[Samba] samba 3 performance with windows 7 workstations

peter lawrie peter.lawrie at glendiscovery.co.uk
Fri May 16 12:57:38 MDT 2014

My customer has a Centos Linux 5.10 server running Samba 3. (Samba version
The machine is about three years old. I suggested that they should consider
replacing it with a Centos 6 machine and Samba 4, but they decided as it
was doing its job without any issues to keep it as is. I also suggested
updating to samba3x but they decided not to do this.
I recently installed a centos 6/samba4 server for another customer but they
do not use Sage so I cannot compare performance. That customer has a mix of
XP, win7, and win8 but nobody is complaining of performance differences.
At home I also have Centos 5.10 with samba3x (Samba version
I use a win7 PC as a domain member and have not noticed any issues when
moving up from XP - but I don't have Sage Accounts.

The customer at issue decided to replace seven desktop XP PCs with Windows
7 pro. All now installed and working.  After discussion, they decided they
did not really need domain machines, so the win7 PCs have been set up in a
workgroup. I advised them if they wanted to join a domain they would need
samba3x as a minimum, and preferably a new server with samba 4.
Normal use appears to be fine, office applications from the server share
work just as well a before including their access databases.
However, they have found a significant problem with their Sage accounts
package. The data is stored on a samba share with the applications on four
of the PCs. Performance is significantly less than before.
I told them to turn off 'remote differential compression' but apparently
that has not helped.
What other windows 7 features may be affecting network performance?
I have three other customers using Sage on Samba servers, they are still
using XP workstations, but at least one of them is intending to upgrade in
the next couple of months, using the same centos5/samba3 setup so
suggestions are urgently required.
Changing from samba3 to 3x appears to involve rebuilding samba which will
take time. I normally visit this customer during working hours and they
wanted to minimise any disruption to their business. If the solution is to
install 3x then so be it, but I have told them they would not need to until
they were ready to replace the server.
Peter Lawrie

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