[Samba] Slow performance with QuickBooks

Jason Norred jnorred at norredtech.com
Mon Jun 2 20:15:04 GMT 2003

Its definitely a problem with quickbooks. I had a client that had a rather
large qb file (about 120MB). It died a spectacular death. What was amazing
is how quickbooks handled it. They told my client that their data files were
only safe up to around 20MB at the most. This was repeated at their highest
level of paid support. We sent our data file to them to rebuild and were
told that we needed to move to a different product if we were going to
continue to have so much data stored in their system. I would never use
something like quickbooks again... Their multi-user support sucks!

Jason N.

-----Original Message-----
From: samba-bounces at lists.samba.org
[mailto:samba-bounces at lists.samba.org]On Behalf Of CLIFFORD ILKAY
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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