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will gig nic in server increase thruput on switch?

By johnpet ·
i thought i read somewhere that when you go to a switched infrastructure that putting a gig card in the file server will increase performance on the network. I think the logic was that with all the computers talking at 100 on their own segment, the server can be a bottleneck. However, i'm wondering if that is technically accurate. Do i understand correctly that even with a switch, only one node is communicating with a server at one time? If so, wouldn't the 'rate determining step' be the workstation?

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Rule of Thumb...

by R3D In reply to will gig nic in server in ...

The weakest link in the chain my friend... whatever is the weakest link in your networks chain is going to affect performance.


P.S. - I had one IT tech install the email server with Trend Micro's Antivirus suite, and he setup the cache files for the emanager suite on C: Drive. I had found out (after he left) when our email slowed down and eventually stopped arriving to us because the C: Drive had filled up. There was no obvious way to set a limit on the cache, but I could change the drive it was writing to as well as delete most of the files... ugh! just one example of a weak link, or would that be missing link?

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Weak links

by Oldefar In reply to will gig nic in server in ...

Actually, the fastest throughput I have seen recorded between servers is 40 Mbps, well below even full capacity of 100 Mbps ethernet.

There are several issues. First, full duplex between any two nodes ignores the sequential aspect of most communication processes. Now if there are multiple sessions, you might actually see a device transmitting and receiving at one time if it is blessed with multiprocessing capabilities in the IP stack.

Next is the issue of processing within the application. Most applications use a series of sequential steps as well. Data received, acted upon, and a response generated. The 40 Mbps was on a file transfer - simple process with high data volume to transfer.

There is also the issue of how much communications is impacting performance. For users, performance is task related. My experience is that on even 10 Mbps LANs, the time on the wire (transmit and receive) was typically in the range of 10% or less of total task time. A 100 Mbps LAN might drop that to 1%, and a gigabit ethernet might take that to .01%. However, gains in total performance of less than 45 msec are typically not perceived by the user.

The key gains in switched fabric come from two aspects. First is that each node spends less time looking at packets not intended for it. This saves a couple of cycles of processor time. Second, where congestion is an issue it can have a significant impact.

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Not really

by ghstinshll In reply to will gig nic in server in ...

In theory it may increas the speed, but it's not really increasing the speed of the network. Being switched (at all) increases your network speed as well as about anything can if you're running at 100mbps. As for bottlenecks, which really is the root of most problems associated with this kind of performance, it's usually not the network - it's the server itself. So in that case, your answer is no...

Running Perfmon on the server to check disk performance, RAM, Pages, etc will reveal the root of your problem. Usually it's the server unless you're not running on 100mbps LAN. Also, putting you servers on their own subnet will help too if you're running a small house on one flat broadcast network.

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My 2 Cents

by Chris910 In reply to will gig nic in server in ...

What the gigabit NiC on your server will do for you is reduce the latency on your server traffic wich can, depending on the server usage, increase the efficency of communications between your workstations and the server.

Throughput on the switch is a design feature and is limited by the speed of the internal bus and internal processor. (There is a reason that that Cisco switch costs more than the Belkin one)

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