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So we have a Isilon Storage Cluster, and both Windows and Mac Clients connecting to it. Windows (for obvious reasons) connects and performs extremely well using SMB.

OSX on the other hand, does not. Windows we see about 125MBps (essentially capping our gigabit Ethernet connections) to the storage nodes; however on Mac, we barely see 50MBps. Decent, but its frustrating to know its windows counterparts perform so much faster.

Any tips, changes, anything, to make the OSX clients faster? I've tried googling stuff and its mostly people from 2004-2005; 6 year old posts loose a lot of relevancy between OS updates and network infrastructure changes (Gigabit; namely.)

Other Options we've tried.

OSX mounting NFS -- Unfortunately finder doesn't have a "refresh" functionality, and NFS doesn't tell Finder when a file has been moved or renamed; this cases huge problems for our multi-user environment. (would love to find an answer for this; if someone knows one) NFS performance is great; however the above issue really prevents us from using it successfully.

Isilon doesn't allow AFP mounting. So thats out...

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As a matter of pure curiosity how did you manage to enable simultaneous access of shares by CIFS and NFS clients with properly mapped UIDs/GIDs and permissions? Last time I've had an Isilon box to play this didn't work at all. – pfo Apr 18 '12 at 17:15
Right now doing masking for both NFS and SMB for nobody:nobody. Not the most secure option, but right now it allows both OS's to use the highest performing FS. – GruffTech Apr 20 '12 at 18:45
And you want to use that in production? – pfo Apr 21 '12 at 0:07

CIFS doesn't run much faster on MacOS X no matter which hardware you use at either side of things. 50MB/s is already pretty good. Things have slightly improved with Lion since it has an implementation of CIFS 2.0. The improvement is mainly browsing large directory trees over WANs and not so much with regard to throughput increase. Use NFS if you need performance. will update the view every now and then, but I never found out the logic behind that.

You can use a simple AppleScript to force it to update the view on the current folders which should look like this:

tell application "Finder"
  tell front window
     update every item with necessity
  end tell
end tell

Also using Dave (a commercial CIFS implementation for Mac OS X) doesn't give any decent speed upgrade for sequential file access over the native implementation. Didn't do benchmarking of Dave for Lion as of now.

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This was a nice idea; but upon testing the apple script, it didn't seem to work. :| didn't refresh the data. – GruffTech Apr 20 '12 at 18:35

Review Isilon's document "Using Mac OS X Clients with Isilon OneFS 6.5". It is available on their partner portal. It requires a login but you should have one as an Isilon customer. Direct link is here:

I apologize for only posting a link, but I do not know whether Isilon would frown on me pasting the content into this window.

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Hey i ran into this issue in our environment and turns out the solution was to tweak the tcpACK settings on the mac here is the solution i used and it explains why this happens.

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