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Thunderbolt 10-Gigabit Networking: Migration Assistant

Last updated 2015-12-06 - Send Feedback
Related: how-to, networking, optimization, Thunderbolt

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Comments regarding Thunderbolt 2, OS X 10.11.3: Thunderbolt networking works great for sporadic loads of 10 gigabytes or so, but after than its performance declines to sub-gigabit speeds. See the detailed results for sustained load on the performance page. This explains the poor behavior discussed below.

Apple’s Migration Assistant can utilize Thunderbolt networking.

In theory this should be hugely faster than other connections, like a local drive or gigabit ethernet. In putting this theory to the test, MPG encountered two problems:

  • The migrate failed with a hang (transfers stopped about 2/3 of the way through). This could well be a bug in Migration Assistant (rather than Thunderbolt networking) because Migration Assistant has failed for MPG before (several times, so that in general MPG does not advise using Migration Assistant).
  • The speed is only 5-7% of what tests show is possible; this is almost certainly poorly implemented code that was never optimized. While some slowdown is expected for small files, speeds were never observed beyond about ~70 MB/sec (gigabit ethernet is good for ~115 MB/sec).

Still, if doing a machine upgrade, Thunderbolt Networking is worth a try.

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