Host Computer is Win | Mac? version? CPU Speed? Hard Drive Speed? RAM Size? FMP version?
Wireless Router Model? Wireless Signal Strength?
If the wireless connected client computer is plugged in with wire - is there a speed difference?
Some database operations take place on the host, some on the client.
There is a Filemaker Optimization Group on Linkedin.
More RAM is always a good idea. SSDs sometimes give a startling speed increase (solid state drive)
You can see video comparisons of SSD speed increases on Other World Computing.
How do I optimize network performance for shared databases?
Answer ID: 5874Last Updated: May 23, 2011
USE A FAST NETWORK CONNECTION
LOCATE YOUR DATABASES ON THE HOST COMPUTER
HOST THE DATABASES ON A COMPUTER RUNNING ONLY FILEMAKER PRO
HOST YOUR DATABASES WITH FILEMAKER SERVER
OPTIMIZE THE HOST COMPUTER
OPTIMIZE THE GUEST COMPUTERS
OPTIMIZE CONNECTING AS A GUEST
OPTIMIZING THE DATABASES
Wired networks are faster. Wired networks with a support router / switch can perform 1000mbps and wireless is around 300mbps. If you have older wireless equipment this can be even slower. The next item to look at is the server itself. The harddisk speed, ram, and cpu speed all make a difference in the speed of your network. A standalone server can help some, but this is not as important. It the number of user connected at one time. Most computers by default are setup to use most resources locally first next, so this is why a standalone would help some. The Operating System can also affect the speed of the network. I'm new with the mac so I wouldn't be able to tell you which mac operating system is the fastest, but for Windows, Windows 7 is much faster than Vista and with windows you are better off with the pro version.
1. I would go wired with matched network cards and switch. (Match - meaning speed)
2. Increase Ram of the server.
3. Increase the Hard drive speed. A solid state drive is the fastest but you are limit in disk space. I would suggest at least 7200RPM drive
and esata drives are faster than ide.
4. Increase Computer speed. Faster CPU (Mhz), more cache memory.
5. Standalone if more speed is still necessary. This is referring to also running Filemaker Server.
If your server is dated, it is not a bad idea to update this machine.
You can google / bing information about speed of wireless and wired networks.
Also as DavidAnders pointed out, some task are perform on the client, It is a good idea to have at least 4gb of ram on the workstation. Another thing I forgot to mention is that a full hard disk can slow down everything.
Also, if the database and or Filemaker are severely fragmented, there is a speed hit - usually not bad, but bad is relative.
The hosting computer can have background applications running that do nothing but slow it down.
The hardware you choose for your installation of FileMaker Server can have a significant impact on performance and reliability. This articles provides general recommendations for server hardware in the following areas:
The host computer and the other 5 computers are all macs. Ranging from 3 years to 9 months old. 2,3, and 4 GB per computer.
Macs come in several models, the Hosting is computer is exactly what. About This Mac under the Apple Menu. You can fild the maximum RAM for Hosting Computer at http://everymac.com or http://crucial.com
There is a utility called Activity Monitor in Utilities folder in Applications Folder. You can run it, tell it to Keep In Dock, set to System Memory display and it will show a colored pie chart. You want Green on the chart, no Green means the OS is writing Memory requests to a Memory FIle on the hard drive. Spinning Pizza Wheel of Not Enough RAM will appear.
Why not start by plugging both computers into the router and see what speed difference wired vs wireless makes?
Thanks to everyone who offered ideas. The greatest area of improvement came from converting wireless network to wired network. 75% time reduction.