[Techtalk] Network benchmarking

Raven, corporate courtesan raven at oneeyedcrow.net
Mon Oct 8 14:51:29 EST 2001

Heya --

Quoth the sunlover2 (Mon, Oct 08, 2001 at 05:43:18PM +0000):
> "Do you know if there is a way to find out what is the speed of network 
> connection of my workstation (Win 2000 and Linux)? also for all other 
> workstations at company? Reply to me ASAP."
	Have your friend look at the back of their computer and see what
sort of connection they've got.  Odds are overwhelming that it's an
Ethernet cable.  (Fiber or a phone jack or even a coax cable are the
other possibilities.)  Most modern Ethernet cards are 10/100 speed, and
will have a light on the back that will light up if 100 Mb. is on.
Usually the card will take its speed from the hub or switch that it's
plugged into.  (You can also trace the cable back to the hub and look at
the color of the light for the port you're connected to.)  That will
give you your theoretical connection speed.  Also, looking at the device
name for the driver may give you that.  

	If it's not Ethernet, let me know what the connection looks
like, and I'll try to be helpful.

	 There are several throughput testers for network speed
benchmarking.  The easiest and most common is to FTP a file of all 1's
(or all 0's) of a known size from a server on the network you're testing
to, and to see how long the file transfer takes.  Is your friend
interested in their connection speed to other machines on their local
network, or to the Internet at large, or what?  Most likely, your friend
has 10 or 100 Mb Ethernet to their desktop, and then their LAN is
connected to the outside world with T1s or T3s.  So communication
between 2 machines on the LAN will be pretty fast (assuming little
congestion), but communication to the outside world can be slower.

	So if it's just networking speed they're interested in, have
them try the FTP solution with a file of known size.  For best results,
try it several times at different times of the day.  If you're on a
shared-media LAN (like most), you'll get far different results at 3 AM
than at noon.  Likewise with the connection to the outside world.  Their
sysadmin should be able to tell them what speed of outside connectivity
they have.

	For a more systemwide look, you probably also would be
interested in the benchmarking howto at Linuxdoc.org:


"But at least now I have a batcat."
 -- me and Paul, discussing this weekend's shopping expedition

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