Re: First impressions
32,000 byte/s definitely sounds slow... I wouldn't have suspected that to be any bottlenecks within the network itself unless you were making many many hops or the network was very busy.
If you are seeing crashing behavior by simply adding Shared Variables, I would definitely take this to technical support as we should look into it further. The simpler the application that reproduces this the better but, its understandable if not. (Sometimes that's just the nature of the beast). You can always pull the crash dump information from the controller as well using a Right-Click on the controller in MAX and selecting "View Error Log" This can be pretty helpful at helping to determine the cause of a crash on the target.
Nice work on that troubleshooting PatJamSim! This is definitely useful information. To piggy back on this If you guys wanted to benchmark the networking throughput, I would focus on a simple project that uses just networking (Simple Network Streams.lvproj - NI Shipping Example) so that you have a more isolated test. But, based on this information, it sounds like its more processor limitations.