Options for Upgrading overloaded Small Buisness Server?

Hi there,

We currently have 2 servers that take the load of most of our activity.  My problem is that we're already running into extreme slow-downs (waiting 30-2 minutes to be able to type/click) because of memory issues on our main server (Server A).  I've already tried restricting the memory allocation for all the SQL instances (some were taking more than a Gig).  I just lowered the max memory allocation again and will wait to see if that helps more consistently.

My other problem is we might be adding another 5 users that will be VPNing into the same server in a couple months, and I need to be able to support them.  Since i'm on a 32 bit server and OS, i can't get more than the 4GB i have already so i'm wondering what my best options are.  

Can I just get a new 64 bit server (Windows Server 2010 on it? or 2003 since the rest of my servers are 2003?), and make that my SQL server and file server.  Then keep Server A as my DC, VPN, and Exchange Server, and my terminal server as is?

Any advice or help would be appreciated!

Server A is our DC, VPN endpoint, Exchange Server, SQL Server, and File Server.
Specs: SBS2003; PowerEdge 840 w/ Xeon 2.4 Ghz and 4GB Ram with 1TB in Raid 5.

Server B is our Terminal Server ~22 people log into it concurrently during the day and use various apps (OpenOffice, Internet, Enterprise Software, etc).
Specs: Server 2003 R2 Standard. PowerEdge 840 w/Xeon 2.4 Ghz and 4GB Ram with 250GB in Raid 5 and a 32GB SSD for the page file.

Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Darius GhassemCommented:
Add another server that should get you going again. You can purchase Windows 2008 Server 64-bit which would allow you to use Hyper-V. Using Hyper-v will allow you to have multiple servers running on one physical server by means of virtualization so you would get more bag for your buck and allow you to move services off to another server without having to mix the services.
i just bought a new dell server that has the new sata3 perc raid. using solid state drives with this i get 380MB per secound read and 290MB write. with something like this i also bought server2008 r2 and 2003sbs and install the sbs as a VM with hyper-v the host os is 64bit but the sbs is 32 this will allow you to better manage the server recources and also have as much ram as you want. the cost was about 10,000.00. but i have 7 servers running on the same box now with no lag. side note i did team the nic cards as well.
Are you sure that it is memory problem? It could also be CPU or disk usage problem.
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms175903.aspx (Numbers are the same for SBS2003)

Another option is installing SBS 2008 premium on new server and as you get with SBS 2008 premium additional windows 2008 server licens,e you can use it on the old one for SQL server. Coexistence of different versions of servers is not the problem.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Starting with Angular 5

Learn the essential features and functions of the popular JavaScript framework for building mobile, desktop and web applications.

We have SBS2008 running Exchange, file, SQL on a pair of older Xeon 3.0GHz (circa 2006).  Runs fine with 10GB of RAM.

Your problems may lie with your TS -- 22 users with RAID5 & only 4GB of RAM on 32-bit Windows.  Consider a RAID-10 with 4 drives and increasing RAM to 8GB + 64-bit OS.  The SSD as swap is an OK idea...but better to eliminate the swap with more RAM.  Maybe use the SSD for the OS/app drive.

ArvidsonsAuthor Commented:
Hey all, thanks for suggestions and thoughts.

davorin- I've watched the perf logs and the cpu doesn't seem to be causing any problems.  The disk usage is certainly beacuse of the page file usage, but that's memory related since it's using the page file isn't it?

I think from this I'm seeing about two options for myself:
option 1:
new server w/: SBS2008 premium, 8-10 GB RAM, 4 1TB drives in raid5.  It comes with sql 2008 standard and 2 copies of server2008 that i can install on virtual or on other (old) servers.  It means taking the time to upgrade pretty much entire existing infrastructure to 2008 versions, but after that we should be set to go for any foreseeable future unless holograms start becoming an issue.  I could even move terminal services on it (either 2003 or 2008) if that server gets overloaded...
Cost: ~ $8k or so + Time/money for upgrading and porting everything.

Option 2 (less expensive - still strong): new server w/ Server2008R2 standard, 8-1 GB ram, 4 1TB drives in raid 5.  Just use the server as the new SQL (using sql 2005) and file box, and continue using my sbs2003 box for AD, DC, and Exchange.  use single Virtual instance to move the 2003 terminal server over if neccessary in the future and raise ram up.
Cost: ~ $7k or so.

Next.. opinions on which way i should go between the two options?
That could be or also bottleneck in disk subsystem. You have all stuff on single RAID array (OS, sql and exchange databases and log files) which is not perfect for optimum performance.
You probably know for which option I would vote.
But this mostly depends on how old is your sbs2003 server. If it is approaching 4-6 years it would be anyway the time to replace it. If you replace now SQL server and in year or two also the sbs server you will have to pay double cost...
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.