Review | CPU Computer Power User

Issue: May | Vol. 12 Iss. 05
Product Reviewed: JETNAS JET504

If you've been following the price of mechanical storage lately, you're likely to need a barf bag. Now that prices seem to be declining again, it's safe to start thinking about setting up a NAS. JETNAS, a Silicon Valley-based storage vendor that specializes in RAID/JBOD arrays, SAN storage, and NAS storage just sent us one of its JETNAS 500 series units, the JET504.

      Billed as affordable data storage, this unit can be configured with eight 1TB HDDs starting at $2,999 (JET502). If that's not enough, you can order a JET506 with up to eight 3TB HDDs (24TB raw space) for $4,999. This NAS/iSCSI storage appliance also supports snapshots, replication, thin provisioning, and hardware RAID 0, 1, 5, 6,10, 50, and 60 with global and delicated hot spare. Due to the ongoing hard drive shortage, JETNAS was only able to outfit our JET504 with for 2TB HDDs (for 8TB of raw storage), but the company assures us that this configuration in a RAID 5 would perform very similarly to the full-equipped JET504.

      One of the best features is the design, which emphasize very quiet operation; yes, this is a storage server, but it runs almost silently. The Supermicro chassis is built like a tank. Thank to the hot-swap drive bays, there were no airflow-obstructing cables, save the tight bundle spanning between the hot-swap drive bays and the storage controller. The price sounds right, and the build quality is top-notch. But to determine how it performs, we turned to Intel's NAS Performance Toolkit.

      This software utilizes several real world workloads that are typical in a modern home network, such as HD video playback and recording, data backup and restoration, office productivity applications, video rendering, content creation, and more. We ran the utility on a Dell OptiPlex 745 with an Intel 2.8GHz Pentium D, 1GB DDR2-800, and a local 160GB WD Caviar blue HDD. Before running the benchmark, we rebuilt the JET504 as RAID 0 to maximize performance and we set it as our target device.

      Compared to a NAS roundup we ran in the March 2009 issue, the JET504 simply decimated the dedicated NAS boxes there. To be fair, this unit is in a league of its own, with a quad-core Intel Xeon E5606, 6GB of DDR3-1333, and the standalone storage controller. The system performed particularly well in the HD video playback and recording tests, posting between 63MBps and 84MBpps throughout. The Content Creation results from 2009 were in the high single-digits, but JETNAS managed almost 28MBps in the same test. The Directory Copy To and From NAS tests also show the power of the JET504.

      If you're looking for an enterprise-grade NAS/iSCSI storage appliance, the JET504 and the rest of the 500 series should definitely make your short list.