Friday, 24 January 2014

unRAID 6.0 VM speed comparisons

unRAID 6.0 Beta 1 (64 bit) arrived this week and I managed to get it up and running in a VM on my new server under KVM in ManjaroBox.

For fun, I did some speed comparison checks when accessing this virtualised unRAID compared to my existing unRAID server running version 5.0.4 natively on a 32 bit Xeon based system with PCI-X data host controllers.

OSX tests were conducted from an iMac on the network. The Win7 tests were conduced from a Windows 7 Professional VM on the same KVM host as the virtualised unRAID instance.

Here's the results.

from current unRAID
from virtualized unRAID
OSX Desktop
14.5 MB/s
67 MB/s
Virtual Win 7
11 MB/s
104 MB/s

to current unRAID
to virtualized unRAID
OSX Desktop
14 MB/s
35 MB/s
Virtual Win 7
11 MB/s
33 MB/s

Initial tests using the Win 7 VM were very disappointing (~6 MB/s) until I realised I needed to configure the VM nic to use virtio drivers. Once so configured, the numbers above emerged.

I'm obviously seeing a significant bump in both upload and download speeds compared with my current set-up so that's excellent news. Of particular interest is the >100 MB/s read speed in the Windows VM. This will be beneficial as my intended use case is multiple HTPC VMs so an ability to stream large media files from the unRAID array is a plus.

The write numbers are even more impressive considering the the current unRAID system utilises a cache drive while the virtualised VM does not.

These tests were not quite scientific but they are real world numbers. I used multi-gigabyte sized files for transfer and I took readings towards the end of the copy process when any benefit accrued from copy to RAM would be negated. I also used different files for the copy operations to ensure caching did not play a part.

Here are the copy operations visualised, first from OSX on iMac, then from Win 7 VM.

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