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Speed for On- or Off-campus Access (From a Remote Office or Home via VPN)

This article applies to: Shared File Services

SFS is not designed to be a “high-performance” file system, such as might be required for data-intensive storage demanded by parallel computing applications (big data).

  • On-campus, SFS throughput is ~20-40 MB/s (depending upon file quantities and sizes), which should be more than adequate for most typical applications.
  • Off-campus, access to SFS via VPN is substantially slower due to the inherent delays of being on a WAN, as well as limited bandwidth available thru most ISP’s.

There are a variety of conditions which make access to CIFS “shares” slower at home compared to being on-campus.

  • CIFS is a local-area network protocol which works best with low latency and high bandwidth.  When you use it from home, you are using it over a wide-area network.
  • Your ISP has very limited bandwidth compared to being on-campus.
  • Most ISP’s offer UPLOAD bandwidth at a fraction the speed they offer for DOWNLOAD bandwidth.
  • Your ISP has significantly higher latency compared to being on-campus.
  • Accessing files across a wide-area network is slower than if the file was on your local hard-drive.
  • The ‘Bandwidth-delay product’ has a large impact on performance, compared to being on-campus.
  • MacOS has poor performance with “Finder” when accessing CIFS “shares” on networks with connectivity below 100 Mb/s, command-line is significantly faster.

Since these conditions are outside of our control we cannot “tune SFS” to improve performance while off-campus.

You can test your latency, download, and upload speeds (at home and on-campus) with a variety of internet-based tools such as Note these tools test network connections, and not disk/file storage such as SFS.

See the Speed On- or Off-Campus page for a longer answer with more detail.

About this Article

Last updated: 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - 12:10pm

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