CIFS vs ISCSI: Centralized File Storage

I have a photography studio client that had two requirements:  Centralized Storage & Speed.

They had a CIF share to their server but were complaining about the lack of performance.  They only have one computer accessing this information.  This is what made this whole venture feasible.  They are using Windows Storage Server so I set up a 2TB ISCSI target for them instead.  After doing this they were very happy with the performance difference.   After hours I ran some test to see if this was a perceived improvement or an actual improvement.

Their files were being opened by windows previewer and photoshop.  Their average size was about 10MB each.

Server information:  (2) L5410 Processors, (14) 1TB Seagate ES.2 Hard Drives, 16GB RAM, Windows Storage Server 2008, 3ware 9650se – 256MB cache with battery backup, RAID 6
Client information: Intel Core2 Quad-core processor, 4GB RAM, Windows XP pro, gigabit network

I used Crystal Disk Mark for the benchmarking software and used the default settings.

I did expect to see a performance difference for this client, but never on this scale.  In throughput, there was a 46% increase and in the IOPS there was a 31% increase in performance.  If I get some time, I would like to add NFS on the same server.  But that is for another day.


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