How can I get faster network transfer speeds for a NAS device?

Posted on 2009-02-20
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
This could be a difficult question, so I hope I have allocated enough points for it. I am creating a media storage server by using a NAS storage device. Specifically, I have a LaCie Ethernet Disk Mini 1TB NAS drive with Gigagibit port. We are sampling a single DVD ripped with AnyDVD. This particular Video TS folder is 7700MB. I have used two different laptops, a Toshiba X205-SLi and a Gateway TA6 Tablet PC. Both PC's have a 10/100 ethernet port. I am not positive of the HD speeds. I am pretty sure they Gateway is a 5400 RPM, but I believe the Toshiba has 7200RPM drives. I have now attached to a basic Linksys router, using its 4 port 10/100 switch. Nothing else is connected except 1 PC and the NAS drive. I have also tried it on our Gigabit backbone plugging directly into a Netgear 24 port Gigabit switch. I don't have the model off hand, but all ports are gigabit. This network does have some traffic on it, but not to the point to even come close to maximizing the traffic.

I am accessing the drive by typing the drive through Internet Explorer, \\192.168.0.X. From there I either drag the Video TS folder or copy/paste it into the network drive.

In any case the results are the same. It is taking roughly 8 hours on either PC. Looking at C-net's review of this piece, their test system transfered a 5GB test file in about 19m and a 10GB file in 40m.

What could be causing this huge discrepancy? I know there are a lot of factors involved - HD speeds, network speeds, NAS HD speeds, etc.
Question by:theavspecialist
    LVL 63

    Expert Comment

    1) try using a mapped drive instead of UNC

    2) test using a fast desktop machine

    3) use Gigabit NIC on the laptops/ desktops

    I hope this helps !

    Author Comment

    Although I was wordy, I guess I did leave out that I would have to use existing computers. I did also try a mapped drive. No change. Maybe I need to rephrase...

    Are these speeds of 8 hour transfer times realistic? What is most likely the bottleneck? Isn't it the network speed?  My calculations tell me the following:

    First, the network speed is the 100 Mb/s network speed, which means 12.5MB/s or 750 MB/min. That means that the file should be transferred in a little over 10 minutes in a theoretical situation. At 1/10 speed, that puts it at just under 2 hours. These speeds are 4X that!

    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    Are you running a sampling application directly off the remote file?

    Or are you using windows to COPY the file off the remote NAS to the local host?

    I would expect a file COPY or synchronization tool to run much more quickly than an application sampling or accessing the file like a normal application would.

    (The issue is number of random seek requests -- an application optimized for using a local file  may perform many more random seeks, and less buffering and caching, than an app designed for accessing a file on a network share.   The sampling process may require some seeks, which slow things substantially compared to a straight transfer operation)

    If the PC copying the file from the NAS to its local drive has a 100megabit connection,   the expected transfer rate is approximately  70 megabits, assuming no congestion on the local LAN.

    A 7700 MB file would take   about  13 minutes,  if the network was the bottleneck.

    Transferring a 5gb file in 40 minutes is a transfer rate  of approximately  17 megabits per second.

    the formula is
    5 gigabytes * 1024  megabytes/gigabyte  * 8  bits/byte    /  40 minutes duration  / 60 seconds per/minute  ==>   17 megabits/second

    At the rate of 17 megabits per second, one would expect a  7700 mb file to transfer in  about 1 hour.

    7700 megabytes *  8 bits/byte   /  17  mbits/S (transfer rate)   / 60  (seconds per minute)  =  60.3921  minutes


    Author Comment

    I am using either drag/drop or copy/paste to take the folder from the local PC and copy it to the NAS drive. The folder Is a Video_TS folder from a ripped DVD. The folder contains about 30 files.
    LVL 23

    Accepted Solution

    You aren't achieving half the speed indicated by that review, which is slow even for FastEthernet.

    I would consider trying to connect a PC that has gigabit networking capabilities directly to the external hard drive using a Crossover Gigabit Ethernet cable, just to rule out the network.

    If you've tried multiple PCs and found the same, when there was no other load on the PCs,    I think you have discovered the "review"  was way too optimistic for your setup,
    or there may be something wrong with the NAS causing it to operate at a low speed.

    Author Comment

    I am using either drag/drop or copy/paste to take the folder from the local PC and copy it to the NAS drive. The folder Is a Video_TS folder from a ripped DVD. The folder contains about 30 files.

    Author Comment

    Well, we did end up trying a different hard drive. It worked much better. It almost sounds like the network couldn't be the bottleneck, but it sure is strange to get such slow speeds out of that LaCie.
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    First and foremost which no one is bothering to ask.   Your NAS server has all the correct information programmed into it.  I.E. Ip address, subnet mask, gateway address, and DNS information.  Also with some NAS devices if you have a network with a DOMAIN you can enter the NAS server into the domain.  

    Also check your ethernet settings on your laptop.   If all settings are correct and still have same issue then as others have said try a desktop computer and see what happens.   Also check to make sure you ethernet cables are correct and good as well.

    Author Closing Comment


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