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Networking Questions and Answers - How to Increase Network Speed

Jean writes in with a networking question

Question:
How can I speed up image access over a LAN? I have 5 Windows XP computers on a LAN. One computer is used as a picture server where I store images for use on the LAN. Operators are constantly accessing the picture server to create, modify and ultimately use the images for upload/publishing on our website. I create folders on the server designed to hold images for 1000 different products. Each product can have 2-5 images, so each image folder on the server can potentially have between 2000 and 5000 individual jpeg images. I am having a server access speed issue. As these folders fill up to capacity, it takes my computers longer and longer to access the folder. One computer in particular is reporting exhaustion of virtual memory when trying to work with the picture server. I believe I can solve this with a purchase of additional RAM. But the budget is slim. If increase RAM, will this increase the time it takes to access the images on the server? If so, since I have a slim budget, where is the best place to install more RAM . . . in the server or in a few of the clients?

Answer: I would begin by checking your network speed. One way to increase performance if you are transferring files over the network is to upgrade to a gigabit network (1000 Mbps)if you are using a 100 Mbps network now. In order to do this all the network cards in the computer must be gigabit as well as the hub/switch connecting them.

If the images are being modified on the workstations then a RAM upgrade may help performance on the workstations. This wont really help the image transfer time unless the images are being edited while still on the server then it may help since it will be able to process the transfer faster.

Also check the free hard drive space on the server and workstations. If its getting low then that will decrease performance on everything you are doing. If you have less than 20% free space then it may be time for some cleanup or a hard drive upgrade.

 



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