Dec 232017
 
An interesting document that explains what a Novell FSP is, what it does, and how your free memory affects how many are created.
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An interesting document that explains what a Novell FSP is, what it does, and how your free memory affects how many are created.
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Contents of the FSP-1.TXT file




The purpose of this document is to describe File Service Processes
(FSP's) in NetWare. This information has been gathered in a piecemeal
process. Novell does not seem to be able to provide a definitive
description of FSP's and what options in a NetWare OS affect FSP's.
Some of this information comes from laborious trial and error testing.


What is an FSP?

An FSP is essentially a task in a multitasking system. The more FSP's
you have the more requests the file server can handle simultaneously.
Because NetWare is a non-preemptive multi-tasking system the exact
details of how FSP's are utilized are not obvious. But this is not
important. What is important is the understanding that the more FSP's
you have the better off you are. You can check the number of FSP's
you have by entering the "config" command on the file server console,
or by running FCONSOLE and looking on the Statistics Summary screen.


How many FSP's do you need?

Novell personnel on Compuserve have stated that you should have a
minimum of 2 FSP's. From my experience you can run with one FSP but
you will probably have problems. We have been running 4 meg 20 mhz
386 file servers with 1 FSP. The only real problem we have is when
something large hits the network. If that something uses the only FSP,
other network requests will be put on hold until an FSP is free. If
a request if held too long it will eventually timeout and a network
error will occur. I have heard from various sources that this can
lock up the workstation or the file server, but I cannot verify this.
Usually I can choose Retry at the "Abort, Retry, Ignore" message
and the workstation will recover. This seems to happen most often
when a large NCOPY or NPRINT is performed.


What affects the number of FSP's you have?

Evidently NetWare uses a 64k data segment just like most programs.
This data segment is reserved for certain information. Information
about volumes, spooled printers, and network drivers make up some
of the data stored in this segment. When NetWare is finished
initializing these items it takes whatever memory remains and uses
it for as many FSP's as it can create.

Because much of the information on Compuserve is in disagreement
about such issues as whether the number of volumes and spooled
printers affects FSP's I decided to do my own tests. The objective
of these tests was to determine the affect of things. These
objectives are:

1 - Determine the affect of the number of volumes.
2 - Determine the affect of the number of spooled printers.
3 - Determine the affect of using SMC PC500FS cards instead
of SMC PC110 cards.
4 - Determine the affect of using SMC's reduced service 1KB
and 2KB drivers with the PC500FS card instead of the
default 4KB driver.

These tests were performed using:

SFT Netware 2.15
4 meg 20 mhz 386
WD7000 - FASST SCSI controller
CDC Wren IV 340 meg drive
SMC PC110 Arcnet
SMC PC500 File Server Card

Test 1
1 32 meg volume
0 spooled printers
SMC PC110 Arcnet card
This yielded 8 FSP's.

Test 2
10 32 meg volumes
0 spooled printers
SMC PC110 Arcnet card
This yielded 6 FSP's.

Test 3
1 32 meg volume
3 spooled printers
SMC PC110 Arcnet card
This yielded 6 FSP's.

Test 4
1 32 meg volume
0 spooled printers
SMC PC500FS card with 4KB drivers
This yielded 2 FSP's.

Test 5
1 32 meg volume
0 spooled printers
SMC PC500FS card with 2KB drivers
This yielded 3 FSP's.

Test 6
1 32 meg volume
0 spooled printers
SMC PC500FS card with 1KB drivers
This yielded 5 FSP's.

Test 7
8 32 meg volumes
0 spooled printers
SMC PC500FS card with 4KB drivers
This yielded 1 FSP.


Conclusions

The conclusions of these tests are:

1 - The number of volumes does make a difference in the
number of FSP's you have. I did not test to see if
the size of the volumes has any affect, but I seriously
doubt that it does.

2 - The number of spooled printers does make a difference
in the number of FSP's you have.

3 - The SMC PC500FS card (as opposed to the SMC PC110 card)
will lower your number of FSP's regardless of what
drivers you use for it.

4 - The 1KB and 2KB drivers for the SMC PC500FS card provide
definite FSP advanatages over the standard 4KB drivers
shipped with the card.


Final Points

1 - An FSP probably requires a minimum fixed amount of memory.
Reducing your number of volumes or printers by a small
amount may not increase your number of FSP's.

2 - According to SMC, the 2KB driver inflicts a 3% performance
penalty over the 4KB driver, and the 1KB driver inflicts
a 5% performance penalty. This is a minimal penalty
considering the importance of FSP's. My opinion on the
PC500FS card is that the primary performance advantage
probably comes from the 16 bit interface and the priority
chip, not the buffer size.

3 - SMC's 1KB and 2KB drivers are available on Compuserve
(GO SMC).

4 - When is Novell going to get serious with it's 386 product
and drop the price by $4000 ?


 December 23, 2017  Add comments

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