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A Real Technical Challenge for Experts - Windows SBS 2003 Server Performance Optimization

Sameer G
Occasional Contributor

A Real Technical Challenge for Experts - Windows SBS 2003 Server Performance Optimization

Hello Everybody,


I have a Windows SBS 2003, which is primarily used as a file server. Shared folders with plain ascii text files are accessed by users to read and write through a DOS 16 bit application. Users also use the shared folder to view "images" in the DOS application.

My challenge is

(a) The Page/Sec is peaking to 100% every 10 seconds and the result is erratic performance - delays experienced by user.

(b) The disk queue also peaks to 70-100% once in 10 seconds.

The server is a Dell PowerEdge 2800 with 4 GB RAM and a Raid 5 System. Approx 30-50 users connect to the Server at a time. The primary is a PDC for the domain. All possible services are stopped on this server and DNS, WINS etc is load balanced to a secondary server.


Any help to improve the performance of the server will be sincerely appreciated. Please let me know if I can offer any more stats to diagonize this further.

Thanks.



- Santy Balan


===================================================================================================================

Here are few statistics of the Server :-





TOtal Memory : 4 GIG
Raid 5
C Drive : 12 GB {paging file : 2 - 2 GB}
D Drve : 240 GB {paging file : 8 - 20 GB}

Acting as File Server for shared folders. Accessed by 30-50 users to read/write text files into the shared fodler.

Pages per sec... peaks to 100% about every 10 seconds
Average Disk Queue peaks to 70-80% about every 10 seconds

Process Stats
% of User Time = 5-10%
% of Processor Time = 100%
% of Privileged Time = 100%

Memory
Available Bytes = 100%
Free System Page Table Entries = 100%
Commit Limit = 100%
Page Reads = Spikes in 10 sec upto 100%
Page writes < 5%
Transition faults/sec = spikes in 10 sec upto 100%

Physical Disk
Average Disk Queue = Spikes in 10 sec upto 100%

Paging File
% of paying file usage < 1 % constant

Commit Charge (K)
Total : 2490632
Limit : 14409488
Peak : 2544516

Physical Memory (K)
Total : 4193360
Available : 1663572
System Cache : 1854808

Kernel Memory (K)
Total : 124652
Paged : 73828
NonPaged : 50824

Totals :
Handles : 25707
Threads : 1090
Processes : 74

CPU Usage = 2%

Commit Charge : 2431M/14071M

PF Usage : 2.37 GB
4 REPLIES
Ivan Ferreira
Honored Contributor

Re: A Real Technical Challenge for Experts - Windows SBS 2003 Server Performance Optimization

As general rules:

If memory available bytes < 4MB - Add RAM
If pages/sec > 20 - Add RAM
Paging file % usage > 70% - Add RAM
Disk Physical Disk Time > 90% - Your RAID level is not good enoguh.
Processor % Processor time > 85% - Need mor processing power
Server Bytes Total/sec ~= Network speed, increase bandwidth speed.
Por que hacerlo dificil si es posible hacerlo facil? - Why do it the hard way, when you can do it the easy way?
Sameer G
Occasional Contributor

Re: A Real Technical Challenge for Experts - Windows SBS 2003 Server Performance Optimization

See the problem is page file usage and commit/charge Memory usage is very low.

The Page/Sec is high and the Disk Queue length is high (both are touching 90-100)

Is the RAID 5 causing the write/read Queue ? How can I verify this ?

The users use some ASCII text file from server for lookups... does this cause more Page/Sec ?

Is anybody willing to help me with the logs... If I post them here ? or Email them ?

Any help is sincerely appreciated.

Thanx.


Santy Balan
Sameer G
Occasional Contributor

Re: A Real Technical Challenge for Experts - Windows SBS 2003 Server Performance Optimization

Also if somebody can help me to know how do I determine the Capacity for the server (File Server).... how many users can it support with its current configuration ?

The system was working earlier with an old PowerEdge 1400 with 256 RAM and users seem to be more happy with the performance than with the new PowerEdge 2800 with 4 GB RAM and 270 SCSI Raid 5.

How do I diagonize the bottleneck ?

Alan_152
Honored Contributor

Re: A Real Technical Challenge for Experts - Windows SBS 2003 Server Performance Optimization

My recommendation is five fold:

1) add additional physical memory. I'd take it up to system max if that is financially feasable.

2) adjust the swap file so that it is contiguous and is configured to be 2xRAM+2Meg.

3) investigate getting faster scsi drives and a fast scsi card with plenty of onboard cache.

4) separate the domain controller function from the network storage function by putting one or the other on seperate machines

5) get a backup domain controller