Upgrading a NAS box with some more storage was an oppourtunity to benchmark some transfer preformance. The NAS solution was an Athlon 2100 with a Gigabit (Dlink) NIC and Server Element’s NASLite+ solution. The software supports NFS, SMB, and ftp for read/write access. The differences between the services is striking. Clients were a Powerbook (1.33) for NFS, SMB, and ftp, and a Ath64 3500+ for SMB and ftp.
Max observed speeds were
NFS – 3MBps, pretty consistent whether a single or multiple transfers at once
SMB – 4.5MBps (peak), varies with the block writes, a noticible sawtooth pattern in the bandwidth usage
ftp – 12 MBps (single), 15Mbps (aggregate) with multiple transfers, the ftp speed suffers badly when file sizes are small, runs flat out with little variability when working on a single large file.
All boxes had Gigabit NICs connected by an unmanaged 3Com gigabit switch.