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David Groos 11-11-2009 01:34 PM

Too much network activity?
 
Hi All,

I'm running 18 old pentium 4's as thin clients with a 4 processor (2 dual core Xeon 2.8 GHz), RAID setup, 2 NICs, a 100 MB to the building and a 1000 MB NIC going to the switch which has then has 100 MB going to the clients.* It has 3 GB of RAM.* I'm running Jaunty.*


So, even with just 1 client signed in (running System monitor) the baseline for the Network is about 3.2 MiB/s.* Then, every 42 to 43 seconds, over a 2 second period the activity spikes to about 6.1 MiB/s.* This is like clockwork.* Of course, when more people sign in the activity climbs a good bit higher.


I don't remember this much network activity before about 2-3 weeks ago.* Is this normal?* Seems logging in is slower, maybe especially in the afternoon?* Hard to pin that one down.

Anyway, is this background speed normal?* Thanks,


David

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David Groos 11-14-2009 03:31 PM

Too much network activity?
 
Seeing Jim's e-mail about his computers being slow to log on is motivating me to re-post to this previous post.* I'll repeat that since the last few weeks, students have to wait maybe 2-4 minutes for their log on process to finish.* I don't think it's worse in the afternoon though--students are less patient at that time it seems.*


I haven't added new software to my LTSP server except for regular updates.* I've had System Monitor on the last week a good bit.* 2 things draw my attention, the first I already mentioned that there is a lot of network activity even when only 1 TC is booted.* The other is that the 4 CPU's seem to be maxing out for a few seconds then go to around 60-70% about for 5-10 seconds, then again max out for a few seconds.* When they peg at 100% it appears that's when another TC or 2 will get further logged in.* I'm not sure about how much logging in happens during that maxing out period, but that is when the logging in process seems to get furthered.


I went to the logs, looked at a few but didn't know where to look and nothing really jumped out to me.* Any thoughts about how to further troubleshoot this?* Might be related to Jim's TC problems, too, anyone else experiencing this?


Thanks,
David

On Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 8:34 AM, David Groos <djgroos@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi All,

I'm running 18 old pentium 4's as thin clients with a 4 processor (2 dual core Xeon 2.8 GHz), RAID setup, 2 NICs, a 100 MB to the building and a 1000 MB NIC going to the switch which has then has 100 MB going to the clients.* It has 3 GB of RAM.* I'm running Jaunty.*




So, even with just 1 client signed in (running System monitor) the baseline for the Network is about 3.2 MiB/s.* Then, every 42 to 43 seconds, over a 2 second period the activity spikes to about 6.1 MiB/s.* This is like clockwork.* Of course, when more people sign in the activity climbs a good bit higher.




I don't remember this much network activity before about 2-3 weeks ago.* Is this normal?* Seems logging in is slower, maybe especially in the afternoon?* Hard to pin that one down.

Anyway, is this background speed normal?* Thanks,




David



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Steve Rippl 11-15-2009 02:57 PM

Too much network activity?
 
On Sat, 2009-11-14 at 10:31 -0600, David Groos wrote:
> Seeing Jim's e-mail about his computers being slow to log on is
> motivating me to re-post to this previous post. I'll repeat that
> since the last few weeks, students have to wait maybe 2-4 minutes for
> their log on process to finish. I don't think it's worse in the
> afternoon though--students are less patient at that time it seems.
>
> I haven't added new software to my LTSP server except for regular
> updates. I've had System Monitor on the last week a good bit. 2
> things draw my attention, the first I already mentioned that there is
> a lot of network activity even when only 1 TC is booted. The other is
> that the 4 CPU's seem to be maxing out for a few seconds then go to
> around 60-70% about for 5-10 seconds, then again max out for a few
> seconds. When they peg at 100% it appears that's when another TC or 2
> will get further logged in. I'm not sure about how much logging in
> happens during that maxing out period, but that is when the logging in
> process seems to get furthered.
>
> I went to the logs, looked at a few but didn't know where to look and
> nothing really jumped out to me. Any thoughts about how to further
> troubleshoot this? Might be related to Jim's TC problems, too, anyone
> else experiencing this?
>
> Thanks,
> David

Are the users on Network homefolders or local to whichever server they
log into? What specific processes are hogging the resources? What
version of Ubuntu?

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Jim Christiansen 11-15-2009 03:12 PM

Too much network activity?
 
Hello David,

I haven't topped the server yet at client log on yet.* It was on my list though for Tuesday (Monday= day off)

I can tell you that it seems we do have the same problem.* My 9 year old etherbooting boxes with newer (4 year old) rt8139 nics take 2 minutes to log on on after the students push enter for their passwords.* I have 25 of these old boxes.* They are 128 or 256 meg amd k 450s and 500s.


