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Networking Considerations

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The following information  is designed to assist customers, consultants, and IT professionals in the successful implementation of ManageMore Business Software in a network environment.

NOTE:  The documentation below is critical for the successful execution of ManageMore on a computer network. 

ON THIS PAGE

Networking Basics For Getting Up and Running
Network OS Compatibility
Configuring/Troubleshooting Windows Peer-to-Peer Network
Configuring/Troubleshooting Windows 2000/2003 Server Network
Configuring/Troubleshooting MS Terminal Services/Citrix Metaframe
Network Interface Card Issues
Networking Solution Comparison Chart
 

 

Networking Basics for Getting Up and Running

If you have not already decided on a computer network operating system to use for your business, please read our comments on network recommendations and compatibility.

ManageMore Business Software has already been set up to automatically optimize network settings on all workstations that it runs on. The only computer that requires an initial network configuration is your file server. ManageMore includes a simple tool for automatically configuring most Windows OS servers.  This tool is titled "Techtool.exe" and is included in the same folder as the installed ManageMore program.  Simply run this program and from the main menu choose Activities… Check Configuration… and follow the steps mentioned. 

The rest of the network documentation contained herein is for troubleshooting problems that can occur under special circumstances or for Novell Operating systems which require additional configuration steps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Network OS Compatibility

There are a variety of compatible network options that will run ManageMore Business Software.  Each of these networking solutions have their advantages and disadvantages in several key areas. See network comparison chart if you have not yet decided on the network environment to use. 

 

Windows Peer-to-Peer Network OS

All versions of Microsoft Windows come with a free peer-to-peer networking solution.   This network model is adequate for very small businesses with low volume transactions only.  Peer-to-Peer networks are considered risky for larger operations (5 or more networked stations) because of its lack of file integrity and overall slower performance.

If you are experiencing problems, please review these troubleshooting tips:

1. Turn off any data compression. The computer that will be used as the file server should not be using any hard drive data compression capabilities.

2. If program performance seems unusually slow...
A. Some anti-virus software applications have been known to cause poor network performance and also interfere with the proper operation of ManageMore.  Consider temporarily removing the anti-virus program from all of your computers to determine if this is the root of the problem.
B. Some firewall software applications have been known to cause poor network performance and also interfere with the proper operation of ManageMore.  Consider temporarily removing the firewall software from all of your computers to determine if this is the root of the problem.
C. You may need to check the Browse Master feature which is enabled by default when using “File and Printer sharing for Microsoft Networks…”. This setting has been known to occasionally cause poor network performance. When using Windows ’98, the setting is located under Network Neighborhood… Properties… File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks… Properties Button… The Browse Master feature should be disabled on all computers except the file server.

3. If you are still having problems... it is always good practice to make sure that all your workstations/servers are using the latest software drivers for your network cards and the latest service packs for your operating system. We strongly recommend using quality network cards (like 3COM or INTEL) to reduce your chances of data packet loss, corruption, and poor performance.

 

 

Windows 2000/2003 Server Editions

If you are experiencing problems, please review these troubleshooting tips:

1. Limit network protocols to TCP/IP. Remove any extra network protocols (i.e. NETBeui) that may be defined in the Network settings. Multiple defined protocols on a workstation or server will most likely cause erratic lock-up issues or slow performance.

2. Turn off any data compression.   Any data compression being performed on an NTFS volume can affect software performance and has even been known for causing data corruption.

3. If program performance seems unusually slow...
A. Certain older/outdated versions of anti-virus software applications have been known to cause poor network performance and also interfere with the proper operation of ManageMore.  Consider temporarily removing the anti-virus program from all of your computers to determine if this is the root of the problem.
B. Some firewall software applications have been known to cause poor network performance and also interfere with the proper operation of ManageMore.  Consider temporarily removing the firewall software from all of your computers to determine if this is the root of the problem.
C. If using Windows NT Server (Service Pack 4,5,6 and 6a), you may suffer from poor network performance due to a known MS flaw. Please read MS KB article Q249799 to determine if this problem affects your network and how to fix it.
D. When using Windows 2000 Server Edition, it is possible that slow network response is due to excessive network collisions. If you are experiencing network collisions, consider modifying the following registry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE"NETWORKINGCARD" Adaptive_ifs, REG_DWORD, 1 turns this feature on.
"NETWORKINGCARD" should be replaced with your actual networking card designation value (e.g. {691AC6FE-08AD-4C7B-9C98-E5534049CB94}).
E. You may need to check the Browse Master feature which is enabled by default when using “File and Printer sharing for Microsoft Networks…”. This setting has been known to occasionally cause poor network performance. When using Windows ’98, the setting is located under Network Neighborhood… Properties… File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks… Properties Button… The Browse Master feature should be disabled on all computers except the file server.

4. Be consistent with Service Packs on the network.   When using workstations installed with Windows NT/2000 workstation edition, it is imperative that you use the same service pack as installed on the NT/2000 Server. Having different OS service packs throughout the network has been known to cause erratic problems including poor network performance and possibly even data corruption.

