Some additional questions about benchmarking CIFS servers

bdavids1 at bdavids1 at
Fri Jun 21 10:47:02 GMT 2002

NetBench is a protocol agnostic benchmark.  You can connect via CIFS, 
NFS, NCP, etc.  Having said that, I don't think NetBench is that great 
of a benchmarking utility.  

Response times are at least as important as bandwidth. has some good info on how 
latency can looked at when using NetBench (I haven't looked at recent 
versions of NetBench, which seem to have some response time stuff added 
in.  Maybe it does all of that now).

I'm hoping to do some benchmarking soon.  The University I work for is 
currently evaluating NetWare (what we currently use), Windows 2000 and 
Samba for our future file/print solution.  We've got 3 Dell 2550 
servers, and a Dell|EMC Clariion 4500 which I'm hoping I'll be allowed 
to use for some benchmarking.  I might be able to use up to about 200 
lab workstations.

My plan is to compare NetWare 6.0, Windows 2000 Advanced Server and 
Samba, with all running on identical servers & connected to SAN 

There would be 3 NetWare benchmarks - NCP to NSS filesystem, CIFS to 
traditional filesystem & CIFS to NSS filesystem

Windows 2000 Advanced server would just be CIFS to NTFS (FAT doesn't 
have ACLs)

Samba would run on Linux, and would compare all journaling filesystems 
that support ACLs.

That's the plan, at least.  I'm hoping to get it approved.  I'm really 
curious to see NetWare vs. Samba numbers.  From NetBench results I've 
found on the net, it seems like they both have close to twice the peak 
bandwith of Windows 2000, but I haven't seen any results of CIFS access 
to NetWare.

One thing I would like to test for, but I'm not quite sure how to go 
about it, is how many concurrent connections can each solution 
support?  NetBench doesn't really tell you that.  It tells you how the 
server performs with a given number of active users.  Most users are 
idle most of the time.

If we swtich from our current NetWare environment to Linux/Samba, it 
would be nice to know if we need more servers, the same # of servers, 
or less servers.  I think I know the answer to that if we go with 
Windows...  Well, I don't actually - that's why I'd like to be able to 
test it.

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