EDIT 1/8/2013: This post should be titled FreeNAS: The performance you will get when you don’t allocate enough RAM, or enough disk resources.
These results are not a true representation of what FreeNAS can do. Here’s a better example: FreeNAS Performance Part 2
Following the Microsoft iSCSI VS. StarWind iSCSI, I would like to also compare another option that offers FreeBSD based network storage – FreeNAS. It supports AFP, CIFS, NFS, iSCSI and has a very user friendly web GUI – further information is available here at the FreeNAS website.
The same whitebox server that was used for the StarWind and Microsoft iSCSI tests was used for the FreeNAS server – 3.00 GHz Xeon, 3GB RAM, single 1GbE interface, single 80GB spindle for both the OS and NFS export.
OS Installation Performance
Let me put it this way – after 1 hour, none of the VMs had finished more than ~48% completion….Just short of 2 hours after the install was initiated, one of the VMs had successfully installed an OS, and the other 2 had failed setup with errors. Here’s some of the built in reporting for FreeNAS:
And CPU utilization:
The latency for the NFS datastore is terrible:
Running IOMeter on a single VM while the other two VMs were installing the OS (Same IOMeter worker configuration as in previous tests):
Hoping to improve performance, the other 2 VMs were powered down, and the IOMeter test was run again:
The IOPS only improved by ~100 – the VM disk IO latency is still around ~1700+ ms – this is confirmed again by terrible host datastore latency – overall average write latency 100ms+ :
FreeNAS NFS storage, when configured in the same way as all previous experiments, has worse performance than local storage.