ShareFile/Drive Mapper SLOW File Downloads

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  • Updated 7 months ago
Hi,

We are having issues with ShareFile/Drive Mapper on Windows systems. We have some folders that contain many small files, when using Windows Explorer to copy them from Drive Mapper to the local drive on a machine the copy doesn't go faster than about 360KB/s. When downloading the same files from the ShareFile Web, ShareFile ZIP's these files into one and downloads about 2MB/s. Single file transfers are also capped to iPad clients at about the same speed.

Even at 2MB/s, this is too slow. We are hosting on a 400/400mb network and can't crack around 2MB/s no matter what, whether the device is located on the LAN or externally through NetScaler. The bottleneck is not Netscaler as even bypassing this and accessing the StorageZone directly on LAN it does not improve. I tested by turning encryption off and it made no difference. We set up our StorageZone following Citrix guidelines to a tee. We have updated to latest StorageZone 5.1 with Drive Mapper 3.9, nothing was resolved. I even provisioned a brand new WS2016 VM in XenCenter and created a new on-prem StorageZone and speeds were still not improved when files were stored on this StorageZone. I setup an SMB network share on the same machine seperate to StorageZone and copied a file over the LAN, I was getting the full gigabit speeds expected on LAN.

My question is, why is StorageZone so slow at delivering files to clients? Why does it get even worse when there are multiple small files to download? Is there anything that can be done about this on an implementation end, or is StorageZone/Center just awful as a fileserver?



Thanks.
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Evan

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Posted 7 months ago

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Andrew Edmond

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Hi Evan

Obviously, I'm not sure of all of the details of your setup, but the most likely reason you're finding that Sharefile slow, is because, well, Sharefile is slow :-)  Compared with native SMB/CIFS, it's orders of magnitude slower.  But compared with other sync-and-share products (OneDrive, Dropbox, etc), it's probably in the same ballpark.

We've been through similar pain to yourself investigating this.  All our storage is on-prem, and it's all super-fast when you transfer files directly to it through SMB (i.e. by-passing Sharefile).  But when you upload/download files through Sharefile, the performance bottleneck isn't in the reading/writing of the DATA, it's with reading/writing the METADATA.  (Which is all held at Citrix's end, of course, and all involves calls to databases.)  We've watched average-size files take typically 3 seconds to write the metadata, then a tiny fraction of a second to write the actual file.  Coming from an SMB background, it took me a long time to accept that Sharefile really does take way longer to write things like filename/folder-path/permissions, than it does to write the file-contents, but that's just the way it is.

Details of our testing can be found here :
https://www.strath.ac.uk/it/services/strathcloud/limitationsofstrathcloud/
All the above pages were written with the full knowledge and co-operation of our contacts at Citrix, so it's not us being grumpy :-), we're just telling it as it is.

My advice would be, tell your users Sharefile is great for small amounts of data, small numbers of files, collaboration, nice features, etc.  But don't ever think of it as a replacement for good-old network-shares/mapped-drives, which are far more scalable/performant.  Once your users understand that, and you set their expectations appropriately, it's fine.

Hope this helps,
Andrew