The Lab's Test Environment
The Windows NT Magazine Lab's test environment includes the following hardware and software: The Primary Domain Controller (PDC) is an NCR S40 with 130MB of RAM, dual 133MHz Pentiums, and three 4GB SCSI hard disks. The Backup Domain Controller (BDC) is a Digital Prioris HX 5133DP with 64MB of RAM, dual 133MHz Pentiums, and four 1GB SCSI hard disks. Bluecurve's Dynameasure 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 (four-port) PCI adapter. The servers run Windows NT Server 4.0 with Service Pack 3. A CISCO Systems Catalyst 5000 configured into four switches provides connectivity to four network segments.

Thirty-seven clients running NT Workstation 4.0 connect to five separate repeaters, which in turn, connect to the CISCO. A Cogent S-1200 TX 100Base-TX Class II repeater connects to six Compaq Deskpro 5100 workstations and one Dell Optiplex GXMT 5166. A second Cogent S-1200 TX 100Base-TX Class II repeater connects to two HP Vectra VL Series 4 workstations, one HP Vectra XA, and five DTK Computer workstations. Eight Digital Venturis FX 5133 workstations connect to an IBM 8225 Fast Ethernet stackable hub. Ten MicroSys (local vendor) workstations connect to another Cogent S-1200. A fourth Cogent S-1200 connects to one IBM PC 350-P133, one Canon Innova Pro S400ST, and two Digital Venturis FX 5166's. All clients have at least a 100MHz Pentium processor 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.