Data Expedition, Inc.
Articles, events, announcements, and blogs
When I talk about high performance, I use terms like 100% utilization, filling the data path, maximum speed, and full capacity. But just how fast can any given network path actually go? Knowing a path's maximum speed is crucial to making decisions about how to improve real-world workflows.
The first place to look when determining your network's potential is the local WAN link. Your ISP is being paid to provide a link at some number of megabits per second (mbps). Make sure you know what that number is, then consider all the ways it might not mean what you think.
With all of that in mind, the easiest way to get a feel for whether or not your network is giving you all it can is to do some data transfers to and from nearby servers. Sites like speedtest.net and fast.com can give you a rough idea of your network's capabilities. But here again are some caveats:
When testing your network's capabilities, make sure to use as wide a variety of services, protocols, and test data as you can. Just remember that the goal here is to test your network, not your storage (that is a whole different problem), so use the fastest, most directly attached storage you can (RAM and SSD being the best).
We provide a couple of test servers of our own, where you can download ExpeDat client software and then see how MTP/IP does on your network. california.mtpip.net (1 gigabit per second) and florida.mtpip.net (100 megabits per second) may not be local to you, and their bandwidth is shared with other users, but with MTP/IP powering each transfer, they may give you a useful point of comparison to other test methods. Installing your own ExpeDat trial server is also a quick way to establish a performance baseline.
After all these factors are taken into account, you can know the full capacity of your network. This is what we mean when we say 100% utilization of available bandwidth. (If that isn't close to what your ISP is promising, give them a call.)
Now you can compare that number to your real-world file transfer workflow. Since you are visiting our site, it is a good bet that the speed there is significantly less than the 100% number we just figured out. Latency, congestion, and the general inefficiency of TCP and legacy application protocols like FTP make the difference. Removing those factors is the heart of what we do at Data Expedition, Inc. MTP/IP cannot move data faster than the capacity of the physical network, but it can get you to that 100%.