[p4] Server performance questions.

Russell C. Jackson rcjackson at alum.atu.edu
Fri Oct 19 02:42:31 PDT 2001

Hi everyone,

We are experiencing some growing pains, and I wanted to ask a few questions
to those of you on the list with large servers.

First off, here are the stats on our server.

Users: 750+ with more than 2/3 of the users working over the WAN. Most users
are Windows users.
Files: 1.5 Million+
Actual space used for depot: 120+ Gigs
db.have - 1.7 Gigs minimum (I remove old clients regularly to keep this as
small as possible.)
db.rev - 650 Megs

Our server is currently a dual 600 Mhz machine running Windows NT, SP6a with
4 Gigs of RAM, a RAID 5 array for storage and a Gigabit NIC.

During normal work hours, the server utilization is usually between 70% and
100%. Based on Perforce's numbers in the Performance tuning section of the
tech notes, this seems really high since they indicate that a 140 Mhz single
processor Sparc machine should be able to handle 700 - 800 users. I suppose
that might be true if all of the users were Unix users that didn't use the
GUI, and didn't run any server intensive commands, but that isn't reality.

Main problems we are seeing when everyone is working:

1. Sync of single small file can take several minutes to complete, and it is
the server side that is waiting because it sends the file over, and then
sits there. I timed one sync today, and it took 7 minutes to complete on a
file that normally syncs out in 2 seconds.

2. Submit can show the same problem. It will send the files over, but then
the server will sit there for minutes before it completes the command.

3. Similar problems with other commands that would normally complete very

Note: This doesn't happen with every single request, but it happens
frequently enough to be causing the users a lot of problems.


1. Has anyone else seen similar problems? If so, did you find a solution, or
at least a cause?

2. If you have a similar, or larger size server:
	A. What is your configuration?
	B. How many users do you have remote?
	C. How many of your users use the GUI?

3. Do any of you have any recommendations about whether faster hardware is
the way to go, or should we be looking into splitting this server into
multiple smaller servers? Multiple smaller servers is a pain in terms of
code management, server maintenance, and costs is why we have avoided going
that route so far.


Russell C. Jackson
rcjackson at alum.atu.edu

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