My newer- 4 year old "Computers For BC Schools" that are 1.5 Gighz* and 1 gig ram take 30 seconds to log on.* They are also 10/100 nics.

The etherboot module that I built from Rom-o-matic.com and installed into the old clients' grub is unchanged.* I did have to specify the tftp pxelinux.0 for all of the old boxes in the dhcpd-server.conf file for them to boot.* This took me a little while to sort out.* It just failed without specifically calling for each mac...* Maybe this has something to do with it.


The newer boxes just boot fine with the default dhcpd-server.conf...*

What I'll do next is specify each client in the /etc/hosts file- this isn't done yet.* Have you added your clients to the hosts file?


I did add a custom lst.conf file to /var/bla/bla/bla somewhere with the LDM_DIRECTX=True and it made a small difference to boot time.

My server is a 3 or 4 year old twin 64 bit xenon with 6 gigs ram.* It has never been bogged down before.* Client speeds have always been like stand-alone systems.* I had not installed flash on the old K12LTSP system and kept games like Nibbles off of my system.


I am happy with the Ubuntu-ltsp implementation and look forward to setting up local apps.* What I really want to get running is Roberta Arkiletian's fl_teachertool up and running.* It is a gem.* I expect we'll get through this pretty soon- it's just another minor hurdle ;-)


Jim





=================================

Date: Sat, 14 Nov 2009 10:31:12 -0600

From: David Groos <djgroos@gmail.com>

Subject: Re: Too much network activity?

To: Edubuntu Users Group <edubuntu-users@lists.ubuntu.com>

Message-ID:

* * * *<195a0730911140831j3445cba1pdcd7f4217e93e705@mail .gmail.com>

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"



Seeing Jim's e-mail about his computers being slow to log on is motivating

me to re-post to this previous post. *I'll repeat that since the last few

weeks, students have to wait maybe 2-4 minutes for their log on process to

finish. *I don't think it's worse in the afternoon though--students are less

patient at that time it seems.



I haven't added new software to my LTSP server except for regular updates.

I've had System Monitor on the last week a good bit. *2 things draw my

attention, the first I already mentioned that there is a lot of network

activity even when only 1 TC is booted. *The other is that the 4 CPU's seem

to be maxing out for a few seconds then go to around 60-70% about for 5-10

seconds, then again max out for a few seconds. *When they peg at 100% it

appears that's when another TC or 2 will get further logged in. *I'm not

sure about how much logging in happens during that maxing out period, but

that is when the logging in process seems to get furthered.



I went to the logs, looked at a few but didn't know where to look and

nothing really jumped out to me. *Any thoughts about how to further

troubleshoot this? *Might be related to Jim's TC problems, too, anyone else

experiencing this?



Thanks,

David

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David Groos 11-15-2009 03:47 PM

Too much network activity?
 
On Sun, Nov 15, 2009 at 9:57 AM, Steve Rippl <rippls@woodlandschools.org> wrote:

On Sat, 2009-11-14 at 10:31 -0600, David Groos wrote:

> Seeing Jim's e-mail about his computers being slow to log on is

> motivating me to re-post to this previous post. *I'll repeat that

> since the last few weeks, students have to wait maybe 2-4 minutes for

> their log on process to finish. *I don't think it's worse in the

> afternoon though--students are less patient at that time it seems.

>

> I haven't added new software to my LTSP server except for regular

> updates. *I've had System Monitor on the last week a good bit. *2

> things draw my attention, the first I already mentioned that there is

> a lot of network activity even when only 1 TC is booted. *The other is

> that the 4 CPU's seem to be maxing out for a few seconds then go to

> around 60-70% about for 5-10 seconds, then again max out for a few

> seconds. *When they peg at 100% it appears that's when another TC or 2

> will get further logged in. *I'm not sure about how much logging in

> happens during that maxing out period, but that is when the logging in

> process seems to get furthered.

>

> I went to the logs, looked at a few but didn't know where to look and

> nothing really jumped out to me. *Any thoughts about how to further

> troubleshoot this? *Might be related to Jim's TC problems, too, anyone

> else experiencing this?

>

> Thanks,

> David



Are the users on Network homefolders or local to whichever server they

log into? *What specific processes are hogging the resources? *What

version of Ubuntu?

Thanks for asking, Steve. Home folders are local to the server to which students login.* We are using Jaunty.* The striking thing is that this slowdown started a few weeks ago.* I tried server restart but need to be more science-teacher like and record resultant log in times :).* I also tried re-building the chroot Friday after school--will see if that has any effect and report back what I find out.


