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Win2k3 TS speed issues when dealing with Word, Excel and jpg images

Posted on 2006-06-20
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Last Modified: 2010-04-18
Hi all,

I have a Win2k3 TS connected via a switch to a SBS2003 main server.

TS is a 3ghz single processor; 2gb ram, SATA HDD and only has 2 users connecting to it, I'd have thought the specs sufficient for the amount of users.

Remote users are experiencing painful speed delays when opening or saving/autosaving Word and Excel docs, as well as large delays when trying to open/insert jpgs. Word & Excel docs and jpgs are located on a shared drive from the SBS server.

Internet is 1.5Mbps/256k ADSL at both main site where servers are and remote site where users are. Remote users are connected back to main site via VPN.

There is an application that uses a SQL database on the SBS server that has no issues with speed in any way at all which makes me think there's something in Word/Excel/Picture & Fax viewer causing the issues.

Lag in Word/Excel is largely acceptable ie no issues with typing characters and not having them appear.

Images are a big issue - if opening in Windows Picture and Fax Viewer it takes 15-20 seconds to open a 849k JPG. Inserting the same jpg into Word takes about twice that long. Trying to scroll through a document with images is impossible as it doesn't seem to cache the images and tries to reload them every time they're scrolled over.

I have already disabled Spelling and Grammar checks in Word and Autosave has been lifted from 10 minutes in Excel to 30.

I have changed the connection settings on the RDP connection to 1024x768 and 256k colours which helped somewhat, but I still need better response time. Remote sound is off as is desktop themes and bitmaps.

Has anyone come across a similar issue?

There is a SMB reg hack in one of the other posts on this sort of topic, but it needs to be done on the DC not the TS so am not too sure if it applies in this case.
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Question by:gorlaz
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Expert Comment

by:mass2612
ID: 16949590
Are the ports and network cards running at 100/Full or 1000/Full? I've seen similar issues where the switch port and network card are set a different speeds leading to very poor performance due to transmit and recieve errors on the network.

This might be right off the mark though as I'm not very experienced with remote TS connections.
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Author Comment

by:gorlaz
ID: 16950231
Thanks mass2612

Good question - servers are gigabit NIC's I think, but the switch is definitely only 100Mb.

SBS Server is only indicating that the link is 100Mb in the system tray and I'm pretty sure the TS is as well.
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Author Comment

by:gorlaz
ID: 16950245
More info - On the TS there are no errors in the Event Log at all.
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Expert Comment

by:Redwulf__53
ID: 16950499
>>>>Internet is 1.5Mbps/256k ADSL at both main site where servers are and remote site where users are<<<<
There you go: you have only 256KBit upload from your site. The images still need to be crammed through that narrow bandwidth. When you are hosting a service such as TS or WWW, you need seriously more upload bandwidth. Look into upgrading the line at the main site to a DSL connection with at least 2MBit.
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Author Comment

by:gorlaz
ID: 16950653
Thanks Redwulf; that's definitely an option but even when pics that are web quality ie <100k they're still dog slow to use or view. A 46k pic took about 10 seconds to open - which I think is a bit excessive.

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Expert Comment

by:Redwulf__53
ID: 16950819
Well, ADSL lines ARE NOT DESIGNED FOR SERVICE HOSTING therefore you will likely get big latency and poor bandwidth. Just try copying a large file from the TS to the client, and see what speed you're getting.
Also: what kind of performance are you getting when using the TS from the LAN?
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Author Comment

by:gorlaz
ID: 16950945
Copying speed to the network from the remote site is reasonable - within acceptable limits for the speeds they're on.

I realise ADSL has its drawbacks, however in regional Australia it's all we can get with any reliability at a reasonable price point so we live with it.

Speed when using the TS from the LAN at the same location as the server is fine, no issues, so I don't think its an issue with connectivity between the TS and the SBS server.

Have you noticed any abnormal behaviour from Office 2003 run via TS?
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Expert Comment

by:Redwulf__53
ID: 16951356
The fact that the speed is normal when logging on to TS from the LAN proves that the latency of the ADSL line is the culprit....
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Author Comment

by:gorlaz
ID: 16955888
Ok, what would the minimum speed be that I would need to run these 2 users only?

I'm getting the users to test use of images over the LAN at the moment; remote admin over the LAN is fine.

Is there anything that can be done to maximise the existing connection?
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Expert Comment

by:Redwulf__53
ID: 16957497
Since your remote users are using the TS over VPN, you could set the Encryption level to "low" in the TS RDP connection settings, but don't expect miracles.
The latency on the internet connections is caused by the ISP's infrastructure. I advise you contact them to see if improvement is possible.
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Author Comment

by:gorlaz
ID: 16957502
Thanks redwullf - where would those settings be sorry? Client end or TS end?
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Accepted Solution

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Redwulf__53 earned 500 total points
ID: 16958213
Administrative tools->Terminal Services Configuration->connections->double-click the RDP-tcp connection.
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Author Comment

by:gorlaz
ID: 16964723
Added an extra boost, thanks Redwulf for being patient. I realise extra comms is the most viable answer, however regional situations make it a much harder justify than in other countries where 2Mbit links are the norm, hence we try to get as much out of it as possible.
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Expert Comment

by:Redwulf__53
ID: 16966740
There is additional debugging to be done, like using a network monitor on the client and the server to ensure communications are 100% (with VPN's sometimes MTU size limits cause packet loss).
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