2 and connected the TS-509 to my D-Link DGL-4500 router.
Started QNAP finder and used the quick configuration wizard to assign a fixed IP address and configure RAID1. So far so good. Configuration was completed successfully, but after shutting down the TS-509 and re-starting it, the whole configuration was lost. Started QNAP finder and it asked me to configure it. O.K., I did this several times, but the configuration was always lost when re-starting the TS-509. I even let it run overnight to build the RAID1 volume and restarted it the next morning. Again, configuration lost. I have no clue what I might be doing wrong or why the configuration is not stored permanently. Firmware is the latest version (2.0.1 Build 080903). Any ideas? I would be grateful for any hint or advice before I ship it back to the dealer.
 
Doesn't sound good, Andy. For a new unit to act like this, I wouldn't waste time messing with it. Send it back.
 
...Configuration was completed successfully, but after shutting down the TS-509 and re-starting it, the whole configuration was lost. Started QNAP finder and it asked me to configure it. O.K., I did this several times, but the configuration was always lost when re-starting the TS-509.
Hello Andy,

As soon as you have assigned an IP address (e.g. already by DHCP) in the subnet, I strongly sugest to access the TS-509 Web GUI, and complete the configuration there. Seen similar effects on the QNAP Finder utility before.

-Kurt.
 
I tried another WOL application and the unit does the same thing. The network indicator on the front of the unit flashes 3 times, but the unit remains off.
Have you tried the correct MAC address with the interface in connected and use? There are two GbE intrfaces, with individual MAC addresses.

Please specify which WOL application (there are plenty of non-standard ones...) you have tried first, or now in the second attempt. QNAP Finder WOL feature, for example, works like a charm.

In case you make use of WoL over a routed/NATed connection - are you convinced, the infrastructure allows this kind of traffic? Please try to capture the WoL packet, so we can try to reproduce or play-back.

Neither the community no QNAP support (very fast and competent) can't neither help nor replicate your issues without more details.

-Kurt.
 
Hello Andy,

As soon as you have assigned an IP address (e.g. already by DHCP) in the subnet, I strongly sugest to access the TS-509 Web GUI, and complete the configuration there. Seen similar effects on the QNAP Finder utility before.

-Kurt.
Thanks for the advice.
I configured the TS-509 again and let it run overnight to create the Raid1 volume. I was browsing through the web GUI and everything looked fine. The status of the logical volume (RAID1) is 'Ready' and I could copy files to this volume. Hoping that the TS-509 will keep the settings now, I was shutting down the TS-509 by pressing the power button. Switched it on again and the configuration was lost again. Damn... This baby goes back to the dealer. Not a good start with QNAP...:mad:
 
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Just an update on our TS509 issues. After several days, I did get an email back from QNAP with some questions. I answered them, and opened up an SSH port for the QNAP folks to access the unit directly. Since then nothing...but I believe "QnapIvan" has responded here with potentially some more code updates. I figure we'll give it another week then send it back if there are more problems, excluding it from our "Dummies Guide to Gigabit and NAS for Video Editors". It's unfortunate as the unit holds potential, if it actually worked as advertised. We've stopped using it altogether as just 2 workstations accessing it simultaneously brought the unit to it's knees...and this was just SMB traffic..nothing else.

My thinking, now that we've invested in $1400 for 5 Seagate 1TB enterprise drives, is to take the $900 we spent on the TS509 and just add an 8 channel Rocket Raid card and external SATA enclosure to one of our workstations with Dual Gigabit LAN. Knowing that Linux drivers are available for at least some of the RocketRaid cards, Tim's latest Ubuntu server tests have me thinking on giving that a go on the server. I've been looking at a few of the HTPC enclosures and using one of these, with an HDMI Asus MB, RocketPoint card and 4-5 drives, we may just create an HTPC/NAS unit to both host/serve our video files and output them to our screening room 42" panel directly over HDMI. Add a bluetooth keyboard and mouse and perhaps we've hit two birds with one stone?
 
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Hello, Dennis:
Yes, I'm the Ivan who responsed you on the QNAP forum. All solutions of the identified issues which were not found in QNAP lab before will be included into the next firmware fix. Currently we are having the 2nd round beta of performance fine-tuning solution and expect to release it very soon.

Cheers,
Ivan
------
Product manager from QNAP Systems.
http://forum.qnap.com
 
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