Windows Server 2003 - Handling hundreds of simultaneous downloads

Posted by Paul Hinett on Server Fault See other posts from Server Fault or by Paul Hinett
Published on 2010-03-12T18:03:58Z Indexed on 2010/03/12 18:07 UTC
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At the moment I have a single server with 4 1TB hard disks, daily I haver over 150 MP3 music files uploaded (around 80mb each).

At busy periods there is over 300 people streaming / downloading these mixes all at once, 75% of the activity is on the most recently uploaded stuff which is all on a single hard disk.

My read speads on the hard disk are very low due to such high activity of 200+ reads all happening at the same time on a single hard disk (ran some tests with HDTach).

What would be a logical solution to solve this, a couple of ideas I had are:

  • Load balance with another server
  • Install faster hard disks (what are best these days? SCSI / SATA)
  • Spread the most accessed files over the 4 drives so it is sharing the load between all 4 disks, instead of all the most accessed (most recent) all on the most recently installed drive.

Obviouslly load balance is the most expensive option, but would it dramatically help?

Some help on this situation would be great!

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