[Samba] Weird Samba upload performance on Gigabit network - resolved with new NIC

John Drescher drescherjm at gmail.com
Wed Nov 15 04:02:00 GMT 2006

On 11/14/06, David Harrison <david.harrison at stress-free.co.nz> wrote:
> On 13/11/2006, at 8:23 AM, David Harrison wrote:
> >>> Here's a weird one that may have nothing to do with Samba and
> >>> more to do with network frame sizes.
> >>> I have recently upgraded the network infrastructure to support
> >>> gigabit speeds.
> >>> - OSX Tiger to OSX Tiger file transfers operate at gigabit speeds.
> >>> - Samba 3.0.23C (Suse 10) to OSX Tiger file transfers operate at
> >>> gigabit speeds.
> >>> - BUT OSX Tiger to Samba 3.0.23C (Suse 10) file transfers operate
> >>> at 1-2meg/second which is well down from expected performance.
> >>> The strange thing is if I begin a file transfer from OSX Tiger to
> >>> Samba and in a terminal window on OSX begin an SCP copy operation
> >>> to the same Suse server the file transfer speed of Samba jumps up
> >>> to gigabit level speeds. As soon as the SCP copy operation is
> >>> stopped the Samba file transfer process drops to 1-2meg/second
> >>> again.
> >
> > Yes I am running 10.4.8 on the clients.
> > Just as a test I have mounted the Samba volume from the command
> > line (with mount.cifs and mount.smbfs) and received the same
> > performance as through the Finder so if the problem is with 10.4.8
> > its at a fairly low level.
> I replaced the network card on the Suse box from the Netgear card
> (r8169 driver) to a HP NC1020 (tg3 driver).
> Samba performance is now at gigabit levels and is very consistent
> with multiple Linux (Suse) and OSX (10.4.8) clients.
> The Netgear card appears to operate okay as a Samba client on another
> machine but still performs poorly when the Samba process is receiving
> large quantities of uploaded data.

Thanks for the  info...

I am a little surprised as we have never had that kind of problem with the
r8169 cards. I do have some tg3 nics (broadcomm chip) and actually my
current pc has this chip. At work we have ~10 of these as they come on
several of the amd opteron servers with TYAN motherboards we have. I do
admit that this chip is a better performer than the r8169 as I have
benchmarked them at 950Mbit with netperf without jumbo frames and through 2
netgear switches but I attributed that to the fact that on the amd boards
the nic is connected to the PCI-X bus and not the 32 bit 33Mhz PCI bus and
the r8169 cards we have are only pci.


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