Drobo Performance stats - SMB v AFP


I recently benchmarked a Drobo with Droboshare in a variety of configs with a Macbook Pro and an Airport and I thought people might find the results interesting.

The benchmarking software on the Mac was Xbench.

The configurations were:

  1. plugging a Drobo directly into a Macbook Pro with Firewire and USB
  2. connecting to the Drobo via a Droboshare both locally and via an Apple airport
  3. connecting the Drobo directly to the Airport Extreme (Dual channel) as a USB device.

I also tested the standard SMB protocol versus using the AFP implementation (BackMyFruitUp) on the Droboshare.

The results are as follows:
Mac to Drobo using USB: 29.1
Mac to Drobo using FW800: 29.21

Mac to Droboshare (SMB) over direct Gig Ethernet: 21.10
Mac to Droboshare (SMB) over Wireless: 11.5

Mac to Drobo using Airport (AFP) as the server via the USB port: 3.81

Mac to Droboshare using AFP over direct Gig Ethernet:13.37
Mac to Droboshre using AFP over Wireless: 9.77

The interesting thing is that the SMB implementation is MUCH faster than the BackUpMyFruit code over copper but with wireless (802.11n 5Ghz) the difference is much smaller, this may be indicative of an inherent speed problem in the Airport(?).

The/my Airport is a really slow server for the Drobo.

I hope others find this useful.

Best, Greg

Great report. One question I have - the numbers you listed, are they in Mbit/sec, or MByte/sec?

Sorry, neither they are the XBench numbers. The index is created after a series of tests and then scaled to create the index. The value is in the relative sizes of the figures rather than actual numbers.


Ahh okay, so it’s essentially a relative comparison. Still good to see. Thanks!