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Windows 2008 SBS Memory / Server Issues

Posted on 2010-03-14
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I have a client with a server with the following configuration:
Xeon Processor
8GB RAM
2 x 1GB SATA drives
Windows 2008 Small Business Server (64)
Use Exchange 2007
Symantec Endpoint Protection 12.0 small business
Information Foundation Mail Security For Microsoft Exchange (latest)
CA ArcServe for Small Business Server 2008 (latest)

Problem:
We have been seeing very high memory usage on the server for the past 3 months (beginning of the year) in the 90% of phyiscal memory. Seems to be sqlserver (1.2GB), but it goes up and down. There are multiple Symantec process running with the same name (like 7 or 8) that are 64MB or there abouts. The CPU usage is fine.

The server has had 2 events in the past month both dealing with users retrieving files and needing to do a restart to resolve.

First
It was caught early in the AM the first time the server was VERY slow to shutdown, but did shutdown and reboot.

Interim
I noticed the memory was back at 90 to 95 percent utilization and did a shutdown (even though all was working fine.) Stopping Group Policy seemed to take forever to stop. The server was rebooted an the memory was at 55% for about a day or two then went up into the 80s.

Last
The second major event was this past weekend. This time memory was at 95%, the backup Crashed and it started to give an error that a ini file associated with Group Policy was not found. I was able to login, which was very slow to log in. Email was working fine, could see files and folders, but when we opened them MS office would give a blank screen or error. I also could not get the desktop to work well enough to get it to shutdown and simply had to do a hard reboot. There was lots of disk activity.

After the reboot, the system seemed to be fine and the memory was creeping up and was at 70% after about 1 hour. Today, about 24 hours later, it is at 90%.

I have a schedule maint on Tuesday AM and wanted to know what I could do to resolve or toubleshoot the problem. The client is getting frustrated with Windows 2008 SBS.

Thanks
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Question by:Joseph_Barron
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    Expert Comment

    by:antonduys
    Are there any other processes that use alot of memory and/or cpu because you say that you have about 8gb of ram in your server, and the only program you mentioned which used alot is sql server which uses only 15% (1.2GB).
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    Expert Comment

    by:illhelpu
    What is the paging file set to?
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    Author Comment

    by:Joseph_Barron
    I will check out tha paing file. What am I looking for the max size, location or if it has some other parameter?
     
    The CPU utilization is fairly low. 2 to 10 percent, mostly 2. The problem with the ini file for Group policy in in a systeminternals folder (if I remember) under a long string. I'm concerned that there is something wrong with Group Policy on this system. Both issues seemed to be related to access permissions and the interim shutdown I did tool about 15 minutes to stop the Group Policy process.

    Thanks for your help.
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    Assisted Solution

    by:illhelpu
    Yes, the size of the paging file. You can just set it to system managed and reboot. See if it helps any.

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    Author Comment

    by:Joseph_Barron
    Are there any tools for checking out Group Policy? We don't have any thing complex, very minimal customization. But the thing taking so long to shutdown is making me nervious. Will one day the computer simply not get past the Applying setting screen.


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    by:antonduys
    On the site below is explained how to get the default windows group policies manager.

    http://chakkaradeep.wordpress.com/2007/09/08/installing-group-policy-in-windows-server-2008/
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    Author Comment

    by:Joseph_Barron
    Under Virtual Memory the Total paging file size for all drives is 8488MB. But when I click the Change button it says it is set to "Autotomatically manage paging file size for all drives". The Min is 16MB, the Recommended is 12282MB and the current is as stated 8488.

    The memory is now at 92%

    The following are some of the big process using memory. It is not a complete list.
    sqlservr.exe *32 is 1,250MB
    store.exe 609MB
    SQLservr.exe 422MB
    smsutilityservice.exe *32 256MB
    w3wp.exe 210MB
    sqlservr.exe *32 190MB
    EdgeTransport.exe 176MB
    w3wp.exe 174MB
    w3wp.exe 136MB
    w3wp.exe 134MB
    SearchIndexer 134MB
    httpd.exe *32 102MB
    SAVFMSESp.exe *32 65 MB     These multiple are normal.
    SAVFMSESp.exe *32 65 MB
    SAVFMSESp.exe *32 65 MB
    SAVFMSESp.exe *32 65 MB
    SAVFMSESp.exe *32 65 MB
    SAVFMSESp.exe *32 65 MB
    SAVFMSESp.exe *32 65 MB
    SAVFMSESp.exe *32 65 MB
    SAVFMSESp.exe *32 65 MB
    w3wp.exe 62MB
    w3wp.exe 62MB
    SAVFMSETask.exe *32 61MB
    w3wp.exe 62MB

    Boat load of smaller processes.
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    by:antonduys
    What kind of harddrives are in your server? and how is the hdd activity? The harddisks might be a huge bottleneck when it starts to use the pagefile ect.
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    Author Comment

    by:Joseph_Barron
    They are SATA drives and the day I was in the office after the event, there was a constant dis activity. But the data transfer was a fraction of a MB per second. I think it might have been soing a Search index.

    I don't understand why the amount of physical RAM used is SO high. The server is pretty bored. It supports about 15 users for files and exchange. It does some WSUS, Symantec Mgmt, and backups.  Share point is not really used.

    Also, should I restrict the amount of RAM used by SQL. The configuration screen is a bit confusting, because the default max value entered seems to be in bits, but the label says MBs. I don't want to set it too low.
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    Accepted Solution

    by:
    I think that your sql software just pre loads informations into your ram, just to speed things up. There is no problem in high ram usage as long as it doesnt keep hitting the 100% and starts moving everything into the pagefile.

    And even with a very low data transfer the harddisk might be searching like hell for all kind of (very) small files. Could you watch out for programs that have a high cpu/mem/hdd usage when it starts to get slow again?

    The reason I am leaning toward the hdd is because there were problems twice when users where trying to retrieve files. Maybe you can run some checks on them?
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    Author Comment

    by:Joseph_Barron
    Thanks for the input. I think the user having problems accessing files was due to Group Policy going haywire. This has happened twice over the past 2 months. We get strange events in the log pretaining to Group Policy. We are also having to wait 15 minutes for Group Policy service to stop.

    After the reboot, the server seems to be running fine. Even when the memory is at 90+ we see good performance. As far as I can tell it has never run into 100% and started using the paging file. We only noticed it because the client got an email from Symantec's System Health console warning that Physical Memory usage was extremely high (it was at 97% for a few minutes). This put the client into a panic, then we have these problems and everything is caused by this problem. You know how it goes. So if I don't address the memory issue, he will think I'm ignoring a problem (in his mind).

    Thanks for your help.
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    Author Comment

    by:Joseph_Barron
    We rebooted the server, installed patches, etc. The server seemed to start up just fine. But before the end of the day, the memory went backup to 95%. Is this normal?
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    Author Closing Comment

    by:Joseph_Barron
    Was useful information. Will repost a more direct question.
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    Expert Comment

    by:illhelpu
    Not really, but not that you have a time range that it is happening, you can narrow it down. What happens at that time? any tasks, av, gp stuff, ect..
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