CIFS Performance Test

The NetApp Cluster exports data as files through two primary protocols, NFS and CIFS, which correspond to the UNIX and Windows processes.

Key features that CIFS offers are:

  • File Access with integrity: CIFS supports the usual set of file operations; open, close, read, write and seek. CIFS also supports file and record lock and unlocking. CIFS allows multiple clients to access and update the same file while preventing conflicts by providing file sharing and file locking.
  • Optimization for Slow Links: The CIFS protocol has been tuned to run well over slow-speed dial-up lines. The effect is improved performance for users who access the Internet using a modem.
  • Security: CIFS servers support both anonymous transfers and secure, authenticated access to named files. File and directory security policies are easy to administer.
  • Performance and Scalability: CIFS servers are highly integrated with the operating system, and are tuned for maximum system performance. CIFS supports all Microsoft platforms after Windows 95. It also supports other popular operation systems such as Unix, VMS, Macintosh, IBM LAN server etc.
  • Unicode File Names: File names can be in any character set, not just character sets designed for English or Western European languages. Global File Names: Users do not have to mount remote file systems, but can refer to them directly with globally significant names, instead of ones that have only local significance.

By continuously monitoring the read/write operations performed through the CIFS protocol, the CIFS Performance test promptly provides you with a heads-up on probable latencies in the processing of I/O requests.

Target of the test : A NetApp Cluster

Agent deploying the test : An external/remote agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for each aggregate on the NetApp Cluster being monitored.

Configurable parameters for the test
Parameters Description

Test Period

How often should the test be executed.


The IP address of the storage controller cluster.


Specify the port at which the specified host listens in the Port text box. By default, this is NULL.


Here, specify the name of the user who possesses the readonly role. If such a user does not pre-exist, then, you can create a special user for this purpose using the steps detailed in Creating a New User with the Role Required for Monitoring the NetApp Cluster.


Specify the password that corresponds to the above-mentioned User.

Confirm Password

Confirm the Password by retyping it here.

Authentication Mechanism

In order to collect metrics from the NetApp Cluster, the eG agent connects to the ONTAP management APIs over HTTP or HTTPS. By default, this connection is authenticated using the LOGIN_PASSWORD authentication mechanism. This is why, LOGIN_PASSWORD is displayed as the default Authentication Mechanism.


Set the Use SSL flag to Yes, if SSL (Secured Socket Layer) is to be used to connect to the NetApp Unified Storage System, and No if it is not.

API Report

By default, in most environments, NetApp Cluster listens on port 80 (if not SSL-enabled) or on port 443 (if SSL-enabled) only. This implies that while monitoring the NetApp Cluster, the eG agent, by default, connects to port 80 or 443, depending upon the SSL-enabled status of the NetApp Cluster - i.e., if the NetApp Cluster is not SSL-enabled (i.e., if the Use SSL flag above is set to No), then the eG agent connects to the NetApp Cluster using port 80 by default, and if the NetApp Cluster is SSL-enabled (i.e., if the Use SSL flag is set to Yes), then the agent-NetApp Cluster communication occurs via port 443 by default. Accordingly, the API Port parameter is set to default by default.

In some environments however, the default ports 80 or 443 might not apply. In such a case, against the API Port parameter, you can specify the exact port at which the NetApp Cluster in your environment listens, so that the eG agent communicates with that port for collecting metrics from the NetApp Cluster.

Exclude Aggregates

If you wish to exclude certain aggregates from the scope of monitoring, specify a list of comma-separated aggregates in this text box. By default, none will be displayed here.


Specify the duration (in seconds) beyond which the test will timeout if no response is received from the device. The default is 120 seconds.

Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

CIFS operations

Indicates the rate at which operations were performed by users through CIFS protocol to access this NetApp Cluster.



CIFS latency

Indicates the average time taken for performing the operations using the CIFS protocol.


A low value is desired for this measure.

CIFS read operations

Indicates the rate at which the read operations are performed across all LUNs of this cluster through the CIFS protocol.


Very high values for these measures are indicative of the existence of road-blocks to rapid reading/writing by the storage device.

By observing the variations in these measures over time, you can understand whether the latencies are sporadic or consistent. Consistent delays in reading/writing could indicate that there are persistent bottlenecks (if any) in the storage device to speedy I/O processing.

CIFS read latency

Indicates the average time taken to perform read operations across all LUNs through the CIFS protocol.


CIFS write operations

Indicates the rate at which the write operations were performed across all LUNs of this cluster through the CIFS protocol.


CIFS write latency

Indicates the average time taken to perform write operations across all LUNs through the protocol.