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a200 hanewin nfs cpu spike
05-01-2011, 10:02 AM
Post: #1
a200 hanewin nfs cpu spike
Hi,

I've been using a200 (and previously a100) with my home built whs server and hanewin nfs to stream media files via netgear homeplug connectors. All has been fine for a long time until recently I noticed that media would shutter every 10 mins or so. This didn't appear to be related to bitrates as would shutter with 25GB blu ray transcodes files as much as 1GB 720p low bitrates.

I've narrowed it down to a cpu spike with nfsd.exe. When this process spikes on the homeserver, the network traffic and the disk activity drop until the cpu spike finishes and then then things start to recover. I normally have to wait until things catch up up just pause and play the media.

I've stopped demigrator.exe and ms security essentials just to make sure it wasn't those causing the problem but the issue still occurs. I've also emailed hanewin to ask for assistance.

This could be

a) fluctuations in the powerline network (although it has been fine for a number of years previously)

b) whs updates

c) hanewin issue

d) whs hardware issue? (recently added yet another 2tb to the storage pool)

e) pch a200 firmware changes (anything recent on the nfs or general network front)
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05-04-2011, 08:20 AM (This post was last modified: 05-04-2011 08:22 AM by whistlingdogg.)
Post: #2
RE: a200 hanewin nfs cpu spike
The nice guy(s) at hanewin are helping diagnose the issue but in the meantime I'm looking at my network to understand its maximum throughput.

At the moment My PCH is connected to my whs via a number of powerline adapters (netgear av200). Now the position of these adapters is not currently optimal as I'm having some work done. So the network cable from my pch goes through to a switch, into a powerline adapter that is connected to a 10-way extension into the wall. At the other end is my whs which is connected to a powerlines witch, then a 10-way, then a 2-way and into the wall.

I couldn't find many tools to measure throughput btu stumbled accross something called NetCPS. http://www.netchain.com/netcps/. This has a server and a client component. I ran the client component on a windows 7 laptop.

Tests

1) connected client to the powerline switch that the whs is connected to (this is the maximum throughput possible) and I get 56-64Mbit/s (note that this doesn't actually go through the powerline itself - atleast I don't think so)

2) client connected to a powerline adapter on the 10-way that the whs powerline switch is attached to (the closest I can get going through the mains) 12Mbit/s - quite a drop!

3) various mains sockets around the house - 12Mbit/s

4) the same connection that the pch uses - 12Mbit/s

But I'm sure I have many movies tht are more than 12Mbit/s. I do use NFS as this performs a lot better than SMB over powerline. I tested a few files:

Star Trek blu ray rip m2ts - Overall bit rate : 42.2 Mbps
dugs special mission mkv - overall bit rate 25.6Mps

These played without incident so what's going on here? What I need are some nfs tools to measure the throughput. Does anyone know of some tools that can measure throughput via nfs?

Thanks
*sigh*. Working at a new client now with their own proxy - apparently I'm in Germany.
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05-04-2011, 03:45 PM
Post: #3
RE: a200 hanewin nfs cpu spike
I think you have your MB and mb confused. The numbers from the test are most likely in MB(byte) and not Mb(bit).

12 MB/s = 96Mb/s which is well over the bandwidth needed to stream the two examples you gave.

(05-04-2011 08:20 AM)whistlingdogg Wrote:  Tests

1) connected client to the powerline switch that the whs is connected to (this is the maximum throughput possible) and I get 56-64Mbit/s (note that this doesn't actually go through the powerline itself - atleast I don't think so)

2) client connected to a powerline adapter on the 10-way that the whs powerline switch is attached to (the closest I can get going through the mains) 12Mbit/s - quite a drop!

3) various mains sockets around the house - 12Mbit/s

4) the same connection that the pch uses - 12Mbit/s

But I'm sure I have many movies tht are more than 12Mbit/s. I do use NFS as this performs a lot better than SMB over powerline. I tested a few files:

Star Trek blu ray rip m2ts - Overall bit rate : 42.2 Mbps
dugs special mission mkv - overall bit rate 25.6Mps

These played without incident so what's going on here? What I need are some nfs tools to measure the throughput. Does anyone know of some tools that can measure throughput via nfs?

Thanks
*sigh*. Working at a new client now with their own proxy - apparently I'm in Germany.
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05-04-2011, 04:00 PM
Post: #4
RE: a200 hanewin nfs cpu spike
(05-04-2011 03:45 PM)opuscroakus Wrote:  I think you have your MB and mb confused. The numbers from the test are most likely in MB(byte) and not Mb(bit).

12 MB/s = 96Mb/s which is well over the bandwidth needed to stream the two examples you gave.

No. They are correct. That is why I took the time to spell out "bit". All measurements using the mentioned tool reported 1.5 MByte/s - I converted to Mbit to make it a easier comparison. 1.5MByte/s is around 12Mbit/s. The tool report 6-7 MByte/s when the client was on the same switch (56-64MBit/s).

Now I am getting more than 12Mbit/s through NFS as proven by the ability of the PCH to play the file stated.

What I'm after is a tool that can measure the NFS performance of my network at various points.
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05-04-2011, 08:21 PM
Post: #5
RE: a200 hanewin nfs cpu spike
Just to follow up on this, I've found a tool called netstress.

http://www.performancewifi.net/performan...arking.htm

Running it on my server and on my windows 7 laptop I recorded quite a steady 45MBit/s TCP throughput from server to client going through all the same powerline adapters and switches as the popcorn hour. This is much more inline with the media files tested.

Doesn't explain my cpu spikes though Smile
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05-18-2011, 08:42 AM
Post: #6
RE: a200 hanewin nfs cpu spike
I think I've solved the issue only time will tell. I've increase the virtual memory on the whs box to 4GB from 2GB (2GB physical memory) and I have change the protocol of the nfs client (pch a200) from udp to tcp.

This seems to have solved the issue - played the first scene from toy story blue ray rip without issue.
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06-28-2011, 03:05 PM
Post: #7
RE: a200 hanewin nfs cpu spike
Just in case anyone else searches and stumbles on this thread. The actual issue was a WHS plugin called disk management. It has a setting that when enabled, gathers disk stats every 60 seconds. Using a tool called HDTune, I can see the read rate on the drives drop to 0MB/s every 60 seconds. Disabling this setting solves the problem.
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