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Very slow file-access - Opinions?

I have configured a VPN using Cisco 857 routers. There are three sites with two of them being ?spoke? sites and one being the ?hub?. The Hub site also accepts VPN client dial-in.

It all seems to work fine, however I have a question regarding performance more around the available bandwidth than anything. The Hub site is an ADSL router and the upstream connection (which is effectively the other sites downstream connection) is rated at minimum of128kb/s (but I get around 170kb/s of actual file transfer so it?s a fair bit more than that).

The problem is opening files on a Microsoft server across the link is painfully slow. I did a packet capture and to open a 35KB file the traffic back and forward across the MS ?direct hosting? or AD port 445 ends up being around 215KB for the transaction. Talk about overhead!

All other stuff seems to be acceptable across the VPN links e.g. domain authentication, email etc, but then that is either relatively small or not real-time unlike opening your MS Word document. Realistically I guess the available bandwidth is insufficient for this purpose being at best about 60 times slower than a 10MB Ethernet.

What is everybody elses thoughts/experience with this? We can upgrade the plan to a maximum of 512kb/s uplink but I guess the best solution would be a MS terminal server or Citrix server?


Super Bronze

Re: Very slow file-access - Opinions?


Yep - you've hit the nail on the head there... MS file sharing is pretty inefficient in bandwidth terms.

Citrix (or just TS if the budget isn't there) is the perfect solution for low bandwidth connections... I have customers I support both networks and Citrix setups for and I'm a big advocate...

It's also worth checking your DSL level stats for errors and that the noise margin etc is within good spec as this makes a big difference in some cases (show dsl int atm0 normally does it).



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Aaron Please remember to rate helpful posts to identify useful responses, and mark 'Answered' if appropriate!
Community Member

Re: Very slow file-access - Opinions?

I would strongly suggest that you look at the possibilities offered by WAN Acceleration. There are many products available which reduce the Microsoft chattiness and optimise Bandwidth utilisation

Community Member

Re: Very slow file-access - Opinions?

Thanks, I might look at this technology next time. In the end we put a MS terminal server in for users at the satellite sites to connect to and they are very happy with that performance as its just screen, mouse and keyboard traffic going across the WAN.

BTW if anybodys interested, if you are running SBS2003 you can put in a Windows 2000 server as a terminal server, and you only have to pay for a Windows 2000 server license; user CALS and TS CALS are legally provided by the SBS2003 server (if you use a Windows 2003 server as the TS you have to pay for TS CALS which are really expensive). We did this to keep costs down for our TS solution.

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