Upgrading Home Lab – Part I

It was time to upgrade and enhance my home lab to stick with my needs. First of all I finally decided to buy an Intel SSD X25-M G2 160GB on eBay.

So the Intel SSD got delivered this week and I spent some times to run benchmark tests against the SSD. For that I attached the disk to my lappy through the eSATA/Combo port and formated the whole disk with NTFS (used default 4KB AUS).

FYI I have listed all the benchmark tools I use in a quite old article now but still valuable. Also have a read of Maish Saidel-Keesing‘s recent article on Benchmarking your Disk I/O. You will be able to download a tailored iometer.cfg file, actually the same I used here.

Let’s get back to this SSD device and I can tell you it’s a beast! See by yourself, the maximum Read and Write IOPS are phenomenal. I ran the well-known IOMeter tool to measure the maximums you could get out of this disk:

+12300 Read IOPS@512Bytes and +7300 Write IOPS@512Bytes. (Figure 1 and Figure 2)
+219MB/s Read @256KBytes and +97MB/s Write @256KBytes. (Figure 3 and Figure 4)

Figure 1.

Figure 2.

Figure 3.

Figure 4.

Then I ran another well known tool; HDTune Pro 4.01. Look at the column ‘ms’. This is 20 to 80 times faster than a regular HDD!

Figure 5.

Figure 6.

After I ran those tests, I stick the disk in my QNAP TS-459 NAS device, Formatted it with EXT4 and created an iSCSI Target and LUN of 75GB and a NFS share with the remaining space.

Then I attached the two disks to my nested ESXi4.0U2 host and again I ran some benchmark tests but that’s for another post…  Also more hardware to come in my home lab so stay tuned 😉

About PiroNet

Didier Pironet is an independent blogger and freelancer with +15 years of IT industry experience. Didier is also a former VMware inc. employee where he specialised in Datacenter and Cloud Infrastructure products as well as Infrastructure, Operations and IT Business Management products. Didier is passionate about technologies and he is found to be a creative and a visionary thinker, expressing with passion and excitement, hopefully inspiring and enrolling people to innovation and change.
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8 Responses to Upgrading Home Lab – Part I

  1. Pingback: One Of The Most Powerful Shuttle Barebone For My VMware Home Lab « DeinosCloud

  2. Jamie says:

    Hi There, So, did you do the follow up to this post? Interested to see the IOPS and Throughput you get when its in the TS-459. Care to share? 🙂


    • deinoscloud says:

      Hi Jamie, no I haven’t done it yet for a simple reason, the SSD is now stick with my lappy on an eSATAp port to hold my nested vSphere home lab. I could not leave it in my QNAP device 🙂

      The good news is that I’m about to buy the same type of Intel SSD on eBAY and that one will stay definitely in my QNAP device and a part II blog post will follow up as well…

      Thx for your comment BTW.


      • Jamie says:

        Thanks for the response. WIll be interested in seeing whether the QNAP becomes the bottle neck. Look forward to seeing your results when you manage to test.

        All the best


  3. Travis F says:

    Have you had any reliability issues with the Qnap? We have 6 of them and starting aquiring them about a year ago but we struggle to get reliability. Typical problem… they lock up every every couple weeks or certain guests have difficulty connecting / reconnecting.

    We’ve used them as iSSCSI targets for ESX, then moved to iSCSI targets for MS 2003/2008, and now trying NFS.

    I found you posts on the Qnap forum and it seems you dug into them for use with ESX .

    • deinoscloud says:

      Hi Travis and thx for your comment.

      QNAP has many issues with iSCSI. Performance and stability are the main concerns.
      Now most of the problems are due to bad configuration and overcommitment of the storage device’s processor. Don’t forget it’s a software iSCSI (File I/O) on top of EXT3 or EXT4 file system with a processor just too weak for the job…

      Regarding iSCSI and Windows servers, have a read of MPIO and MC/S how to’s at http://qnap.com/pro_features.asp

      Also, you might want to disable ‘disk standby mode’ in System Administration -> Hardware -> Enable hard disk standby mode to avoid disconnections..


      • Travis F says:

        Thanks for the reply and the links as I had not seen them before.

        Are you suggesting the HDD standby mode causes the initiator to disconnect from the target?

        In the Vspahere config guide, do you know why they wouldn’t recomend using NFS? It would seem to be the choice for better performance.

        Finally, do you know why they are making the recomendation to disable write cache? Is it merely for corruption issues causes during failure?

        • deinoscloud says:

          >Are you suggesting the HDD standby mode causes
          >the initiator to disconnect from the target?

          >In the Vspahere config guide, do you know why they
          >wouldn’t recomend using NFS? It would seem to be
          >the choice for better performance.
          >The kind of storage device you have is the main factor
          >in favor of either NFS or iSCSI.
          QNAP does a better job with NFS performance and manageability wise

          >Finally, do you know why they are making the
          >recomendation to disable write cache? Is it merely
          >for corruption issues causes during failure?
          Better to turn it off when using in conjunction EXT4 and virtualization (VMware, Microsoft or Citrix). You can mitigate this with your QNAP devices attached to an UPS and thus leave the write cache turn on.


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