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How do I configure Hyper-V File Server to be more responsive?

Posted on 2010-08-20
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We recently deployed a new (very fast) server utilizing Microsoft Server 2008 / Hyper-V and are having problems with server responsiveness, especially in the mornings, on one of our hyper-v file servers.  Users will go to save files to a file share located in this particular hyper-v file server (all users are on Windows 7) and connected via Gigabit network, yet they get the doomed "circle of death" for at least 2 - 3 minutes before the server will actually save the file.  I have gone in and tried to make sure all of the power saving options are turned off / disabled but the users are still complaining about the unresponsiveness.  Any ideas what might be going on here?  TIA!
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Question by:dstjohnjr
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Cliff Galiher earned 125 total points
ID: 33488116
I usually see this when the underlying NIC drivers are misbehaving (aka Broadcom) and isn't Hyper-V specific. Broadcom drivers don't handle TCP/chimney/checksum offloading, for example. So those issues get passed on to any guest OS using a virtual switch attached to said network card.
Start there. Disable offloading, update drivers, see if that helps.
-Cliff
 
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by:DavidGerald
DavidGerald earned 125 total points
ID: 33499366
I would follow cgalihers answer first, there are a number of slow access issues between 2008 and W7/vista.  Are you finding it is certain applications that are having problems saving or any file?

to clarify Cliffs answer:

I would try the driver update first.  If no change:

netsh interface tcp set global chimney=disabled
In the Advanced tab for the network adapter, change IPv4 Checksum Offload to Disabled.
You can also try forcing it to 100mb duplex instead of autonegotiate.

Does the issue disappear when connecting with an XP client machine?
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by:kevinhsieh
kevinhsieh earned 125 total points
ID: 33504202
I noticed that my virtualized file server does a lot better after I increased the RAM allocated to it.  I went from 3 to 6 GB. I would have thought that the 3 GB was enough for a 100+ users while running DFS-R to a dozen servers, but the increase did help.

Also, how is your VM accessing the disks that store your files? Hopefully the files are not on the same VHD as your OS. They should be located on their own VHD that is attached via SCSI instead of IDE (from the VM perspective, you can't easily change the real hardware). I actually attach my data drives via iSCSI from within the OS, but you should only look at that if you have a SAN and you don't mention that you do.
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by:geniph
geniph earned 125 total points
ID: 33631584
The networking setup is critical. Do you have only one Hyper-V host, or is it a cluster? If it's a cluster, you'll get your best response by setting up LAN, heartbeat, and iSCSI on completely separate subnets.

How much physical RAM is on your Hyper-V hosts? How much is allocated to that VM? Do you have enough available to basically double the virtual RAM?

How is the LUN set up for the file server? Is it a dedicated LUN, or on shared volumes? For anything that needs to be high-performance, you'll probably get better response with a dedicated LUN.
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by:dstjohnjr
ID: 33638826
Thanks experts for weighing in!  Due to time constraints, I have not yet had a chance to adjust any of my settings as suggested.  Instead, as a quick fix, I have moved my file shares outside the Virtual environment for now, and that has made a huge difference (users are happy!).  I will however, when time permits, dig deeper to addressing the issue in the virtual environment using these suggestions.  Thanks again!
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