CISCO Switch Configuration for DOS Applications on Netware 5.1 SP7 Server

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Cisco
Ethernet
Hewlett-Packard
Networking
Novell IPX/SPX
TCP
Hi, Our network is composed of the following: 1 CISCO 2970 GIGABIT (24 x 10/100/1000) 6 CISCO 2950 SWITCH (24 x 10/100, 2 x 10/100/1000) 1 HP Proliant ML520 G2 Server with 10/100/1000 NIC CAT 5e Cabling HP Workstations with 10/100/1000 NIC with Windows XP SP2 All CISCO 2950 Switches (Gigabit Port) are connected directly to the CISCO 2970 GIGBIT Switch. A few Workstations are Connected to the Gigabit Switch. We still have CLIPPER 5.3 DOS based Applications in our Netware server and we are not using any Database Server. All DBFs are accessed directly using Clipper Native File access. My questions is, what would be the best configuration for the CISCO Swithces so that I can make my DOS based applications run faster. Regards...
ASKED: November 27, 2005  12:21 AM
UPDATED: November 30, 2005  1:50 AM

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How many workstations DO you have?
What/how is the database being used?
Are you sure all the duplex settings on switches correct (i.e. full duplex on Gigabit is a given; does the 100 Meg setting match the workstation settings).
When running “off hours” from a workstation on the primary gigabit switch, do you get similar response times, or is it vastly improved?

If you have problems with this equipment accessing the application, you may run into problems with file/record locking and application design, more than the network as you’ve described.

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  • JayCuizon
    Hi, We have 75 Workstations Accessing Accessing Clipper .exe, .dbf, .dbt, .ntx from our Netware Server via mapped drives. All applications are running fine without any problem. I just wanted to know if there are other/extra settings I can change from any of the LAN equipment to make DOS run faster. Regards..
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  • Sonyfreek
    With the equipment you have (no router), you won't be able to do much. You could monitor your server connections to ensure that you have your MTU size adjusted to the best size for your network/applications (servers and clients). You could increase available bandwidth on congested links by using etherchannel. Make sure all of your interfaces are set to the highest speed and proper duplex of the server and client NICS. It also sounds like you have your switches setup to obey the 5-4-3 rule. Keep your patch cables as short as possible in the closets and at the workstations. Don't overextend your max distances on cables, etc. However, there's not much in the way of switch configuration that's going to speed up the network without a router. Even then, you might not get any benefit out of WFQ, CBWFQ, etc if your network is not experiencing any congestion. I've heard that your servers should be on the lowest number interfaces for the groupings on the Ciscos, but I don't believe it. The guy explaining it to me said that they have a "higher priority" on those ports when/if the Cisco is congested, but I've never heard anything useful from this guy, so I highly doubt it's true. According to him, ports 1, 13, 25, and 37 on the 2950 get the highest priority when the switch is heavily loaded. I've never tested it or found it anywhere in writing however. Take care, SF
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  • JayCuizon
    Thanks for the reply SF. All servers are connected to the 2970 Switch and some power users. It seems that I will have to look more on the Workstation's Netware Client and Windows LAN settings to speed up DOS apps. Regards.
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  • Boardinhank
    You are headed in the right direction to look at the client and the server for the tuning of the app. When you are refering to making DOS run quicker over the wire, technically DOS does not do anything over the wire, DOS uses TCP/IP it sounds to do its communication and the only thing that can make that faster is good programming on the application and good throughput on the switch. I like to set all my ports duplexing and turn off auto, if you look at your switch ports and see errors check them. If you have the ability to sniff packets and see where there may be some latency or performance issues. You can try putting static routes for client server access, even try the DOS app on a different VLAN secluding it from the rest of the network.
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  • PhilReed
    Your issue is not the network - I am sure that if you monitored the traffic you would find it is using a small percentage of its capacity. The areas to look at to increase performance are: a) disk access - i.e disk speeds, RAID configuration etc b) Memory usage - more always helps c) CPU usage - see if this is a bottleneck d) The application itself - although Clipper/DOS apps support multi user they do not scale very well - that is why most applications use a SQL based database instead of direct file access. This is the area most likely to be your bottleneck but also the most complicated to resolve.
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  • Astronomer
    If you don't have it already, I recommend you set up MRTG. This will allow you to know if you have any network bottlenecks. As far as the server is concerned, novell has some articles on server optimization. If the server hardware is the bottleneck there are some things that could help significantly. Our backup server was taking over 24 hours to back up all of the other servers to a single RAID using two parallel jobs. When I optimized it to use a mirror for the OS and stripe two SATA RAIDs for the backup data, the speed went up dramatically. Now our longest Gbit backup is 9 hours and the 100 Mbit backup dropped to 15 hours. When I finish optimizing the network by running all of the servers on Gbit, I expect full backups to take under 10 hours.
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  • JayCuizon
    Thank you ALL for the reply and suggestions. I have noted all of these and will work on them hoping to get some positive results. Regards...
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