[Samba] Slow performance with QuickBooks

Brandon Lederer brandonl at hms4emc.com
Mon Jun 2 16:52:32 GMT 2003

I am also fairly confident that this organization IS outgrowing QuickBooks.
However, I am using win9x machines to transfer to this server, and only able
to see a few MB / second.... say 2 or 3 MB/sec (VIA FTP... eliminating Samba
from the whole Picture).  Samba is a little better than FTP speed wise, but
not much.  Win XP and FTP can transfer at 6-7,sometimes even 8 MB/sec.  I
swear I've checked everything.  What could possibly be causing this.

-----Original Message-----
From: CLIFFORD ILKAY [mailto:clifford_ilkay at dinamis.com]
Sent: Sunday, June 01, 2003 4:26 PM
To: samba at lists.samba.org
Subject: Re: [Samba] Slow performance with QuickBooks

At 02:25 PM 28/05/2003 -0500, Brandon Lederer wrote:
>I have spent much of the day today researching performance tuning with
>samba.  I have tried everything that I can find out about how to make
>performance faster.  I checked disk performance with Bonnie, installed FTP
>and tested a transfer that way, achieving 6-7 MB / second.  about 30
>for 150 MB file.  I was finally able to achieve those speeds on a file
>transfer to the server through samba.  But QuickBooks is still just as slow
>as it was.  Its performance has not changed a bit.  I am banging my head
>against the wall on this.  I am going nuts.  Please Help.

I doubt it has anything to do with Samba. Have you tried to run QB on a 
Windows file server on the same or similar hardware? I suspect what you are 
running up against is an architectural limitation of QB. Many low end 
databases have abysmal performance in a multiuser situation and I doubt QB 
is any different. If you instrument your network, say with Ethereal, you 
will probably find that there is an incredible amount of network traffic as 
QB clients hit the QB data file on your Samba server. QB does not use a 
client/server architecture so even the simplest queries ship large data 
sets across the wire to the clients. It isn't just data but indexes as well 
that gets sent back to the client. Add a good measure of badly implemented 
locking in the database and you have a recipe for molasses slow network 
performance. Microsoft Access is also notorious for sluggish performance 
when you have more than a handful of clients accessing a .mdb file across 
the network so the problem is hardly unique to QB.

Windows apps tend to like using opportunistic locking to improve perceived 
performance but the problem with that is the potential for database 
corruption. If you turn op locks off, which is the safe thing to do, 
performance will suffer. Many small businesses run blissfully ignorant of 
how vulnerable their data is in products like QuickBooks and Simply 
Accounting and many of them are lucky most of the time. However, when 
things blow up with these low end products, and they do on occasion, they 
blow up pretty spectacularly, particularly with larger accounting data

Assuming further testing proves that Samba, something specific to your 
server, a bad networking component such as a driver, card, cable, jack, or 
switch is not the culprit and you conclude that it is after all an 
architectural limitation, if you cannot live with the poor network 
performance of QuickBooks, you may want to consider an accounting 
application that is better designed. I'm evaluating SQL Ledger 
<http://www.sql-ledger.org> which is an Open Source client/server product.


Clifford Ilkay
Dinamis Corporation
3266 Yonge Street, Suite 1419
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M4N 3P6

Tel: 416-410-3326

mailto:clifford_ilkay at dinamis.com 

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