Large companies using SAMBA ?

Peter Polkinghorne Peter.Polkinghorne at
Fri Jan 15 15:28:03 GMT 1999

David Collier-Brown wrote:
> You wrote:
> | 					 We have around 70 Sun servers 
> | running Samba 1.9.18p10, 20,000 users and currently around 500 client
> NT 
> | machines - though that number is growing rapidly.  So I think this
> counts as 
> | large.
> |
> 	Could you write a message to the list with the settings you
> 	found advisable and the configuration you eventully ended up
> 	with?  I'd like that information widely disseminated.
Well firstly it is important to have the appropriate sized hardware and network in first.  This we had by and large since the Samba servers are also PC-NFS servers and the PC population here is changing from Windows 3.11 with Sun PC-NFS to Windows NT 4.0 with SMB.

On the hardware side we did increase the memory of the Servers by 25 to 50% - memory was cheap then and this would be say 124Mb to 196Mb.  The change to NT also coincided with much more 100Mbs ether on servers, Ultra 5s being deployed in place of Ultra 1 and Sparc 10/20s.  However the clients also got beefier so perfomance increment was balanced.

The changes we made to the out of the box samba set up (1.9.18p10):

A) Run as a stand alone daemon instead of using inetd - as too many requests on Sun's inetd causes it to assume service out of control and shut down.

B) Discourage any browsing and have our own PC auto mount software on the clients - based on NISgina from QMW.

C) On one machine (and may be more in future) double shared memory size to 200k

The mistakes we made were:

D) Too many shares defined - because of NFS and AMD, any server could serve any share- but this makes the daemon too memory hungry - 1Mb per daemon for 700 shares!  This was fixed by having more host specific configuration.

E) Too little monitoring software - now writing some perl scripts - details when become stable - to snapshot the server using smbstatus ... for use with MRTG and to ananlyse syslogs for connection and closes to monitor who, where, what and how long.

Our busiest server supports 120 client machines with 330 shares and 2800 files open.  It is a Ultra 5/270 with 192Mb of memory.  Currently no major complaints on speed.

On reflection I am suprised how few changes I had to make - of course more measurement may tell a different story.  There are issues such encrypted passwords that would be nice to resolve (here problem of 20,000 users and getting there passwords to be encrypted a la microsoft - I know there are solutions but comes down how to capture the plaintext password into smbpasswd).

Hope this helps...
| Peter Polkinghorne, Computer Centre, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH,|
| Peter.Polkinghorne at   +44 1895 274000 x2561       UK          |

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