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  1. #1

    Question How to get higher download rates from server?


    I have a Watchguard x1250e firewall and a fast network setup at in Ashburn, VA. I have Verizon FIOS here at the office (50 mbit) and did a test download from a URL they provided me and I get 5.8 MB/sec from their test file (probably off of Linux). But from my servers running Windows 2003 behind the firewall (x1250e) just using normal packet filter for HTTP, not proxy, very very basic config, I am only getting 2 MB/sec from my rack.

    What do I need to do to serve downloads FAST? If I have a network with no bottlenecks, 50 mbit service to my computer, GigE connectivity in the rack, where is this slowdown? We tried bypassing the firewall and the problem remains so it's something in Windows 2003 I presume. Anything I can tweak to push downloads at 6 MB/sec instead of 2 MB/sec?

    Any tips or tricks? Things to configure to get better HTTP download performance? test URL:

    My download URL:

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    There are so many things that can be an issue so the best way to solve the problem is to gather as much information as possible. You might want to do some speed tests from your server and another machine on the same subnet using the speakeasy speed test website. And if you have another subnet, compare a speed test from there. Now knowing your networks layout is a shot in the dark. But is your IIS webserver NATed, public IP/port 80 forwarded to private IP/port 80? Is your firewall stateful (probably is) so its probably inspecting all packets in and out to verify security. Is your FIOS symmetrical, or is your upload rates capped? Depending on the answers you can take steps to increase performance, especially if your network is growing, like putting your webserver on its own subnet/VLAN. Seeing how aggressive your firewall is at inspecting outgoing traffic. Your might want start viewing the logs on your firewall and even set up MRTG so you can see what the baseline of your network is compared to intervals throughout the week. Its all well worth the time because even if you solve the issue now, what happens when your network begins to grow?

  3. #3
    Thank you for the reply. I have 50/20 FIOS. I hate being in the blind as to what's going on outside my rack. I don't believe there are any limits or caps but we as colocation subscribers are in the blind as to what bandwidth setup there is, when someone is given priority/precedence over another, etc. I know my equipment is capable of so much faster, it's all GiGe, and internally does just fine. If I have 50 MB FIOS and I can download from other sites at 6 MB/sec, then there's no reason I shouldn't be able to from my own rack and it's only 2 hours away from me! You just lose faith over time as you don't know how your providers have things setup and the finger always gets pointed back to what's inside my rack. I complained about a Level3 issue, today I see a speed increase and tracert shows alternet. So it's not my equipment, network, it's something outside of this and it's beyond my control and every host I've ever been with it's always the dark secret as obviously they are trying to keep their bandwidth costs down, network balanced, etc.

  4. #4
    using the test downloads I am getting half the transmission speeds from your test download verses's download

    The following are traces to the respective test sites, as expected both hosts are on different routers(could be a multilayer device). But notice you can ping but not facing router to your host). I wont dig much further than a ping but this alone lets you know the topology/network configuration is different for the Colo. This makes sense if the company has a multilayer device protecting the customers servers. There could be an IPS along with the standard firewall and filters on site. There might not be much you can do, but if it is truly a multilayer device you might be able to request some QOS or traffic shaping. You can get more info from them by asking how they deal with customers hosting streaming or VOIP data.

    tracert to

    18 58 ms 50 ms 52 ms SAVVIS.NET.PRYME.NET []
    19 50 ms 50 ms 50 ms
    20 49 ms 49 ms 49 ms

    tracert to

    18 50 ms 50 ms 50 ms SAVVIS.NET.PRYME.NET []
    19 49 ms 50 ms 49 ms
    20 50 ms 49 ms 49 ms WEB3.NC-SOFTWARE.COM []

  5. #5
    Thanks. My watchguard firewall is so that makes sense. Well, we'll just see what happens. Thank you very much for your help.

  6. #6
    We switched my download server to linux instead of Windows 2003 and problem solved! Amazing how much faster linux will serve a download over IIS.

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