File Transmission with Different Sharing Solution on NAS

Because I want to select the best solution to backup my files from Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 72z 3574-U3V to QNAP TS-112, I prepare a test to collect data. I made a sample backup with one 3,3GB VDI file, 851 jpeg photos for 2.9GB, and 6 AVI video for 911.2MB. Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 72z to QNAP TS-112 are connected directly via Gigabit Ethernet.

What are the Numbers and How to Get them

I use lftp with ftp and FreeFileSync for the rest of them.

Software Statistics measures from start to end on user’s computer. It means when user feel the job is done.

lftp will show you how much time it take to finish this job if your are in interactive mode. FreeFileSync will show in [Statistics] tab.

Bandwidth Monitor measures from start to end on NAS. Time spent transferring between computer and NAS.

I use the build-in monitor feature on QNAP TS-112. You may see the graphic in [Control Panel]→[System Status]→[Resource Monitor]→[Bandwidth Usage].

Performance Analyst

Comparing the Read / Write performance with different sharing solution on NAS.
Comparing the Read / Write performance with different sharing solution on NAS.

This table gives you a rough ideas about the average transfer speed and the time it takes. As you may see, only iSCSI perform better than USB 2.0 on both read and write.

There are three things very interested:

1. iSCSI transfer twice faster than NFS, Samba (mount by Nautilus) and ftp but the shrinks to 20% to 30% on time spent. It seems the file cache helps iSCSI to send data in the background. NFS needs to enable cache manually.

2. Performance is almost double when connecting to Samba with command mount instead of Nautilus with a GUI. The extra gain worth the time to learn the command!

3. iSCSI seems more responsive but actually takes more time sending data to NAS comparing to Samba by mount.

File transfer by QNAP Bandwidth Monitor comparison.
File transfer by QNAP Bandwidth Monitor comparison.

As you may see from these charts, iSCSI is more consistent during reading. Block level is faster than file level protocol because there is no file system or network overhead.

Comparison from Internet

With different configuration, you might see different result from others. Here is what I summarized:

  1. iSCSI is the faster than Samba on Synology DiskStation DS213j but slower on Synology DiskStation DS214se. None of them specify the Samba version.
  2. Samba performance gains with smb v2 or higher.
  3. The CPU in your NAS will limit the bandwidth due to computing power, even with SSD. For example, QNAP TS-112 has upload limit about 40 ~ 50 MB/s and download limit about 60 ~ 70MB/s, and Marvell 6281 1.6GHz limits to about 50MB/s on QNAP TS-212.

More Thoughts

My TS-112 encounters several freeze during test. It won’t respond to the web admin.

I press the power button for 1.5 seconds to send a shutdown command to NAS. It is described in online manual:

Press the power button for 1.5 seconds to turn off the NAS. To force shut down the NAS, press the power button for more than 5 seconds. The NAS will beep once and shut down immediately.

For how to use these solutions, there will be other post about them in the next few days.

  1. Using File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Services with QNAP TS-112
  2. Using Microsoft Networking via Samba with QNAP TS-112 and LevelOne GNS-1001
  3. Using iSCSI with QNAP TS-112
  4. Using Network File System (NFS) Service with QNAP TS-112


  1. Lenovo: ThinkCentre Edge 72z
  2. QNAP: TS-112
  3. Wiki: Oracle VDI
  4. Connect NAS to your Computer Directly
  5. LFTP for NAS with FTP Server
  6. FreeFileSync for Internal or External Device
  7. RedHat: Customer Portal: Support: 10.3. Using the Cache With NFS
  8. PCMagazine: Definition of:block level
  9. ExpertReview: Synology DiskStation DS213j review
  10. StorageReview: Synology DiskStation DS214se Review
  11. Ars OpenForum: file copy speed vs FTP
  12. Stephen Yeong’s Blog: Samba 50MB per second limit?
  13. reddit: NFS vs iSCSI, fight! (your thoughts on performance)
  14. superuser: AFP, SMB, NFS which is the best data transfer protocol?
  15. Apple Support Communities: iSCSI, AFP, SMB, and NFS performance with Mac OS X 10.5.5 clients
  16. AskUbuntu: Which to use NFS or Samba?
  17. QNAP Forum: VPN Centre + proxy Server
  18. QNAP Forum: TS-212 SMB速度疑問
  19. QNAP: TS-112
  20. [H]ard|Forum: SSD to NAS file transfer over gigabit – why only 30MB/s?
  21. QNAP Turbo NAS User Manual: NAS Maintenance Settings: System Restart/Shutdown
  22. Wiki: File Transfer Protocol
  23. nixCraft: Linux / Unix: lftp Command Mirror Files and Directories
  24. MetaLinux: lftp: backup and mirroring
  25. Wiki: Samba (software)
  26. Wiki: Server Message Block
  27. Wiki: Nautilus (file manager)
  28. GNOME
  29. QNAP Forum: Windows 8
  30. ServerFault: SMB claimed to be “slow”
  31. Wiki: iSCSI
  32. TechRepublic: When is it okay to allow multiple hosts to connect to a single iSCSI array?
  33. Wiki: iSCSI: Target
  34. QNAP: How to Configure iSCSI Advanced ACL on QNAP Turbo NAS
  35. Mobile01: [教學]利用Synology的NAS在Windows7下建立iSCSI磁碟機
  36. Wiki: YaST
  37. Wiki: Network File System
  38. nfs-lan
  39. GitHub: NFS-LAN
  40. QNAP Forum: NSF4 Firmware 3.8.1
  41. Mobile01: 有關 NAS 所支援的 NFS 版本
  42. QNAP Community Wiki: Mounting NFS
  43. QNAP Turbo NAS User Manual: Network Services: NFS Service
  44. The Linux Information Project: The umount Command

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