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Worked solution to garantee network speed between file server and exact workstation

Hello experts !

I have situation -  fast file server (P4 3.2 GHz, 1 GB Dual RAM, 2 sets of 2xIDE 7200 in RAID 0) and 4 or 7 workstations. Network is 1 GB over copper (cables is CAT6)  using 3COM office connect swither (with 5 or 8 ports) http://www.3com.com/products/en_US/detail.jsp?tab=features&pathtype=purchase&sku=3C1670500

File server and workstaions are used for big video files - 3.5 MB per second (about 14 GB for 1 hour !).

OS is Windows XP + SP2 and rarely can be Windows 2000 +SP4.

One of workstation MUST has total priority over others when access file server. I mean that it trafic MUST be garantee to be about 5-6 MB/s !

What is BEST way to give priority ? Somethink useful and NOT so complexity ?
3 Solutions

What about installing a second network card in the file server and connecting the workstation with a crossover cable?  This way you will always have full speed to that workstation.

If you want to do professional services, like Quality of Service (QoS) and weighted queueing, you're going to need to step up and get some professional gear - certainly not 3Com office connect.

Something like this:

dvplayltdAuthor Commented:
--- For sr_millar  ---
- it looks good. My network is gigabit and I do NOT has problem with network speed. I want server to give total priority to all requests coming from exact port (or IP). I suppose that Windows give equal priority to two network card, withch means that my workstation will recive half of server power and other half will be to give to others workstation.
This is good, but will be BEST if I can adjust priority of two network cards at server. Can Windows XP Pro SP2+ give diferent priority to network card ? Or I need Server version to do this ?

----For pseudocyber ---
I am starting to read about QoS, but it is NOT usable in my sutuain. First - it requre that software is written with support for QoS, however my is NOT, Second - it requre expensive equipment.
To my knowledge, the Windows OS will not allow you to control priority to certain IP addresses or cards natively.  I don't know of a software solution that would do it either.  I suppose one could be written, but I don't think it would be the type which would insert itself into the stack and hand just any application priority traffic.  I mean that it seems to me this capability would have to be written into the software itself.

Is this a proven need, or does it just seem like something that would be nice to have?

If you want to speed things up, I'd look at your server.  You could get faster 10,000 RMP SCSI drives which would give you better I/O speed.  Also, Raid 0 - striping is slower than Raid 1 (mirroring) and offers NO fault tolerance like RAID 1 does.  You could probably use some more RAM.  And you didn't specify your NIC, but if it's not a SERVER NIC and only a PC NIC then you're not getting optimum performance from it either.

On the network side, if you upgraded your network equipment, you could put in a dual NIC or a quad NIC and combine your network connections into four, or more, "bonded" connections.  Then, you work stations could "statistically" load balance over your connections.  I say "statistically" because between workstation A and your server, the traffic will ALWAYS pick the same interface to traverse - unless its disconnected.  So, the more workstations you have, the more statistically load balanced the connections are over the links.

Check out "adapter teaming".
A few things in response to pseudocyber:
>Also, Raid 0 - striping is slower than Raid 1 (mirroring) and offers NO fault tolerance like RAID 1 >does.  
I believe your incorrect here, Raid 0 is way faster than mirroring, your splitting the load over 2 or more drives, how can that be slower than raid 1?

>You could probably use some more RAM.  
Unless he's using more memory than what he physically has, there would be no performance difference at all. ie windows reports pf usage is 250mb, but the server has 512mb of ram, in this situation he wouldnt benefit from a ram upgrade

>And you didn't specify your NIC, but if it's not a SERVER NIC and only a PC NIC then you're not >getting optimum performance from it either.
Im not familiar with this, what exactly is a "server" nic? are you referring to 64bit pci cards?

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