First thank you for your valuable feedback. Please let me answer a few questions.
: To lower the impact on transfer rates we are always using the same computer and harddrives for our NAS device tests. You can have a look at the hardware details on page three of this review. There is only one exception: If the NAS device comes preconfigured with harddrives we are using these instead of our Samsung HD321KJ drives.
Slow network performance between Samba and Vista
: There has been an issue on both sides, Samba and Vista that led to extremely slow transferrates (around 5MBit/s) when copying files from the NAS device to the Vista machine. According to my present knowledge these issues have been addressed with Service Pack 1 for Vista and the release of Samba 3.0.28a.
So the network configuration used is the standard Vista network configuration as you can find it after a fresh install of the OS. The reason why we do this is that we believe that the average user shouldn't have to fiddle with the network configuration to get satisfying transferrates. A customer expects that the device is running hassle-free out of the box. If it isn't working we think that the manufacturer has to come up with a solution and not the customer.
: Some NAS devices support jumbo packets, some don't. As we want to have comparable results we have to go without jumbo packets. Moreover there is no official standard for jumbo packets so it can have a negative impact on data transferrates in certain network setups. But you are right, we shoud have mentioned this in the review.
: Almost all NAS devices intended to be used in a SOHO or home network don't allow a selection of the stripe size when setting up the RAID configuration for reasons of simplification. This is also true for the NS4600 and could have been mentioned in the review.
: The reason why we haven't tested the NS4600 as an iSCSI target is plain simple: It doesn't support this feature.
But you are right - more and more NAS devices, even for the consumer segment can be used as an iSCSI target. As soon as the majority of these devices support iSCSI we will not only stick with the SMB transferrates but we will also have a look at the iSCSI performance.
Greetings from Germany,