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Using the QNAP TS509 in Load Balancing Mode

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Dennis Wood

Senior Member
The TS509 has dual LAN ports and is the only NAS I've seen that does load balancing over them. Connected to an LACL (802.3ad) fully capable switch, the 3com 2916 (managed, 16 port gigabit), the unit offers some interesting performance in this mode. The 3com switch is configured with an LACL trunk which includes the two ports connected to the TS509 unit. I figured I'd fire up this thread to report our results. The TS509 is running 5 1TB Seagate ES2 drives in a RAID 5 array.

First of all, there are improvements in both measure write speeds and read speeds to a workstation with a single port. We're seeing sustained, large file reads at 87MB/s and writes at just under 50MB/s to Vista SP1 workstations. This is an improvement from ~60 to 87MB/s on reads just by having the NAS connected to two LACL configured ports.

With two workstations, here's where load balancing is cool. Two Vista SP1 workstation can pull large files (over 200GB) off the NAS at a measured 62 MB/s simultaneously. That's an aggregate read rate of 124 MB/s. These workstations use RAID0 arrays and can accept that data rate with no issues.

Now on writes, there a firmware issue so two workstations will slow the unit down to a crawl if they're writing large files to the NAS. Once we've worked out those issues with QNAP, I'll be able to report on that performance.

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