Well this is the round-up of all the operations I was able to perform on MBWE Blue Ring with your tremendous help. I have settled with most of the experiment, just need your expert advice on speed optimization.
I have USB enabled Linksys router running tomato firmware with SAMBA services serving as a NAS and a MBWE which is a core NAS device itself. Both NAS devices are serving as media storage on a 100Mbps CAT5e wired network connected to a network media tank for playing and streaming video/music/pictures.
The problems I was facing was mainly these
1. One harddisk NTFS formatted was connected to Tomato USB NAS. Performace initially was acceptable, but the read rates were maxed out around 1.5 MBps. NTFS write access is enabled in tomato . As a result Hi-definition movies (usually 720p or 1080p) with scenes having a bitrate spike were stuttering badly. Initially i though it was something related to the network wire CAT5 itself, but soon realized that its due to limited read speed via tomato NAS.
2. MBWE NAS had an internal harddisk 1 TB which was Ext3 formatted, which recently became corrupted somehow. As I have limited knowledge of data recovery on Ext3 linux partition , I had to lose some of my data. I took it out and connected via Ubuntu Linux I copied the remaining data. I then thought of keeping all media storage on NTFS format which is much manageable in case of disasters (at least for me, with a bunch of recovery utilities).
3. Based on the above thought , i took out the 1 TB harddisk formatted it with NTFS and copied all media back. I plugged in a smalled 100GB harddisk inside MBWE enclosure just to serve as the NAS server with stock firmware restored via the rescue procedure mentioned on this site.
4. Since I have been using the MBWE with the internal Ext3 format harddisk for media streaming reliably, my idea was to connect both the harddisks to MBWE via a USB HUB in MBWE USB port. With Ext3 internal harddisk which is mapped and exposed as a SAMBA share, the read rates on MBWE can go upto 3~4.5 Mbps which can handle hi-def media as well.
5. Connected both harddisks in individual Seagate FreeAgent USB enclosures, to MBWE with stock NTFS detection and automounting. As explained in previous posts , I was able to make two separate shares visible on MBWE for mounting as a separate drive letters within Windows 7, this was done using the stock SAMBA.
6. I additionally wanted the write access to these USB NTFS formatted harddisks via MBWE. As you guided I did install ntfs-3g / fuse / linux-util-mount to mount these drives via the script in read/write mode. However when mounted via ntfs-3g , the problem of data transfer rate again came up. The write speed was hardly 1Mbps and read rate also suffered and dropped down again to 2.5Mbps causing stuttering in streaming.
7. As a result I reverted back to stock SAMBA. I also tried upgrading the stock SAMBA (to SAMBA 3.2) as mentioned on the website, however it results in erroneous behaviors of mounting SAMBA shares and speed did not increase significantly as opposed to what is mentioned in the article (which says the transfer speed can go upto 6~7 Mbps). I tried configuring it with SWAT as well, however ran into problems of maybe conflict of stock SAMBA and optware SAMBA.
8. Failing in above I have reverted back again to stock SAMBA which is the only option to ensure stutter free media streaming, however the USB NTFS drives are in read only mode. I can maybe live with it and can connect the drives directly to the PC when transferring new media to it.
Now I just wanted to know how can I optimize the performance of the stock SAMBA. It works fine with streaming when a single movie file is directly selected, however when I take the directory listing of the harddisk with large number of files/folders , it takes a long time to respond both on the PC and NMT. Are there any options in smb.conf through which I can speed up the directory listing of SAMBA shares.
Thanks for reading.