Question about network performance

Hello all. We have a remote site that has a Drobo w/DroboShare. The device is connected directly to the 100 Mbps network and things in general are working fine for those at that site.

There is another user who needs access to the files and will be getting this access remotely. She will have to VPN into our company network, then Remote Desktop into a terminal server at our main site, then access the DroboShare via a mapped drive over a point-to-point T1 that connects the main site with the remote site where the Drobo is installed.

I set this up for her so I could see how it would work and of course it’s really slow to open folders and access files. I’m at the main site, I logged into the terminal server as her, setup the mapped network drive and opened it in My Computer. It was horrifically slow from here to there and it will obviously be worse for her since she’s not even going to be here at the main site when she’s attempting to get into it.

I’m wondering if there’s anything that can be done with the Drobo itself to speed things up. Previous to using the Drobo she was accessing an iOmega external USB hard drive connected to a PC at the remote site and shared from there. That’s what they were using for storage of the files that are now on the Drobo. I’m going to find out what performance was like when she was using that as I have no idea if it was terribly slow as well.

I realize the point-to-point T1 is a major bottleneck, as well as the fact that she has to jump through so many hoops in order to get to the point where she can access the DroboShare. I’m just curious to know if there’s anything that can be done in the Drobo itself, perhaps even using a DroboApp, that might help with performance issues related to this possibly unique network setup.

Wow, that’s a lot of hoops.

I use SSH port-forwarding to access shares via a private IP on a loopback adapter (port-forward from loopback adapter’s address).

Feedback is a little lagged, but reasonable. I get <3-second response browsing directories, and anywhere between 5-20 seconds for directories with files, depending on the content (I think XP is still trying to cache).

Note this is behind a corporate proxy too, so the times are exaggerated compared to a normal non-proxied connection, so I would take this as worst-case for a single-hop connection.

I’m SSH-ing to my router, then port-forwarding to the DroboShare from there.

(figures below - single-hop)

I have another topology that uses a central PPTP server that bridges the two networks.
If I SSH to the central network, which is connected to the other network, then access the DroboShare that way, this is two hops, and the times are… (still behind corporate proxy)

(figures below - two-hop)

8 min, 45 sec for 8,491,008 bytes
10 min for 8,491,008 bytes

So there’s definitely an additional latency in the extra hops… but it all depends on where your sites are. My example is going between neighboring states, across two different providers.

If you can get a direct line to your DroboShare, that’d help at least… assuming the RDP connection isn’t a necessity for security/etc.


bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bump

As you mentioned before… maybe a DroboApp would help…

A DroboApp that improves performance is BackMyFruitUp. Try it. For whatever reason, AFP is a faster protocol than SMB on the DroboShare.