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Copy from NAS Drive to /from 2 or More Win 7 x64 isvery s-l-o-w

Posted on 2011-04-22
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
We have 3 machines running win7 x64with min of 4 G ram and all have 1G nIC and we hae 1 G switch.  We also have a NAS Drive with a 1G NIC.  When one machine copies a large directory  of files or just a  single large file from or to the NAS drive, copying takes place at expected nettwork speed = e.g. one set is about 3 mins. - approx same speed if copying to /from the NAS Drive using a Win XP Pro computer.  When we try copying from / to  NAS drive on 2 Win 7 computers concurrently, what took 3 mins now  takes 3/4 hr.  I disabled  all  TCP Task-Offload options to no avail.  What else can we do?  Copying these large sess using the 2 Win XP Pro computers concurrently takes far less time. Suggestions?
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Question by:grant-ellsworth
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by:Donald Stewart
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by:shjacks55
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Max throughput of 1Gb synchronous is 1 Giga-bit/sec = 100 Mega-Byte/sec. Ethernet CSMA/CD means even lower throughput. Maybe 8 GB/minute. Typical physical HD about 6GB/min.

Identical machines, identical NICs could be NIC driver issue, different driver for XP32 and Win7x64.

Assuming identical machines? You glossed over all the details. The NAS especially. This sounds a lot like Linux complaints about Win7 and Samba ( the open source program to communicate with windows networks), the Samba version designed around NT5 (Windows 2000) when Vista came out, sort of fixed by patches. "Microsoft introduced SMB2 with Windows Vista in 2006."  Big cost difference for ethernet attached hard drive with Windows Storage Server license versus Linux/Samba. Many of the factory refurbished external HDs only needed a firmware update. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Server_Message_Block .

(My preference is to rather than using these single 2 TB Linux/samba boxes to four 500 GB BSD/iSCSI configuration so I get the benefits of RAID and don't have the Layer 5 overhead of SMB (CIFS) and RAID takes care layer 4 issues. If they didn't cost so much, Intel, Adaptec, et al have awesome multiport Gb NICs with tcp/ip, SSL, and even iSCSI hardware offload on the NIC.)
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by:grant-ellsworth
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To dstewatjr:  I found the following comment in another forum.
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Your post is inaccurate. (about disabling RDC)

RDC feature is purely a DLL install, and is not used by any Windows components.

See the post below from Microsoft clarifying this.

http://blogs.technet.com/filecab/archive/2008/05/02/debunking-a-myth-about-remote-differential-compression.aspx

Any change seen after diabling this feature are either imaginary, or caused by the reboot / changed network conditions.

---------------------------------
I followed the link to MS and the author's contention made some sense.  

Any other suggestions?
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To ShJacks55: Machines do not have identical NICs.  The Buffalo 1 TB LAN / NAS drive is fairly new (1 yr old at most).  

Please note: When using 2 older XP computers concurrently to copy large sets of files or very large fies from  NAS drive, there are no slowdowns of that magnitude.
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by:Donald Stewart
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Did you test ?
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by:shjacks55
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As I noted, Linux users had issues (copying the protocol) with Microsoft's new SMB2. NT6 (Vista, Windows7) will renegotiate downwards. Most Ethernet enabled Hard Drives have a server running Linux/BSD/VxWorks/etc using Samba immitation of Microsoft protocol.  A firmware update of the NAS would be the obvious solution but I can't check the manufacturer's site because the NAS is secret.

The NIC question is because I had  NICs (win-nics, windows assisted hardware, note the high CPU utilization %) that were only half duplex NT6 drivers.  

