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MUST improve W2K3 domain performance asap!!!

Posted on 2006-06-14
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Hello oh wise experts :)

I just implimented a W2k3 AD server on a domain of about 50 workstations.  (First month on the job... I upgraded the network from a Win98 "server"... not kidding.)  

Anyway, network performance is unacceptable.  I've got to speed up this network, and I'm out of ideas.

The setup:

Win2k3 SP1 w/ AD... 4GB RAM ... 2.5Ghz CPU x2  
RAID 5 7200RPM HDD

Hybrid wired/wireless network.... really only wired, though.  Wired is CAT5e throughout.
About 50 workstations... all Win XP Pro SP2

Gateway setup... WAN -> modem -> NetGear FVS338 firewall -> NetGear switch -> LAN and server
(there are a couple of hubs far downstream... but I don't think they are the factor.)

Server is DHCP, DNS, WINS, File, and Print server. No web or terminal services... yet.

Also, what should I be looking for in the Performance monitor?  I'm watching Avg Disk Queue, Datagrams Rec/Sec, and Datagrams Sent/Sec... but I don't know how bad is bad... nothing to relate it to.


Thank you so much for your help... the users are starting to get ticked!
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Question by:bdendy
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by:Jay_Jay70
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what do you need to improve, what is the problem?
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Exactly... what EXACTLY is the problem?
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by:bdendy
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Any client interaction with the server... login and file sharing mainly.  All clients are internal on the LAN... no internet or ts users.  

Pings aren't that slow... but trying to get any work done in terms of accessing files stored on the server is just plain slow... I guess that's as exact as I can be... sorry.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Can you post your DNS settings on the clients and the server?  Problems like this CAN often be due to incorrectly configured DNS.
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by:bdendy
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The lag is not constant either and does not seem to be tied to network volume... I'll have slow access to the server (even browsing directories) for about 10 mins when I'm the only person if I sit at a user's workstation.  
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by:bdendy
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C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>netsh diag show dns

DNS Servers
     1. [00000001] Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT Dual Port Server Adapter (LAN to Server)
        DNSServerSearchOrder = 127.0.0.1
                               192.168.0.1
     2. [00000002] Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT Network Connection
        DNSServerSearchOrder = 127.0.0.1
     3. [00000003] Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT Dual Port Server Adapter (Server to WAN)
        DNSServerSearchOrder = 68.109.202.25
                               68.109.202.30



C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>netsh diag show ip

IP Address
     1. [00000001] Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT Dual Port Server Adapter
        IPAddress = 169.254.9.145
     2. [00000002] Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT Network Connection
        IPAddress = 192.168.0.71
     3. [00000003] Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT Dual Port Server Adapter
        IPAddress = 192.168.0.70


C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>netsh diag show gateway

Default Gateways
     2. [00000002] Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT Network Connection
        DefaultIPGateway = 192.168.0.1 Same Subnet
     3. [00000003] Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT Dual Port Server Adapter
        DefaultIPGateway = 192.168.0.1 Same Subnet


C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>



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by:bdendy
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Microsoft Windows [Version 5.2.3790]
(C) Copyright 1985-2003 Microsoft Corp.

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>ipconfig

Windows IP Configuration


Ethernet adapter Server to WAN:

   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
   IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.71
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.1

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection 2:

   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
   Autoconfiguration IP Address. . . : 169.254.9.145
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.0.0
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :

Ethernet adapter LAN to Server:

   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
   IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.70
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.1

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>
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by:bdendy
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Client DNS settings have 192.168.0.70 set staticly as the primary dns.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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First, I'd disable "Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection 2" if you're not using it.  

I also don't quite get this:
>DNS Servers
>     1. [00000001] Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT Dual Port Server Adapter (LAN to Server)
>        DNSServerSearchOrder = 127.0.0.1
>                               192.168.0.1
>     2. [00000002] Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT Network Connection
>        DNSServerSearchOrder = 127.0.0.1
>     3. [00000003] Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT Dual Port Server Adapter (Server to WAN)
>        DNSServerSearchOrder = 68.109.202.25
>                               68.109.202.30

What has an IP of 192.168.0.1 - I thought your DNS server was 192.168.0.70?
What is the IP of this machine?  Do not use 127.0.0.1 - use the machine's IP (it MAY be ok to use 127.0.0.1, but I never do and I don't see these problems.
The WAN port should NOT be using the 68.109 addresses.  No machine on your network should have anything other than the AD DNS servers listed for DNS.  The DNS server component can be configured to forward to public DNS servers, but don't need to as the Windows DNS can resolve EVERYTHING you for you.
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by:bdendy
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192.168.0.1 is the router.

Your comment seems like good advice.. are these the proper settings?


