FreeBSD SAMBA file server performance - strange behaviour

Derek Ragona derek at
Mon Feb 25 16:19:14 UTC 2008

At 09:38 AM 2/25/2008, Nenad Mihajlovic wrote:
>Hi all,
>Recently I have received the reuest from the colleague to create the
>homebrewn NAS for his small office, so I started checking the possible
>options, and having good, stable and long relationship with FreeBSD
>I've settled again for it.
>Machine is not something special, Pentium D with 1G RAM and single
>SATA150 disk, 3Com 1G server card in the PCI slot, connected to the
>desktop though 1Gbps unmanaged switch.
>If needed I'll provide the full config and setup information.
>After installing the bare FreeBSD 7.0RC3 and Samba 3.x.xx - whichewer
>was included in the packages - I wanted to have the job done quickly,
>the machine appeared on the network and everyone seemed to be happy
>and live happily everafter.
>Until dear friend of mine started using the machine to do the actual
>work - basic editing of the wedding videos.
>When trying to upload the single file to file server, he was getting
>the varying speed of 5-13 MBps, from his machine to file server -
>which is unacceptably low for any kind of transfer speed.
>Interestingly enough, when he tried to copy _TWO_ files to file
>server, the transfer speed vould jump to the 25-27 MB/sec and keep
>permanent, without much fluctuation.
>After I tried to copy the files from one directory to another, iostat
>has shown me the speed in excess of 29 MB/sec while copying the files
>between two directories on the same server, so the disk access should
>not be the problem.
>On the other hand, i experienced that when i try PING on the File
>server's IP address from the fileserver, i get performance increase in
>the transfer speed - the bigger the traffic i generate, the better the
>results, which max out at 25-27 MB/sec with flood ping.
>Has anyone else experienced any similar behaviour?

Just as an FYI, you may find it better to use FreeNAS, which is based on 


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