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Slow performance on a RAID 5 + Win 2K + Exchange 2K Environment

Posted on 2004-04-25
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Last Modified: 2010-04-13
Server: Proliant ML370 G3
Processer: 2.8 GHz
RAM: 1.5 GB
OS: Win2K SP3
RAID Controller: Smart Array 642 with 64MB cache
Hard Drives: 3 x 36.4 GB Ultra 320

The server becomes slow suddenly. Read: 8 MB/s Write 3 MB/s

Hence, I did the following to check the problem, but couldn't solve the problem.

- Check Diagnostics without error
- Update latest driver and firmware for RAID Controller and Hard Drives
- Stop most of the services
- Replace a new RAID Controller
- Replace all of the hard drives by restoring the data and system state, but without Information Store

Any comment or suggestion to check where the problem is? Thanks a lot.
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Question by:prawn
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Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 10911376
how big is the exchange information store?
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Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 10911387
I also sugest you load up perfomance manager (start >run >perfmon.exe) add all counters (exept total) that might tell you whats thrashing the server :)
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Author Comment

by:prawn
ID: 10911389
12GB
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Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 10911401
its a bit large then :) have you used the Eseutil tool to defragment it? see http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=/servicedesks/webcasts/en/wc060402/wct060402.asp for more info
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Author Comment

by:prawn
ID: 10911407
Acutually. I tried to stop most of the services, including antivirus and Exchange, but I got the similar result.

Also, I re-installed the system without the Information Store, but no help with the read and write speed on disk.
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Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 10911415
whats perfmon telling you?
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Author Comment

by:prawn
ID: 10911424
Accroding to your experience, add all counters for which performance object?
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Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 10911436
To be honest were working in the dark, and we are in hit and miss territory, start with the CPU and memory counters then work your way through till one jumps out at you, I know this will take a while - I sympathise - Ive been there :(
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Author Comment

by:prawn
ID: 10912151
Thanks, I will check it.

Besides checking the performance monitor, any other suggestions?
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by:Pete Long
ID: 10912376
Well you have got the hardware covered try sniffing the traffic going in and out with Ethereal :)
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Author Comment

by:prawn
ID: 10912400
Um...it seems not the network problem.

I just copy and paste files in the server without connecting to network.

I got very slow read and write speed.
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by:Pete Long
ID: 10912412
what are your clients? any Novell in the equation?
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Author Comment

by:prawn
ID: 10912421
Most are Win 2k Professional. And one Mac client using IMAP4.
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Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 10912469
long shot,

on a client delete this reg key and see if performance on that client improves (XP or 2K)

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Explorer/RemoteComputer/NameSpace

Under that branch, select the key :{D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF} and delete it.
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Author Comment

by:prawn
ID: 10912507
The worst is not only the performance in the client side degraded.

I got very slow read and write speed in stand-alone server by copying files itself.
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Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 10912524
OK DOnt worry about that then (thought thats a good reg hack to keep for speeding up clients)

Have you got any info from perfmon? I CANT be your hardware? I run 5 x DL370's and they are very fast.
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Author Comment

by:prawn
ID: 10912791
Actually, I am new to troubleshoot in perfmon. Is there any useful documents telling me the acceptable level of those numbers given by the perfmon?
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Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 10912845
Yup (bookmark LabMice :)

A whole raft of info
http://labmice.techtarget.com/troubleshooting/PerfMon.htm
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Expert Comment

by:RevelationCS
ID: 10921064
prawn,

what type of applications are runnign on this. if SQL server is installed on the computer, try uncompressing the drives.. we had an issue similar to this with our SQL server box and it was because of a compatibility issue with the drives being compressed. As soon as we uncompressed the drives, everything was fine (this was on a Compaq box also with a similar RAID5 setup)  Took us forever (and then some) to figure it out, but once we did, it was blazing fast again.

To fix, right click on each of the drives letters under My Computer and select properties. Once the properties page is pulled up, uncheck the checkbox for "Compress drives to save disk space"
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Expert Comment

by:RevelationCS
ID: 10921077
also, if you dont have SQL, but it is running exchange, try uncompressing the drives anyhow. If I remember correctly, exchange has a similar issue as SQL does with compressed drives in W2k...
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Author Comment

by:prawn
ID: 10925190
um....i didn't compress any drives to save space, any other suggestions?
Thanks again.
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Expert Comment

by:RevelationCS
ID: 10931086
prawn,

you might want to check, it is easy when building the server to check the checkbox that does this automatically and it will be on the drives already... we almost missed that on our server that had this issue as we don't typically do that. To be certain, double-check following the steps as above and verify the checkbox is not checked for any of the drives on the raid array.
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by:Pete Long
ID: 12322137
PAQ & No Refund
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Expert Comment

by:RevelationCS
ID: 12322972
same is fine with me...
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