How should I optimize this network?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by prophet, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. prophet

    prophet Guest

    Currently, my office uses a router and connected to the router are a 100Mbit switch and 4 other computers. The 100Mbit switch has 5 computers connected to it. Right now, all the computers are loading a 100MB file (for quickbooks) and saving it to a computer (not server) holding this file. The computer with the file uses RAID1.

    This is pretty vague, I know. I'm just trying to get some ideas for now. I'll be looking at all the hardware for the machines and I'll add the information once I get it.

    Here are some ideas I had:
    - Upgrade to a gigabit network (although if it is a harddrive speed issue, the extra network speed won't help)
    - Move the file to a file server so it isn't on a workstation that is being used.

    I've heard about some external network harddrives, but I can't seem to find any information about them. Anyone heard of them? Thanks in advance.

    EDIT: What tools should I use to benchmark the network speed and harddrive speed of the workstations? I'm looking for something small that fits on a disk or something.
     
  2. JPrice1485

    JPrice1485 New Member

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    I would start by getting all the computers on one switch and uplinking the switch to your router.
     
  3. Astro

    Astro Code Monkey

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    I'd say move the file off the workstation and onto the server. Then re-evaluate the network performance.
     
  4. CompiledMonkey

    CompiledMonkey New Member

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    My thoughts as well...
     
  5. prophet

    prophet Guest

    I just wrote this big reply and it got messed up. :mad:

    Oh well, here's the jist of it. The workstation with the 100MB file is a P4 1.8GHz, 1024MB RAM, Promise 1x2 Mirror RAID 1. The performance of the harddrives are: Max: 66.3MB/sec - Min: 32.1MB/sec - Avg: 52.5MB/sec.

    I was thinking since the performance of the drive is fine for now, I'm just going to upgrade it to a gigabit network. I think it would be best to have it on it's own RAID1 file server, but the network will definately be needing upgrades right now.

    Would this work? Every other workstation remains 100Mbit. The gigabit switch connects to the router (100Mbit). A 100Mbit switch is chained to the gigabit switch and the rest of the computers are connected to the gigabit switch. Would the gigabit workstation theoretically be able to send to the 8x100Mbit computers at full speed?
     
  6. prophet

    prophet Guest

    Which gigabit switch and what gigabit NIC would you guys suggest?

    I'm looking at either:
    Linksys 8-port switch http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProdu...-124-020&catalog=30&manufactory=BROWSE&depa=0
    or chaning 2x D-Link 5-port gigabit switches http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProdu...-111-020&catalog=30&manufactory=BROWSE&depa=0

    And for NICs:
    NETGEAR Gigabit PCI - http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProdu...-122-113&catalog=27&manufactory=BROWSE&depa=0

    or D-Link Gigabit PCI - http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProdu...-127-135&catalog=27&manufactory=BROWSE&depa=0

    or a Linksys Instant Gigabit PCI - http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProdu...-124-120&catalog=27&manufactory=BROWSE&depa=0

    Price isn't as much as an issue as much as performance is. I'd rather pay the extra money for the best performance.
     
  7. prophet

    prophet Guest

    Is it necessary for that switch? I'm sure it has features that the $75 NETGEAR 5-port switch has that I'm not aware of, but what would be wrong with chaining 2 5-port switches or just getting a ~$200 8-port gigabit switch?
     
  8. col_panic

    col_panic calm like a bomb Moderator

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    that 100MB file - that is pretty large and quickbooks may not be very efficient at loading only what it needs. i would look into any compaction or optimization of that file that can be done. access can load a 100MB+ .dat file fairly well, but i doubt quickbooks can do the same. no matter how fast the network, you are using an application that may not work well with that size datafile.

    also, what sort of network is this? is it simple file-sharing, or do you have a domain, ad, nds?
     
  9. Rob

    Rob OT Supporter

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    The sister my company works for is in the EXACT same boat as you. They have one client machine serving the quickbooks file to 6 other PCs. They were complaining about speed so I set them up with a server that had a RAID 5 array of Wide Ultra2 SCSI discs and it was STILL slow as hell. They even upgraded to the new version of quick books which had "improved network performance"....:bsflag: It is slower than the previous version. I think it is just shitty programming. :dunno:


    This is all over a 100mbit linksys switch. The transfer speeds between the computers is great, so that isn't the bottleneck.
     
  10. TheDarkHorizon

    TheDarkHorizon \xC0\xFF\xEE

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    What about when all 6 computers are downloading at the same time from the same computer? I think that's where the bottleneck is right now.
     
  11. prophet

    prophet Guest

    Okay, so we upgraded to the gigabit just to test it and that wasn't the problem. So I'm pretty sure right now it's poor programming on Quickbooks side. I can download the file through Windows file sharing in a few seconds, but when I want to do a find in Quickbooks, it will take about half a minute.
     

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