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Neil Stratton

Network Switch

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Hi all-could someone please recommend a network switch they have been using please? Only need 6 ports.I know nothing about them so any advice would be great.

thanks

Neil Stratton

I am not going to recommend a switch, but

beware, the OS you are running may make a difference.

Win 7 changed the default NIC settings and some switches will not play well together with Win 7 until you adjust the NIC settings.

Symptom is super slow network transfer and what appears to be network loss, reported by watchmaker.

This is a common issue independent of WATCHOUT, google

"windows 7" "slow network"

and you will find lots of info on addressing that issue.

 

 

Point is, what someone finds works well for them may not work well for you with Win 7 without the proper tuning.

 

It is easier just to search for an unmanaged switch that specifies Win 7 certification.

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Jings Batman!

After several weeks of watching ever so slow uploads I now have some info to give to the network guys.

Watchout was getting the blame and I am now no longer sure Watchout was 100% responsible for the 4hour uploads of 3 gig movies to 14 displays.

Thanks for asking the question Neil.

Regards

David O

 

PS Displays PCs were Core2Duos running Win 7.

 

PPS. IS there a way to quantify what the uplaod speed is during an update? As we are having very slow updates it would be useful to know what speed the network was working at so that we could apportion the blame. i.e is it Watchout? or the network transfer speed?

 

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seems there is a maximum post length and my response is to long,

so it is broken up among the next few posts here …

 

PPS. IS there a way to quantify what the uplaod speed is during an update? As we are having very slow updates it would be useful to know what speed the network was working at so that we could apportion the blame. i.e is it Watchout? or the network transfer speed?
Its not WATCHOUT, its the Windows settings and the network infrastructure.

And it sure looks like there is more than one issue at stake.

Point is, if your network is running slow, there is no single "do this and you are fixed" answer.

You need to identify what is amiss in your system.

-------

 

Periodically we hear reports of very slow online / update times

with WATCHOUT under Windows 7.

XP machines in the same cluster do not exhibit speed issues.

 

Research has shown this is not unique to WATCHOUT,

the general Windows population has many similar reports.

 

Apparently there are some subtle changes in Win7

in the way Windows IP networking is implemented.

The change creates slowdowns with some network switches.

 

It seems Win 7 offloads some network duties to the network switch.

I see mention of Win7 certified switches.

But even switches that were not Win7 certified

could be accommodated with changes to adaptor settings in the

Advanced tab for the network adapter.

 

reference: Windows 7 Forums -> Windows 7 - Extremely slow file transfers and network access...

 

 

I posted this issue to Microsoft (after some further research) and they solved it for me! They asked if my router was on the Windows 7 compatibility list, and that seemed really strange since 802.3 (Ethernet) has been around a long time and why would that suddenly change with the O/S? But I unplugged my PC from the Trendnet Gb router and plugged it into the old Linksys 100Mb and BAM - full network speed! On the Gb router, I couldn't get above 2% in the monitor on a file transfer - on this "compatible" one, I get 100% and file transfers are screaming.

 

Then there is Remote Differential Compression

reference: Slow Network File Copy issues in Windows 7 caused by Remote Differential Compression

 

You may experience poor file copy performance over the network in Windows 7 PCs. This could be caused by the Wndows “Remote Differential Compression” engine. Remote Differential Compression is a Windows feature introduced in Windows Server 2003 and is available on all later versions of Windows. This Windows feature is enabled by default in Windows 7.

 

Remote Differential Compression (RDC) allows data to be synchronized with a remote source using compression techniques to minimize the amount of data sent across the network. RDC is different from patching-oriented differencing mechanisms, such as Binary Delta Compression (BDC), that are designed to operate only on known versions of a single file. BDC requires the server to have copies of all versions of the file, and differences between each pair of versions are precomputed so that they can be distributed efficiently from a server to multiple clients.

There seems to be a problem with this Windows 7 and disabling this feature resolves the problem with slow file copy performance.

To disable Remote Differential Compression,

1. Click Start – Control Panel – Programs – Trun Windows features on or off

2. Uncheck “Remote Differential Compression” and click OK.

3. Restart the computer and you should see an improved performance with copying files.

If there is a similar problem in your Windows Vista PC, you may try this and check if this helps.

There are other references to the Remote Differential Compression (RDC) fix with comments like:

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continued ....

 

….

When this occurs, a potential fix is to:

go to the Advanced tab for the network adapter,

change IPv4 Checksum Offload to Disabled

 

But I see other settings being offered as a fix,

so it would appear there are multiple issues

that can affect the interaction of Win 7 and the network switch.

 

I found that [strong]the thing which fixed it for me was "flow control"[/strong]

===========

reference: Windows 7 Forums -> Windows 7 - Extremely slow file transfers and network access...

 

Start Run --> ncpa.cpl

right click on adapter ... select properties

click on "configure"

click on "advanced"

highlight the property "Flow Control" and change it to "disabled".

 

This stopped the rate limiting and let my adapter run at full speed.

 

and there seems to be some issues unique to nVidia GPUs

Windows 7 Forums -> Windows 7 - More detailed answer for Nvidia boards and W7 x64

Thanks!

