[wpkg-users] Using BITS to transfer files?

Rainer Meier r.meier at wpkg.org
Wed Dec 29 21:04:19 CET 2010

Hi Marco,

On 29.12.2010 10:31, Marco Gaiarin wrote:
> Mandi! Sean Kennedy
>   In chel di` si favelave...
>> Is this one of those things that was looked at but decided against?  How else
>> has everyone solved the bandwidth problem?
> I replicate the ''wpkg repository'' within servers using unison.

I agree on this. I think there have been some discussion about BITS usage
already in this mailing list. The most important point is that BITS does not
reduce the amount of data transferred. If there are 50 hosts on a site connected
with 128kbps, then all 50 hosts will have to download all the packages.
Therefore installing a package with 100MB will transfer ~5GB of data to the site.

Moreover BITS is mainly used to download files without affecting the user data
streams, like web-surfing and similar. I am not fully sure about BITS in an
enterprise network but I doubt that when 50 clients on a site run downloads with
BITS they will be any faster than direct downloads and even not if BITS on host
A would throttle if host B is browsing the web and needs the bandwidth.

In general the advise here is clearly to set up a local WPKG server on sites
with low bandwidth. Using a simply rsync, robocopy or SyncToy job can be used to
update the site-local repository with data inserted into a central repository.
The advantage is that the download to the site takes place only once (100MB
updates distributed to 50 clients will take 1x100MB transfer over slow lines,
distribution then takes place within a fast LAN/WLAN).

This saves much more bandwith and allows atomic update of software repository on
remote sites. More over it's very cost-efficient; even a cheap NAS device with a
single HDD and SMB share capabilities could be used to serve the packages.

BITS in general does not look like a good approach to me since BITS in best case
transfers the files at full speed (same as direct download) and in worst case it
takes forever. While WPKG (depending on configuration) even blocks users to
login before packages are downloaded and installed. So the faster the files are
transferred the earlier users can start working.

So please consider setting up a distributed WPKG configuration where local nodes
fetch packages from a local software repository server.


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