David



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David Groos 11-15-2009 04:09 PM

Too much network activity?
 
Hi Jim,

Interesting, I think, that the newer clients take 1/4 of the time of the older.* This seems to imply that the cause isn't just on the server?

I've not specifically added clients to /etc/hosts.* What does this do?


"LDM_DIRECTX=True" what does this do?

I had heard of fl_teachertool but am just checking into it.* Seems like it has more features than iTALC, an alternative project.* I looked for a comparison of the two, didn't find much though looks like it might not be kept up?* Author says might want to go for iTALC for this reason... http://www.linux.com/archive/feature/151686* What do you think?* Ever tried iTALC?* Yes, we'll get through this :)


David

On Sun, Nov 15, 2009 at 10:12 AM, Jim Christiansen <jim.c.christiansen@gmail.com> wrote:

Hello David,

I haven't topped the server yet at client log on yet.* It was on my list though for Tuesday (Monday= day off)

I can tell you that it seems we do have the same problem.* My 9 year old etherbooting boxes with newer (4 year old) rt8139 nics take 2 minutes to log on on after the students push enter for their passwords.* I have 25 of these old boxes.* They are 128 or 256 meg amd k 450s and 500s.



My newer- 4 year old "Computers For BC Schools" that are 1.5 Gighz* and 1 gig ram take 30 seconds to log on.* They are also 10/100 nics.

The etherboot module that I built from Rom-o-matic.com and installed into the old clients' grub is unchanged.* I did have to specify the tftp pxelinux.0 for all of the old boxes in the dhcpd-server.conf file for them to boot.* This took me a little while to sort out.* It just failed without specifically calling for each mac...* Maybe this has something to do with it.



The newer boxes just boot fine with the default dhcpd-server.conf...*

What I'll do next is specify each client in the /etc/hosts file- this isn't done yet.* Have you added your clients to the hosts file?



I did add a custom lst.conf file to /var/bla/bla/bla somewhere with the LDM_DIRECTX=True and it made a small difference to boot time.

My server is a 3 or 4 year old twin 64 bit xenon with 6 gigs ram.* It has never been bogged down before.* Client speeds have always been like stand-alone systems.* I had not installed flash on the old K12LTSP system and kept games like Nibbles off of my system.



I am happy with the Ubuntu-ltsp implementation and look forward to setting up local apps.* What I really want to get running is Roberta Arkiletian's fl_teachertool up and running.* It is a gem.* I expect we'll get through this pretty soon- it's just another minor hurdle ;-)



Jim





=================================

Date: Sat, 14 Nov 2009 10:31:12 -0600

From: David Groos <djgroos@gmail.com>

Subject: Re: Too much network activity?

To: Edubuntu Users Group <edubuntu-users@lists.ubuntu.com>

Message-ID:

* * * *<195a0730911140831j3445cba1pdcd7f4217e93e705@mail .gmail.com>

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"



Seeing Jim's e-mail about his computers being slow to log on is motivating

me to re-post to this previous post. *I'll repeat that since the last few

weeks, students have to wait maybe 2-4 minutes for their log on process to

finish. *I don't think it's worse in the afternoon though--students are less

patient at that time it seems.



I haven't added new software to my LTSP server except for regular updates.

I've had System Monitor on the last week a good bit. *2 things draw my

attention, the first I already mentioned that there is a lot of network

activity even when only 1 TC is booted. *The other is that the 4 CPU's seem

to be maxing out for a few seconds then go to around 60-70% about for 5-10

seconds, then again max out for a few seconds. *When they peg at 100% it

appears that's when another TC or 2 will get further logged in. *I'm not

sure about how much logging in happens during that maxing out period, but

that is when the logging in process seems to get furthered.



I went to the logs, looked at a few but didn't know where to look and

nothing really jumped out to me. *Any thoughts about how to further

troubleshoot this? *Might be related to Jim's TC problems, too, anyone else

experiencing this?



Thanks,

David



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"Jonathan Carter (highvoltage)" 11-15-2009 05:07 PM

Too much network activity?
 
Hi David

David Groos wrote:
> Interesting, I think, that the newer clients take 1/4 of the time of the
> older. This seems to imply that the cause isn't just on the server?

Have you checked on something like top or htop what's using the CPU when
it's maxed out?

> "LDM_DIRECTX=/True" /what does this do?

The X session gets exported without ssh compression/encryption, which
results in better performance and breaks security (keystrokes, things
that are displayed on the client are easily accessible by malcontented
users).

-Jonathan

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