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Gigabit switch as default gateway make a difference in speed?

Posted on 2014-09-12
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Last Modified: 2014-09-23
hi guys,

I have an environment here which has a lot of old 100mbps switches. However, I have purchased a new Cisco layer 2 Gigabit switch that is also linked to the 100mbps switches.

I've connected a PC over to the new switch, along with our new file server to this new switch. We also have a Watchguard firewall, connected to this new switch and it is the default gateway set on all of the PC's and servers.

When I transfer a file across of around 1.4gb from the PC to the new file server, it takes around 7-8mins on average.

My question is, would it make a difference in speeds if the default gateway was instead the switch rather than the firewall? Do files get transferred by hitting the gateway and then to their destination even though it's internal?

Thanks
Yash
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Question by:Yashy
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LVL 20

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strivoli earned 1200 total points
ID: 40318814
The gateway is only "involved" when you try to access IPs outside your LAN. So... the answers to your questions are:
1. No, no difference. On the contrary, you might not even get outside your LAN (such as the Internet),
2. No, they do not hit the gateway.

If you don't reach full speed (1Gb) when copying this is because there is another bottleneck: HDD speed?
In order to reach full speed, mostly the CLIENT and the SERVER must have very fast HDDs or RAID systems.
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by:rindi
rindi earned 200 total points
ID: 40318838
As above, the gateway connects you to the internet, and the internet is usually much slower than gigabit.

If you want to have full speed within your LAN, all the PC's connected directly to the gigabit switch should also have a gigabit NIC. If they only have 100MB NIC's, then that will be the speed you'll get.
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by:unfragmented
unfragmented earned 200 total points
ID: 40318958
My question is, would it make a difference in speeds if the default gateway was instead the switch rather than the firewall? Do files get transferred by hitting the gateway and then to their destination even though it's internal?

You can't do this.  Or more so it doesn't make sense to.  It won't change the speed ( and to answer your second part of the question, traffic on the same vlan/subnet does not "bounce" off the gateway; it goes direct).  It will however break your connectivity to whatever is on the other side of the watchguard.

Your layer 2 switch forwards packets based on layer 2 info, it has no concept of what it should do as a IP (OSI layer 3) gateway, and will bin pretty much all traffic.
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by:robocat
robocat earned 200 total points
ID: 40319000
>When I transfer a file across of around 1.4gb from the PC to the new file server, it takes around 7-8mins on average.

Transferring 1400MB in 8 minutes works out to about 3MB/s. And that's really slow by any standards.

The firewall has nothing to do with this, but somewhere you do have a serious problem.

Check the link speed on the server and pc, check for duplex mismatches between switch and server/pc, etc ...
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by:Otto_N
Otto_N earned 200 total points
ID: 40323325
@robocat

Remember the difference between Megabytes and Megabits (8 bits/byte) - 1.4GB/8mins = (1.4GB * 1'024 MB/GB  * 8 bits/Byte)/(8mins * 60sec/min) = 11'468.8 Mbits/480 seconds =  23.9Mbps of data throughput.  Also remember that this does not take into account any overheads imposed by the transfer method and TCP/IP headers, or any delays caused by processing or flow-control on either end.

While I don't know if a data transfer rate of about 24Mbps is typical of a Gigabit network or not (perhaps some experts can advise?), I know that this is rarely only influenced by the network capacity - Changing the application used for the copy can have quite a big impact as well.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Yashy
ID: 40338676
Guys , all of you made a great contribution to my knowledge there so points for all.

Basically, it ended up being a 100megabit switch in the middle somewhere which seemed to throttle some of the speeds there. All is now working perfectly:)

Thank you
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