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Network Slow using an Access application

Discussion in 'Networking' started by jgjulio, Feb 14, 2005.

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  1. jgjulio

    jgjulio Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Messages:
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    I recently posted this on the Office Experts forum:

    We are using a propriatary mental health billing proram created from Access 97. (Office Therapy - www.quicdoc.com)

    The program is run on a network of XP computers. One XP pro computer serves as a server and 7 other XP Home computers are workstations.
    Each workstation has a copy of Office Therapy and so does the "server". The server holds the data files for this program.

    Each computer on the network is setup with a 10/100/1000 network card. The switch is also 1000.
    The "server" runs on a 1.8 Pentium 4 computer with 512 Meg of memory.

    My problem is that when a workstation computer access data and then writes a modification back to the server it takes up to 20 - 30 seconds to complete the write.

    If you go to the server itself and do a read and write with Office Therapy the write is very fast. (Less than 2 seconds).

    What is especially interesting is if one accesses the server from any computer using gotomypc the operation is also fast. This is curious since the computer has to log on to the server by going through the gotomypc servers.

    Any ideas on how to speed up this Access program would be appreciated.
    Thank you very much.

    I received this reply:

    I'm not very familiar with gotomypc other than I know what the underlying architecture is based on. We use Citrix a lot and I know that Citrix bought Expertcity who developed gotomypc. The point about the gigabit switch/NIC's etc, is that you are running over cat5 which may not be rated to gigabit. I'm sorry that I can't provide much more advice but you have answered your own questions. The fact that accessing the access app locally is quick means that there isn't a problem with the app. The fact that when you are accessing the app using gotomypc, which is just screen refreshes etc with low network overhead, the app is fine suggests that there is a possible network issue. Networks produce lots of broadcast traffic,and there are many other factors that can add to overhead on the network. I would suggest running some network monitoring tools to see if you can see any problems. I would also suggest not using an XP workstation as a server, but using a proper server instead. Sorry I can't be of any more help!

    My Question:

    I have heard of network overhead, but dont know what it is. What monitoring tools should I use? How do I know if I see a problem.
    I have been trying to get a solution for this issue for a long time. I have posted on this forum before. I have been told that Access is a slow program and I should change, however for now I cant since there are no alternatives for our industry (Mental Health Billing).
     
  2. squidboy

    squidboy

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Messages:
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    It does sound like a network issue of some kind. To truely diagnose you'd need a scanner or sniffer + some knowledge to understand what it's telling you.

    I'd start with some basics first, though.

    - How fast/slow are file tranfers between the server and workstation? Pick a sufficiently large test file (~ 200 MB).

    - Try manually setting the switch, server and all workstations to 10/half and see how that performs.

    - Go to task manager on the 'server' and watch the stats while testing.
     
  3. jgjulio

    jgjulio Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Messages:
    112
    Ok I will check it.
    Thanks
    What is a sniffer or scanner?
     
  4. squidboy

    squidboy

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Messages:
    403
    Typically, they are a physical device that you 'plug into' your network port so they can inspect the network and settings. They are expensive but can troubleshoot numerous many things like what media type (ethernet, token ring, etc), broadcast traffic/storms and where a broken/faulty cable might be and tell you within 12 inches where that faulty cable got assaulted by vermin.

    A sniffer is usually software based nowadays and can watch or 'sniff' traffic between 2 hosts at the packet level to see what each host is sending/receiving and how each is responding. A bit technical but enormously helpful when you absolutely-positively-have-to-troubleshoot-where-this-network-problem-is-coming-from.
     
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