C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>ipconfig /all

Windows IP Configuration

   Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : chapelserver
   Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . : thechapelnet.net
   Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Hybrid
   IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : Yes
   WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
   DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : thechapelnet.net

Ethernet adapter Server to WAN:

   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
   Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT Network Connection
   Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-13-72-FD-A3-04
   DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : No
   IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.71
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.1
   DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.70
   Primary WINS Server . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.70

Ethernet adapter LAN to Server:

   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
   Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT Dual Port Server Ada
pter #2
   Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-04-23-CE-29-F0
   DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : No
   IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.70
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.1
   DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.70
   Primary WINS Server . . . . . . . : 192.168.0.70

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Is the machine with 192.168.0.70 running DNS?  If so, then that's the right setting.  
Is the machine with 192.168.0.70 running WINS?  If so, then that's the right setting.

You said 192.168.0.1 is the router - I just want to be sure, exactly what kind of router is it?  Linksys?  Cisco?  something else?  Is this server acting as a router (you say Server to WAN for one of the cards).

I'm having some difficulty understanding why the WAN network adapter has a 192.168.0.71 address - I use a server as a router myself and the WAN port is always assigned by the ISP.
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by:bdendy
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"router" is my Netgear firewall... was also the DHCP server before installation of the new win2k3 server.  Here are it's settings:

Use Static IP Address
IP Address ... 68.224.216.3
IP Subnet Mask ... 255.255.255.224
Gateway IP Address ... 68.224.216.1
   
Domain Name Server (DNS) Address  
Use These DNS Servers
Primary DNS ... 68.109.202.25
Secondary DNS ... 68.109.202.30

NAT enabled
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by:Lee W, MVP
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That's fine for the netgear - is the netgear providing DHCP or is the Server?  I assume the lan is using DHCP.

So, next question, why are you connecting the server with two NICs on the same network.  Are you teaming them?
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by:bdendy
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Server is providing DHCP

I could not establish outbound Internet connection from the server until I setup the second NIC.  (Talking about internet connectivity for the server only... not the rest of the network.)

So second NIC is used for web browsing on the server, mainly.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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I'm concerned that could be causing problems.

Is this Small Business Server, by any chance?
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Also, have these network changes been implemented (leaving the WAN NIC alone for now), and if so, are there any improvements in performance?
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by:bdendy
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It seemed weird to me too...

No, it's 2003 standard w/ sp1
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by:bdendy
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Hmm... disabled server to wan and I still have connectivity... weird...

must have changed when I moved dhcp from router to server.

I'm going to leave it disabled.
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Expert Comment

by:carl_legere
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You are multi-homing you server (two network interfaces without the server acting as a router) and in this case they are on the same subnet.  How are they connected?

unless you have a compelling reason to not use a normal small office setup like so:

internet -> netgear -> switch
                                 |      |
                               pcs     |
                                         |
                                         server's one and only active nic.
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by:jar3817
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Have you tested your cabling? Cat5 running over fluorencent lights in the ceiling or closely parallel to A/C wiring will murder network speed.  Try transfering a file from 1 laptop to another using a crossover patch cable to get a point of reference. Then do the same thing across some random cat5 runs in the building.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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I can't agree.  The company I used to work fo used to run AC and Cat 5/5e next to each other in conduits and we never noted any speed issues.  Interference CAN be a problem, but I don't think electrical interference from power cables is to blame.  Likewise, I've never seen fluorescent lights cause issues.
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by:jar3817
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I've only read about AC causing problems, but I have personally witnessed fluorescent lights slow down a network segment. If the cables are closer than 12 inches to the transformer on the light (usually on one side or the other) you'll run into problems.
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by:Geisrud
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Perhaps off-loading some services to another server....DHCP can be a processor hog (I know 50 nodes isn't a lot, but maybe?)  Anyways, seems like a lot of services for one box, try spreading things out if you can.
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by:averyb
averyb earned 50 total points
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Some questions:
You said "Client DNS settings have 192.168.0.70 set staticly as the primary dns"
What parameters is your DHCP server sending out? How long does the lease last?

Are all the workstations members of the domain?  
Do you see them all listed in Active Directory users and Computers.
Do users log into the workstation or the domain?


Do this:
Open network connections to list all of your NICS.
Right Click "Ethernet adapter LAN to Server" and choose Properties.  What's listed and which of them are enabled?
Close the window
On the Menu bar, Advanced | Advanced Settings | "Ethernet adapter LAN to Server"  Move it to the top using the arrows on the right.  Make sure TCP/IP is the only protocol listed for each service in the Bindings section.

I'm thinking you might be having some sort of Master Browser Issue going on.
For giggles check and make sure lmhost and host files don't have any entries in them
Does the WINS database look OK?  

