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  • Max throughput on a NIC

    Hello,

    I was wondering if any of you fine gents (or ladies) knew of anyway to tell Windows (Server 2003) to use the maximum available bandwidth on a NIC. We have two computers directly connected through a cross-over, and want the app using it to push/pull more through.

    Thanks!
    -mmX

  • #2
    Re: Max throughput on a NIC

    Windows "manages" the bandwidth it uses dynamically and doesn't allow you to influence it in any real way. Unfortunately it's not actually that good at it. For instance, copying a 1Gb file over a 100Mbit network which is also in use for other things can take an extended period to complete using Windows Explorer. However a UNIX box doing the same job is significantly quicker, and Windows 3.11 FW with NetBEUI is blindingly quick. Unfortunately Windows Explorer is a DOG when it comes to networking.

    My opinion - shoot me later, k?


    Tom
    For my own and your protection, I do not provide support by private message under any circumstances. All such messages will be deleted and ignored.

    Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you

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    • #3
      Re: Max throughput on a NIC

      You're gonna have to provide a lot more detail on the app, the computing hardware, the general resource utilization, as well as the NIC's and their settings / perceived throughput.

      For instance, say this app is single threaded and you have a 4 CPU machine exhibiting 25% CPU for the app's EXE (effectively 1 CPU in full use by this app at all times). That means the app is CPU bound and you probably aren't going to get anymore throughput across that NIC.

      Let's say the app is streaming video between machines and you don't have Jumbo frames set. Then there is a major throughput opportunity.

      These are 2 of the extremely simple cases.

      BTW, you must have a reason for concentrating on NIC throughput, first by breaking this traffic out and putting it through an interconnect (are you certain it uses the interconnect?) and second by asking this query. Sharing your story on this may help us better help you.
      Cheers,

      Rick

      ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points sigpic where appropriate **

      2006-2099 R Valstar. This post is offered "as is" for discussion purposes only with no express or implied warranty of any kind including, but not limited to, correctness or fitness for use. Nothing herein shall be construed as advice. Attempting any activity based on information in this post is done at your own risk.

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      • #4
        Re: Max throughput on a NIC

        Originally posted by rvalstar View Post
        You're gonna have to provide a lot more detail on the app, the computing hardware, the general resource utilization, as well as the NIC's and their settings / perceived throughput.
        Okay, can do!
        It's a Dell Poweredge 2500, and 2850. We're attempting to transfer backup data from the 2500 to the 2850 that is connected (via SCSI) to an HP Tape Autoloader. Currently, the 2500 uses about 50% of it's network resources while transferring data, according to the Task Manager. Using HP's Data Protector Express software. Of course when we backup from the 2850 to the autoloader it's blazingly fast (we realize that SCSI is gonna eat up a Cat5 in competition.)

        Originally posted by rvalstar View Post
        BTW, you must have a reason for concentrating on NIC throughput, first by breaking this traffic out and putting it through an interconnect (are you certain it uses the interconnect?) and second by asking this query. Sharing your story on this may help us better help you.
        We are sure it's using the cross-over. It's our file server, and we want to back it up with as many resources possible without hampering daily activities. Hence, the direct-connect. Seems it would work great if it would just push quicker through the cat5.

        I have read that most network traffic runs at about 60% of the cable's "face value". I really have no idea how true that is. I also sent someone out to grab a cross-over cat6, gonna give that a whirl.

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        • #5
          Re: Max throughput on a NIC

          Does your backup software run faster (bits or bytes/sec) for large files than really small ones? The overhead of opening and closing files can make a huge difference if the software doesn't cache / combine these on the source machine.

          To level out my "testing" I'd backup large files (DVD ISO's or ???) to get rid of these other latencies and benchmark that. Later, I'd bring in my actual file mix.

          I don't know that CAT5 vs. CAT6 is going to make a difference unless your interconnect is a long one.

          I take it the interconnect NIC's are running at 1 Gb/sec (GbE)? Full vs. half duplex probably doesn't matter in your case.

          60% network utilization is pretty good for TCP/IP. (60% of what? bits/sec please) Do remember, there are still 7 layers in the stack and numerous OS latency issues.

          Do your interconnect NIC's support jumbo frames? If so, I'd experiment with that.

          If the QoS Packet Scheduler service is running on those NIC's, you may want to consider disabling it as it can do no good.

          Try turning off anything else that is unnecessary (File and Printer Sharing?)

          Another out-of-the-box idea, have you considered NETBEUI as the protocol over that interconnect vs. TCP/IP? Don't know how your app communicates but if it'll work over NETBEUI, that may buy you a few more percent utilization. In the ol'days (10 Mbit/sec) this was dramatic.

          Or you could try a packet driver stack (monolithic) vs. the NDIS2 (or whatever it's called these days) version from MS.

          Probably splitting hairs here.

          Better thought: Can you slap another set of NIC's w/ a second interconnect and run parallel backup jobs?

          Enough ideas. Time to shut it down for the day.

          Good luck. Do let us know what you find.
          Last edited by rvalstar; 19th December 2006, 21:30. Reason: typo
          Cheers,

          Rick

          ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points sigpic where appropriate **

          2006-2099 R Valstar. This post is offered "as is" for discussion purposes only with no express or implied warranty of any kind including, but not limited to, correctness or fitness for use. Nothing herein shall be construed as advice. Attempting any activity based on information in this post is done at your own risk.

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