What is the maximum number of shares for a Windows Storage Server 2003 server?

Posted on 2007-08-08
Last Modified: 2013-11-05
I have a Windows Storage Server 2003 x64 machine.  It is running DFSR and also hosts many shares for our users to map to for personal file storage.  The server currently has 242 shares on it (including administrative and hidden shares) and I am noticing a LOT of performance issues with the server.  The server sometimes will time-out when a share on the server is being mapped by a client machine.  I am also noticing that the server will hang, just about once each day.  Working on the console or via remote desktop is painful as well.

Hardware Details:
Xeon Dual Core 5110 @ 1.6ghz   --   often at or below 20% utilization
1GB RAM  --  usually around 400MB utilized

All event logs are clear around the system hang event.

Question by:BBG-BBGM
    LVL 13

    Accepted Solution

    I don't know of a maximum number of file shares on a server.  If you are having problems with server hangs, or slow performance then you need to set up performance monitoring to see what is going on.  If you are using that much memory or CPU, which you state that you aren't, then you need to look at the physical and logical disk counters.  What is the disk queue length average out to be?  Is it excessive when the system hangs?

    If your system is hanging up and the only way to get it back is a reboot, I would look at a hardware issue.  Of course that assumes that if you let it sit there and it never comes back ann everyone attached has lost connectivity.
    LVL 19

    Expert Comment


    Your number is far below the Microsoft suggested limitations.
    LVL 55

    Expert Comment

    1GB of RAM? I would get a lot more if I was you since it uses this for cache.
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    How about is your network resource? Did you check the I/O traffic of your server? Some time, a broken NIC would cause the same issue. I would check the task manager first and set up performance counter secondly to monitor the I/O network traffic.

    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Thank you all for replies!  
    Let me try to answer all questions here:
    1.  I will be setting up perf monitoring now.  Results to come.
    I did notice that the queue length was hovering up and down in the range and then all of a sudden hit the ceiling for a bit.  It will be interesting to see how the numbers are.
    2.  I have yet to see any indications that system memory is an issue but will keep an eye on it.  
    3.  Network resources are dual gigabit teamed for performance.  Utilization is under 1%

    From the looks of things, the disk IO may be a big part of the problem.  I will gather some perf data and post back here with it.
    LVL 55

    Assisted Solution

    You won't see any problems with system memory usage but if you add twice as much RAM it will use twice as much. Don't forget to add page faults per second.

    Featured Post

    How to run any project with ease

    Manage projects of all sizes how you want. Great for personal to-do lists, project milestones, team priorities and launch plans.
    - Combine task lists, docs, spreadsheets, and chat in one
    - View and edit from mobile/offline
    - Cut down on emails

    Join & Write a Comment

    Usually shares are where we want them for our users and we tend to take them for granted. There are times, however, when those shares may disappear causing difficulty for your users. One of the first things to try is searching for files that shou…
    On July 14th 2015, Windows Server 2003 will become End of Support, leaving hundreds of thousands of servers around the world that still run this 12 year old operating system vulnerable and potentially out of compliance in many organisations around t…
    Hi everyone! This is Experts Exchange customer support.  This quick video will show you how to change your primary email address.  If you have any questions, then please Write a Comment below!
    Here's a very brief overview of the methods PRTG Network Monitor ( offers for monitoring bandwidth, to help you decide which methods you´d like to investigate in more detail.  The methods are covered in more detail in o…

    746 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    17 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now