Sorry if I'm adamant it is a defect in your NAS, but you don't indicate an issue with XP machine to Win7 machine file transfer.
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by:grant-ellsworth
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I join you in suspecting the NAS apparatus.  However, there are no issues when we're using Windows XP and Macs.  So, if the NAS has a defect, maybe WinXP and Macinnoshes are impervious.  In which case, I'm thinking there is some kind of workaround at the Win7 desktop.
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by:Donald Stewart
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Did you test RDC ?
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by:grant-ellsworth
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To dstewartjr>  We won't be able to test till this coming Mon or Tues.  Right now I have only somewbat unstable remote access to the win7 computers and the NAS drive.   I have to wait till the  crew is onsite to test.  Based on what I read from MS and other Win7 users, it doesn't look like disabling RDC would help.  Did you read the MS article?
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by:Donald Stewart
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Yes, I read all the articles and comments. I am suggesting this because this is what worked for me.
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by:grant-ellsworth
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To dstewartjr> Were you having problems with only one machine trying to read from a remote network device?  Or did this fix work for multiple devices concurrently reading from network device?
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by:Donald Stewart
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I was having a problem with very slow access to *any* network files when using windows 7, and no problems with xp clients. This change resolved it for my case.


Give it a shot, it cant hurt.
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by:grant-ellsworth
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To dstewartjr:  I'm assuming that this oroblem arose with one win7 machine by itself on your network.  Was it 32-bit or 64-bit?
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by:Donald Stewart
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Humor me... try it. if it dont work so be it.
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by:grant-ellsworth
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I jury rigged a remoteaccess trout.  Well,,, it helped a little ,,, maybe.  But when I added the folowing changes to the network params,  copy performance more closely resembled what we had when using the XP Pro computers.
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netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled
netsh interface tcp set global rss=disabled
(ebooted computer)
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I'll now need to await end-user onsite test results to confirm.
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Donald Stewart earned 600 total points
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Yeah....

netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled
netsh interface tcp set global rss=disabled

were both brought up in the conversation ensued in the article I posted.
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by:grant-ellsworth
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To all readers - situation update.  After implementing the described parameter changes on the  win7 machines,we tested using to identical sets of files and folders (directories).

Reviewing environment - copying from Buffalo 1 TB storage device with 1 G (1000 MB) NIC
copying to 2 Win7 x64 computers simultaneously.
File sets have approx 5700 files and folders containing approx 170 MB of data files (various kinds).

Tests:
1. copying 1 set of approx 5700 files/folders from Lan drive to win7 x64 computer - 6.5 mins
2. copying 1 set of 5700 files / folders from lan drive to win7 xx64 no 1 while coping the identical copy from otherlocation on same LAN drive to Win7 x64 no 2 - 18 mins on each win 7 computer.

Are these turnaround tines what we should expect?
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by:shjacks55
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Like I said before: You have an older version of Linux (etc.) which doesn't support SMB2; Samba.org didn't release SMB2 support until Version 3.5.0 was released 1 March 2010. (don't believe me look up Samba and Server Message Block on Wikipedia.

See http://www.petri.co.il/how-to-disable-smb-2-on-windows-vista-or-server-2008.htm for instructions on crippling (disabling SMB2 on)  Windows 7. The reality is you still need a firmware update on the NAS.

 Unfortunately the Buffalo Gigabit Linkstation Pro can only transfer 72.4 MB /second over ethernet, per manual, Average continuous read on these hard drives themselves is around 12 Megabytes per second (this doesn't include other disk overhead such as thermal recalibration). ( But we aren't reading one file but 5700 small files. So we are jumping back and forth to the directory for every file request. )
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by:grant-ellsworth
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To shjacks55:  Please clarify the Linux issue ... Is Linux the underlying opsys on the Buffalo drive and using Samba for file access?
Next question set - firmware:
1.  Is  there a firmware update available?  I didn't see anything about one at the Buffalo site.
2.  The 1 TB Buffalo Drive says it has firmware version 1.10.  What should we be looking for?
3.  Where do we find doc on how to load / update the firmware?  Can  we do this without jeopardizing content on the drive?

