SAMBA Performance

Jim Morris jmorris at
Tue Sep 30 21:10:49 GMT 1997

Okay - this is a followup to my original posting about NT vs. Samba
benchmarks.  The company in question setup an NT 4.0 box, and copied one
entire share over from the Samba 1.9.17p1 (now p2) server (which runs on
Linux 2.0.30).

The application they used for testing is an in-house developed
call-tracking system for tech support use. It is a database application,
developed in Delphi, using DBase database files (about 8-10 .dbf and .ndx

Interestingly, load time of the application and initial entry into the
database screen is identical from either server. What is interesting about
THAT fact is that the NT4 server is a P166 with a new IBM Deskstar drive,
and the Samba server is a P100 with an older Seagate drive.  My tests of
the same two drives on MY Linux box shows the IBM drive to be about 50%
faster (6.5MB/sec as opposed to 4MB/sec, using the "hdparm -t" command
under Linux).  All in all, this all implies that Samba would be faster if
the server processor and disk drive speed were the same.  Pretty much
everything else in the configuration is similar.

Where a difference is seen is when the database app user decides to search
the database for a specific entry, or to change the displayed sorting of
the database.  The share on the Samba server takes about 6 seconds to
perform the operation, whereas it only takes about 1/2 second on the NT

What this tells me is that the raw transfer of large blocks of data from
the NT server is about the same as the Samba server, but that NT is faster
is lots of small accesses. Note that I don't pretend to know what the
database app is doing - I assume it is doing lots of accesses to the index
file for the database in order to search or sort.  

Can anyone think of some tuning parameter for Samba that may impact
performance in this way?  Note that I *DO* have the FAST_SHARE_MODES
turned on in the Makefile, and that all the locking and share mode options
are turned on in the smb.conf, in order to make sure everything is kosher
with all the shared database apps this company runs.

Thanks a million for any advice you can offer! 
| Jim Morris  |  Home: jmorris at       |

More information about the samba mailing list