[Samba] ftp 8x faster than samba

Robert Adkins radkins at impelind.com
Thu Aug 31 12:41:05 GMT 2006

Yoink wrote:
> Robert Adkins wrote:
>> Yoink wrote:
>>> This gigabit connection should always be performing as it does under 
>>> ftp, any advice?
>>    I copied a 600MB file from my workstation to our Samba server and 
>> it took approximately two minutes.
>>    I copied the same file from the Samba server to my workstation 
>> using the Command prompt and it took roughly 1 minute 30 seconds.
> Well I should get -25% performance too, no? Mine is more like -400%.
    My test was very unscientific and it is very likely that copying the 
file took exactly the same amount of time whether I used the command 
line or the Windows GUI. I know nothing of the hardware, installation 
setup and other testing variables you have in place, such as the testing 
environment, in order to be able to answer your question.

    Again, I suggest that you test like things with like things, test a 
Windows server's file sharing and then Samba file sharing. Test FTP on a 
Windows server and then FTP on a Linux server and do this on a 
controlled network where only the workstation and the server are 
connected via one hub that has no other network connected to it. That 
way you can more clearly determine which is faster.

    I understand that there has been significant testing performed like 
the above and the last time I checked, which was more then a few years 
ago, Samba performed musch faster then Windows for file sharing. I do 
recall reading a more recent article (maybe 2 years back) that suggested 
Windows Server 2003 same closer if not equal to Samba in file serving speed.

    You would also have to look at other factors, such as the underlying 
file system used on your server. I have been assuming you are using 
Linux with Samba, if that is the case you could be using a variety of 
different file systems for your Linux partitions.

    For example, if you are using ReiserFS, then you would see a marked 
increase in reading/writing and subsequently file sharing for relatively 
small files in, I believe, the sub-32kb range as ReiserFS is tuned for 
sharing many small files very quickly. However, ReiserFS (At least the 
last version I was using) wasn't great for serving large files, like the 
700MB test file you are using.

    From what I know of EXT3FS, it is a well rounded file system that is 
neither particularly fast nor particularly slow in serving files of 
various sizes. It is a good middle ground file system and the one that I 
primarily use on my servers and other Linux installations.

    Beyond that, there are numerous other factors that can lead to a 
slowdown in file sharing speeds, which is something that I am hardly an 
expert in determining. So, I am posting this back to the list, perhaps 
someone there will be able to better advise you towards what to look into.

    Robert Adkins

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