Optimise Newtork Throughput

Budza

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Setup:

Old PC (2.8Ghz, 2GB, 80GB (OS) + 160Gb + 250GB) Running Vista Business on server. Everything from XP to Ubuntu, Win 7 for users. Drives are SATA, but are pretty old.

Used as media server on a gigabit swtich to multiple users on a variety of 1Gbps, 100Mbps and wireless.

Read/Write speeds to the box are pretty slow. When there are any more than 3 users trying to copy or paste media onto the box, everyones speeds suffer.

Even with one or two users, the network utilisation in Task Manager rarely exceeds 8%. Assuming the HDDs can offer a max throughput of about 30MBps, should they not be able to handle multiple users on a 1Gbps link?

Is there a more efficient way to use the available capacity? Turn off antivirus, disable or enable various network options to optimise transfer of large files?

Any suggestions welcome- will give it a try :)
 
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stevovo

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Well if it's possible maybe you can try linux on there... I'm not against windows but I'm just saying give it a try because when I used linux on my laptop I could definitely notice a huge difference in hdd read/write speed as opposed to windows.
 

savage

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Doubt your problem is network related, could be disk IO. Use Windows Performance Monitor and find out what the bottleneck is, it's not always the network ;)
 

MadMailMan

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What OS are you running on the "server"? What HDDs are in it? IDE? SATA? Neeeeeed more deeeeetails!!!
 

Budza

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Running Vista Business on server.

Everything from XP to Ubuntu, Win 7 for users.

Drives are SATA, but are pretty old. I have changed this:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\lanmanserver\parameters registry subkey.
Double-click the Size value and set it to 1 (minimize memory use), 2 (balance memory and network throughput), or 3 (maximize network throughput). Then click OK.

Will check I/0 when the box is next being used to see what the culprits are.

Reckon that change to the registry has made an impact. Was hoping for usage to run around 60% with a few users. Assuming they are not all copying while pasting, and are not all hitting the same drive, this should be possible- just trying to figure out what I can do to optimise the process :D
 
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MadMailMan

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I'm going to hazard a guess and say it's your HDD controller card. It's a desktop mobo and controller so it's not built for the kind of throughput you are hoping for. If you can get hold of one try an Adaptec (server) SATA controller and see the difference. I'm betting it will be beeeeeeeg!
 

Budza

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That's a bit hectic for my needs. Was looking for software optimisations- hardware added to an old server PC is a bit of a waste. When transferring data from HDD to HDD on that PC, speeds are decent ~35MBps. Was hoping when networked, they could deliver the same...

Can live with it otherwise I guess. At least I didn't buy a NAS :sick: Reckon an old PC kills a NAS throughput-wise. Have read many sad stories about those things.
 

MadMailMan

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At least I didn't buy a NAS :sick: Reckon an old PC kills a NAS throughput-wise. Have read many sad stories about those things.
Yup I have one of those. Lucky to get 12mbps!!! And it runs Gentoo. :sick:
 

Conradl

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Sorry man but you're SOL, its not your network that is slow but rather the disks - 4 new SAS disks in RAID10 will only push a 1gig NIC to around 50%. There is no easy way to optimise the disks, other than to increase the spindle count. This will increase costs.

Its purely a physical limitation on the hard disk. Start a copy from your PC to the network disk and check the time to complete. Then start another copy, while the first copy is busy, from your PC to the same disk, but another location. The time should increase by more than 100%. If you start yet another copy, the time will again increase by more than 100% on the first two copies.

The disk is too busy trying to process each individual copy to achieve good performance. Try limit the sessions to the share to increase performance....
 

Budza

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Is there some way to limit the number of files each user can access?? I can limit the number of users in the Sharing properties, but would like to keep that to about 6.

Then if I can enforce a one file at a time copying rule, the speeds wont suffer due to multiple reads of the disk. I have asked that Teracopy be used, as this enqueues files to be copied, preventing parrallel copies per user.

If I could somehow restrict each user to maybe 2 files, that would be great. Any ideas??
 
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