Slow Network needs Smarter Switch?
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Thread: Slow Network needs Smarter Switch?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Blunted One's Avatar
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    Slow Network needs Smarter Switch?

    Hope everyone had a good weekend and enjoyed the holiday as well.

    Now down to business...

    The network I am in charge of has been growing a lot over the past year. We have 55 employees...where just a year ago it was around 30. We have over 200 nodes that are all connected into unmanaged/webmanaged switches which are all 100Mb or 1Gb. We have 75+ computers, 60+ Xbox 360s, 25+ PS3s, and 60+ VOIP Phones.

    Recently as we have been getting our newest game title ready we have increased the amount of traffic and amount of data going over our network considerably. In doing this the performance over the past month has been dropping off and now I am trying to figure out the best course of action so as we grow further this won't happen in the future.

    I wanted to get a good poll going of ideas to see what would really help out in making our network performance shine. Would Layer 3 switches help out? Or would a better topology be the better/cheaper answer? What other things can really cause bottlenecks on a network? Are there good tools that will help me discover what areas really need improvement?

    As always thanks in advance for taking the time to respond to me and my dilemma, if you need more information just ask and I will do my best to provide it.
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  2. #2
    AO bergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    Is all data/voice on one flat network?
    No VLANs? One subnet/broadcast domain?
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  3. #3
    I'd rather be fishing DjM's Avatar
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    Have you looked into packetshapers to give priority to the important data, and less bandwith to the not-so-important data?

    Cheers:
    DjM

  4. #4
    Member aciscorouter's Avatar
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    What is the current sustained backplane bandwidth on your existing layer2 device? One advantage of the layer3 switch approach is the ability to VLAN and route traffic on the same backplane while utilizing Quality of Service (QoS) mechanisms such as Cisco's CAR, NBAR or Traffic Shaping.
    aCISCOrouter

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  5. #5
    Senior Member Blunted One's Avatar
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    Yes everything is on the same flat network. Servers occupy XXX.XXX.2.X, while printers, phones, computers, consoles (except the PS3s) occupy XXX.XXX.5.XXX, PS3s are XXX.XXX.4.XXX. The phones are on seperate switches, but they still are connected to a main switch where the internet comes in.

    This in my opinion is a network that just grew too fast and wasn't planned out as well as it should. My job now is to find out why our app server is so slow and I have a feeling it is the network and the amount of data being pushed over and over through the dumb switches.

    No VLANs are in place and very little segregation is in palce. The uplink from each switch is 1 Gb and I am not sure if we are really exceeding bandwidth as much as pushing so many requests from all these nodes simulataneously.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Aardpsymon's Avatar
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    Check the big four on your server, CPU, Memory, Network, Hard disk. Could simply be that your server needs a second network card and another gigabit link into the network.

    Could be the problem we have - the network is fine but the server hard drive isn't fast enough to keep up. 320Mbps hard drive, Gigabit ethernet.

    We have over 200 nodes too, probably close to 300 now. Network is the least of our problems, however I suspect ours gets entirely different usage patterns to yours.
    If the world doesn't stop annoying me I will name my kids ";DROP DATABASE;" and get revenge.

  7. #7
    AOs Resident Troll
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    Yes ...server hardware is also something to look at...

    MLF
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Blunted One's Avatar
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    The strange thing is the computer seems to be running fine. I am going to run a full hardware diag. plus do a full system update/bios update. I will let everyone know the results.

    I also took a look at the application running on the server (Perforce), but according to the technician everything checked out, except that people were making very large requests over the network, but that is to be expected since we are making a game. Only over the last month has speed become an issue.

    The HD setup is in raid 5 with 10K rpm 150GB SCSI drives so not sure if that is a bottleneck. Also when I tried to increase the ram (which I thought would help) I found out that Windows 2003 server doesn't support more than 4GB unless you change some sort of registry entry so it can take the more ram. Would this still be something I should do to increase server performance.

    Thanks for the suggestions guys...keep them coming.
    It's not a war on drugs it's a war against personal freedoms!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Aardpsymon's Avatar
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    well, even a raid of scsi drives has a max throughput of 320 Mpbs because of the SCSI controller card's limits.
    If the world doesn't stop annoying me I will name my kids ";DROP DATABASE;" and get revenge.

  10. #10
    AOs Resident Troll
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    Window 2003>Performance Monitor

    when you say slowness...performance dropping off.....exactly what is slow...running an application...browsing the network\internet...printing????

    http://www.windowsnetworking.com/art...e_Monitor.html

    What else is running on the server?

    MLF
    How people treat you is their karma- how you react is yours-Wayne Dyer

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