Question 1gbe router with 10gbe unmanaged switch?

RoverGuy7

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Apr 15, 2014
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Hi, hopefully this is a simple question, but I'm confused on this, so quick setup -

Automotive shop office with 6 workstations, all access a repair order/customer info sql database that is stored on a separate 'server' computer. We have some stuttering issues when multiple computers are accessing at the same time. Currently 1gbe on all devices, all workstations are 'good enough' hardware, 'server' holds database on optane drive, so shouldn't have much in way of hardware bandwidth issues.

I want to install a 10gbe card into the 'server' and a 10gbe switch, to potentially open up a slight bottleneck. Can I use a unmanaged switch, with a 1gbe router attached, and still get potential increase in bandwidth from the server, or does the 1gbe router play into this as well.

I understand higher bandwidth limit does not equate to faster access times, and that I may not see much if any gains from this setup, but just wondering if the router speed is going to limit the speeds through the switch. I only understand this stuff enough to follow guides to make things work. Thanks for any insight!
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Hi, hopefully this is a simple question, but I'm confused on this, so quick setup -

Automotive shop office with 6 workstations, all access a repair order/customer info sql database that is stored on a separate 'server' computer. We have some stuttering issues when multiple computers are accessing at the same time. Currently 1gbe on all devices, all workstations are 'good enough' hardware, 'server' holds database on optane drive, so shouldn't have much in way of hardware bandwidth issues.

I want to install a 10gbe card into the 'server' and a 10gbe switch, to potentially open up a slight bottleneck. Can I use a unmanaged switch, with a 1gbe router attached, and still get potential increase in bandwidth from the server, or does the 1gbe router play into this as well.

I understand higher bandwidth limit does not equate to faster access times, and that I may not see much if any gains from this setup, but just wondering if the router speed is going to limit the speeds through the switch. I only understand this stuff enough to follow guides to make things work. Thanks for any insight!
A 1GE switch with 10GE "uplink" ports would be fine. Use one of the 1GE ports to connect to the internet router. Connect all the workstations to the 1GE ports and the server to the 10GE port.
You need to watch the actual network utilization on the server to determine if a 10GE will be beneficial.
You should look at RAM utilization and allocation to the SQL server and CPU loading on the "server".
Also make sure you have an appropriate backup approach.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Performance depends on the slowest device in the chain.
If it has to go through the router, 1gb is what you get.

If it ONLY goes up and down from the switch, then potentially 10gbe.

However....I'd seriously look at the database design and construction and the 'server' config, rather than the network infrastructure.
 

RoverGuy7

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Apr 15, 2014
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Thanks for the quick replies!

Yeah, my concern is all local, so should be server <--> switch <--> workstation for all of this.

I agree completely with the database design being an issue, but it's 3rd party software, so my hands are ties on that, and I've lost the fight of cleaning up the database with unnecessary stuff. Their response was a simple as good as it gets, hence the question here. But at least they switched from mdb to sql last year.

It's somewhat of an intermittent problem, and every time I've tried to monitor the network it all acts fine, but a single workstation will spike to 60-80MB/s when accessing the database. I know it might not change much at all with 10gbe, but it's really all I have left to try.

Server is a fresh build with a 3900x and 32gb ram, and what should be adequate storage. Backups are setup the most complicated way I could imagine, with it writing a copy to an internal ssd each night, that being dumped onto internal and local network mechanical storage each morning, and onto a cloud server once a week, after it flushes the internal ssd.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Thanks for the quick replies!

Yeah, my concern is all local, so should be server <--> switch <--> workstation for all of this.

I agree completely with the database design being an issue, but it's 3rd party software, so my hands are ties on that, and I've lost the fight of cleaning up the database with unnecessary stuff. Their response was a simple as good as it gets, hence the question here. But at least they switched from mdb to sql last year.

It's somewhat of an intermittent problem, and every time I've tried to monitor the network it all acts fine, but a single workstation will spike to 60-80MB/s when accessing the database. I know it might not change much at all with 10gbe, but it's really all I have left to try.

Server is a fresh build with a 3900x and 32gb ram, and what should be adequate storage. Backups are setup the most complicated way I could imagine, with it writing a copy to an internal ssd each night, that being dumped onto internal and local network mechanical storage each morning, and onto a cloud server once a week, after it flushes the internal ssd.
You may have 32GB in the server, but check what the allocation to the SQL server is. And check the total usage. Don't want 25% used with 75% unused and don't want any page file usage. Assuming your software usage is relatively constant then shoot for a 75% memory load. That provides plenty of surge room. Same with CPU loading, you would want to ensure the SQL server has plenty of CPUs allocated to it. But not so many as to starve other processes. A 3900X has 24 threads, so I would start with 6 or 8 for the SQL server if it is a primary use of that server.
 

RoverGuy7

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I appreciate the help guys, and I'll order up some parts and see how it goes.

But not so many as to starve other processes.
Server's only function is this database, but thank you, and I will search on here to figure out how to configure that. I got tired of hearing about things not working, so overkill was the plan on the server build.

In my actual job, I've seen conversions like that which end up worse.
This software(R.O.Writer) was absolutely awful on mbd, to the point of weekly tech support phone calls because it would completely crash. I had to ask if they had other options at that time, and we started in their beta testing of sql. They also have me locked out of a bunch of the settings on the server, and they've been upset with me 'tampering' with my own hardware before.
 

kanewolf

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Server's only function is this database, but thank you, and I will search on here to figure out how to configure that. I got tired of hearing about things not working, so overkill was the plan on the server build.
Also make sure you look at what kind of statistics SQL server can give you for performance monitoring. There should be lots of SQL server performance related pages for reference.
 

RoverGuy7

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Sounds good.

I'll report back when I get it all set up and running, and see if I can figure out a way to show any difference in actual usability. For now, it's time to throw some money at some new toys!
 

RoverGuy7

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Yeah, that is less than the unmanaged 8+2 port I just bought, that leaves me no room for expansion. I know the right way would be to go managed, but I'm pretty low tier when it comes to understanding network configuration, and want to keep it as simple(in my mind) as possible, don't want to create new issues for you guys to fix for me! You have a communications problem with the multiple CAN/LIN busses in your car, I'm you're guy, but toss a mac address my way and I'm running scared.

If all works well, I'll probably condemn a weekend to move to a managed setup and consolidate the 4 separate networks I have running throughout the shop now, but not ready for that headache quite yet.

Again, thanks for the advice, I'll update with whatever I get for results.
 

neojack

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if he has 80MB/s spikes of network utilisation, that translates to 640Mbits/s for a single workstation.

having the server on a 10Gb uplink would help certainly.


on a side note, did you thought about creating a virtual computer in your server, with a virtual network link to your host server and database ?

you isntall the client on the virtual computer, then you give access to your users with a remote desktop / rdp.

i did that with the accounting people at my job. No more accounting software on the user's computers. and that's excellent for working at home.
 

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