load balancing question

Richard Sharpe rsharpe at ns.aus.com
Tue Oct 8 03:53:01 GMT 2002

On Mon, 7 Oct 2002, John E. Malmberg wrote:

> Javid Abdul-AJAVID1 wrote:
> > MSDFS is filey system right, how will it help to load balance samba
> > connections
> > what criteria does it rely to load balance ( like memory, or no of
> > connetions etc.. )
> MSDFS does not really load balance.  MSDFS distributes the 
> subdirectories of a directory between multiple servers transparently to 
> the clients.

Well, my suggestion was that MSDFS be modified to return referrals to 
different machines that each provide access to the same distributed file 
system, and that these referals be rotated in a round robin fashion. At 
least, that is what we will be doing.
> So if each of your clients is accessing different files from different 
> directories, then MSDFS can improve your performance.
> If all the clients are accessing the same files in the same directory, 
> than you will need to either get a large enough single server, or you 
> will need a file system that supports multiple hosts with a direct 
> connection concurrent access to the disks.
> This is not really a SAMBA issue, because if the underlying filesystem 
> and hosts support this, then SAMBA will transparently.  I have received 
> reports of SAMBA 1.19.x being used on a shared disk access OpenVMS cluster.
> There are also commercial LANMAN servers for some of these platforms, 
> including those of my employer that run as a single process instead of 
> the multiple process model of SAMBA.
> I do not know of any competative benchmarks between the commercial 
> LANMAN servers and SAMBA.  Such benchmarks could be difficult to 
> instrument properly, and are highly dependent on the skill of the system 
> administrator for each system, and the quality of the compilers for that 
> platform.
> So it really depends on the specific client load as to what the best 
> solution for you would be.  It may require a more detailed engineering 
> than could be done in a mailing list.
> The multiple SAMBA processes may not be the bottleneck for your proposed 
> process.  If the platorm knows how to share the code segment in memory, 
> and the disks have good caching, the overhead for the processes may not 
> be significant.
> -John
> wb8tyw at qsl.network
> Personal Opinion Only

Richard Sharpe, rsharpe at ns.aus.com, rsharpe at samba.org, 
sharpe at ethereal.com, http://www.richardsharpe.com

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