 

This worked for me but it wasn't the whole solution.

 

I had an Nvidia board and needed the latest driver. The built in Windows 7 driver was not good enough.

Next, I had to disable all the silly Microsoft "improvements:

C:\Windows\System32>netsh int tcp show global

Querying active state...

 

TCP Global Parameters

----------------------------------------------

Receive-Side Scaling State : disabled

Chimney Offload State : disabled

NetDMA State : disabled

Direct Cache Acess (DCA) : disabled

Receive Window Auto-Tuning Level : disabled

Add-On Congestion Control Provider : none

ECN Capability : disabled

RFC 1323 Timestamps : disabled

** The above autotuninglevel setting is the result of Windows Scaling heuristics

overriding any local/policy configuration on at least one profile.

 

Then, once that was done, I had to make sure that Flow Control was Receive Enabled.

 

Then once that was done, I could change your setting regarding IPv4 Checksum Offloading Enabled to DISABLED.

 

Oh, and I'm not sure it matters but I've got IPv6 disabled across the board.

 

What a PITA! But thanks for the last piece to the puzzle!

... and this can go on and on, you really need to research your specific system,

or find a hardware vendor who will certify your system with your switch, etc.

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Thnaks Kim,

From memory the racks all have Cisco Switches.

I will also check the GX cards. We are only using 1024 x 768 (x14) for two 360s and have not had to change the resolution only watch painfully slow uploads.

I'm sending the link over to the Techs so they can read your great post.

Many thanks

 

David

 

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Hi David-I'd like to say I am glad I'm not the only one having problems but I wouldnt wish the dark depths I have plumbed on anyone.Ok well maybe a couple of people.To make matters worse salmon have been running my local river while I have been tinkering with NIC settings.Oh the pain!

I have spent many hours on this one and have possibly eliminated my occasional triggering failures, but network speed has yet to be improved.

Much of what I was about to write is already included in Jim's post above.

Windows 7 appears very poor compared to XP regarding network.Have a look on the web and ponder over the reams of material on this subject.I would like to revert to XP but then the whole problem of drivers makes that a non starter.

So far my travels have taken me to disable Flow control in the NIC adapter properties and disable auto-negotiate and set speed(in my case 100mbps Full Duplex) in the Speed and Duplex option.Just had two days of rock solid operation.I know nothing about networks and so am still very keen to hear what else people recommend looking at.

I have a suspicion that W7's behaviour in seeing the network as unidentified and treating it as public is a factor.Unless you are on Pro, Enterprise etc then you dont have the Group Policy Editor function and have to resort to registry hacks.So an upgrade of W7 might be on the cards.

I am using a Netgear FS108 unmanaged switch and have tried others with no difference.I'd be interested to hear from people who have no problems what switches/NIc's they are using?

Below are some links to useful articles.The top one appears to help and the others are worth a look.

Seems incredible that a new OS should actually set us back, but hey thats progress I suppose.

Keep us posted as to how you get on.Unfortunately I do not have a team behind me.It's just poor old me and what I know about networks you could write on the back of a stamp.Ok maybe 2 stamps after the last few weeks.

All the best

Neil Stratton

http://www.sysprobs.com/windows-7-network-slow

http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter/2b6c59c3-5404-44ff-b8ac-eb73f9eee559

http://www.thehtpc.net/htpc-tips-and-tweaks/network-tips-and-tweaks/improve-vista-and-windows-7-network-performance/

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Hi Neil,

I have sent SCREAMING emails to Watchout Support (for which I am mightily embarassed now ... not really.... ) regarding slow upload speeds blaming WO 4.

 

Sadly they did not point me in the direction that yours and Jims post has. I am now more enlightened to the "new & improved" network speeds with Win 7.

 

Having experienced the slow uploads on Version 4 I assumed it was an upgrade issue. Now I remembere all the PCs were Win 7. My old dinasaurs are XP so the tests at home have been fine.

 

I must pop in and you can show me yout 5 rig. I'm envious but my NEW 2 v4 keys make me smile.

 

Now go & get back to wathching those Salmon run(?).

 

Regards

David

The Wandering WO Freelancer

 

 

 

 

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... From memory the racks all have Cisco Switches. ...

Reminds of the system installed in Cisco Systems San Jose, CA world headquarters Executive Briefing Center.

It was initially setup with a managed Cisco switch and it would not work properly.

I was hoping they would bring in one of their experts to address it and we could then learn what to do,

but there solution was to go to a local computer supply house and buy an unmanaged Linksys switch to deal with it.

(Yes, Cisco owns Linksys too).

 

Configuring managed switches is beyond the scope of WATCHOUT support of course.

 

That said, we do have a dealer in Virginia who has a large site licensed system running on managed switches.

They initially had problems, but the dealer's IT guy figured it out and it has been running for about six years now.

 

 

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...

I have a suspicion that W7's behaviour in seeing the network as unidentified and treating it as public is a factor....

I think you are "barking up the wrong tree" there.

That is related to Microsoft networking and sharing.

WATCHOUT does not use Microsoft networking and sharing.

Best to turn those things off.

All WATCHOUT communications are TCP/IP, which is independent of Microsoft networking and sharing.

