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Impact of HT on older Xeon platform

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Leegit

Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2013
Location
Kansas
My dad has a server with a Xeon E3-1220 processor. There are about a dozen or so computers that connect to it and pull customer files off it. There are always complaints that its slow. My guess is that there are times when it can be slow to get those files because the computers are used concurrently (every half hour or hour, coinciding with customer arrivals). He really does not want to buy a new server. He has only another year or so before he retires.

So I'm trying to find a cheap option that will help a bit in the near-term... last time he spent 5k for practically nothing...:rain:. The E3-1220 has no hyper-threading. I found a couple refurbished E3-1230s for sale for around 200$. Both processors are 80W, they just differ in base clock and the 1230 has hyper-threading. I'm wondering if replacing the E3-1220 for a E3-1230 would help?

I was going to recommend getting the E3-1230 and seeing if that helps service all the requests from the computers better. What do you all think? Are there gains to be had?
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
How do you know the CPU is the bottleneck?
+1

What kind of files are they? How big? Is it their internet?

I would not 'guess' when its slower, find out exactly when its slower and see what is going on. But if you randomly have PCs pulling files off this server and not a host for an application those 12 PCs are running, I have a hard time believing that CPU is the bottleneck in this situation.
 

Evilsizer

Senior Forum Spammer
Joined
Jun 6, 2002
whats the internet speed(upload is possibly the issue.) and what kind of hard drive setup does it have? handing out files over a network doesnt take much cpu power at all. more subsystem ie hdd/network conection.
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Check system load during work. I sold many smaller servers based on 1220/1230 and most could handle 10-20 users without issues working on SQL database + some additional services. In couple of cases we had to improve storage speed as it was too slow on 2xHDD. In general I'm trying to offer RAID10 setups which are working just right and recently we are moving to SSD because of lower prices.
 
OP
Leegit

Leegit

Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2013
Location
Kansas
Lots of "IT/network people" have looked the setup over and no one can seem to pinpoint the problem of why its slow.

The PCs are all using the same application and load files from within it which are stored on the server. I don't know if the CPU is the bottleneck... tbh I don't know much about networking but I think its got to be the server config, server hardware, or the network. The server only sees a single harddrive connected through SATA (not sure which gen)... I need to verify whether or not its in RAID or not. I was also thinking this could be the source of the problem...? The files being loaded are patient files and x-ray images. I did some investigation yesterday and it seems the system load during work is okay and the network isn't really being slowed either (using 1Gbps network switch). I did find that the network drivers for the individual computers are out of date..?

I only have an hour or so per day to look at the system since I work at another place from 6-4 on weekdays. I'll check more things when I know what to look for. Right now, I'm just focusing on backing up the data on the server.

Thanks for the responses :thup:
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Easy to see if the CPU is the bottleneck... see if the usage is maxed out or not.
 
OP
Leegit

Leegit

Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2013
Location
Kansas
I looked at the Resource Monitor for awhile on the server and the CPU isn't being fully loaded. So it's not that. Network looked okay too...

I wanted to look at the hardware configuration so I downloaded the Technicians Installation Guide for the software. Here are the highlights:

Configuring the Hardware Environment
Share the SoftDent folder with full permissions and security for everyone using the software.
Disable Simple File Sharing or Sharing Wizard
Use the same letter to map drives for all workstations on which the SoftDent software is installed.
Configure your hardware and software firewall to open ports 13000 to 13025 internally. In the Client/Server version of the software, also open port 5597.
Assign all computers running the SoftDent software to the same domain or workgroup.
The SoftDent server should be assigned a static IP.
Point the server and all computers' primary DNS point to the server.
Do not map any computer to administrative shares.
Exclude the local and network directories of SoftDent from virus automatic protection. Auto-protect should also be disabled for all network drives.
Most anti-virus programs can disconnect network drives when scanning for new virus definitions and when running its quick-scan process.
Make sure the server has adequate page file sizes.
Decide to use DNS or a host file. The host file will need to be replicated on all workstations. Don't manually set DNS on workstations to an external IP.
Do not set the NICS with power management.
Disable Sleep Mode for all operating systems.
If it is necessary to use RAID, use a RAID 1 or RAID 5 configuration.
If using the SoftDent software within a domain environment make sure that reverse DNS is set up and running properly.
Networks may notice increases in overall network speed if Opportunistic Locking is disabled.
Networks may notice increases in overall network speed if Auto-Tuning, Remote Differential Compression, IPv6, and Offline Files are disabled. It is recommended to flush the DNS and restart the computer after disabling these features.
Ensure that the Link & Dual Speed is set to auto-negotiate.
Ensure that the proper adapter settings and binding order are selected for the network adapter.
Disable any wireless connections.
Ensure that the network interface card's drivers are up to date.
Notable performance increases have been displayed when maximum amount of RAM has been installed in servers that server files to ten or more workstations.


