FreeBSD SAMBA file server performance - strange behaviour

Nenad Mihajlovic nenad at
Mon Feb 25 16:24:16 UTC 2008

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, long and stable 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?



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