I’ve just read a great post on SMB v2.0 by Kurt Roggen. His article links to a whitepaper that microsoft has released from the Tolly group on ‘Enhanced Network Performance with Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008‘.
Buried in this whitepaper is some testing of tranfering 10MB word file from WSS 3.0 running on Windows Server 2003/2008 to XP and Vista clients. To summarise my interpretation of the results for 10Mbps / 50ms WAN link changing from Windows Server 2003 to 2008 makes little difference, however changing from Windows XP to Windows Vista downloading from either 2003 or 2008 server makes a very big difference. Throughput goes from 4.2Mbps for XP to 9.8Mbps for Vista.
The appendix in this document also gives a detailed breakdown of the stats at other network bandwidths and latencies. As the bandwidth decreases and the latency increases the effect of changing from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008 start to become noticble. However this is only with Windows XP as a client. With Vista as the client and the this network condition the difference between the server version is negligble.
The other great piece of information in this article is about modifying some settings for Windows Server 2003. Microsoft KB820129 documents the http.sys registry settings for IIS. The tolly group whitepaper recommends changing the MaxBytesPerSend value to its maximum value. I haven’t tested this is our lab yet but its well worth a look.
Up till now I’ve not seen much of a benefit of moving the standard corporate desktop O/S from XP to Vista but based on these results I think it should be given stronger consideration.