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Old 28th Nov 2012, 01:34   #1
njp
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Jumbo Frames

Hello,

Need a bit of advice from someone who's network savvy because I'm reading lots of different info, am unsure on what to do, and would just like some opinions or someone to tell me straight up what to do!

Currently my kit is:

-Virgin VMDG280 Router (Netgear OEM) - 10/100 only, no Gigabit capability
-HP V1410-8G 8-port unmanaged Gigabit Switch - this has the following plugged into it:

-Synology DS213 (2x3TB WD Red) + Edimax EW7711uUAn WiFi slotted into front USB, in Hotspot mode
-Dell XPS L502X (Gigabit)
-Dell Latitude E6320 (Gigabit)

HTC One X Smartphone, wirelessly connected to the NAS directly via the WiFi adapter


Now currently with what I do which is constantly listening to music and occasionally watching hd vids (via mapped drives on my NAS), performing a weekly sync backup of about 25gb from laptop to NAS (mainly small files), and also having a few other laptops plugged into the switch for internet, I have no issues regarding throughput - sometimes if I'm really using my network for multiple things I may get slightly skippy mp3 playback - possibly the switch working it's arse off.

Everything connected to the gigabit switch is in gigabit mode, and I hope that the fact the router is 10/100 doesn't affect any of that. But it may affect what I'm about to ask however I'm just unsure, so need the ear of someone network savvy.

I've read about enabling Jumbo Frames, at least 4k (on my two laptops and on the NAS) - but will this actually help my situation or degrade it? Or will I not notice nothing? I do perform some big transfers now and again from the NAS to my laptop and I have noticed that the speed isn't quite what it should be (around 65mb/s - i get probably around 45 - 50 once stable). With small files I can't really tell as the speed doesn't get a chance to settle.

Also, after enabling Jumbo Frames, this is where my confusion comes in. Will this have a knock on effect regarding internet access? (as this traffic is coming from the router, then to the gigabit switch, and then to my laptop - and the router is only 10/100 and MTU of around 1400) Despite Jumbo 4K enabled on the laptop, will it just default back to 1.4/1.5k packets because of the router and internet? Say if I'm browsing internet whilst simultaneously streaming or copying from/to my NAS, how does it all work behind the scenes? As my laptop's ethernet adapter is dealing with mixed frame sizes at the same time. Or does this not happen and everything just reverts to normal frame sizes?

And of course, with the NAS being set to Jumbo 4k, if I just connect up a random laptop to the switch in gigabit mode that will by default have the Jumbo Frames off (as it wont be one of my laptops), how will this work out? Will the NAS just default to the standard frame size or will there be some kind of a network clash? I also use the NAS to directly download my podcasts via RSS and torrents of course, so with it being set to Jumbo, what will the repercussions be regarding internet access? Similar predicament with my laptop to be honest.

Sorry for the length, I'm just unsure and at the same time don't want to go through the tediousness of trial and error.

I'll also soon be getting the Virgin Super Hub (VMDG480) which will be a gigabit router, whatever difference that'll make as everything's done via the Gigabit switch - I use no wireless apart from between my NAS (Hotspot mode) and my smartphone.

Many thanks to someone that can tell me some blunt info in caveman language!

Regards.
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 10:54   #2
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there is a write-up above this available here

it may help. for jumbo frames to be effective, all your networking gear needs to be able to understand how to handle them, and they must use the same standard. as far as I'm aware there isn't a specific standard at the moment.
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 12:07   #3
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It'll make no difference to normal downloading or browsing, the only thing that *might* benefit would be your backup, but not by much due to the hardware you have.

You say you're not getting god speeds from your NAS "(around 65mb/s - i get probably around 45 - 50 once stable)" - this will be because the NIC in the nas isn't top end. The speeds your getting are perfectly normal for a low-end NAS like the DS213.
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 13:15   #4
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Many thanks - I think I'll leave everything as it is for now then as I'm having no real problems at all. Am still in awe with DSM 4.1, cannot believe the possibilities!

By my hardware being half decent, I assume that you mean the CPU utilisation isn't a problem for the normal frame sizes due to the modern processing of the laptops.

Going a little off-topic here but if the DS213 is considered a low-end NAS, how would you rank the new DS713+? Is there a way to see what NIC's they use, and what's considered good?

Can sell my DS213 off to a friend at cost. Would like to get a more powerful Synology NAS (budget around 400), and a better gigabit switch (possibly a managed one depending on what i can get with a budget around 100), if budgets have to justifiably increase, so be it. Any recommendations that any of you can help with?
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 19:28   #5
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Jumbo frames are typically 9000 Bytes, rather than 4k, and any GB networking gear built in the last few years should support that and automatically step down when talking to incompatible clients.
Generally though jumbo frames were designed to reduce CPU overhead when sending multiple packets, which just isn't a problem in most modern devices, so recent advice is to just leave them off, see here.
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 19:41   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njp View Post
By my hardware being half decent, I assume that you mean the CPU utilisation isn't a problem for the normal frame sizes due to the modern processing of the laptops.
It's not the CPU as the transfer is handled by the network card. Laptops generally won't give you a high sustained transfer either, it's a trade off on all laptops for size and weight - both of the HDD's and the NIC. With a laptop you won't max out a gigabit network because they don't put in a high end NIC because 99% of the time the network won't do any heavy work so why waste money putting in something that won't be used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by njp View Post
Going a little off-topic here but if the DS213 is considered a low-end NAS, how would you rank the new DS713+? Is there a way to see what NIC's they use, and what's considered good?
Synology don't publish what spec NIC they put in, the only way is to read some reviews and have a look at the transfer speeds...

Quote:
Originally Posted by njp View Post
Can sell my DS213 off to a friend at cost. Would like to get a more powerful Synology NAS (budget around 400), and a better gigabit switch (possibly a managed one depending on what i can get with a budget around 100), if budgets have to justifiably increase, so be it. Any recommendations that any of you can help with?
No point selling your NAS if it's doing what you want, it's a perfectly fine NAS for home use. Do you honestly need to be able to move large amounts of data at high speed? Spend your money of a better spec computer as you'll get more use for the money.
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 19:59   #7
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Also in regard to NAS and transfer speed, it could be the hdd fault. If it have low end 5400rpm drive that would be quite normal speeds as the writes are not as speedy in general. For example on my network when xfer files from ssd to ssd on my computers I can get around 120MB/s, but choose one of my 5400rpm large storage hdd as destination in same machine and it gets cut in half due to slow write of the drive.
Also I don't have Jframes on, since my computers NIC none of them have the same Jframe sizes to select from.
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 21:43   #8
njp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomic View Post
No point selling your NAS if it's doing what you want, it's a perfectly fine NAS for home use. Do you honestly need to be able to move large amounts of data at high speed? Spend your money of a better spec computer as you'll get more use for the money.
This is true, I have had a think and you're right, for just waiting a few minutes more for data transfers, there's no need. The NAS also hasn't lagged at all whilst multitasking between downloads and streaming, don't think my activities push it to it's limit.

There's nothing that I need to upgrade on my laptops - already on the SSD bandwagon on both (Samsung 830 256GB and 128GB) with maxed out RAM although I don't really game, just some image editing and dealing with large photoshop files exceeding several hundred mb. Just wish I could get nearer to the quoted speeds of these NAS boxes, at least above 50mb/s!

Thanks for the Jumbo Frame advice, looks like there was no point in looking into it! Everything right now is as I want it so no extra money needs to be spent on anything.
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