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Why is my internal network so snail slow?

Discussion in 'Networks' started by DeeringBanjos Ethan, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. DeeringBanjos Ethan

    DeeringBanjos Ethan New Member

    Hi Everyone,

    First post here--and thanks for any responses in advance.

    I became the sole network admin and IT guy for my company and I inherited this network which is in terrible shape. I won't go through all the issues it had--like no backups, barely operable server, etc etc, but I've been repairing things.

    The problem: our internal network moves at 1.4 megabytes per second. If I copy a 140 meg file to the server from my new PC (gigabit, brand new) to the 100mb nic on the server, it transfers at about 1.4 megs/sec. Needless to say, when doing 50gig backups or syncing computers, or sending email--this causes huge issues. Our graphics guy crashed the server trying to transfer 2 gigs to his sync'd folder.

    So! I went out to remedy the problem. Here is our environment : 50 users, one serer doing everything, cat5e backbone. T1 coming into a hub, the hub is routing everything.

    So I removed the hub and installed a 16port gigabit Netgear smart switch. It works fine, and I actually removed 2 hubs from the network--everything runs as normal--yet, still, NO increase in speed! I was expecting after removing the old hub to be operating at as close to 100 megabit as possible (12.5 megabytes/sec)--yet that didn't happen at ALL!

    So I've been researching and looking as to why this might be the case.

    I actually also installed 2 more network cards--2 more gigabit cards on our (p4 2ghz 2g ram) server --because we've got a gigabit backbone, gigabit switch, and now 2 gigabit nics in the server---I can't get the nic's to install (different issue)--but still for the life of me, I can't figure out why we're running at 12megabits or so when it should be 100megabit, or close to it.

    If any of you has any ideas, I would greatly appreciate it.

    We're running SBS03, and the cards are running on "auto" mode (as far as duplexing is concerned).


  2. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster


    Have you tried setting the mode manually? (Speed 1000M, Duplex Full)
    Certifications: MCDST|FtOCC
    WIP: MCSA(70-270|70-290|70-291)
  3. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    2GB of RAM for a SBS with 50 users is well under spec.

    The problem here I would guess is the hard drives in the server. What type are they and are you using a decent RAID controller?

    Again as you are changing the NICs you need to make sure you are using the correct driver, if not the performance will suffer.
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
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  4. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    You have 100mbps NIC in your server that's chatting to 50 clients. truth is each client gets a portion of that 100mbps bandwidth, so if they were all transferring data at the same time, you can divide 100mbps by the 50 users. That's 2mbps each.

    Over simplified i know but maybe that helps clarify what might be confusing you :rolleyes:
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  5. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    Yup, I agree.

    Also you said that the network has had some problems. There may be some dodgy cabling that could be slowing things down.

    Finally with 2GB of RAM I suspect your server is paging constantly so the HD activity will be through the roof. This again will slow down files as they are transferred and written to the HD.
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
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  6. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

    Bluerinse is spot on you know!

    Have you tested the network performance when no-one is about? Have you been in early or late to test it's performance?

    Test your switches, servers and PCs using netcps, it can be found at http://www.netchain.com/NetCPS/

    This little utility should help you test transfer speeds between computers etc.

    Also, were those old switches 10mbit? It may be the case that the previous IT guy manually set everyone's NIC to negotiate at 10mbit full duplex - sorry if you mentioned auto but I didn't know whether you meant the SBS server.

    Have you confirmed cat5e from the patch panels to the wall ports? Patch cables may be cat5e but what about what's in the walls or the ceiling?

    I'd advise getting hold of a network sniffer just to make sure that there isn't any huge netbios broadcasts going on. Either way, you need to get to know your network...and fast!

    Good luck!
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  7. SuPaStA

    SuPaStA Nibble Poster

    ThomasMc has the correct question.

    What speed have the nics on the pc and server negotiated at?
    Certifications: CCNA,MCSE,ITIL,Server+,Security+,N+...
  8. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

    Another thing to look at would be the kind and ammount of network traffic. It doesn't have to be all going to the server to slow down the network. File sharing programs like to take up a lot of bandwidth too.

    Do you have anti virus on all the pcs? If the network is really a mess you might have multiple infected pcs. Are there any old printers and or shares that have been deleted/removed? Users having shortcuts and links to these will also slow down their network access.

    The first thing I'd do is to sort out the server side of things. Get an external usb hdd and backup the data directly to it for the short term so that you actually have backups. Then check that there are no viruses, defragment the hard drives, install the right nic drivers and of course updates.

    Then go around and do the same for all the client pcs.
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  9. Daniel

    Daniel Byte Poster

    Use SUS for the Microsoft Updates for client PCs.

    EDIT: Im not sure (because I havent done Win 2k3 exam yet) but, I think you might be able to push out jobs to the client PCs so you can Scheduled Tasks for the Defrag and Error Checking (always good to use ChkDsk).

    Saving you time and making the whole process run more effectively.
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  10. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

    Upgrade it to WSUS and you'll be much happier.:biggrin
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP (270,271,272,290,620) | MCDST | MCTS:Vista
    WIP: MCSA, 70-622,680,685
  11. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

    Cant add too much to this thread as everyone seems to have given you the info to come up with a good plan of action.

    For me it seems like you really to find out exactly whats on the systems, whats causing the traffic, and start getting some tightening up, this includes doing things such as others have said restricting traffic, ensuring no unnecessay traffic is running (ie bittorrent, virii, games etc (use port filtering), ensuring all machines are running at full duplex & 100MBs / 1GB, disabling unnecessary services, making sure everythings patched, setting GPs, you even could start using VLANs if you feel the need to segregate the network to reduce broadcast traffic and improve security.

    Another thing I would push for is get a second server installed, and then set it up to replicate Active directory, DNS etc and to handle 20% of your DHCP (80/20 split) for both redundancy and performance reasons.

    looks like you have your work cut out, but you should get some nice overtime in :biggrin
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
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