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I'm at a bit of a loss for trying to figure out how to improve our file sharing with remote users.

The setup is as follows:

  • Cogent Fiber 100 Mb/s Up and Down
  • Sonicwall running SonicOS 5.8.1
  • Dell PowerEdge R310
  • Washington, DC

Remote User:

  • Is running Windows 7 Pro.
  • Has a comcast 50 Mb Dl 12 up speed
  • Denver
  • Experiencing download speeds of 220 Kbs/s

Here's what I've done:

  • Changed my key exchange to 'Group 1' for better network performance. [minor minor improvement.]
  • ISP MTU is set to 1542, I dropped WAN from 1500 to 1460 and the issue got worse.
  • Pings to Fileserver are in the 60-70 milisecond range.

Is this just a potentially poor use of SMB? Should I try to find another way to share files with remote users.

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2  
IMO, SMB over VPN performance is poor and will always be poor. –  joeqwerty Dec 10 '13 at 17:34
    
I've been thinking that this was going to be the issue. Do you happen to have any alternative suggestions? –  Grumps Dec 10 '13 at 17:35
    
If possible on the PowerEdge, setup FTP. Then test throughput from the user via FTP, both with and without the VPN tunnel. This will help identify if SMB is the culprit. –  TheCleaner Dec 10 '13 at 18:20
    
I happen to have a setup able to test the same transfer of FTP vs SMB, using the PfSense firewalls as does phil-lavin. The server is Win2003r2 and the client is Win7Pro. We're both on the same cable provider a few miles apart. I transferred a 180 MB FLAC audio file using both FTP and SMB. FTP averaged 597 KB/sec and SMB ~580 KB/sec. Wow, that's certainly not what I expected, especially since I upvoted joeqwerty's comment above before testing, and now can't undo. –  Keith Stokes Dec 11 '13 at 1:29

1 Answer 1

We have a setup where 2 sites on 50 Mb/s up/down each have an SMB server and are connected via an IPSec VPN (pfSense). Transfer performance of a single large file averages at around 45 Mb/s.

Ping time between the two sites is only 5ms which may make a difference here... though it does show it can work.

Some suggestions below:

  • Naturally SMB is better at 1 large file than it is at many small ones. Test your setup with a single large file, if you're not doing so already
  • Check to ensure the VPN is passing traffic correctly and not dropping packets
  • Try a different protocol (e.g. FTP) to see if the bottleneck is SMB or the VPN
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