A real quick tip for folks experiencing abysmal Read/Write performance on their ReadyNAS devices: Try disabling Jumbo Frames.
Jumb Frames only benefit you if your client supports it, any switches or routers you are connecting through support it, and the ReadyNAS you are ultimately communicating with support it.
If any links in that chain do not support Jumbo Frames, you can take a serious performance hit for keeping it enabled as I experienced in my own network setup at home.
About a year ago I bought a NETGEAR GS108 Gig-E switch to get all my devices connected together in a Jumbo-Frame-enabled/Gig-E environment. After hooking everything up and enabling Jumbo Frames on the ReadyNAS, I also enabled the largest Jumbo Frame packet size for my network card in my desktop as well:
Everything worked great for about 8 months, and then true-to-form my NETGEAR GS108 started to experience random hardware failure; disconnecting client machines from my network at multi-second or multi-minute intervals for no reason, then re-connecting them a moment later only to drop them again.
ASIDE: In the last 10 years I’ve been through 3 NETGEAR Firewall routers, 2 switches and 1 dedicated print server. EVERY SINGLE ONE has failed in about 1yr with random hardware failures that no amount of factory resetting or firmware updating fixes. NETGEAR is the only company that has consistently given me hardware failures.
So I threw out the NETGEAR GS108 and hooked all my devices directly to my Qwest ActionTec Q1000 Gig-E wireless router and thought nothing of it.
Months went by and I casually noticed that my ReadyNAS NV+ read/write performance was dog slow, on the order of 8 MB/sec read speeds and 2-3 MB/sec write speeds. It didn’t impact me much as I wasn’t doing a whole lot with the NAS, so I didn’t take the time to troubleshoot it.
Recently I’ve been dealing with more video work and the read/write speeds have been driving me nuts, so I decided to look into it.
The 2 settings on your ReadyNAS that primarily effect performance are:
- Data Journaling
- Jumbo Frames
In my case, 1 of my drives in my NAS is slowly going bad, so I didn’t want to disable any form of Journaling incase I loose it. Disabling Jumbo Frames seemed ridiculous to me because I was on a Gig-E network (and incorrectly assumed all Gig-E networks implement Jumbo Frames).
I was able to find one post in the ReadyNAS Forums where a user disabled Jumbo Frames and got better performance, so I figured “what the heck” and gave it a try.
After rebooting the NAS and disabling the Jumbo Frame support on my network card, read/write performance on my ReadyNAS was more than 4x increased.
My read speeds are now 30-35 MB/sec (instead of 10) and my write speeds are now 10-20 MB/sec (instead of 2-3). So I am now able to keep fast(er) read/write performance while maintaining my eye on data integrity by leaving journaling enabled.
Hope this tip helps someone else in a similar situation, it’s worth a try!