Incredible!!! HUGE speed improvement

Eloy A. Paris eparis at
Thu Jan 22 22:38:12 GMT 1998

Hello Samba fellows,

I can't believe what I am about to tell you: I've seen a tremendous
speed improvement in a connection from a Windows 95 box to a Samba
1.9.18p1 server (Linux 2.0.33). Here's the story:

I wanted to do a performance comparission between our main Samba
server and our main NetWare 4.1 server so I thought in a little
experiment to do this.

I use Eudora Pro V3.0 for all my e-mail. Eudora is installed in the
local hard drive of my desktop PC (a 133 MHz Pentium, 24 MBytes RAM
and Windows 95).

Because I want to have all my e-mail folders backed up every day I
placed all the mailboxes in my home directory in the Novell file
server. Then, I start Eudora as "C:\Eudora\Eudora.exe H:\Eudora". This
tells Eudora to look for its configuration file (Eudora.ini) and all
the mailboxes (*.mbx) and table of contents (*.toc) in H:\Eudora where
H: is a network drive.

Well, for my experiment I thought it might be a good idea to use the
Samba server instead of the NetWare server to store my Eudora
directory, so I placed everything in H:\Eudora under
\\Zeus\eparis\eudora, where Zeus is the name of the Samba server and
eparis my home directory share. Then I started Eudora with
"C:\Eudora\Eudora.exe \\zeus\eparis\eudora". Guess what? Performance
sucked!!! I could get work done but it was painfully slow. Eudora was
opening in about 24 seconds, when in Novell it took about 5 seconds.

Then, suddenly, I had an inspiration: why not to map \\zeus\eparis as
a network drive and use that instead? That's what I did so I started
Eudora as ""C:\Eudora\Eudora.exe I:\Eudora" when I: was mapped to
\\zeus\eparis. Now guess what: the thing flew like a rocket!!! It took
like 3 seconds to get Eudora openened.

So, now I know this thing has nothing to do with Samba because in
order to improve speed I did not change anything in Samba, I changed
things in Windows 95.

My conclussion is that is a lot slower to access a share through an
network drive than using its UNC path. I guess this is because
Windows 95 has to do a lot more work with the UNC path than with a
drive letter.

Did you know all this? I hope this helps.

Oh, by the way, I can't say that Samba is faster than NetWare 4.1
because they are not running on the same hardware: Samba runs on a
Pentium Pro at 180 MHz and NetWare on a Pentium 120 MHz. Under these
conditions Samba is faster, of course.

See ya!



Eloy A. Paris
Information Technology Department
Rockwell Automation de Venezuela
Telephone: +58-2-9432311 Fax: +58-2-9431645

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