Last week, Asustor announced a new NAS line that was a bit different. The Asustor Flashstor 6 (FS6706T) and Flashstor 12 Pro (FS6712X) can handle up to 6 or 12 M.2 NVMe SSDs and have either 2x 2.5GbE or 1x 10GbE networking. Since we have been doing a lot with 2.5GbE recently, we got the 6x SSD 2x 2.5GbE FS6706T and have been working with that for the past few days.
A Quick Look at the Asustor Flashstor 6 FS6706T NAS
We have the ultra-quick 22-second short video version for folks as well trying to take in some feedback from the 1-Minute MikroTik RB5009 Video.
When we hear of an Intel N5105 quad-core NAS, one may think that the box is small. It is actually bigger than one might think. The sole USB 3 port on the front of the box should give some sense of just how large this is.
On the rear, we get two sets of features. One set is the dual 2.5GbE ports, power, and so forth that are typical of NAS units. The others are HDMI, S/PDIF, and so forth which are found more in desktops.
In the 6-bay unit, the bottom cover comes off using four screws. One nice feature is that the M.2 drives are installed via tool-less carriers.
One of the awesome features is that one can just mark a checkbox and hit apply. That enables the SMB Multichannel SMB3 feature.
We had a TP-Link TL-SH1832 setup with a SFP+ to 10Gbase-T adapter to a HP Elite Mini 600 G9 with a 10Gbase-T adapter (more on that on STH soon) setup. We plugged both 2.5GbE ports into the unmanaged switch and saw speeds in excess of 500MB/s immediately. Below we can see 57% CPU utilization on the NAS transferring over 90GB of videos/ photos to the HP TinyMiniMicro node. This is RAID 5 with 6x 1TB super-cheap Crucial P3 Plus drives (Amazon affiliate link) using BTRFS.
The fact that more NAS units are supporting SMB multichannel is one of the reasons we have been doing the Ultimate Cheap Fanless 2.5GbE Switch Mega Round-Up. More users even with simple flat and small units will get the benefit of having multiple NIC ports engaged.
We will quickly note that 64GB was attempted in this system instead of the base 4GB. That 64GB (2x 32GB SODIMMs) was bootable but during the same transfer shown above the NAS unit failed. Going back down to 4GB fixed the issue so that is something we will investigate more for the full review.
We decided not to cover the news of these last week because instead, we wanted to work with them. The Intel N5105 CPU only has 8x PCIe Gen3 lanes. That is enough for one lane per SSD and then one lane for each 2.5GbE port. The 12x SSD version has to use both ASM1480 MUX chips as well as ASMedia PCIe switches to even get enough connectivity. Still, this is an interesting unit that we just purchased on Amazon (affiliate link) so we wanted to try it out. We have already found some great things, and some not-so-great things, but it is working. We may also look at the 12x SSD unit that will arrive later this week.
If you want to follow along more, there is a STH forum thread.