How to increase one-to-many simultaneous LAN file transfer speeds


#1

Hello -

This is probably a pretty basic question, but here goes…

In a small office domain network, we typically don’t need to transfer a lot of large files. But, now there is a need to allow around 20+ clients to all copy a large file (around 20+ GB) at the same time and minimize how long each download takes to complete.

All PCs and LAN are currently equipped for 1 Gbps.

Right now, if one client downloads the file it only takes about 3 minutes to complete. However, (not surprisingly) when multiple clients try to download at the same time each additional download takes significantly longer.

I’m wondering what the shortest path (and ideally cheapest) would be to improve this. Are hardware upgrades required? Some sort of specific/dedicated file server? Any software that can achieve this with the existing hardware? Etc…

Any suggestions or links to other good existing references for this sort of thing would be much appreciated.

Thanks!


#2

Have you looked into multicasting? Something I learned about back in networking school but have never had to apply:

http://www.enterprisenetworkingplanet.com/netsp/article.php/3623181/Networking-101--Understanding-Multicast-Routing.htm


#3

There are different ways to approach this:

First, you can try a multicast file transfer program. This would require each of the clients receiving the file to set up some sort of listener program and wait for the server to send the file. There is a file transfer protocol known as UFTP that does this:


also, look at this program:
http://uftp-multicast.sourceforge.net/

Another way is to increase the bandwidth and efficiency of the server.

  • Install a 10Gbps network card and upgrade your switch with at least one 10Gbps port. This will allow 10 clients to receive the file at maximum speed, or 20 clients to receive the file at 500Mbps.
  • Add enough memory that the entire file can be cached in RAM
  • Install an SSD for this file transfer. This reduces seek time and will allow the system to spend more time transferring the file, rather than seeking 20 different sectors at once.

#4

Thanks for your responses. Seems like exactly what I was looking for.

I will check out UFTP and also consider those limited hardware upgrades.