Network and Storage Protocols

Mac clients generates 2-3 times more IOPS compares to Windows clients in CIFS shares!


Anybody out here having experance of Mac clients and CIFS shares??

I have done IOPS test from Windows and Mac clients. The results are chocking! Mac clients genereates 2-3 times more network traffic and IOPS than Windows clients. Try to open a PDF dokument from Windows XP generates about 20000 packets the same file opened in Mac OSX latest version generated over 50000 packet in the network sniffer and so its going on in all applications! I can also see the same figures in the IOPS load on the NetApp filer. Anybody know if you can tune it in the Mac CIFS options or do anything else to keep the traffic and IOPS low as possible from a client? If you compare Windows 7 with Mac OSX the difference are even bigger (3-4 times) in terms om IOPS and network load!!

In the end you need to oversize the NetApp filer more than usually with Mac clients (or mixed Mac/Windows) compares if you have a network with Windows client only.

Any suggestions??



Hi Thomas,

Well, CIFS is a bit 'chatty' protocol anyway. So instead of fixing / fine-tuning its Mac implementation why not use NFS? You share the same NetApp volume using both CIFS (for Windows clients) & NFS (for Mac clients).

You can also have a look at this doc for additional hints (a bit old though):



Erk....I hate to disagree with Radek....but I really wouldn't mix CIFS and NFS for end-user file serving....the permissions there can just get really complex and in some cases become a security issue. I like sharing out the same volume via CIFS and NFS as a way to transit batch type files between Windows clients and Linux/Unix boxes (i.e. batch processing that regular users can dump files into a " filequeue").

If you look at the traffic, I'd bet the Mac is doing more to provide a "rich experience" -- stuff like the .DS_Store files (you can turn these off and you should), pulling the file down to generate a live preview (I think you can control this), etc.