WAAS - Slow file and folder browsing

Unanswered Question
Mar 5th, 2009

We have a problem where when our wan circuit fills to almost 100%, file/folder browsing becomes very slow. Maybe 15-25s to open a folder. So a user could wait 60-100s if they have to drill down 4 folders. Users are complaining a lot when this happens. It's becoming such a problem that upper management is questioning our investment in cisco waas.

Anyone else notice this behavior? Is this normal?

It doesn't seem like I should/could solve this with qos (we already have qos for VoIP and SAP). It also is not practical to upgrade all our circuits. The circuit would probably still fill to 100% at times even if we doubled our bandwidth everywhere.

system info:

version is 4.1.1c

datacenter at corp office. 60 branches across US.

2 core wae 7341 devices in the corp datacenter

core wae's connected to 2 7606 wan routers at corp datacenter

nm 502 in 2811s in most branches

wave 574 in a couple bigger branches

wae 7341 in biggest branch (has a 4.5M circuit)

wan is sprint mpls

branch circuit bandwidth is 768K to 1.5M

I have this problem too.
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kelrud Thu, 03/05/2009 - 14:08

I forgot to add, we are using legacy WAFS still.

dstolt Fri, 03/06/2009 - 07:30


You do have the ability to bump up the DSCP values for the high priority messages (locking/authentication/etc.) but I don't think that will assist in browsing. If your pipe is filling to 100%, it's just taking time for the directories metadata to traverse the pipe.

Are you getting good optimization on the traffic in the WAN?


kelrud Fri, 03/06/2009 - 08:23


So you're talking about the setting under Dashboard - Manage Device Groups - "wafs core cluster" name - core server settings?

I think we're getting decent optimization. Under "Top 10 Application by % Reduction - Last Day", WAFS is 65%, Email is 50%, Web is 32%. Web, email, wafs are our top 3 bandwidth hogs, in that order. I wish web was higher. I'm guessing it's not because SSL traffic isn't reduced much.

I'm surprised that more people haven't complained about this. Does everyone just have larger circuit bandwidths?

dstolt Fri, 03/06/2009 - 09:20


Does the WAFS Edge serve the files quickly, just browsing remote servers is slow? I have many clients running Core/Edge WAFS over sub T1 speeds and things are running pretty well. I think that even with WAAS, the fact you are still hitting 100% WAN saturation shows you have a ton of congestion still happening.

There is something else you can try if you are want to. You can go into the CIFS classifier (I usually do all my application policies in the AllDeviceGroup) and change the DSCP Marking there for ALL of CIFS traffic that is being optimized by WAAS if your network will accept the markings from WAAS. This is a newer feature in 4.1.1 and would allow you to see if that will help with your situation.


kelrud Fri, 03/06/2009 - 13:50


The files can be served quickly, as long as the circuit is not full.

One reason our wan circuit might fill is because of a "cold" CIFS file pull. We can't preposition everything since we only have 30-40G of usable cifs cache on our NMs.

Other than that, http downloads or email attachments happen often enough and will fill a 768K circuit.

Our network won't accept the markings unless we change our QoS configs. I'm not sure we could do that without choking out some other app. VoIP and SAP are our top 2 queues. If we put WAAS/CIFS after that, we could choke out our internet traffic.

Thanks for your reponses.



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