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Windows Server 2000/2003 Thread, SBS 2003 R2 (32 Bit) - Slow File Transfers to and from Clients in Technical; We have a Dell PowerEdge 1600SC file server (fitted with a single Xeon 2.8 CPU) at the centre of our ...
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    SBS 2003 R2 (32 Bit) - Slow File Transfers to and from Clients

    We have a Dell PowerEdge 1600SC file server (fitted with a single Xeon 2.8 CPU) at the centre of our small business / home network. The server has an Adaptec SATA RAID card fitted, and has five hard drives running in RAID 5EE configuration. The server also has an LTO 2 tape drive for backup, currently using Retrospect 6.6. Antivirus is the current version of Kaspersky Small Office Security.

    I write a lot of technical reports and technical articles in MS Word, and also take a lot of photographs, which are stored in their camera raw format. I have recently archived a lot of older data, so current data on the server is about 200 GB total.

    I have installed a Gigabit wired Ethernet network throughout the house and office, which consistently reports GB/s connections.

    So far so good.

    Backup speeds on the server using the tape drive are up to around 2.5 GB a minute. Copying a 2GB folder of camera raw files from one partition to another takes about 25 seconds, so clearly there is no problem with data read or write speed. HOWEVER, if I were to copy the same 2 GB folder to one of the clients this would take several minutes. (Windows 7 / 64 reports a maximum of around 22 MB/s, dropping to about 14 MB/s by the end of the transfer). Copying the same files back takes even longer, with Windows 7 reporting a speed of around 5 MB/s.

    As you might expect, reading and writing files form this server is painfully slow, whilst our accounts programme also struggles.

    Meanwhile, copying files from one client to another is much faster, at between 80 and 120 MB/s, so clearly the network is not at fault.

    Does anyone have any ideas where the problem could be? I am tempted to update the server, which I know is getting a bit long in the tooth, but I would rather find out where the problem is first.

    Any help gratefully received!

    NN

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    Oh well, seems there is no answer to this problem. Maybe I should try somewhere else?

    I have spent the afternoon updating drivers, but still no better.

    Would it be practical to update the Dell 1600 SC to Server 2008, which would hopefully overcome our printing problems as well?

    I have been looking at newer machines, but there seem to be practical difficulties, such as running LTO tape drives with SCSI interface when no PCIe cards are available. I am reluctant to throw away a perfectly good tape drive simply because I cannot find a SCSI card for it. Or am I missing something somewhere?

    NN

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    Try running (from the command line) netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled on your Windows 7 PCs.

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    Do you have any XP Clients and do they have the same problem? Have a look at this article. This may be the problem.

    How to Disable SMB 2.0 on Windows Vista/2008

    Chilbs

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    Oh also on your Windows 7 PCs again look in Programs and Features and see if Remote Differential Compression is enabled - if so remove it

    In the long run you should look to upgrade to the same Server version of Windows as the clients that you are using (so Vista goes with 2008 and 7 goes with 2008 R2).

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    Thanks for the replies. We had/have simialr problems with slow file transfer speed on XP, it's just that the speed of Win 7 /64 makes it so much more obvious, and it is easier to see how quickly the data is moving.

    In other words, this is a problem with our file server, not Windows 7.

    Anyhow, I will look at the other possibilities first.

    Thanks again.

    NN

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfed View Post
    Oh also on your Windows 7 PCs again look in Programs and Features and see if Remote Differential Compression is enabled - if so remove it

    In the long run you should look to upgrade to the same Server version of Windows as the clients that you are using (so Vista goes with 2008 and 7 goes with 2008 R2).
    Would it be realistic to install this on the PE 1600 SC?

    NN

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    Quote Originally Posted by Naughty_Nigel View Post
    Would it be realistic to install this on the PE 1600 SC?

    NN
    Its a Windows Vista/7 only feature and as such it dosn't exist on Server 2003 so nope not a thing you can do

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    Another thing to look into is whats your ping speeds like between the PCs/server and is there any packet loss?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfed View Post
    Its a Windows Vista/7 only feature and as such it dosn't exist on Server 2003 so nope not a thing you can do
    Sorry, I didn't make myself clear. Would it be practical to install Server 2008 R2 into our Dell PowerEdge server? It currently has a single 2.8 Ghz Dual Core Xeon CPU, and has a socket for a second CPU. Memory is 2 GB, but I would be happy to increase it to 4 GB if this is worthwhile.

    On of my concerns is that our current server has an Adaptec 8 port SATA Raid card (with an array of 5 disks in 5EE), and an adaptec SCSI 160 card for our tape drives. We couldn't use either in a new, all PCIe machine, and form what I understand, SCSI cards are not available for the new PCIe slots.

    Following Jamesfed's post I have tried pinging the server. There is no packet loss, and reported round journey time is 0 ms.

    NN

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    Server 2008 R2 will run on praticly anything - the HP Micro Server is a great example with a 1.3ghz AMD Athlon dual core (there is a upgraded version out now). If you do only run the bare minmium on your server (AD/DNS/DHCHP/File Server (no SQL)) then you would be fine (the 4GB upgrade wouldn't go a miss though!).

    Do be careful to make sure your existing RAID card and SCSI card are compatible with Server 2008 R2 first though.

  12. Thanks to jamesfed from:

    Naughty_Nigel (13th January 2012)

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    Thanks James. I think the decision is made!

    I will need the software one way or another, so I might as well give it a try before splashing out on new hardware. My research so far is that both the RAID card (Adaptec 2820SA) and SCSI card have native suppport from within 2008 R2.

    NN

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    I have just downloaded a six month trial of Server 2008 R2, which I will install as soon as I get the opportunity.

    I was tempted to try the 2011 download, but I have a horrible feeling that driver support for our hardware could be a problem.

    NN

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    Raid configured correctly

    Check your raid setup is not configured for read priority as this will cause the symptoms you describe. Boot into the raid controller and set it to 50/50 for read and write priority.

    Kili

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    Quote Originally Posted by Naughty_Nigel View Post
    I have just downloaded a six month trial of Server 2008 R2, which I will install as soon as I get the opportunity.

    I was tempted to try the 2011 download, but I have a horrible feeling that driver support for our hardware could be a problem.

    NN
    If by 2011 you are refering to Small Buisness Server 2011 its just Server 2008 R2 but with the same extra features that you had with previous versions of SBS - as such any driver written for 2008 R2 should work fine with it.

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