Performance on NAS devices is always capped by one key factor, the speed of your network. The drives in the NAS may be able to transfer faster than 1Gb/s, but it doesn’t matter. For our testing we try reading and writing a large file to the NAS to see how it handles sustained transfers.
|Read Test||Write Test|
We see that in the read test the Sentinel is able to score 80.2 MB/s, this is quite close to their claimed speed of 85 MB/s. The write speed is equally impressive at 65.4 MB/s.
Because this device allows you to remote into it, we decided to take a benchmark of the internal drive performance. Below you will see the result of running CrystalDiskMark.
As this device has quite a few features to talk about, I want to break it down into categories.
Because the Sentinel sports a full blown Windows Server OS, it is able to support the native Remote Desktop Protocol that is common in Microsoft’s operating systems. This is useful if the dashboard interface isn’t enough for you and you really want to get under the hood to either set some advanced permissions or install some additional applications on your NAS. The Remote Desktop feature will allow you to bring up a full desktop experience and manage the NAS the same way you would any other Windows Server.
Deduplication is a feature where a system is able to recognize that two files are identical and only store the file in one location while making links to all the old locations. This allows a system to potentially save massive amounts of storage space. This is particularly true in the case of backup servers where there may only be a few changes to the system in between backups. Because the Sentinel is running Windows Storage Server Essentials, as opposed to a more full fledged version of Windows Storage Server, the deduplication service is somewhat limited. It only works on machine backups and not on other folders on the server. This is still a great feature if you use the Sentinel as a backup server for system backups (and with 9TB of effective storage space, why wouldn’t you). There are 3rd party plugins that will allow you to use deduplication on all folders on the NAS.
File and folder permissions are an integral part of a file sharing setup. You don’t want unauthorized users accessing your private data. Many consumer NAS’s offer top level folder share access on a per user basis, but don’t do much for sub-folders. With a full blown Windows OS under the hood of the Sentinel, you are able to set advanced file/folder permissions that you just can’t on other NAS’s. This is especially useful for system administrators who may wish to use a device like the Sentinel as a user folder share and want to keep everything organized under one folder while not allowing users to even see folders other than their own.
Many NAS’s claim they support domain integration. Often times this is either limited integration or it may not work properly at all. If there’s one thing you can be sure, it’s that Microsoft implemented proper domain integration with their server OS’s.