Does anyone have an idea of where to start looking? I specifically would need help/explanation how to do stuff with the DNS and other network changes. I should mention that currently, they never shut down the server. In the past they have shut it off and had problems getting everything working again when they turn it back on. So they just leave it on 24/7...
 

Evilsizer

Senior Forum Spammer
Joined
Jun 6, 2002
how large are the files they are pulling up? could be anything from the current harddrive to network so its hard to say with out more info. could use device manager to get nic info as well as the HDD info too. back to old questions that didnt get answered so its all guess work...
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
You said 1 Gbps network switch...that's not enough info:

- Are the files being pulled over an internal network or over the Internet?


- is the network interface in the PC a 1 Gbps or 100 Mbps?

If files are going through the Internet, check the upload speed. If he has a standard cable modem, he probably getting 5 Mbps to 10 Mbps, and this is the bottleneck.

If the files are going over an internal network, check the network speed on the PC. If it's only 100 Mbps, this is he bottleneck...a 1 Gbps network card is cheap now-a-days.

I run a Xeon 1230 server...runs folding at home, 2 server software titles, and typically connects to 4 connections serving up 20 Mbps video files...the processor barely breaks 20% utilization (folding at home is 13% alone)
 

Mpegger

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
Patient x-rays files. I've heard of these easily being GB's in size, and the OP stating that it's a possible single, unknown hard drive configuration, would lead me to believe the server is just taking too long to read the data off the drive.
 

Evilsizer

Senior Forum Spammer
Joined
Jun 6, 2002
ok so if the x rays are in the GB and on a 1gbits network that is still going to take a while even if its an HDD with a sustained read higher then 37mb/s. two things, install either a dual/quad 1gbit nic or install a single 10gbit nic to a switch to support it. then go to a raid 10 config using 2tb/4tb hdd's, i think a setup like this will help alot unless it is just an issue of Internet speed and not intranet speed.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
ok so if the x rays are in the GB and on a 1gbits network that is still going to take a while even if its an HDD with a sustained read higher then 37mb/s. two things, install either a dual/quad 1gbit nic or install a single 10gbit nic to a switch to support it. then go to a raid 10 config using 2tb/4tb hdd's, i think a setup like this will help alot unless it is just an issue of Internet speed and not intranet speed.

37MBps would be the bottleneck, not 1Gbps.
For the network to be the bottleneck you would need to sustain 125MBps from your storage.
 
OP
Leegit

Leegit

Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2013
Location
Kansas
I got the bill of labor showing what the last guy did... he put in RAID 10 with 1TB drives and refurb'd the server. (I saw a 2TB drive when looking at My Computer, so that makes sense) Looking at the network, I was never seeing it go as high as 10 MBps except once or twice but I only watched it for maybe 30 mins. Not sure where it caps out. I'm pretty sure it all an internal network, all the workstations are hard-wired to the switch which connects to the server.

Since RAID isn't a backup solution ;) I set them up with a daily backup that copies to two different 2TB drives alternating every other day.
 
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Evilsizer

Senior Forum Spammer
Joined
Jun 6, 2002
37MBps would be the bottleneck, not 1Gbps.
For the network to be the bottleneck you would need to sustain 125MBps from your storage.

yea i dunno why for some reason i thought 1gbps = 37MB/s, not 125MB/s. then sounds more like the raid setup is the bottle neck, if its 1tb in raid 10, then it would be 500gb drives then. if he used 1tb drives then shouldnt the raid 10 array be showing as 2tb. since once set of drives is raid 0 then the other set as raid 1 to mirror the the raid 0 array.

raid is a backup solution but its always good to have more then one backup. since any one of them could fail or in one case many years ago they got headlines about a backup company. the backup they used to backup their stuff both at the same time bit the dust. they were some how able to recover a small portion of the data, i think it was about 50% of the data they were able to get back.

when they go to upgrade or have money for making it faster for pulling xrays. imo it should be in enterprise grade ssd's in a raid 10 setup, since prices are dropping on ssd's pretty fast. it wasnt long ago we were looking at 1k for 1tb ssd's on the consumer side not enterprise.
 

Evilsizer

Senior Forum Spammer
Joined
Jun 6, 2002
Im having some off few days, ill hush.

*edit*
i was reading it as it was showing up as 1tb for space not 2tb. i dont know how i did that..
 
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