[Samba] Windows XP traffic Increase

John H Terpstra jht at samba.org
Mon Mar 21 03:37:20 GMT 2005

On Sunday 20 March 2005 19:53, Eric Feldhusen wrote:
> John H Terpstra wrote:
> > On Sunday 20 March 2005 03:55, Honey Bajaj wrote:
> >>I have configured samba domain in our network of around 150 windows node,
> >>we are running 4 Samba server, Samba acts as PDC, member server,
> >> everything was running fine with windows 98, until we start upgrading
> >> our systems to windows xp, the network started becoming choke and
> >> problem of slow access arises everyday, I have checked with ethereal and
> >> the traffic generated by windows xp is almost thrice for the same work
> >> which windows 98 did. Please provide me some solution to overcome this
> >> problem.
> >
> > Wow, only twice the traffic! Something tells me your metrics are a little
> > off. From my evaluation it is more like 3-5 times as much traffic for the
> > same operations, but it makes a difference what you are measuring.
> >
> > For example, opening a directrory with 1000 or so file in Windows
> > Explorer could cost up to 6 times more I/O traffic.
> >
> > Windows XP SP2 is a beast for traffic increase. The solution is revert to
> > 98 - or else bit-the-bullet by migrating to Linux.
> I have noticed a similar problem to this as I began moving from Windows
> 98 to Windows 2000 a couple of years ago at a school I system adm.  I
> thought at it was purely due to how Windows 2k/XP handled their roaming
> profiles with all the data that moves back and forth during
> login/logout.  Any thoughts on what the reason is for the increased i/o
> for similar operations?

Sure! The protocols are very different. Windows 2000 Pro and XP Pro use far 
more of the MS DCE RPCs than 9x/Me. Additionally, XP Pro in particular tried 
to the newer protocol extensions (supported only by Win 2003 Server and ADS) 
then backs-off. It does this in a number of ways before it eventually uses 
the NT4 style protocols. The overhead is significant - even with Win 20003 

Furthermore, Win XP Pro negotiates Unicode support which is not supported by 
Win 9x. That too adds overhead.

So, in summary, get used to it - Windows networking protocols are just noise 
on the wire! :-)

- John T.
John H Terpstra
Samba-Team Member
Phone: +1 (650) 580-8668

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