fastest data transfer protocol
2 Jan 2009 13:48 EST

In case you were wondering, I started comparing the transfer speeds of different protocols. I stopped after three. The data was being transfered onto a RAID-6. Results:

Method Bytes Time Speed
smb mount then cp 733960192 425 1.647 MB/s
scp 730253312 69.48* 10.0241 MB/s
wget using http 736274432 63.2 11.1097 MB/s

There's two items to note here:

  1. scp includes the time it took my to type in my 40+ character password. Subtract out at least 3-4 seconds.
  2. scp and wget actually locked up my network connection. putty timed out. top indicated than an entire core was dedicated to the copy.

So there you go - if you need to transfer several hundred gigabytes, use scp.

Update (1/3/2009): Having desired the comparison facilities of rsync, I can add that rsync over ssh compares favorably, and is in the same neighborhood as straight ssh.

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