Q

Achieving maximum data transfer rates

Help configuring a two-node client server system.

Could anyone please offer some assistance with the configuration of our two node client server system? We are currently running windows 2003 EE on our server and Windows 2000 on our client PC and hope to keep this OS configuration if possible. The above system is glued together via a LAN and a switch, and these components and the Ethernet cards residing on both nodes have GB capabilities. The client and the server are the only 2 nodes on the system. Our problem mostly manifests itself with very slow writes across the network, although we would like to improve the performance of the read cycles as well.

Currently, from the server (Windows 2003 EE) to the client we are observing the following transfers:

Writes @ approximately 5 M Bytes per second
Reads @ approximately 40 M Bytes per second

From the client (Windows 2000) to the server we are observing the following transfers:

Writes @ approximately 0.5 M Bytes per second
Reads @ approximately 47 M Bytes per second

Initially I was running Linux (on the same network with the same Ethernet cards) and achieving much more acceptable write/read transfers; however we prefer the above MS OS configuration for this application if possible. The read cycles of both nodes (with the above MS OSs) was originally significantly less than that which it is now before I made adjustments to the TCP and other related registries - as per MS documentation. To me it doesn't appear as if the performance quoted by MS is achievable via the registry modifications, as I have tried almost every safe configuration there is and it seems as if the above OS's can't window-scale effectively.

That said, it should be possible to improve the performance of the system we have beyond that which we are currently experiencing.

Can anyone please advise me as to exactly what is required from both OS's to ensure that we get the maximum data transfer in both directions for reads and writes?
A simple check...the NICs should be manually set to 100/FULL if the switch is allowing that speed. Otherwise, the NIcs will have a tendency to produce a mismatch or 10/half or 100/half. This can affect the performance. Other than that I would have to see the registry information.
This was first published in May 2004

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