SBS Performance

I'm running SBS 2003 Premium.  Running Exchange, SQL Server, CRM (SBS edition), IIS etc.  Only thing we're not using is ISA.

CRM is a major DOG on this hardware: Duel-core P4 2.8 Ghz.  1 GB RAM.  RAID1 (SATA) via Intel Matrix on Motherboard.  OS on 12 GB partition.  Data on 100 GB partition.

I need to get decent performance.  The bottleneck definitely seems to be disk ... based on the performance counters.  The CPU and memory counters don't flinch when the box drags, but the disk counters are pegged!

I understand that there are things that should be done to improve the disk performance.  For example, add a second physical drive array (RAID1 or RAID5) for data.  Separate the SQL server database and trans. logs onto different physical volumes.  Separate the Exchange store and logs etc.  Maybe some IIS-specific tweaks for CRM?

If you were going to design a maxed-out SBS box to run this stuff (CRM included) well, what would you build/buy? And how would you configure for best performance of CRM.  For example, splitting SQL DB and Trans. logs...  etc.  

I just need SBS to run with CRM well enough to use for the next year or two while we grow.  If this can be done by upgrading my existing box, all the better.  If I need to start from scratch on the hardware, I can do that if the performance will be snappy.

Your expertise is appreciated!!!
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
I would never use less than 2GB RAM with CRM.  Also, 12GB on your System Drive may be tight.  How much room is on that partition?  There should be at lease 20% free in order to get decent performance.  If you haven't moved EVERYTHING possible off of it yet, you should.  ( will tell you how).

I generally like to have at least 20GB for the system partition with CRM as well.  You are running the indexing service which is probably creating indexes on the C: drive and can be pretty doggedly slow.  The other thing to watch is your SBS log files.  They will become highly fragmented, especially the MSSBSSSR.log which records just about everthing the server does.  Move that log off to an archive location and it will just create a new one.  I wouldn't delete the old one just in case you want to troubleshoot something later on.

1 GB RAM might not be enough since MS SQL/CRM takes up a chunk as well as Exchange information store.  Try upgrading to 2 GB and see how it fairs then.


responzaAuthor Commented:
...  I will probabably upgrade RAM...  but the memory performance counters were never pegged nor were the CPU counters.  It was all disk.  I'm thinking disk is the top issue.  I'm thinking another physical array will help.

Do I need to spend the bucks on SCSI, or will SATA 2 do the trick.  Anybody love or hate Adaptec vs. Promise vs. other 3rd party RAID card?
SATA is pretty good now a days especially if you're on a low budget.  As far as RAID cards, I don't have a preference but my servers all do run Adaptec and Dell Perc cards.
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