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    By: John Stutsman

     

    After working with Intel’s NAS Performance Toolkit in testing the performance of the HP ProLiant N40L MicroServer (“N40L”) and the HP ProLiant N54L MicroServer (“N54L”) I became curious to see how my HP Media Smart Server EX-487, which had been modified up from Stock, would perform compared to the MicroServer’s.

     

     

     

    Note: the NASPT Benchmarks discussed later are useful for Comparisons with My specific testing setup, network, and Client Workstation implementation and should not be considered absolute benchmarks for comparison against another person’s results.

     

     

     

    Contents:

    • HP ProLiant N54L G7 MicroServer and HP ProLiant N40L MicroServer

    • Specifications of Target: Windows Home Server Version on EX-487
    • Specifications of Network between Client and Targets
    • Test Results
    • Conclusion
    • References

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    HP ProLiant N54L G7 MicroServer and HP ProLiant N40L MicroServer

     

    The HP ProLiant N54L G7 MicroServer (“N54L”) and the HP ProLiant N40L MicroServer (“N40L”) are the same MicroServers discussed and detailed previously in Performance Measurement of the HP ProLiant N40L and N54L G7 MicroServer and Other NAS Devices.

     

    Please review those earlier reports for:

    1. Specifications of the Client WorkStation and the N40L & N54L targets,
    2. the performance of the connection from the Client WorkStation to those targets, and
    3. LAN Speed Tests between the Client WorkStation & those targets.

     

     

    Specifications of Target: Windows Home Server Version on EX-487

     

    The Target: Windows Home Server Version 1 – was specified as follows:

    • Windows Home Server Version 1
    • HP MediaSmart Server EX-487 (but this is NOT a stock EX-487)
    • Power Supply of EX-487 replaced with Atena AP-MFATX30
    • RAM upgraded to 4GB G.Skill
    • 4 x WD20EARX OS & Data Drives
    • 1 x eSATA external Drive enclosure containing 1 x WD20EADS (BDBB backup drive)
    • 2 x USB 2.0 WD 2TB Elements (alternating off-site backup drives)
    • CPU upgraded to E5200 (Same CPU that is Stock in the EX-495)

    • Other Software Running: StableBit Scanner, MicroSoft ForeFront Client, BDBB
    • Data pool is managed by Drive Extender – The Target Folder NASPTxPerfTest was created with Folder Duplication turned off

     

     

    The performance of the connection from the Client WorkStation to the Target Directory Mapped on WHS-V1 on the MSS w/E5200 using ATTO and CrystalDiskMark is as follows:

     

     

     

     

     

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    Figure 1 -- ATTO from Client Workstation to Target Mapped on WHS-V1 on the MSS w/E5200

     

     

     

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    Figure 2 -- CrystalDiskMark from Client WorkStation to Target Directory Mapped on WHS-V1 on the MSS w/E5200

     

     

     

    Specifications of Network between Client and Targets

     

    The Network between the Client and Targets was:

    • The Client and all Targets are attached to a single D-Link 24 Port Gigabit Switch DGS-1024D via CAT6 Cable.

     

     

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    Figure 3 -- Network for NAS Performance Tests

     

     

     

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    Figure 4 -- LAN Speed Test between Client WorkStation and WHS-V1 on MSS w/E5200 CPU

     

     

     

    Test Results

     

    Chris Kenney had suggested that I look at Intel’s NAS Performance Tests as a way to quantify the difference between the N40L and the N54L. During my testing I realized the NASPT would also enable me to compare the performance of WHS-V1 on the HP Media Smart Server EX-487 (upgraded with a E5200 CPU & 4GB of RAM) and the MicroServers N40L & N54L.

     

    When the HP Media Smart Server (“MSS”) EX-487 with the E5200 is compared to the N40L & N54L MicroServers a large variance in media performance benchmarks is apparent with the MSS scoring significantly worse in most NASPT categories despite the advantage of the E5200 compared to the N40L and N54L CPU’s -- except in the case of two performance measures, HD Video Record and File Copy to NAS.

     

    All 12 NASPT performance measures are described in Performance Comparison of Windows Server 2012 Essentials on the HP ProLiant N40L MicroServer and the HP ProLiant N54L G7 MicroServer.

