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What Protocols Are Needed for Peer-to-Peer NW?

By mrs_doctor_jones ·
Can anyone recommend sources for determining which are the best protocols to use based on the type of network running?

We have a peer to peer network with most files being stored on a Win2K Pro machine. The rest of the computers are either Win2K Pro or 98SE.

We're encountering a problem in which during the day the connection to the machine with the files on it is very slow. Some even encounter periods where they cannot connect at all. Since we're grasping at straws to figure out what the problem is, I've been told to check into protocols.

My theory is that the problem really lies in 1) the network hubs are too old 2) ten people (the max incoming connections for Win2K) is just too much traffic for that operating system. However, since buying new hardware and server edition software would be costly to implement I have to rule out every other option.

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couple of places

by LordInfidel In reply to What Protocols Are Needed ...

First if you are using an old hub, I would replace that right off the bat. A switch such as a Netgear 16 port will run you around 70-80 dollars. (The non rack mount type)

Now since I live and breath the net, I only use tcp/ip on all of my networks. But if you are not connecting these machines to the net, you can simply use just netbeui and nothing else. (File and print sharing / Client for MS Networks are not protocols)

Get rid of IPX/SPX, AppleTalk or anything else that is listed. Typically you should only see 3 items for a MS network.

1. TCP/IP (internet) or Netbeui (non-internet, small networks)
2. Client For MS networks
3. File and print sharing (assuming that machine is sharing files)

If you have 10 or more people trying to access the 2Kpro machine, then it is time to move to 2Kserver. If you do not have the 699 for a 2k license + 10 cal's, create yourself a Linux Box with Samba installed. (But you will HAVE to use tcp/ip then for all machines).

With a linux box (I would use red hat), you do not have the licensing fees nor the usage restrictions.

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More Details on Problem

by mrs_doctor_jones In reply to couple of places

I should also mention that this problem is intermittent.

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Replace hub first

by LordInfidel In reply to More Details on Problem

That would be one of the first upgrade that I would do.

Below is what I paid for one thru microwarehouse

FS116 16-Port 10/100 Switch W/Uplink $73.50
SKU: DEH5403 MFR#: FS116NA

That was my pricee though thru my rep. I think it is around 80.

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It sounds to me as if your exceeding

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to More Details on Problem

W2K maxinum limit of ten sinultanious conections at a time. I'll also bet that if one of the units develops a fault it prevents all the units from sharing a certian printer and passing billing or other information to a centeralised workstation. I had the same problem in a Doctors Surgery while they only had seven doctors working no problem but if there where eight or more then no joy the whole thing went down in a screeming heap and locked everyone out from the reciptionest who loged in patents and gave them their bills to the doctors who could't gain access to patient records. Sound farmiluar? Well the original supplier had insisted that 15 units could connect to the W2K Pro server {and I use that term very loosly} and every time that it went down they made a very tidy sum in a call out fee which normally lasted hours while all the doctors where working anyway. As I generally refuse to touch Government or Medical work nowdays I stayed well clear of the problem until it directly affected me {my doctor couldn't print out any scripts for me} so out of self presivation I had a look see while their tech was there and when I happened to mention that only ten similtanionus connections could be made at once his responce was but there are only nine doctors working. I then asked did he take into account the two units at recption that where used to book in patients and bill them? By my count that added up to 11 trying to get access to the system that would only accept 10.

There where two options either mirgrate to W2K Server {too expensive for them}so I set up their existing server as a Linux box with RedHat 9 and Win 4 Lin to run their medical program works like a dream now and the owner is now using RedHat at home as well.

The only real problem now is that I can no longer go in there without being quized on how to improve their network without spending any money.

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Sessions, Sessions and More Sessions

by mrs_doctor_jones In reply to It sounds to me as if you ...

One of the problems is that we are maxing out.

As a sort of work around, we created a separate "server" (just another peer really, not a true server) and moved files there. That eliminated maybe 3 users.

Unfortunately, I'm also running into a problem where the windows computer manager (under admin tools) is showing two sessions for each computer, once with the computer and username, the second with the computer and a blank for the username.

As regards the hub, I'm trying to get that replaced. I'm always trying to get the cables inside the walls tested b/c they've been there for at least 7 years w/o any testing.

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There are cable testers available

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Sessions, Sessions and Mo ...

But exactly what type of network cable are we talking about here Cat 5 or Coaxial 50 Ohm?

I was susposing CAT 5 until you said 7 years so it could be either. But if you have a Token Ring Network its max data transfer is 10 Meg per Second where the thericial data transfer rate on a Cat 5 installation properly setup is 100 Meg a Second which is 10 times faster but could be affected by various things like old network cards in existing computers slowing things down or even old 10 Meg per Second Hubs.

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by simon.smith In reply to What Protocols Are Needed ...

I am surprised that no-one mentioned Small Business Server. I typically not install servers with every service loaded, but when it come to price, you can't beat it. You can get everything a small business needs in terms of server software for about 1/5 of the cost it would normally be.

A network in your business is not the place to be tight with the expenses. An investment now will pay off later when you need to expand or add on additional services.

Bottom line -- get a server (a real server), network switches, and test those cat5 cables...


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Try this

by pnmnelson In reply to What Protocols Are Needed ...

I'm presently studying to be a Network Administrator so take this for what's its worth. You probably only need to use NetBEUI as your protocol (unless you want to get on the internet, then you need TCP/IP). Also, 10 users is alot for a p2p situation. If 7 of the 10 try to access files at around the same time then that is definitely going to slow things down. Try limiting your users or distribute some of the files so the on machine doesn't have to handle so much. Hope this helps.

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