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Server running very slowly

Posted on 2008-06-16
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
Server 2003 running very slowly, restarting the exchenge service speeds it up immediately but it gradually slows down again to being almost unresponsive with outlook clients failing to connect.

The server and exchange are both patched upto date, it is also a domain controller and is running Trend client server messaging suite.

Machine is a dual xeon 3GHz with 2GB of RAM.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Question by:gandboss
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by:bcrosby007
ID: 21792956
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by:gandboss
ID: 21793000
I've not done this because my server is also an Active Directory domain controller and there is a note on the article;

"Note You do not have to use the /3GB switch on Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003-based computers. We do not recommend that you use the /3GB switch parameter in the Boot.ini file for Exchange Server computers that are also Active Directory domain controllers or global catalog servers."

Do you still recommend that I make this change?
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by:bcrosby007
ID: 21793299
Is it a Small Business Server? Or a 2003 Server?
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by:gandboss
ID: 21793309
2003 Server
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by:bcrosby007
ID: 21793327
I would reccoment that your Exchange server not have AD installed on it. That KB article is the most likely culprit as to why your email slows down over a period of time. If you are able to have AD installed on a couple other servers, that would be better. Do you have that ability, or is it a really small network?
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by:gandboss
ID: 21793376
I know its not an ideal config to have Exchange on an AD but I dont have the ability to have a seperate AD at the moment, the network has about 35 clients (is this small?) also the server has been running for over a year with the same setup with no problems so I'm not sure what has changed to cause the problem.
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by:bcrosby007
ID: 21793399
Anything wierd in the logs or Task Manager when the system slows to a crawl?
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by:gandboss
ID: 21793539
Nothing obvious in the logs, the server seems to be well within its limits looking at task manager performance.

Store.exe is using 623,756k Mem and 615,972k in processes when running slowly, after a restart of the sevice this drops to 48,824 Mem and 584,200 VM which then steadily grows again.

Tried running perfmon aswell but not really sure what I'm looking at, anything you want me to log?
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by:bcrosby007
ID: 21793544
How big is your information store?
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by:gandboss
ID: 21794192
Our .edb is about 19GB at the moment
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by:bcrosby007
ID: 21794260
Did you do the switch to allow a larger Info store?
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bcrosby007 earned 500 total points
ID: 21794299
Also, When is the last time you ran an offline defrag?
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by:gandboss
ID: 21794537
Yes the limit was increased to 32GB from the default 16Gb, I dont think we would be able to mount the store if we had gone over (is that right?)

Over a year since I last ran offline defrag as we have not deleted large amounts of data and MS dont recommend running it, am willing to run if you think it will help but I think I read some where that it makes all your old backups invalid, is this correct?
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by:bcrosby007
ID: 21794602
It would dismount every night on you. Read over this article. It is a pretty good one about eseutil.
http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Defragmenting-Exchange-Database.html
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 21801180
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 21801184
Core temps should be about 40 degrees C.
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by:AC_Nova
ID: 21801205
Are there any processes on the server using too much CPU and RAM?   Patch your email scanning software.  Does the server still grind to a halt if you disable all anti-virus software/ email scanning software?  If not, you know its the Trend software.  Are there any errors in the event log?  Setup exclusions with your anti-virus software.
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by:gandboss
ID: 21801236
Unliklely heat is the problem, reports good, clean, all fans working,processor loads are low and it would not explain why stopping & starting the exchange services 'sorts' things for a while untill the memory load ramps back up over time.

We will be running an offline exchange defrag later this evening as previously suggested and will report back tommorrow,

Thanks for your help so far guys.
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by:AC_Nova
ID: 21801265
I've had an issue like this before and it was the anti-virus/email scanning software.  Although it was McAfee not trend, but this sounds like the same sort of issue.  Like I said before, try disabling the software as a quick test.
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by:gandboss
ID: 21802616
I am reluctant to disable the trend software as it also does spam filter aswell as antivirus, looking at the logs it's filtering a large amount of spam, is there a safe way to disable this for a short period without getting bombarded with unwanted mail?
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by:bcrosby007
ID: 21802673
Disabling it will be less obtrusive than running the ESEUTIL. the ESEUTIL does about 5 gig per hour. So depending on your store size, it might take a while. Try disabling it for a day. Maybe send an all staff email letting the staff know that they may recive more spam than usual.
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by:AC_Nova
ID: 21802741
To be honest with you the short answer is no.  But this will be the small price to pay to see if its the trend software causing the problem.  You only have 35 clients, just send them an email.  Is this issue causing you a major headache?  (sounds like it is - "outlook clients failing to connect" etc)  Just disable the software in the evening.  What are your exchange queues like?  Are you being used as an open relay?  Also check to see if there are any large emails being sent to multiple users.  I've had an issue before where a bulk email has killed exchange performance

I dont think defragging the exchange db will help in this instance.  Exchange is designed for heavy throughput and judging from the size of the .edb file (19GB) you should be fine.  
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by:gandboss
ID: 21802750
I'm running the eseutil over night, tonight. I will see what effect (if any) that has tommorrow, if the server is still running slowly then i'll disable trend and report back.

I've also checked the trend website to see if there are any newer patches/known issues. We're uptodate and cant find anything relevant to our problem.

Again thanks for the help so far i'll let you know how I get on and award points if its fixed.
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by:gandboss
ID: 21802776
ok i'll reverse the above, kill trend first then try eseutil if no improvement.
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by:AC_Nova
ID: 21802857
heres how to check for an open relay (just incase)

http://www.auditmypc.com/freescan/readingroom/relay.asp

Also dont forget to check the queues (lots, and lots of queues means something abnormal is happaening)

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by:gandboss
ID: 21803648
Will check the for an open relay soon, I have 16 queues is this high?
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by:AC_Nova
ID: 21803722
its not exceedingly high.  How many messages? do the destinations look legitimate?

Stop those trend services and let me know what happens, this should be your first port of call.
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Author Comment

by:gandboss
ID: 21810953
Quick update;

The problem can take hours to apear after the information store is resarted so will have to wait to see if the problem still exists or not, will report back tommorrow morning.

We are not an open relay and all queues look legitimate.
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Author Comment

by:gandboss
ID: 21845877
Holding Note:
The server is still working ok right now but this is the normal and can take sereral days for the problem to reoccur.  Will keep this thread open a bit longer.
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Author Closing Comment

by:gandboss
ID: 31467569
sorry it took so long stopping trend did not fix it so ran offline defrag, so far so good thanks for your help.
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