[Samba] Performance: Samba 3 vs. Windows 2003

Andrew Gray grayaw at egr.unlv.edu
Tue Apr 27 16:16:14 GMT 2004

Here's a couple suggestions that we've played with.

- What kernel are you running on your Samba box?  We got significantly
better performance when we switched to 2.6.5 over 2.4.22.
- Do you have debugging turned on in Samba?  Or anything other than log
level = 0?  That can slow things down a fair bit as well.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Alexander Lazarevich" <alazarev at itg.uiuc.edu>
To: "Samba Mailing List" <samba at lists.samba.org>
Sent: Monday, April 26, 2004 3:30 PM
Subject: [Samba] Performance: Samba 3 vs. Windows 2003

> Samba guru's:
> Our Samba 3 network performance is half that of Windows 2003 Server. I
> really want to stay with samba/unix, but half the performance? I'm hoping
> someone can point me in the right direction so we can keep using
> samba/unix. I'll try to give as much detail without giving pages and
> pages of benchmark numbers. If someone wants to see numbers, I'll send
> them:
> Fileserver is Dell PE2600, Dual Xeon 18GHz, 2GB memory, Gig NIC. System
> is dual boot RHEL3-AS with an ext3 filesystem and Windows 2003 Server
> with NTFS. The fileserving disk is a SATA-SCSI RAID enclosure. Bonnie++
> and iozone both show that the RAID enclosure can do 80MB/sec writes and
> 40MB/sec reads on the ext3 in linux. Benchmarks in windows 2003 are very
> similar. Why it gets faster writes than read, I don't know, and I don't
> care right now. What I'm worried about is our samba network performance.
> Clients are Windows XP/2K/NT4 pro with all patches installed and Gig NICs.
> All the clients can netperf to the server at 60+MB/sec, some even faster.
> No collisions on the NICs, nothing wrong with the network. There is a
> cisco Gig switch inbetween the client and the server as well.
> Here is the bottom line:
> When the server is running samba 3, the clients get 12-13MB/sec.
> When the server is running windows 2003, the clients get 24-26MB/sec.
> Keep in mind the server hardware is exactly the same, the only thing I
> change is the software. Windows 2003 beets up Samba 3, hands down.
> However, all this testing is done by just drag and drop, and looking at
> the clock to time it. Not the best way to do it, but I don't know of
> another way now, suggestions welcome. The difference is obvious and
> consistent: 500MB file in samba 3 writes to disk in 42 seconds, but writes
> to windows 2003 disk in 21 seconds. I can produce the same results on all
> of our clients any time of the day.
> I've tried changing the smb.conf socket options (TCP_NODELAY, SO_SNDBUF,
> etc.) to 65523, 242xxx, whatever. /etc/init.d/smb restart, then try again.
> No change in performance whatsoever. Still 12-13MB/sec. I've also set
> other options in smb.conf, such as xmit, write size, read size, but
> nothing seems to change the fact that samba 3 can't do more than
> 12-13MB/sec.
> I've also searched the list, and found some people had success in
> performance issues by changing the SO_SNDBUF, but they didn't list any
> benchmark numbers. Maybe they were happy with 12-13MB/sec, but I'm not,
> especially if something else can get 25MB/sec.
> Any input is welcome.
> Alex
> ---                                                               ---
>    Alex Lazarevich | Systems Administrator | Imaging Technology Group
>     Beckman Institute | University of Illinois | www.itg.uiuc.edu
> ---                                                               ---
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