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Benchmarking FreeNAS on the HP MicroServer

The HP MicroServer makes for a fast FreeNAS box.

The Proliant MicroServer from HP is a nifty machine suitable for a home NAS server (running FreeNAS, of course). I set it up with FreeNAS 8.0.1 and ran some basic benchmarks.

The Setup

One HP Proliant Microserver with:

  • AMD Athlon(tm) II Neo N36L Dual-Core Processor
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 4 x Samsung Spinpoint F4 EcoGreen 2 TB drives
  • FreeNAS 8.0.1 configured with ZFS in RAID-Z1 over all four drives.
  • Test 1 - Local Machine

Copying data from /dev/zero on the FreeNAS server onto the RAIDZ drive should test the ZFS throughput without any network overhead and minimal CPU cost:

# dd if=/dev/zero of=zerotest bs=1m count=5000
5000+0 records in
5000+0 records out
5242880000 bytes transferred in 15.897531 secs (329792091 bytes/sec)


Local RAIDZ Bandwidth: 314 MB/s (2.5Gbit/s)

Technically the box has 4 x 3Gbps ports so I don't know what to make of this number - it's amazingly close to the theoretical throughput of one 3Gbps SATA port but does it mean it can't saturate all four SATA ports? Anyway, it doesn't really matter because the FreeNAS box is essentially for network storage and the throughput is more than enough to saturate a Gigabit Ethernet link.

Test 2 - Remote Machine on Gigabit Ethernet

This test was done from a Mac connected to the FreeNAS box via a Gigabit Ethernet hub. The FreeNAS drive was mounted via AFP:

$ dd if=/dev/zero of=/Volumes/FreeNAS/zerotest bs=1m count=1000
1000+0 records in
1000+0 records out
1048576000 bytes transferred in 13.306824 secs (78799870 bytes/sec)


Remote Write Bandwidth: 75 MB/s (600 Mbit/s)

It does not saturate the Gigabit Ethernet, but gives pretty decent throughput. Without more testing I can't determine if the bottleneck is the network, the MicroServer CPU or something else. Watch for results of future benchmarking on this blog.