Next question set - current performance
It looks to me like the data transfer rate is about what I should expect on a 1 G full duplex Network.  That is, I'm seeing that it's taking about 6.5 mins to copy 170 mb from the NAS Drive on a 1 gb connection - that computes to approx 460,000 bytes/sec.  What should I expect on a full-duplex 1G connection?
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by:shjacks55
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Samba.org is an open source software group that makes emulation for Microsoft Server Message Block/CIFS Network software. Reference on Wikipedia. Free (Linux) and Open Source (BSD) software is usually the Server Software that runs these File Servers.  I think HP ran Windows Home Server and Windows Storage Server but that costs an extra $100 or so. Wind River and VxWorks are other proprietary software packages used for running embedded server devices. Buffalo seems to mostly make Routers and Wireless Network stuff, and many of these (layer 3) devices do run on Linux (Linksys) et al. Buffalo's website is as bad as those of cheap Chinese stuff Fry's sells, couldn't find fix there..

By the way did you try the registry enties in the article, that I referred to, to disable SMB2?
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by:grant-ellsworth
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Have not tried disabling smb2 yet.  I contacted Buffalo tech support. The tech I exchanged with wrote that what we were doing challenged  the procesor and the ramsize on the linkstation; s/he also wrote that firmware upgrade would not significantly improve our perfa a ce .  I still don't have a good presentation of what is realistic turnaround on the device should be from Buffalo.  JJust FYI - the iitial reason forusing the NAS devices was that it was much easier to  configure the drive to be both P and Macintosh-friendly.  I'm still trying to sort this out.  Are thinking that disabling smb2 would significantly improve read/write performance?
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by:shjacks55
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Basically, for every packet stream the Win7 machine initially sends SMB2 but the Buffalo device says "huh!" so it needs to negotiate downward to SMB. (Its like that warble that your phone modem makes trying to find a compatible frequency set. Fax modems have fewer compatible sets so they negotiate faster.)  

Buffalo is right. If your "Book sized NAS" is similar to my Maxtor drive, it has an ARM ~350MHz CPU with 64MB RAM (last generation cell phones) which has less performance than a 1999 Pentium one 200MHz desktop with 32MB RAM and Windows 98. There are faster storage systems with the accompanying higher price.  One way to get around this is to direct connect your drive (USB 2.0) to one of your faster boxes (XP one perhaps) and share it from there. (Microsoft Storage Server, like other File Server optimized software, can avoid duplicate Hard disk reads.)

Macintosh OS/X is based on open source Berkely Standard Distribution or BSD Unix, Apple started from the original "BSD Lite"(version unencumbered by ATT Unix patents). It differs in 2 ways from Linux. First, it is based on the Mach microkernel core which a.) allows a limited resource system not to deal with the entire kernel at once  and  b.) a fast processor can get more done (thats why Macs are fast and stable). Second, the license is free to use but Apple doesn't have to share its changes back to the developer community. Apple then adds a lot of open source software on top of this.

But Apple doesn't write its own network stack, it also uses the open source samba.org stack (the same network component Linux uses), which of course just recently was updated to support SMB2. Basically SMB2 (rem SMB is Server Message Block) provides better support for Windows 2008 Server Active Directory Services and layer 5 support for Microsoft applications. I don't think there is any advantage to the Macintosh software, and it doesn't appear that you use a Windows Server for authentication. There are detailed discussions on the samba.org development pages about pros and cons of adding smb2 support to the samba package.

Home Multimedia NAS drives are a bit different because they 'stream' content to different clients so if two people are watching different movies they each get only the packets they need and the linear progression of frames in a saved DVD allows the little CPU to read ahead; less conflict with two users both accessing huge files.

If you might get a iPad or MacBook Air you may consider an AirLink dock which will share your drive via WiFi. WiFi is slower than ethernet but there conveniences for multiple access and it appears you are limited by hard drive speed anyway.


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by:grant-ellsworth
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Solutions ultimately enabled us to isolate problem to inherent shorcoming on the NAS drive - confirmed by the manufacturer
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