Want to win a PS4? Go Premium and enter to win our High-Tech Treats giveaway. Enter to Win

x
?
Solved

Network File Servers - Slower the more shares you create? (Folders vs Shares)

Posted on 2011-09-29
10
Medium Priority
?
515 Views
Last Modified: 2012-08-14
A work colleague claimed that the more shares you hang off of a windows, unix or appliance file server (all of type CIFS), the worse performance it gets.  Is there any truth to this?  Please provide technical references.

EXAMPLE:
\\fileserver1\  has 200 shares, with a total of 1GB of data
     \\fileserver1\share1
     \\fileserver1\share2
      ....etc
 
\\fileserver2\ has 1 share, with 200 subfolders, and also has a total of 1GB of data
     \\fileserver1\share1\folder1
     \\fileserver1\share1\folder2
     .....etc.

According to my colleague's claim, fileserver2 would function significantly faster.

0
Comment
Question by:dantali0n
[X]
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 4
  • 4
  • 2
10 Comments
 
LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Paul MacDonald
ID: 36816923
I don't see why.  It's possible the device with more shares would have more connections - and therefore appear to be "slower" (whatever that means).  I'm not aware of any performance hit (at least in the Windows world) due to adding shares on a server.
0
 
LVL 80

Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 36816986
The more shares the more resources might be used.
i.e. a user that needs access to share1 and share2 will have two connections from their workstation to the fileserver while a user who needs data from folder1 and folder2 will have a single connection.
Depending on the connection (mapped drive) one will have two mapped drives while the other will have a single mapped drive.

You can compare this to having data in a single file cabinet or have the data distributed in different rooms.
In a single cabinet setup, you can have one individual retrieve all data.
In a multi-room setup, each room will need an individual.
The consideration deals with how you are administering the access rights.
do you have groups that you want to have access to share1?
The group might be excluded from accessing share2.
There are different consideration including simplicity i.e. in the multi-share a user will have to be told and will have to keep track of the available shares.
In a single share multi-folder setup, the user only needs to look through the available folders to get where they want to be.

As far as the performance differences, it would depend on how active the access is to the shares.

i.e. if each user has 4 mapped drives, versus a single mapped drive with access to all resources.
The underlying check to the AD may average down based on number of files accessed.
Authorization of a user to access/map each share versus a single authorization and subsequent checks for access to each folder may be a wash.





0
 

Author Comment

by:dantali0n
ID: 36818836
Anyone have any references or sources on this?  Otherwise it's all just opinion.
0
Prepare for your VMware VCP6-DCV exam.

Josh Coen and Jason Langer have prepared the latest edition of VCP study guide. Both authors have been working in the IT field for more than a decade, and both hold VMware certifications. This 163-page guide covers all 10 of the exam blueprint sections.

 
LVL 80

Accepted Solution

by:
arnold earned 1000 total points
ID: 36819028
It is an opinion in part that relies on logical extrapolation based on what resources would be involved.

If your fileserver is not heavily used, the difference will likely be miniscule.
The other issues is how to allocate the cost of the resource.

Would you consider providing your analysis of the required/expanded resources?

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winservergen/thread/fe462434-b7f7-4335-b30a-bc9e24cb4c1e/

BPA http://blogs.technet.com/b/josebda/archive/2010/04/28/best-practices-analyzer-for-windows-server-2008-r2-file-services-available-for-download.aspx


0
 
LVL 34

Assisted Solution

by:Paul MacDonald
Paul MacDonald earned 1000 total points
ID: 36863342
"If your fileserver is not heavily used, the difference will likely be miniscule."
My point exactly.  The sharing shouldn't introduce any performance overhead.  The use of the shares would.
0
 
LVL 80

Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 36867674
Paul, I'm not sure what your point is in dealing with multiple shares where the asker did not provide how the users interact with those shares.

Each connection is reflected as some amount of resources taken from the underlying system.
i.e. 200 shares with 10 users with each user mapping 10 shares results in slower performance on the workstations at boot. On the server there are 100 connection for which the system has to allocate resources. Every so often the shares get polled by each user's system and in turn generate an equivalent number of requests to DC's for authorization. etc.
The thing escalates from there.

http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/414772
There are draw backs when you have a single share with a large number of folders as well.

If you use DFS, there is a trade off in using a single share which is limiting versus using multiple shares with references in a DFS listing.

0
 
LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Paul MacDonald
ID: 36891467
"A work colleague claimed that the more shares you hang off of a...file server...the worse performance it gets.  Is there any truth to this?"
My contention is that no, creating a shared resource will not impact performance.  However, users accessing the shared resource will impact performance.  They are two different things.  

I cannot cite a body of evidence because there doesn't appear to be any.  It would be a simple enough experiment to set up and test though.
0
 
LVL 80

Assisted Solution

by:arnold
arnold earned 1000 total points
ID: 36892267
Are we playing games with semantics versus a plain understanding dealing with impact of use based on the configuration?

The draw back to a single share with many folders has to do with the share caching settings on whether the shared resource can be used offline.
I think the example in the question of 200 shares or one share with 200 folders are the extremes.

conclusion, if 200 shares is what makes sense, that is what should be done and the server spec'ed to accomodate the resource requirements to serve the needs of the users.

0
 
LVL 34

Assisted Solution

by:Paul MacDonald
Paul MacDonald earned 1000 total points
ID: 36892360
Not to deviate from the OP's question, but to expand on [arnold]'s previous post:

I would create 200 shares if I needed to create 200 different levels of permission.  If I could accomplish the job with one share, I would.
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:dantali0n
ID: 36906454
Great responses guys.  Thanks for the advice.
0

Featured Post

Veeam Task Manager for Hyper-V

Task Manager for Hyper-V provides critical information that allows you to monitor Hyper-V performance by displaying real-time views of CPU and memory at the individual VM-level, so you can quickly identify which VMs are using host resources.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Ever visit a website where you spotted a really cool looking Font, yet couldn't figure out which font family it belonged to, or how to get a copy of it for your own use? This article explains the process of doing exactly that, as well as showing how…
In this modest contribution, I want to share with the IT community (especially system administrators, IT Support Engineers and IT Help Desks) about Windows crashes/hangs and how to deal with these particular problems.
Windows 8 came with a dramatically different user interface known as Metro. Notably missing from that interface was a Start button and Start Menu. Microsoft responded to negative user feedback of the Metro interface, bringing back the Start button a…
If you’ve ever visited a web page and noticed a cool font that you really liked the look of, but couldn’t figure out which font it was so that you could use it for your own work, then this video is for you! In this Micro Tutorial, you'll learn yo…

636 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question