LAN performance

Question:
I have many workgroups in my enterprise with different demands on theLAN. How can I improve the performance on my LAN without spending too much money?

Answer:
Ethernet allows users to share 10 Mbps of bandwidth. Although 100 MbpsEthernet is emerging as a popular choice, the vast majority of installationscontinue to run 10 Mbps.

If your organization has many workgroups and you would like to see enhancedperformance, Switched Ethernet is your answer. A typical Ethernet switchmay provide, say, eight channels, with each port having its own 10 Mbpssegment. Therefore, you can dedicate one or more 10 Mbps ports to yourserver(s) and connect each of your workgroups to the available switchedports. In order to do this, you would connect Ethernet hubs to each of theswitched ports and connect the workgroup users to the hubs. Ethernetswitching ensures that any intra-workgroup traffic remains within the groupand thereby does not affect traffic on other switched segments.

A very inexpensive way to improve efficiency is to install multiple Ethernetadapters in your server.

Consider the following example:

A Novell 4.1 server with 100 users;there are primarily three distinctdepartments — one of them needs heavy bandwidth because they transfer huge fileson a regular basis to and from the server;the other two use the network ona low to moderate basis with occasional high-volume file transfers.We alsohave a bank of modems that allow users to dial in to the network.

Consider the following solution:

Install four Ethernet adapters in the server. Connect workgroup hubs to eachof these adapters and segregate the traffic.

The high volume,high frequency transfers from one group will not affect users on the othernodes. Also, when users dial in to network, their traffic is localized ontheir own 10 Mbps segment. Although the bottleneck has shifted to theserver, overall performance will be enhanced as Ethernet utilization on eachof the segments will be lower than before. This means fewer re-transmissionand timeouts, thereby translating to benefits in performance.

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