Samba scaling

Scott Lawson s.lawson at
Wed Aug 23 16:01:16 GMT 2000


Did anyone reply to you on this?

By the sounds of things you are running a pair of E450's?

We currently use Samba on about 6 or 7 Sun E450's and E250's, it scales
very well. I have managed to have about 700-800 current clients
from Windows 95 and 98, we also have the about 30-40 NT clients that
regularly. I have found that Samba has scaled uniformly in it's system

We use it to provide file services to around 5000 odd registered users
via NIS, we also
provide NFS services to other servers that require access to data shares
that are
shared via SMB. All works no problem.

A couple of things, I would (me personally) reccomend having a dedicated
wins server
available to keep things running smoothly(Samba works fine, or NT if
needed). Make sure
that you run the Smbd and Nmbd as Daemons and NOT from inetd. I have
currently got
VERY stable servers running on both 2.6 and 2.7. They have been by far
the most stable
server that I have come across so far, also in the event of a dameon
crash they can be
restarted very quickly without a system reboot. (Try that with NT!) A
script can be written to
monitor the damons also if you really want to provide recovery in case
of a problem.

I would also reccomend that you compile them yourself using the latest
version of Gcc if poss.
I believe that there are a a few Solaris memory leak problems on older
versions of gcc.

Obviously the one major advantage you will get from doing this is nicely
sychronised password
databases, which is a major bonus. I am currently looking at LDAP for
our setup and the
Solaris extensions. Currently we have a pretty solid implementation of
Netscape Directory Server
on Solaris 7 doing the trick.

Anyway hope this helps you with your decision.


Date:   Thu, 17 Aug 2000 13:01:04 -0400 (EST)

To:     samba at
Subject: Large scale Samba installations
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Hello Samba folks-

I'm currently in the position of trying to convince my IT management
that using Samba to provide SMB services to our NT client base is a
Good Thing.  Our client/server situation is as follows:

     o An HA cluster of two quad-cpu (400MHz) Sun Enterprise servers,
       with IP address takeover on failover.
     o About 1000 Windows NT clients connecting via SMB
     o About 250 Solaris/SPARC clients connecting via NFS

We're currently using a commerical product (which I will be kind
enough not to name) which is proving to not scale well at all.  This
has less to do with the capabilities of our servers and network, and
more to do with some serious design flaws in the product.  As a
result, I'm getting very close to convincing my superiors that Samba
is the way to go, despite being an "unsupported freeware" product.
At this point, the main concern is that we have only used Samba on a
smaller scale, so we don't have direct evidence that it will fare
any better once we scale it up to the level mentioned above.

I'm pretty sure I can make Samba work in a symmetric failover
situation by running two separate instances of Samba and bind only to
the appropriate interface in each (the cluster does IP address
takevoer in the event of a failover).  My guess is that this is what
HP does in their packaging of Samba for their HA servers.  This would
be a major selling point for Samba, since the commercial product can't
do this (i.e. half of our cluster is basically sitting idle)... though
of course they promise that it will be "supported in the next release"

So, I'm looking for examples of successful Samba installations on this
scale (or larger!).  If anyone on this list has administered such an
installation, I'd GREATLY appreciate it if you could provide some input
regarding both the positives and the negatives you've encountered in
your installation.

I'd be especially interested in sites that use Samba on Solaris/SPARC
servers, doubly so for HA environments.  But other platforms would be
of interest also -- I'm mostly interested in the scalability of Samba




Scott Lawson
Systems Manager
Department Of Information Services
St. George's Hospital Medical School
London SW17 0RE

P: 44 (0)208 725 2896
F: 44 (0)208 725 3583

mailto:s.lawson at


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