image00209/18/2012- Link aggregation can be a valuable option when it comes to getting the best performance out of your NAS. The average user won’t ever use the most of what a NAS has to offer, simply because their network isn’t fast enough to match the hardware performances from the NAS. Using only one gigabit LAN port limits the amount of data that can be put through your network. By consolidating multiple ports, you can easily increase your throughput.



Link Aggregation

To prove that link aggregation can really give you better results when it comes to throughput, we tested it ourselves. And testing link aggregation is not something new for Thecus®. The N16000 and N12000 were already put to the test; the results can be seen by following the link shown at the end of this article. Other articles regarding link aggregation can be found browsing through the press room from the Thecus® main website, simply type “Link Aggregation” in the search bar and then you can start learning more on this concept.

The machine

For our latest test, the N10850 from the Top Tower series was used. The available PCI-E slot was taken advantage of by adding an Intel® PRO/1000 PT dual port network card. The N10850 is equipped with an Intel® Xeon E3-1225 (3.1GHz) processor and 4GB of DDR3 memory. To create RAID 5, four WD VelociRaptor HDDs were used and the link aggregation mode was set to 802.3ad. This mode requires a switch which can also support 802.3ad. In theory, this LAG mode uses the bandwidth of all available similar ports and shares the transmission evenly.

The set-up

On the client side, 5 systems were used with Intel® Core 2 Duo processor or above, 4GB of memory, Intel or Realtek GbE NIC and Windows XP SP3 as the operating system. To perform the test, Netbench 7.0.3 was used. The Netbench software is oriented towards multiusers performances; therefore it was judge more appropriate as this is most likely to be the main purpose why link aggregation will be used for.

The results

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As you can see, the results show significant improvements when aggregating only 2 ports. One thing that needs to be pointed here is that the results are expressed in megabit, not megabyte. A byte is 8 times bigger than a bit. So the actual throughput for 60 users using 2 ports is a staggering 239MB/S compared to 169MB/S with only one port. By simply combining two ports, enterprises can increase their productivity dramatically! Don’t lag behind, discover link aggregation.

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