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HP microserver N40L slow network speeds?


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Hey Folks, I'm new to the forum, I'm running an HP microserver N40L using Freenas 8.2 as a media storage device. I'm having some issues in regards to speeds. Mainly in Transferring data from my windows 7 desktop to the NAS over a wired gigabit connection. Here is my setup


-HP microserver N40L (has 3 x 3TB WD red drive, and 1 x 1TB green drive.

-Asus RT-N16 router (currently running tomato, but tried it with DD-WRT and standard firmware with similar results)

-Desktop has Marvell 88E8056 Gigabit network card.


I used the iperf utility to check my network speeds and am getting a consistent 250-300 mbps connection, so transfer are topping out around 35-37 MB/s


I ran a few tests to try and identify possible faulty networking hardware, I Hooked up my laptop to a gigabit switch (to rule out my desktop computers network card) and also plugged the microserver into that (to try and isolate if its a router problem) but speeds were still the same. I tried a few different network cables and still had no success.


When doing a long file copy from the desktop computer to looking at the freenas logs, network utilization seems to top out at 300mbps, yet the CPU utilization is only around 25%.


I've seen posts with people saying the network card is dropping out on them, but it appears to be a consistent 300mbps. I've also seen several posts of people getting 90-110Mbps using these boxes with no problems.


Any suggestions as to what else I can try? any settings I can change that might help, or something i'm doing wrong?


thanks in advance for any help or suggestions

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Yeh, there may be some things to check into. This is what I'm getting between my N40L with WHS-2011 and my HTPC -- the connection is over CAT6 thru 2 Dlink Gigabit Switches (not my router but my main Switch in the Basement DGS-1024D and a DGS-2208 in the family room).




I would suggest checking out the following threads to get a better idea on what you're dealing with:


Possible Relevant LAN Related Posts:

Network Troubles

HP ProLiant MicroServer N40L Speed and other Problems

Network Speed – 100MB

Questions about N40L BIOS-MOD’s NIC’s Memory etc.

Why upgrade the NIC on the N40L

pfSense and untangle on HP MicroServer


Networking <= An entire Forum on Networking

Slow Transfer Speeds to Server from Client

Slow Transfer Speeds After Converting to WHS 2011

Very Slow Transfer Speed between WHS and Win7 Client

Transfer Speeds

A Strange Network Issue

Go Jumbo or Go Home

Edited by Joe_Miner
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Get a Gigabit switch and plug it into the router. Plug your desktop and the server into the switch. Then when you are doing transfers everything goes from one system thru the switch to the other system and your router is not involved. I'm not saying the router is the problem but it is a likely culprit.


Edit - I need to slow down when reading. I see you tried the gigabit switch. Did you try a transfer between the laptop and desktop? That might tell you if the server or the desktop are the one slowing things down.

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Thanks for the Replies,


Joe, it looks like you are getting approx double what my speeds are. I briefly looked over the links you gave but most seem to talk about WHS and not free nas.


CsKenny, I didn't try a desktop to laptop transfer, but I'm gonna try that tonight to try and see if the issue is with the Microserver itself or not. At least that will pretty much tell me if I need to replace the NIC in the server.. although from posts i've seen, when the NIC is bad people are getting much lower transfer speeds (like 5MB/s) or having it drop on and off the network...


I know 1 issue I have is my router doesn't support jumbo frames (although, it SAYS it does, I haven't found a single post of anyone whos gotten it to work with the RT-N16) I have a gigabit switch that I got from monoprice mainly to test their quality, but I recently found out jumbo frames are not supported with this switch (I currently have jumbo frames disabled everywhere) I just got a few Asus gigabit switches in at work that support jumbo frames, so im going to snag one for the weekend and test with that switch just for the heck of it tonight and see if that helps anything... but im guessing it won't.


I'll report back with what I found...hopefully with some better idea as to whats going on, thanks!

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Jumbo Frames or not, I highly recommend you discontinue using the RT-N16 as a switch. Install a name-brand real gigabit Ethernet switch as the core of your LAN and connect your RT-N16 to it to handle only wireless traffic. The switching fabric in consumer routers doesn't really have the capacity for high network loads. Quite a few people in these forums have experienced much better performance after installing a dedicated switch.

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I briefly looked over the links you gave but most seem to talk about WHS and not free nas.



lot of good info in there on identifying the hardware issues regardless of the OS. let us know what you find.

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