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UnixReview.com: Evaluating the AccessNFS Suite

Jul 22, 2001, 21:00 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jon Holman)

This is a review of AccessNFS, a product that allows Microsoft clients and servers to utilize NFS. Samba fans will be asking the obvious ("What's wrong with Samba for this sort of thing?") and the article attempts to answer that question, offering a modest amount of performance data in response:

"NFS Version 3 is standard with the 2.4 kernel I tested and is standard for Shaffer's product package, as well. There have been improvements, but no significant changes to the way the protocol works or its overall model. The main change has been in performance with the upgrade to a 64 K buffer versus the old 8 K with NFSv2. The performance gain translated to a 15% increase in all but one category -- the Gateway.

After I installed and configured the software to meet my needs, the fun began. Grabbing a small file (60 K) presented a small amount of negative performance compared to Samba. The comparative advantage with AccessNFS was seen with large file downloads, where Shaffer's product ran neck and neck with Samba. Throughput for small files was around 7 Mbps; throughput for large files ran near 10 Mbps. CPU usage stood at a solid 30% for both large and small files. Granted, the machines running the software are not "servers" by any means. I ran the tests on identical 866 Mhz Dell Pentium IIIs with 128 MB of memory. None of the machines were modified for performance in any way. The big stopper came with the AccessNFS Gateway. Throughput slowed down immensely, and CPU usage was up and down."

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