     

     

     

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    Figure 5 -- With WHS-V1 on the EX-487 w/E5200 as the BaseLine S2012E Performs well in 10 out of 12 NASPT's

     

     

     

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    Figure 6 --With WHS-V1 on the EX-487 w/E5200 as the BaseLine S2012E Performs well in 10 out of 12 NASPT's

     

     

     

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    Figure 7 -- With WHS-V1 on the EX-487 w/E5200 as the BaseLine S2012E Under Performs in the HD Video Record and the File Copy to NAS tests

     

     

     

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    Figure 8 -- Average Throughput's for all 12 NASPT tests with WHS-V1 and S2012E

     

     

     

     

     

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    Figure 9 -- Average Throughput's for all 12 NASPT tests with WHS-V1 and S2012E

     

     

     

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    Figure 10 -- With WHS-V1 on the EX-487 w/E5200 as the BaseLine WHS-2011 Performs well in 10 out of 12 NASPT's

     

     

     

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    Figure 11 -- With WHS-V1 on the EX-487 w/E5200 as the BaseLine WHS-2011 Performs well in 10 out of 12 NASPT's

     

     

     

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    Figure 12 -- With WHS-V1 on the EX-487 w/E5200 as the BaseLine WHS-2011 Under Performs in the HD Video Record and the File Copy to NAS tests

     

     

     

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    Figure 13 -- Average Throughput's for all 12 NASPT tests with WHS-V1 and WHS-2011

     

     

     

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    Figure 14 -- Average Throughput's for all 12 NASPT tests with WHS-V1 and WHS-2011

     

     

     

    Conclusion

     

    A side-by-side comparison of the average throughputs (MB/s) of WHS-V1 on the EX-487 (w/E5200 and 4GB RAM) versus WHS-2011 on the N40L & N54L (with 8GB RAM) versus S2012E on the N40L & N54L (with 16GB RAM) appears below in Figures 15 & 16.

     

     

     

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    Figure 15 -- Average Throughput's for all 12 NASPT tests with WHS-V1 on the EX-487 and WHS-2011 & S2012E on both the N40L & N54L

     

     

     

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    Figure 16 -- Average Throughput's for all 12 NASPT tests with WHS-V1 on the EX-487 and WHS-2011 & S2012E on both the N40L & N54L

     

     

     

    Note: the NASPT Benchmarks above are useful for Comparisons with My specific testing setup, network, and Client Workstation implementation and should not be considered absolute benchmarks for comparison against another person’s results.

     

     

     

    In two benchmarks (HD Video Record and File Copy to NAS) the WHS-V1 on the EX-487 (w/E5200 and 4GB RAM) scored better than the N40L and the N54L running S2012E or WHS-2011.

    • HD Video Record: This trace represents recording roughly fifteen minutes of a broadcast 720p MPEG-2. A single 1.6GB file is written sequentially with 256kB access. The bit rate is somewhat lower than the playback test, they contain different video.
    • File Copy To NAS: This trace includes accesses executed when copying a 1.4GB file to a NAS. Data is written in 64kB sequential transactions.

    I did not expect better performance by WHS-V1 on the EX-487 (w/E5200 and 4GB RAM) except in case of encoding or file conversion but even then the E5200 had only a slight 10% index advantage over the N54L according to the index scores in HP ProLiant MicroServer CPU Performance Index Comparison. So, in short, I don’t know why this occurred.

     

    I do believe that a lot of the performance differences between S2012E and WHS-2011 on the N40L and N54L is due to WHS-2011 being limited to 8GB of RAM (both because only 8GB of ECC RAM is recommended by HP and 8GB of RAM is all WHS-2011 can use) whereas S2012E could utilize the 16GB of RAM in my testing MicroServers (in my testing MicroServers I have 16GB of RAM – for a server used in production it is recommended to only use 8GB ECC RAM).

     

     

     

    References

     

    HP ProLiant MicroServer CPU Performance Index Comparisons

     

    Performance Measurement of the HP ProLiant N40L and N54L G7 MicroServer and Other NAS Devices

     

    Useful MicroServer Links & References

     

    MicroServer Hardware Links

     

    MicroServer Blog Postings

     

    N54L Blog Postings

     

    NAS Blog Postings

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