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switch configuration for max performance/throughput

I know this question will be rather broad.. but let's say its concerning Cisco, and/or Dell gigabit ethernet switches.
My goal is to squeeze as much throughput put out of the switch as humanly possible for my backup server.  Which consists of 1 backup media server and 12 hosts all connected via a Dell 2816 (currently).  I have been given the thumbs up to upgrade to a Cisco switch if it'd make things any better.  Also this "backup lan" is utilizing secondary gigabit nics on all servers involved physically separate from the production lan.

Are there any vendor-neutral settings such as STP, CoS, Link Aggregation, etc that improve overall performance? Any vendor-specific settings on either of these?

Other than using all Cat6 copper, gig switches and nics, and making sure that all devices are running at 1gig/Full, what else can I do?

And as a secondary question of MUCH less importance.. could these same principles be directed towards a home setup to improve throughput for Gaming?
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Ben Hart
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Ben Hart
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2 Solutions
 
SIM50Commented:
One thing you can consider is setting up jumbo frames on a gigabit network. You also need to check if the network cards in use support it.

As for the games, you cant really do much as it all depends on your service provider. If your game is segregated in different zones like eq, the best investment would be ssd.
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Ben HartAuthor Commented:
Not another single opinion.  Wow.  Ok let me add to this question and then award points to the only person who even tried answering..

The biggest "fix" I've found for a small LAN throughput and latency issues has been teh Microsoft ACK fix for Vista.


Adding two DWORD values into HKLM/System/CurrentControlSet/Services/TCP/Parameters/Interfaces

Locate your interface, wireless or wired it makes no difference.

Add these values:

TcpAckFrequency 1
TcpAckDelay 1

I found this information originally in a MS KB Article specifically for Vista.  However after testing this on roughly 10 different pc's running varying flavors of Windows 7 (both 32 and 64) I've found that it does indeed work wonders for latency.  There's talk of how it increases the amount of traffic on your network by forcing the OS to acknowledge every single packet it receives however since ACK packets contain no data... it has made zero noticiable difference so far.

This reg hack is a Godsend.
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Ben HartAuthor Commented:
I added my own response since I did discover the fix, however SIM50's comment about jumbo frames was also very helpful.
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