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Win 2003 Server 64 bit Performance Monitor - Page Faults / Sec & Avg Disk queue Length

Posted on 2009-07-02
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
We have a Win 2003 Server 64 bit Server 4GB ram - Raided disk. Runs a single app. App is using approx 15mb ram, total memory sits at flat-lined 550MB

We are experiencing periods of freezing where the server just pauses - 200 connected work station. Everything waits and then away it goes again. Can last upto 60 seconds , has been doing it for months - every 3 - 4 weeks, just once or twice.

More recently its every few days and every few hours, sometimes minutes

Have been trying to track it down using Performance Monitor: Here are some numbers,

Avg Disk Queue Length = between .80 and 1.8 - (Scale is 10)
Current Disk Queue Length = 1 (Scale is 10)
Average Disk sec / Read is .003 (Scale is 1000)
Average Disk Write Queue Length = .770 (Scale is 100)

Pages/sec = 320 (Scale is 1)
Page Faults/Sec = 4000 (Scale is .001)

I don't understand how to apply the scales and the numbers in Last, Average, Minimum don't vary when I change the scale.

The database is a Revelation LinearHash Service - we have used it for 15 years, starting on Novell. No major changes to the apps.
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Question by:kyleitvss
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Expert Comment

by:peter41
ID: 24770203
What you can see in "Average", "Maximum", "Minimum" fields, it is equal to real measured values in units you can see in counter name.
Scale is important only for y-axis of graph and value on the graph must be divided by scale.
for example:
you have counter "Avg Disk Bytes/Write" (in Explain box there is written that it is in bytes units),
on some point on the graph you see value 60,
you have scale 0.001

real value in bytes/sec is calculated like : 60/0.001 = 6000 bytes/sec

Peter
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Author Comment

by:kyleitvss
ID: 24770440
Ok thanks Peter that cleared that up for me.

So the next part of the question is, is 4000 page fault/sec a concern?

Also is it fair to say the disk I/O looks fine then, these numbers would indicate that the disk I/O queues are not likely to be a cause of the server freezing.
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Expert Comment

by:peter41
ID: 24771076
Where you see number 4000 ? is it in the graph, or is it in "Average" field ?
With your W2K3 configuration description and measurements,
there is important also configuration of your page file, because page faults can depend on it.
What is your page file settings ?

I think useful should be this link:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/889654

Peter
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Author Comment

by:kyleitvss
ID: 24771235
Where you see number 4000 ? is it in the graph, or is it in "Average" field ?

Average field.


What is your page file settings ? - I'll check it out and advise.
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Author Comment

by:kyleitvss
ID: 24771312
What is your page file settings

Custom:

Initial Size:   2046
Max Size:    4092

Recommended: 6141
Currently allocated:  2046

Memory Details

Physical Memory: 4GB
Available: 372MB
System Cache: 3.3GB

Totals
Handles:   17815
Threads:       737
Proceses:        72

Commit Charge (K)

Current:       626,572
Limit:        6,020,652
Peak:          651,684

Kernel Memory:

Paged Physical:     105,265
Paged Virtual:        147,136

CPU and I/O

Context Switch Data:    varies from 15,000 to 35,000
I/O Read Delta:             varies from 7,000 to 24,000

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Accepted Solution

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peter41 earned 1500 total points
ID: 24771628
I think the reason of problem can be these values:
Available: 372MB
System Cache: 3.3GB

System uses very large of memory for cache and only 372 is available. So reason of freezing is probably out of memory state. In out of memory system uses paging file intensive and your page faults/sec are so high.
Do you use your server like file server intensive ?
If yes, try to open Network interface properties and "File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks" properties.
Try to change value to "Minimize memory used".

If not, try to use ControlPanel->System->Properties>"Performance (Settings button"->AdvancedTab and set Memory usage for Programs and not for System Cache.

Other unclean for me is "App" you shortly described in first post. What kind of application is it ?
Also unclean for me is sentence: "App is using approx 15mb ram, total memory sits at flat-lined 550MB"
What do you mean by: "flat-lined"  ?

Peter
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Author Comment

by:kyleitvss
ID: 24778250
Thanks Peter - I'll check these parameters

File Server - well sort off - its a database server

What kind of application is it -

its a database application the database engine is a PICK like Automatic File resizing system developed by Revelation Software www.revelation.com

We have over 200 connected processes and very high volumes

The Database generally uses very little memory it self its very lean and fast.

total memory sits at flat-lined 550MB

The Reported memory used by programs in the Task Manager sits at approx 550MB and never varies

 
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Expert Comment

by:peter41
ID: 24779740
I dont know this software, but maybe it is quick because it uses so large cache.
Maybe this software contains some settings for example percentual size of RAM which can be used for cache (not for process itself), check it and try to set less of RAM.
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Author Comment

by:kyleitvss
ID: 24779761
I have contacted the developers and have asked them for some help in setting thee value correctly.

Thanks for your help
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Author Closing Comment

by:kyleitvss
ID: 31599457
Thanks Peter for your suggestions. We have a fail-over server that we have moved the app to and will monitor it for a few weeks. The fail-over server appears to be significantly faster and this may be a pointer to the real cause. I'll update this thread as we move thru' this next week or so
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