[rescue] Solaris 9 NFS client with Linux server

Joshua D. Boyd jdboyd at jdboyd.net
Thu Aug 9 15:35:06 CDT 2007

On Thu, 2007-08-09 at 14:03 -0500, Jonathan C. Patschke wrote:

> I saw excellent performance gains switching from a Fast Ethernet switch
> to a Gigabit Ethernet switch when communication among my Powerbook, a
> desktop Dell (SX270), a Power Macintosh G4 (Quicksilver), and a Dell
> Precision.
> No, I don't have numbers.
> However, I can throw around ISO-9660 disk images without noticing, and
> my full-screen (1920x1200x32bpp) RDC sessions onto the two Dells are
> much more responsive than they were before.
> I didn't do any magic besides making sure that I have decent cables.
> The cables I was originally given were only two-pair cables (not
> TIA-568, just TX+/TX-/RX+/RX-), which is useless for 1000baseT, which
> uses all four pairs (and is how you get gigabit performance over 250MHz
> cable).

I will have to review my cabling, but I'm fairly sure it should all be

Machines tried have included:
a 2xP3-550 with a broadcom card and a netgear card (one then the other)
a 2xP3-1.3ghz with a broadcom card.
a E250 with a SysKonnect card.  This machine is definitely a weak point
Sawtooth 500mhz with a Netgear card
Two DA macs, one a dual 533 (the other single 466) with onboard
a MacBook.

Of the above, I no longer have the Sawtooth or the P3-550 (actually, I
have that one, but it died and has been stripped for parts).

The obvious problem is that the E250 isn't all that fast[0].  It has two
arrays, one which is good for about 15MB/s, and the other 20MB/s.  Those
are writes speeds.  I think the read speeds are closer to 20MB/s and
30MB/s respectively. Either of the linux machines managed to saturate
the E250s disk bandwidth.  The e250 runs Solaris 9, BTW.  It is 2x300
and 1.75 gigs of RAM.

I haven't thoroughly tested the performance with the MacBook, but it
seems reasonable snappy when connected to GigE.

The real stinker is performance with the three Mac desktops.  None of
them manage to get decent performance.  Two of them had years of built
up cruft from starting with OS 9 then being upgraded to OS X public
betas before being upgraded to 10.3 then 10.4.  The third one (which
would be a dual 533 with SATA boot drive) has a clean 10.4 install.  

I've noticed two things.  I'm using NFS and SCP.  I've noticed a few
things.  First, doing a cp (over NFS) or scp from the CLI is a lot
faster than copying a file via Finder.  Second, doing CLI copies is
still very slow.  

In the past, I've been recommended to look into DNS issues.  I believe
after extensive work with Dave M. that I have those very soundly solved.
It was also recommended that I look into block size and what NFS
version, and whether I'm using TCP or UDP.  I don't recall the answers
to those questions anymore, but dealing with those settings certainly
seems more complicated than they were on Linux or NetBSD.
FWIW, I establish the NFS connection by typing Command-K in finder, then
entering nfs://e250/mirrorWhatever.  Perhaps I should be mounting at
boot time instead.  I haven't retried mounting from the cli instead of
Finder since doing the clean install on the DA.

Since most of my network usage is between the E250 and the dual 533,
this is a bit of a problem.  The p3 not only isn't used a lot, but it
spends most of it's time turned off for heat reasons (when I'm dripping
sweat in the living room I figure every bit helps).

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