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Faster NAS performance like Freenas or other commercial NAS, e.g. Qnap, Synology


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Hi.  First of all, I'm very happy with my Unraid.  I primarily use it as a download station.  For TV and Movies.  I also use it to be the Media Server.  My Kodi devices, ipads all stream from it.  Currently, I also use it to host a few VMS.  


Having said all that, I also want it to be a NAS :D . It seems I used all the other features, except for central storage for my desktop, laptop.  The reason primarily being my experience with it being a NAS device isn't as fast as I would like it to be.  Copying files to and from may start with 100 MBps or so, and come down to a lower rate, 80 or less.  Though I haven't used any commercial NAS before, I suspect the speed may be a lot higher.    I'd like to know your experiences with NAS of Unraid, and how you overcome this seemingly low performance.  What about your experience in copying files from the array?  I also have slow speed.


I am also open for you guys to point out issues possibly on my design, or my setup.


I created a share, comprised of a disk or more, enabled the use of cache drive with the share, so copying to it will be fast.  

Default spindown delay set to 1 hour.

Enable spinup in groups is disabled.



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Unless your commercial NAS is running on SSD's and you have 10GB network on all the clients and the server, you won't see significantly faster speeds

80MB/s is quite great for SMB/CIFs protocol on 1GB network (maximum attainable is 125MB/s before protocol overhead)


Are you writing to user shares with caching enabled? if so, the speed of the cache disk may affect the speeds you are getting.

Are downloads or other disk intensive things happening on the cache while you are accessing it? this will have a knock effect too.

Are you accessing the array directly (w/out caching) - writes are going to be slow because of the read and write behavior - this can be mitigated with Turbo mode at the cost of power - all drives are running and being accessed.

If you are working with files that are small? Standard file system overhead will slow access down as they will be factored in the disk accesses.

unRAID does use free system RAM to buffer disk accesses, so if you have plenty of free ram, its possible to have burst transfers of ~100MB/s for until RAM is used up.


The exact drive controllers in use and total number of drives will also affect the maximum speed of your writes. The controllers have other bottlenecks to think about (PCIe 2.0 x4  vs PCIe 3.0 x8, etc)

A slow drive will slow writes down to its speed. (an older 1TB drive is much slower than say a modern 10TB drive)


You should grab your diagnostics for your NAS and post it, so that the helpful folks here can see and point out anything wrong or sub-optimal with your config.

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Hi ken-ji, 


Thank you for pointing out the possible points to consider in identifying potential spots that can cause it to perform slow.  Although I didn't realize that with commercial NAS, 125 MB/s is also the limit.  I overlooked 1000/8=125 MB/s.  Though, I have never achieved that rate.  Usually, it's about 50-60 MB/s.  I'm using Samsung Evo 850 as my cache drive, connected directly to SATA 3 ports.  Other drives are connected to Dell Perc-H310, which I believe should be alright.  Though my drives aren't exactly the fastest ? . I'll try to see if I can achieve a constant 80 MB/s, and I guess that will be good enough for me.



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