The Benchmarking Speedway

The Windows NT Magazine Lab's test environment includes the following hardware and software:

The Primary Domain Controller (PDC) is a Digital Prioris HX 5133DP, with 64MB of RAM, dual 133MHz Pentiums, and a 1GB hard disk. Bluecurve Dynameasure's Control Client and Control Server agents reside on an IBM PC Server 704, with a quad 200MHz Pentium Pro configuration and 256MB of RAM, a 500MB hard disk, a 2GB hard disk, and an Adaptec (4-port) PCI adapter. The servers run Windows NT Server 4.0 with Service Pack 3 (SP3). A Cisco Systems Catalyst 5000 configured into four switches provides connectivity. A Sonic FastBridge 10/100 connects the Novell NE 2000 to one of the Cisco switches (10Base-T to 100Base-TX).

Thirty clients running NT Workstation 4.0 connect to four separate repeaters, which in turn connect to the Cisco. A Compaq Netelligent 11108 100Base-TX Class II repeater connects to six Compaq Deskpro 510 workstations. A Cogent S-1200 TX 100Base-TX Class II repeater connects to seven Digital Venturis FX 5133 workstations. Ten MicroSys (local vendor) workstations connect to another Cogent S-1200. A third Cogent S-1200 connects to two HP Vectra LV Series 4 workstations and five DTK Computer workstations. All clients have at least a 100MHz Pentium and 32MB of RAM.

The Lab uses Dynameasure Enterprise 1.5 from Bluecurve ( to test SQL Server and file-sharing performance. Each physical workstation can run from 1 to 25 motors; thus, one system can generate the load of 25 clients. In testing enterprise-level technology, 40 systems generate a real-world workload of 1000 network users. This capability provides a realistic enterprise test environment and quickly pinpoints a network's strengths and weaknesses.

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