Thaed’s Home Network Upgrade Adventure.

December 30, 2007

 

Having a RAID 5 file server on a gigabit network for all the computers in my house has been a dream of mine for a long time. In this video, I show you what I’m switching too and some of the issues that I ran into as I completed the upgrade.

The video is sadly dark and practically unwatchable. This does not prevent me from putting it on YouTube. The fact of the matter is that if you want to shoot good video (you know, with lighting) then you have to plan and prepare for that. It means work. It also helps to write what you’re going to say instead of pointing a camera and just talking. I did not put any work into this and, well, it shows. Nonetheless, I suspect that computer geeks like me might enjoy it for what it is.

Finally, I learned something from this that’s not in the video. Plugging in gigabit switches and routers doesn’t give you gigabit transfer speeds out of the box. Windows, Linux and FreeNAS require substantial tweaking before you notice any improvements. This tweaking is not trivial and I’m still working on it.

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4 Responses to “Thaed’s Home Network Upgrade Adventure.”

  1. Marlon Says:

    After completing the R5 server network, how much time does it shave off the 7 min. file transfer?

  2. thaed Says:

    Ah, I knew someone was going to ask that question! Sadly, I have not achieved gigabit speeds yet. I’ve made some adjustments on the server side, but I need to do a regedit to my flagship machine (and any other machine I want to boost throughput on). I haven’t gotten around to that yet. I’ll blog about it when I do. I’m only getting 70 Mbps right now. The other thing is that the software RAID 5 takes a big chunk out of the 1 GHz PIII that’s in the server. But I know I can get over 100 Mbps speeds if I’m willing to do enough tweaking.

  3. FA Says:

    I haven’t watched the video, but was looking around for others’ experiences achieving greater-than 100 Mbps network throughput with some sort of NAS, especially FreeNAS. I just upgraded to Linksys SD2008 switch and Intel Pro/1000 NIC only to discover the Western Digital NAS (& apparently others like it) will never even come close to 100 Mbps, much less 1000 Mbps. I returned it, installed FreeNAS on my Athlon 1 Ghz with old drives and immediately got 100-110 Mbps on a 100 Mbps network. So…

    1) I’m surprised to hear about all this tweaking only to get 70 Mbps

    2) I’m still wondering if I can achieve at least 200-300 Mbps actual throughput if I complete my upgrade to gigabit NICs.

    Any comments or ideas?

  4. thaed Says:

    You can, but you need to work both sides of the street. You have to maximize the server OS and then maximize the computer sending data to and receiving data from the server. There are a bunch of resources on this. Here’s one:

    http://www.psc.edu/networking/projects/tcptune/#FreeBSD

    Poke around the FreeNAS forum for more.


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