This has stemmed from our new SaleFaith manufacturing/MRP system due to go live in the first week of January. As part of this we’re migrating the data from an ECI M1 ERP system. The process initially involves some manual data extraction from the Microsoft SQL database using SSMS, import this into a FileMaker ‘Transfer’ file, then import the bulk of the data using an ODBC connection and finally run some data cleaning and a small amount of data restructuring.
After all the data has been imported into the transfer file, we run a master script calling many subscripts in SaleFaith MRP to import from the transfer file and run many routines to reconstruct the data for our new system.
Initially we hosted all files within FileMaker Server 19.4.1 on the client’s LAN based Windows Server (hypervisor virtual machine). FileMaker Pro 19.4.1 was then run locally on this server, connected to the hosted files to run the scripts. The uninterrupted run time for this was consistently between 7 and 8 hours.
I needed to test a run and, as I had my previous 13” M1 MacBook available, ran the same migration locally, no server involved and, lo and behold it completed in just over 40 minutes!
At this point, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to carry out some performance tests, having 3 Apple Silicon MacBooks, our cloud servers, the client’s Windows Server, a 2019 MacBook Air and a 2013 15” MacBook Pro. I couldn’t guarantee that the previous tests were like for like, as this is on-going development. So I created a baseline data set and ran it on these computers. Here are the results:
|Platform||FileMaker Configuration||Duration (hh:mm:ss)|
|Windows Server 2016 16Gb, 8-Core Xeon Silver 4110 2.1Ghz||FileMaker Pro run locally using non-hosted files with FileMaker Server service stopped||02:06:01|
|Windows Server 2016 16Gb, 8-Core Xeon Silver 4110 2.1Ghz||FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Server both running on this server with FileMaker Pro connected to the hosted files||07:12:20|
|MacBook Pro M1 13 inch 16Gb||FileMaker Pro run locally on local (non-hosted) files||00:51:57|
|MacBook Pro M1 13 inch 16Gb||FileMaker Pro run locally on local (non-hosted) files (initial test, double checked due to speed of completion)||00:42:00|
|MacBook Pro M1 14 inch 16Gb||FileMaker Pro run locally on local (non-hosted) files||02:18:01|
|MacBook Pro M1 14 inch 16Gb||FileMaker Pro run locally on local (non-hosted) files (repeat test)||02:03:19|
|MacBook Pro M1 14 inch 16Gb||FileMaker Pro run locally on local (non-hosted) files (initial test, double checked by the above)||00:41:29|
|MacBook Pro M1 16 inch 16Gb||FileMaker Pro run locally on local (non-hosted) files||02:20:34|
|MacBook Pro M1 16 inch 16Gb||FileMaker Pro run locally on local (non-hosted) files (repeat test)||02:20:34|
|MacBook Air 2019 16Gb 1.6Ghz Dual-Core i5||FileMaker Pro run locally on local (non-hosted) files||05:48:12|
|MacBook Pro 15 inch 2013 8Gb||FileMaker Pro run locally on local (non-hosted) files||10:20:48|
|MacBook Pro M1 16 inch 16Gb||FileMaker Pro run locally on local (non-hosted) files run in Windows 11 for Arm within Parallels VM||04:45:41|
|MacBook Pro M1 13 inch 16Gb||FileMaker Pro run as streamed workspace in Microsoft Remote Desktop connected to our most powerful cloud-hosted Windows FileMaker Server||06:00:06|
|MacBook Pro M1 13 inch 16Gb||FileMaker Pro run locally connected to our most powerful cloud-hosted Windows FileMaker Server||111:04:35 (over 4.5 days)|
Up until our very last test, we’d assumed that our initial sub 1-hour completion on the M1 MacBook Pros was down to additional routines having been added and these were not like-for-like comparison. However, having ensured the files were identical within all tests, I realised we didn’t have the MacBook Pro 13” results, so ran that today and it completed in the 42 minutes shown above.
This has added some confusion and is going to require some more retests. However there are some pretty safe conclusions from the above:
Macs have got quicker over the years and the M1 MacBooks are unbelievably fast (unfortunately, we do not have a late Intel based MacBook Pro to test)
There isn't a lot of difference between the original M1 and the newer M1 Pro SoCs for this type of work. The M1 MacBook Airs and 13 inch MacBook Pro are bargains.
For high volumes of data management that includes imports, replace field contents, and many looping scripts through data, always do this locally and not on hosted files
FileMaker Pro 19.4.1 running within Windows 11 for Arm on a Parallels virtual machine on an M1 MacBook Pro is quicker than a 2019 MacBook Air dual-core i5
Our cloud-based centralised delivery of FileMaker Pro, connected to our cloud-based FileMaker Servers, is quicker than FileMaker Pro connecting to FileMaker Server running on the same Windows Server. We also appreciate that this is not an optimal setup for FileMaker and hope to run the same tests on a PC on the LAN connecting to the server at some point in the future
Be very, very careful how you design your databases if you wish to use any cloud-based FileMaker Server whilst running FileMaker Pro locally on your computers. Don’t expect to be able to use all of FileMaker’s features. Otherwise, if you need to do something like we’ve described above, start the process Sunday and then book the rest of the week off as holiday (we started the 111 hour test at 16:40 last Sunday and it finished just before 08:00 this Friday morning)
We work from a village in the middle of a forest in Norfolk, England. We only have fibre to the cabinet at the moment and have an optimised business broadband service offering roughly 12Mbs upstream, 50Mbs downstream. However, this will be much better than many people’s home connections that have much higher contention rates.
I’ll try to carry out some retests due to the M1 variations, we have to try to gain some continuity, but currently have no explanation for this.
I've attached screenshots of each test.
Speed Test summary 101221.pdf (3.1 MB)