Performance (and other) problems

Rob Naccarato rob.naccarato at
Thu Oct 15 16:19:43 GMT 1998

Over the last summer we took our home dir / applications servers for the
330 Win95 PCs that they service and attempted to replace them with a
single AlphaServer 8200 (Digital Unix (OSF/1), Samba, 4GB RAM, 2x525Mhz cpus).

The results were *not* good.

In fact, it was terrible.  We have since gone back to using the original 3
machines.  My suspision is that the clients are making way too many
demands of the servers.  In particular, we serve the applications (Office,
WP, etc.) to the clients from shares on the servers.  These "application
servers" are constantly busy, especially with CPU time.  When loading all
this onto one server, it just about fell over and died.

I have noticed that the problem still remains, although it's a lot less
than before.  We also have other problems, the foremost being that Samba
does not appear to answer logon requests at certain times.  It appears to
be random as I haven't found a pattern yet.  The logon servers are the
application servers, so I suspect that the servers are too busy to answer
logon requests.  I don't know...

I have reduced the amount of CPU usage by doing things like "lpq command =
echo 'no entries'" and the like, but this is a bandaid solution.  I have
also recompiled Samba with the highest optimizations that DEC cc provides.
I want to get all those clients on my 8200.

This 8200 has 5 100Mb/FD network ports, which eventually get filtered down
to 10Mbps to the clients with switched hubs, so I can't see a network
problem.  But networking isn't my strongest field.

I would like some coorespondence with other admins who have a similar
setup to mine and trade some ideas.  I'm really in a bind here and any
info would be helpful, I think.


Rob Naccarato           "Civilized men are more discourteous than savages
Sys Admin               because they know they can be impolite without
Sheridan College        having their skulls split, as a general thing."
Oakville, Ont. Canada                      - Robert E. Howard

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