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Troubleshooting poor SFTP performance

Posted on 2010-08-26
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Last Modified: 2013-11-29
We have users constantly complaining about how slow sftp is when uploading or downloading to our SFTP server via the Internet. Internally it is fine.  We have tested other download / upload speeds and the bandwidth seems fine. It it just when users try uploading from or to our SFTP server from the Internet when we seem to get poor performance.  I don't see how the ISP could or would limit bandwidth for ports 21 and 22. It doesn't make sense. Traffic does traverse our Checkpoint firewall for both internal and external connections to the server. So it is hard to say it is the firewall when internally we have no issue. This is the only service we are receiving complaints on and I am just looking for any input as to how to either fix this or where we can start looking. I was planning on calling our ISP however I wanted to gather as much information as I could first. We have a 20 mb fiber connection to the Internet and from what I understand this is 100mb burstable.

Hey help is appreciated.
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Question by:tobyhansen
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9 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:omarfarid
ID: 33534283
what is the link utilization for your connection to your ISP?
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woolnoir earned 500 total points
ID: 33534302
put a test machine (linux laptop or something) on the network that your SFTP server is sitting on try and do a connection and test the speed, then place one on the external interface of the checkpoint firewall (assuming you have multiple external IP's) and test. That will indicate if its a) the server, b) the checkpoint box or c) the ISP.
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Author Comment

by:tobyhansen
ID: 33535129
omarfarid  - The link utilization is at 15%. I did see one thing that bothers me. Our average receive bps is never goes past 20Mbps, Transmit is between 10 and 18Mbps. I would think I would see spikes past 20mbps if we have up to 100Mbps burstable.


woolnoir - this is a good idea. We have great speeds form our LAN - 8-9 Mb/s I will try putting a machine on our DMZ switch and testing it there.
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Expert Comment

by:woolnoir
ID: 33535162
Let me know how you get on and we can diagnose :)
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Expert Comment

by:omarfarid
ID: 33535192
you may need to check with your ISP if they really allow more that 20 mbps, also if you can try with different protocol other than sftp, like http and see if you still see same problem
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Author Comment

by:tobyhansen
ID: 33535607
Omar, yeah, that is what I am thinking. It is odd that we plateau like that. What I may do is test this in the dead of the night when traffic is at it's minimum.

Thanks guys
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Expert Comment

by:woolnoir
ID: 33539855
> I would think I would see spikes past 20mbps if we have up to 100Mbps burstable.

yeah ive had this problem to.. the ISP's definition of burstable is often very subjective. You can only guarantee the soft limit (traffic managed) component of your connection. You might want to ask the ISP under what conditions they allow 100mbps burst.
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Author Comment

by:tobyhansen
ID: 33542134
Thanks Woolnoir. I have a call into our ISP. I have a suspision that this is the case. That our bandwidth has a ceiling of 20mbps.

I am curious to see what they say.
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Expert Comment

by:woolnoir
ID: 33559268
@tobyhansen let me know when your ISP get back to you :) im interested :)
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