In the NIC properties, the only setting that matters is TCP/IP v4.

You can uncheck everything else in the NIC settings and it should work.

 

I did see one very good suggestion in one of your links - disable any network device that is not being used.

Windows likes to default setup Firewire, WiFi and Bluetooth ports (when present) as potential network interfaces.

I have seen that cause issues in the past.

I always disable all network interfaces except the Ethernet NIC we are using,

and that NIC is only enabled for TCP/IP v4.

 

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Geez. You guys are scaring me, though I'm certainly happy you are working through the situation to get it resolved. I was seriously thinking about upgrading from ye old 32 bit XP display computers to Win7 64 bit, but now I'm having serious second thoughts. Think I'll stick with my old XP OS and simple/cheap Linksys switches with their high speed uploads.....at least for now.

 

I guess that, about the time all the Windows 7 challenges are put to bed, Windows 8 will arrive and we'll get to go through it all over again. Well, as Tom Hanks' character said in "A League of Their Own", "If it was easy, everyone would do it."

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It's no joke!

Win 7 despite all the press does seem to be at odds with Watchout 4 & I presume 5 when it comes to uploads.

If their is no need to use Win 7 then I have personally avoided it.

I had to laugh at the story of using of a Linksys Router.... after MANY hours of VERY slow uploads on an immense, install bigger than the 2 Cisco Executive Briefing Centers I've worked on (London & Milan). I had suggested we nip along to a PC World type shop in Brussels and buy a separate router/switch and temporarily disconnect the 30 WO Display PCs and use a Linksys type router for uploads. Just so we could get the content into the system quickly & I would take the "cheap" piece of kit home with me :-)

 

Sadly the suggestion was not welcomed with open arms... after all we had top of the range (in my world overly complicated) Network hardware!

 

Maybe Jonas will update the Windows 7 Tweak sheet to include some of these suggestions (if clarified they make an improvement).

http://www.dataton.com/downloads/watchout/support/tweak/Windows_7_Tweaking_list_2.0.pdf

 

Regards

 

David

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David:

Most, but not all, of these things are already in the Tweak list...

There is a reason for why we (and I) argue for implementing the FULL list, not parts of it.

It will be updated accordingly, when confirmed to be general issues.

There has been a lot of good advice/ideas in this thread, that can and had to be tested before this happens.

 

And this is not a general issue, as you implied, AFAIK. Some are affected, others are not.

We have not have one reproducible case yet, to nail this down with.

I would say that most issues we've seen, comes from setups (WO3/WO4), with older hardware, upgraded to Windows 7.

Since Windows 7 is fundamentally different than WindowsXP, this is probably not the best idea...

 

Also, I DID point you to change out the switch and use a straight cable between Production and Display in order to isolate your issues.

 

Re: corporate networks: This has always been an issue, because the needs of a large network administrator is very different from

the needs of a straight WATCHOUT playback setup. If possible, avoid connect through those. Linksys is a division of Cisco, btw.

Using Windows 7 compliant hardware is of course recommended, especially when having trouble. It's not that expensive either.

 

On a more general note, I think upgrading older hardware to Windows 7 is generally NOT an good idea, it will open a can of worms of it's own...

I think it's better to start new, primarily because the technologies WATCHOUT relies on, is better supported.

 

Lloyd:

Staying with WindowsXP will only partly help, we are not actively testing WATCHOUT 5 on WXP, and know for a fact

that Multi-Output does not function reliably and there are other issues too, relying on a un-supported OS (Microsoft) is

probably just going to be worse over time. For full functionality with WATCHOUT 5, you'll need Windows 7.

 

64-bit will not give you any big advantages, except in some special cases, since both WATCHOUT and QuickTime is 32-bit.

 

Postpone an upgrade until Windows 8 arrives could also take some time, knowing their track-record on time-schedules....

Windows 8 is anyway heavily based on Windows 7 codebase, so learning/trying now, is not wasted time, I think.

 

 

 

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An addition to the Win7 tweaking list might read: "avoid at all costs"! Next week I am going back to XP. (only joking!)

A simple way to determine if your switch is causing the problem is to connect the Production machine directly to one of the Displays(thanks to Dataton for this).

I still would like to hear from people who have not had these issues with Win7 and more importantly what NICs and switches they use.I'm not asking for product recommendations.Just be interested to hear about combinations that work out of the box. On every other forum I know of users freely share their setup for others benefit.So why not here?

Cheers

Neil Stratton

 

Asus P8P67 Rev3 (Realtek® 8111E Gigabit LAN controller)(Win 7 Certified)

Intel I7 2600k

Netgear FS108 (Win 7 Certified)

Win 7 Home Premium

Watchout 5

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Neil/David,

 

It's not a manual page number reference.

I was referring to basic computer & networks trouble-shooting.

When having strange issues like these, go back and start over with as simple setup as possible, and test that first.

 

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It's to use a straight cable between Production and Display in order to isolate your issues with switches.

Computer & networks trouble-shooting 101...

One would need a crossover Ethernet cable for this to work. The normal straight Ethernet cable that one usually uses for hubs, switches, etc will not do.

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