I have a Cisco 2960 switch. As a test, I connected two Windows XP machines on the Gigabit ports - no other machines are connected to the switch. And both the Windows XP machine and the switch confirmed that the connection is Gigabit. I shared a folder on one machine and transferred files (around 3 GB) over to it from the other machine. The maximum transfer rate I got was only around 190 Kbps? Is this normal? I did not expect to get full Gigabit transfer but I also did not expect it to be like this? What do you think of this? Anybody have a similar experience? Thanks.
When we were testing out WAAS we also noticed that doing a copy in windows is a lot slower than an FTP or even going to DOS and copy the file. This might show you end user experience but don't count on it as how your network is actually performing.
Use iperf to test the throughput. It excludes IO.
"When I tested on the Gigabit ports - I wasn't really expecting the full Gigabit bandwidth - but I think 190 Mbps is much too slow."
Not necessarily. At Gig network speeds, doing an actual file copy, sustained disk read/write speeds can come into play. So can NIC hardware performance, NIC driver performance, PC bus performance, OS overhead, disk fragmentation, file copy protocol, etc. There's also the bandwidth loss to network overhead, L2/L3/L4 headers, and L2 timing requirements (especially for gig Ethernet).
If you try a traffic generator application, I would expect you to see a boost in throughput.