In waht way does browsing take a long time.  Is it when you open a folder on the server it takes a while to see the contents?  Or it takes a while to see the list of shares when opening the server in Network Neighborhood? Are things quicker when you use \\server\share from the Start Run than when you browse the network for it?
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by:bdendy
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Quick update then I'll respnd to averyb...

I just walked around to a few workstations over the past couple hours... doesn't seem to have improved much... users can log in sometimes and get to their desktops in about a minute.... other times it takes over 10 minutes.  Seems to be random  because, like I mentioned, I can get the same results at 3am when I'm the only one here.

Thank you all for your help thus far... I'm really hoping to be able to fix this.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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All the DNS settings are now correct on the workstations?
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by:bdendy
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(BTW, Geisrud, I really don't have another server that I could use as we are a small non-profit... but I have never seen my processor usage spike above 25%... so I don't think that proecssor usage is my problem... thanks for the idea, though.)

averyb,

DHCP server options:
router 192.168.0.1
dns 192.168.0.70
wins 192.168.0.70

DHCP leases did last 4 days up until yeasterday morning... I set them to 12 hours for troubleshooting.

All workstations are members of the domain
Yes, all workstations are listed properly in AD (they showed up on their own)
Users log into domain

LAN to Server uses the following items:
Client for Microsoft Networks (Enabled)
Network Load Balancing (Disabled)
File and Printer Sharing for ms networks (Enabled)
Internet protocol (TCP/IP) (Enabled)

TCP/IP is only binding = OK

lmhost file empty
hosts file just has 127.0.0.1 locahost listed

Ways it is slow (it is "slow" about 50% of the time)
1. User login to domain (7-10 mins)  (granted some users have crappy machines, but most are in very good condition)
2. Browsing folders on server from workstations (2-5 mins per click)
3. network neighborhood not really used at all  (shortcuts to group files placed on users' desktops)

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by:Lee W, MVP
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Are you using Roaming Profiles?
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by:bdendy
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yes... and folder redirection

(Some workstations are "hotseats" and not assigned to any one staff member)

want gpo settings for them?
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by:Lee W, MVP
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No, but Roaming profiles could be causing your logon delays - If people have a lot of files on them OR large files, and if the network connection is slow (or wireless) the time it takes to copy the data to and from the server CAN be significant.
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by:bdendy
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Some of my user do indeed and large files and many of them.  I figured that offline files would only compare differenecs and not have to transfer them each time.


Suggestions?
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by:Lee W, MVP
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No, profiles don't work that way - they are completely copied down at logon and up at logoff.  Offline files work that way, but that's only for folders marked for offline access.

If you want to use Roaming profiles, I recommend NOT synchronizing virtually every folder in the profile - this essentially turns it into a roaming registry.  Offline Files/Folder redirection is different from Roaming profiles, though SOME of the folders in a roaming profile are affected by the redirected folders.
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by:bdendy
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it sure seems like I decided to go w/ roaming profiles for a reason... but IK can't remember why and I'd much rather have the speed.

ok... what's the easiest way to get away from roaming profiles? (without the users noticing a difference at their workstations.  I have a feeling that if the users that have their own workstations see another major change they might revolt.)

Should I just delete the path under user profile -> profile path?  (Currently a network path to profile share on server, of course)

Thanks.
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by:bdendy
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Also: Getting rid of roaming profiles would NOT affect folder redirection.... correct?
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by:bdendy
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Sorry, just re-read your comment.  Switching to local profiles would not affect the folder redirection... got it.  I guess my question now is what happens to end users (what do they notice) if I switch back to local profiles?

Also, do I need offline files to be turned on for folder redirection to work?  Thinking that I might be able to do without that too... except for the laptops.
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Lee W, MVP earned 450 total points
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I don't recall exactly, I could tell you with 90% confidence, but it would (should) be simple for you to just run a quick test on one or two user accounts.

I'm not saying get rid of the roaming profiles, per se, though that WILL help the logon times.  Instead, following the instructions here:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;315415&sd=tech
Exclude all the directories in the profiles.

For example, exclude all these folders:
Application Data
Cookies
Desktop
Favorites
Local Settings
My Documents
NetHood
PrintHood
Recent
SendTo
Start Menu
Templates
UserData

This SHOULD NOT affect Document Redirection/Folder Redirection in the other group policies.

And File synchronization should still occur for the My Documents folder - that synchronization SHOULD synchronize ONLY changed folders.

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by:bdendy
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Sorry the delay folks... had a UPS explode and cause a fire in the server room.... busy few days.  Getting rid of the roming profiles helped... but my network performance is still not what I had hoped for :(

Oh well, thanks for your help!
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