NAS Performance Toolkit 1.7
The Intel NAS Performance Toolkit provides a battery of real-world tests for your filer and makes them a snap to run
- Free, "real world" testing, ease of use
- Only runs on 32-bit Windows XP, only works on workstations with Intel CPUs, no ability to correlate data gathered across multiple workstations
Intel NAS Performance Toolkit is a NAS test tool that doesn't take a hard drive engineer to understand and use. Because it actually plays back various types of file actions, this tool is much more "real world" than similar offerings. It even allows you to "record" and play back file actions to more closely simulate your production environment.
Iometer and IOzone are great tools for testing storage devices, but they have one significant drawback: They dive deep into the minutiae of the block storage and file systems they measure and, thus, yield results that might as well be written in Greek (apologies to the Greek people) if you're not a hard disk engineer.
The Intel NAS Performance Toolkit (NASPT), a file system exerciser designed for the direct comparison of NAS performance, is much simpler and easier to use. While Iometer and IOzone work deep within the operating system to directly measure iochannels, disks, controllers, and such, NASPT zeroes in on what the ordinary user might experience when they set up the storage system.
Intel's NASPT solves some of the "forest from the trees" issues in file system testing. Instead of examining each subsystem in isolation, the Intel toolkit looks at how the NAS works overall. In the real world, both the user space applications for mounting the NAS and the network used to access the NAS have an effect on the user experience. NASPT takes these factors into account.
What NASPT does is play back traces of typical traffic that SOHO and SMB users might be tossing onto some sort of shared storage. For instance, the 2x HD Playback option mimics someone fast-forwarding (at 2X speed) an HD-quality video. The Office Productivity option represents the tiny little reads and writes produced as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint document editing takes place. A really cool feature is the ability to record a trace from any (32-bit) Windows application to create additional tests.
NASPT has limitations. It runs only on 32-bit Windows XP and only on workstations with Intel CPUs. You must have a drive mounted (i.e., a drive letter); the use of Universal Naming Convention (i.e., \\server\share) is not supported. NASPT is also limited to measuring performance from a single workstation; there's no ability to correlate data gathered across multiple workstations — at least not yet. NASPT is only five months old.
I'm also pretty excited that the Intel NASPT is a free download. After all, good science demands that results be challenged and experiments be repeated. "Free" means you can repeat my experiments on your own NAS in your own environment. Just use some common sense in when and how you run any sort of performance test. Throwing several gigabytes of test patterns across a production network when the accounting department is trying to post its month-end numbers is not going to make you popular. Instead, either test on an isolated network or do a bit of math first. Add up those file transfer sizes and see if running it on a production network is a reasonable thing to do.
The Intel NAS Performance Toolkit is free, it's easy, and it's reasonable to run. Don't believe those glossy brochures the storage vendors toss at you; it's in your best interest to confirm those numbers. If your findings do match the vendor's, I'll be surprised. Vendors always publish the best results they can get, meaning they were typically created in a lab under ideal conditions.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 3 Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
- 4 Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTBrand Marketing Manager - Premium Entertainment BrandNSW
- TPTechnical Change AnalystQLD
- FTSOE Team LeaderWA
- FTBusiness Development Manager - Queensland TerritoryQLD
- FTInfrastructure Solution ArchitectSA
- CCSenior Engineer - Finance PackagesQLD
- FTRegional Sales Manager - Telco/ICT - Employer of choiceQLD
- FTTechnology Testing Co-ordinatorVIC
- TPWeb DeveloperSA
- FTManager - Field ServicesVIC
- FTPHP DeveloperQLD
- CCSenior Full-stack .Net DeveloperNSW
- TPDrupal Developer - Immediate startQLD
- CCMicrosoft Systems EngineerVIC
- FTSystems AnalystSA
- FTExecutive Sales ManagerACT
- TPDynamics CRM Technical Delivery ManagerVIC
- TPDigital Business AnalystNSW
- FTSystems Engineer - SCCM & Lync/Skype for BusinessQLD
- CCTest Specialist - NetworkVIC
- FTSenior Java Developers (Several positions available)QLD
- FTConsulting Solution/Integration ArchitectVIC
- CCMigration OfficerQLD
- CCNetwork Systems Engineer l Application Support l Linux l Port MacquarieNSW