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Blackebery Enterprise Server 4.1.3 slows down exchange 2003

Posted on 2008-11-18
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We recently upgraded to exchange 2003 form 5.5.  Since then we peridoically see a large number of simultaneous connections from the blackberry enterrpise server to the Exchange server.  This seems to happen on some sort of schedule, but not completly sure.   When this occurs exhnage slows down to a crawl for about 15 minuts after these connections occur.  Nothing interesting appears in the event logs on either machine durring this time.  
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Question by:mhymowit
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Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 22988192
How are your server resources - RAM, diskio, CPU ?

What does perfmon and task manager show in performance ?


I hope this helps !
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Author Comment

by:mhymowit
ID: 22988525
At the time this is happening CPU is barely being touched.   We are adding more memory tommorow just to make sure we are not swapping, but I don't think we are.   ExTRA  (troubleshooting assistant) said that disk I/O was a problem area.  The exchange box has slwoer disk on it so I am not supprised by this (we are in the planning to upgrade).   I will set up perfmon to monitor Physical disk and paging and get back with you next time this happens.   It happens several time a day, so it should just be a little while before I get back with you.   Thanks very much for looking at this with me.

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Expert Comment

by:ALogvin
ID: 22994952
slow disk systems suck! I understand what you are dealing with here. A single BB user is roughly equal to 5 CACHED MODE outlook users... in other words, freaking heavy. You can tweak BES a bit to reduce load, but its still a beast.
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Author Comment

by:mhymowit
ID: 22995699
Again we were working fine under 5.5, so I am not convinced that this disk system is the fundamental issue.   The performance is so bad that I think there has to be something more fundamental at the software layer.
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Expert Comment

by:ALogvin
ID: 22995813
Just because its a newer version doesnt mean its always a better product. Ive found Exchange 03 to be the fattest pig in the pen when it comes to microsoft's mail servers.

You could try simply turning your BES off for an hour and seeing if that reduces your Exchange load. if it doesnt, you know to look elsewhere.
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Author Comment

by:mhymowit
ID: 22996040
We know it is tied to BES becuase we always see every BES user simultaneously connecting to the exchange server at the time the performances goes down.  Not sure what cuase alll users to connect.   Is there some kind of a sync process that goes on durring a schedule with BES?.
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by:ALogvin
ID: 22996080
Oh yah. BES syncs tons of stuff on schedules, typically every 10 or 20 minutes. Remember BES should be always connected to your Exchange, as it monitors for new e-mails 24/7. It does periodic scans for updates to contacts, calendar, memos, etc. every 10 or 20 minutes.. if you look on the server you can look for the term "rescan" in the MAGT logs to see the schedule for each user.
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Author Comment

by:mhymowit
ID: 22996346
This process is what seems to be bringing our exchange server to its knees.   I know we have slow disk, but is there any thing else I can look for in terms of software versions that might be causing this?
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by:ALogvin
ID: 22996718
Not that I am aware of. I installed 4.1 w/ no service packs in my Exchange 03 environment and have used each one since the day they came out one at a time. I'm currently on BES 4.1.6. I dont think upgrading to SP6 will resolve this issue for you though.

Have you run an exBPA? The best practices analyser?

How many Exchange users do you have? How many blackberry users? is your exchange SP2?
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Author Comment

by:mhymowit
ID: 22997668
One of my admins installed spiceworks on the BES server and the problem seems to have gone away.   Don;t understand why or how.   In any case we have about 120 excahnge users and about 20 blackberry users.   We are running SP2 of exchange.   Makes no sense to me why installing spiceworks would fix the problem unless it updated some needed dll.
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Author Comment

by:mhymowit
ID: 22998975
Attached is HTML output fromt he exchange analyzer tool.   After working for a day and a half we started having problems again.   The analyzer tool is showing only disk based issues.   Of cousrse we can upgrade the disk to faster disks, but I am not sure that is going to solve this problem.
Disk-Drive-Performance-Counter.log
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ALogvin earned 2000 total points
ID: 22999200
20 blackberry users would the the effect of 100 extra exchange users. 220 exchange users shouldnt be that big of a burden for even a smaller exchange server.


without seeing the output from other items (EXBPA) or the rest of the TRA, I cant say for sure if your issue is only disk... is it possible that maybe you have a drive failing? Those speeds are absolutely TERRIBLE.
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Author Comment

by:mhymowit
ID: 22999962
it is possible.   Can you give me more detailed steps steps for troubleshooting.   Again I am not an expert so not sure how to proceed.
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Author Comment

by:mhymowit
ID: 23006103
Here is the compl;ete output from exhange analyzer (XML FILE)
ExTRA.200811191402484121.data.log
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Author Closing Comment

by:mhymowit
ID: 31517959
Replacing the disks resolved the problem.  Thank you for your help.
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