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Net Performance in heterogeneous env.

By cpfeiffe ·
Our MIS department and our end users are complaining of slowness since moving to our new building. Two things changed - we are using VLANs and we started deploying W2K. I am a Unix Admin so I got so tired of it that I began using a Solaris desktop. Believe me, it was slow, but my Solaris desktop has no problems. I'm sick of hearing everyone complain and no one is doing anything about it so I ran some tests. I have a Unix workstation a Windows workstation and a Novell workstation. I used FTP as the test. The network is 100mbps so I'm considering anything above 60mbps as acceptable. The only unacceptable transfer rates I got was using W2K as the FTP client and Unix or Novell as the FTP server. A lot of our apps run on Novell and Unix. I believe this problem goes beyond FTP, but don't have time to test every case. It just appears that W2K clients are slow in any file transfer (shared folders, FTP, etc.) accept when they talk to W2K servers. We don't use ADS. I was wondering if anyone else experienced something like this and if there might be a fix in the way of a patch/driver/configuration parameter change/etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated. If you give me an email address I can actually send you the documentedresults of my tests, if nothing else just to keep for your own records.

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Net Performance in heterogeneous env.

by int In reply to Net Performance in hetero ...

I experienced the same problems with windows 2000 pro and windows 98 and windows 2000 mixed envirements with booting up a programm thats running on a w2k server.

since i havent seen yr test results, i think its possible the problem lies in the protocoll of the differt nic's. try to lock all nics at there special setting, this gave me some more performance but it didnt solve the problem

y could email me yr test results, maybe it could be usefull for both of us

INT

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Net Performance in heterogeneous env.

by cpfeiffe In reply to Net Performance in hetero ...

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Net Performance in heterogeneous env.

by Kinetechs In reply to Net Performance in hetero ...

Hi.
The first thing that that comes to mind is maybe the MTU settings. Since you're now using VLANs, the router has to get involved in the communication along with all of your OSs, (9x?, 2K, UNIX, Novell) whew!! Check the MTU settings at on your router and the OSs.

Another thing that my be a factor is NetBIOS (yuck). If you have a good sniffer, start it before you initiate communication between 2K and UNIX and take a look at the output...especially at the first packets/frames it captures. This can show you if it's trying NetBIOS or some other protocol and getting time-outs. You can use Network Monitor in 2K if you have no other sniffer. Feel free to send me the traces and your other results and I'll take a look at them.

Hope this results in some movement on the situation.

Cheers!
~Sean

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Net Performance in heterogeneous env.

by Kinetechs In reply to Net Performance in hetero ...

A couple quick thoughts:

1) I notice that the results were extremely poor whenever any NIC was set to AUTO. Industry "Best Practice" would be to set all components in the transfer to 100/FULL or whatever the max transfer is for the NIC. Obviously full duplex won't work unless you're on a switched network but I'm sure you prod network uses them if you've gotten to the point of using VLANs. Set the switch port to 100/FULL also. This problem is very common and will result in problem more often than not.
2) Like Choppit Pops' suggestion on TechRepublic, you can change the binding order of your protocols and network clients. Put the most often used protocol and network client first in the binding order. I'm hoping that you're just using TCP/IP on the network. Remove all unused protocols and network clients while you're at it. Now, the symptoms that you mentioned would make me think that this isn't the major cause of the slowness problem because improperly configured binding orders usually don't slow down the transfers once they've begun but rather cause the transfer to delay starting.

~Sean

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Net Performance in heterogeneous env.

by cpfeiffe In reply to Net Performance in hetero ...

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Net Performance in heterogeneous env.

by Choppit In reply to Net Performance in hetero ...

I know nothing about Unix but I have experienced similar problems in an NT/Novell environment with Win 2K clients. I fixed it by changing the provider order under Network Connections > Advanced to make MS the first provider.

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Net Performance in heterogeneous env.

by cpfeiffe In reply to Net Performance in hetero ...

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Net Performance in heterogeneous env.

by cpfeiffe In reply to Net Performance in hetero ...

I have done additional testing that makes me think the problem is more focues on the amount of data you can receive (some people have mentioned receive buffers, but I don't know how to set that in Windows). If I use a crossover cable to go directlyfrom my W2K laptop to my Solaris PC and do (1) ftp from laptop to Unix and get file = 24 mbps (2) ftp from laptop to Unix and put file = 68 mbps (3) ftp from unix to laptop and get file = 84 mbps (4) ftp from unix to laptop and put file = 28 mbps. The Solaris PC works fine in similiar tests with W95, Unix and Novell servers. The W2K laptop fails in the same scenarios (1) and (4) with other Novell servers, some W2K servers and W95 FTP servers. It seems that the W2K box is able to send data fast, but just doesn't receive data fast.

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Net Performance in heterogeneous env.

by cpfeiffe In reply to Net Performance in hetero ...

By the way, I mentioned in my original question that I was OK going from a W2K client to a W2K server. That seems to have been a fluke as I have been unable to reproduce it. I ran several additional tests yesterday and I'm just not getting any better than 30 mbps on any configuration (crossover cable or LAN, VLAN or local, W2K or Unix or Novell server) if W2K is the client. However, I can install W95 on the same laptop and get 60mbps + or I can use an already configured Unix desktop and get 80 mbps +. This kind of goes in line with my second comment where I'm starting to think the problem is related to how much data the W2K client can receive. If I send data using the same W2K client to the same servers that it is only getting 30 mbpsor less I can send the data at 60 mbps or better. I rule out the servers as the issue because I've used many different hardware/OS on that end for testing and got the same results. I use the W2K client on any hardware (dell, Toshiba, laptop/desktop) and the problem is the same.

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Net Performance in heterogeneous env.

by cpfeiffe In reply to Net Performance in hetero ...

I'm going to close this question for now. Recent tests have led to the discovery that this has nothing to do with heterogeneous environments, but that the W2K client in many configuration is not receiving data at a decent speed. It is sending two to four times faster than it is receiving. I have consistently reproduced this problem on many different configs of W2K and on many different hardware platforms. I have discovered two W2K machines that do work properly. I have reproduced the erroron two others that run the same hardware. Therefore we are going to research what is different about the two machines that work. All of the responses are good points, but didn't help in this case. However, we should have a good baseline to work with now and I may re-post a question later to get some help if we can't figure out what is causing the difference.

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