5. Disable network redirector file caching.  Under rare circumstances, it may be necessary to disable network redirector file caching on NT Servers if ManageMore complains frequently of duplicate key errors. Only disable this feature if you are experiencing problems after doing all other recommended settings in this document. Please refer to MS KB Q163401 article for details about this feature and instructions on how to disable the network redirector cache.

6. Synchronize your dates on the network. It is strongly recommended that your network has been setup to synchronize all workstations with the date/time of your NT/2000 Server. This involves the use of a command “NET TIME” in each workstation logon script. Please refer to MS KB Q120944 for more information or check with your network administrator.

 

 

Microsoft Terminal Services or Citrix Metaframe

Both Citrix Metaframe and Microsoft Terminal Services are very similar in nature.

If you are experiencing problems, please review these troubleshooting tips:


1. Limit network protocols to TCP/IP. Remove any extra network protocols (i.e. NETBeui) that may be defined in the Network settings. Multiple defined protocols on a workstation or server will most likely cause erratic lock-up issues or slow performance.

2. Turn off any data compression.   Any data compression being performed on an NTFS volume will affect software performance and has even been known for causing data corruption.  

3. If program performance seems unusually slow...
A. Some anti-virus software applications have been known to cause poor network performance and also interfere with the proper operation of ManageMore.  Consider temporarily removing the anti-virus program from all of your computers to determine if this is the root of the problem.
B. Some firewall software applications have been known to cause poor network performance and also interfere with the proper operation of ManageMore.  Consider temporarily removing the firewall software from all of your computers to determine if this is the root of the problem.
C. You may need to check the Browse Master feature which is enabled by default when using “File and Printer sharing for Microsoft Networks…”. This setting has been known to occasionally cause poor network performance.  On Most Windows OS, the setting is located under Network Neighborhood… Properties… File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks… Properties Button… The Browse Master feature should be disabled on all computers except the file server.

4. RAM. RAM. and more RAM. It is strongly recommended that you obtain as much RAM as possible when setting up this type of network. It makes a huge difference in overall performance. We recommend a minimum of  1 Gig RAM (preferably 2 Gig RAM if more than 20 stations will be connected to one server).

5. File Access Errors.  Under the Windows 2000 Terminal Services environment, users may experience problem if ManageMore is accessed over the network or over mapped network drives.  The error message will appear as "File xxxxxx.mdf could not be opened. Possible data corruption on file (1477)."    These known Microsoft problems were documented in the following KB articles: MS KB #818528, MS KB #294816, MS KB #299603.  This issue affects MS Windows 2000 SP1 thru SP4.  A hotfix is available by Microsoft as a temporary fix until they resolve the issue.  Please visit the Microsoft KB article for more info on obtaining this patch.

6. If you are still having problems... it is always good practice to make sure that all your workstations/servers are using the latest software drivers for your network cards and the latest service packs for your operating system. We strongly recommend using quality network cards (like 3COM or INTEL) to reduce your chances of data packet loss, corruption, and poor performance.
We also recommend you visit Microsoft’s Web site and read MS KB article Q245607 which contains links to all types of setup issues for this environment.

 

 

 

Network Interface Card Issues

The following documentation is for advanced users only.  Many network interface card issues can be avoided if you purchase same brand network cards and hubs/switches with auto-sensing or auto-negotiation capabilities.

Network Interface Card Drivers

Always make sure the latest Network Interface Card (NIC) driver is being used. Current drivers are typically available from the manufacturer of your NIC card.  This is often the source for many network-related slowdowns, corruption, and erratic performance problems.  Do not rely on the drivers that come with Microsoft Windows as they are often outdated and unreliable in most cases.

Speed and Duplex Configurations

Improper configuration of NIC link speeds and duplex settings can cause sluggish network performance, timeout errors and lost network connections, all of which can in turn lead to data corruption. It is important that each NIC, including those on the file server(s), are configured to match the speed and duplex settings used by the ports on the hubs or switches to which they are connected.

Many NICs, hubs and switches support auto-detection (also called auto-sensing and auto-negotiation), which automatically detects and matches the speed and duplex settings configured for the connected hub or switch port. However, auto-detection may not work correctly when connecting certain brands of NICs, hubs and switches to certain other brands. Therefore, it may be necessary to manually configure the NIC to match the exact speed and duplex settings used by the hub or switch port. The following articles from Microsoft's Knowledge Base and Novell's Knowledge Base provide detailed information regarding speed and duplex settings:

  • Microsoft Article 325487 - How to Troubleshoot Network Connectivity Problems
  • Microsoft Article 247609 - Poor Performance with Catalyst 2948G LAN Switch
  • Novell Article 10023448 - Should I Use Half Duplex or Full Duplex?
  • Novell Article 10018424 - Server Will Close All Communication
  • Novell Article 10016506 - TCPIP Significantly Slower than IPX





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