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Severe Exchange 2003 performance degradation

Posted on 2011-03-11
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello - we are experiencing performance problems with our Exchange Outlook users, where it takes a very long time to retrieve data from Exchange.  We hace a single Exchange 2003 Server with about 75 users on it.  The evbent viewer application log shows many 510 errors like this one:
Source=ESE, Event=510:
Information Store (6324) First Storage Group: A request to write to the file "C:\Exchsrvr\mdbdata\priv1.edb" at offset 7658602496 (0x00000001c87d0000) for 8192 (0x00002000) bytes succeeded, but took an abnormally long time (138 seconds) to be serviced by the OS. In addition, 113 other I/O requests to this file have also taken an abnormally long time to be serviced since the last message regarding this problem was posted 50 seconds ago. This problem is likely due to faulty hardware.

We are planning to bring the server down to do some hardware diagnostics, but are wondering if anyone else has experienced this type of issue and found the cause to be something other than the hardware?

Thanks
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Question by:Damian_Gardner
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9 Comments
 
LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:xmlmagician
ID: 35109133
once due to virus and malware
do you have any faults pop up on for the hard drives?
can you let a diagnostic run over night for integrity etc?
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Expert Comment

by:lancecurwensville
ID: 35109652
In addition to potential HD failures like xmlmagician, take a look at the raid controller, it may be causing problems striping the data.  

Another area I would look at is it appears that you have your exchange db on the same partition as your OS.  Best practices for performance is that your db lies on a different partition (http://www.petri.co.il/move_exchange_stores_to_a_different_disk.htm).  This link also describes how to move this database.  You may not have any physical problems, you've just hit that "magical" mark where the db stores have hit a size that performance has been degraded to the point where it is causing problems.
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Expert Comment

by:lancecurwensville
ID: 35109660
oops, that should have state like xmlmagician stated......
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Author Comment

by:Damian_Gardner
ID: 35110359
ok - thanks for the suggestions, gentlemen.  I'll check the hardware after hours today, and then also consider the best practices.

Thanks,
Damian
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Author Comment

by:Damian_Gardner
ID: 35139201
Have checked all the hardware and the RAID controller, and everything is clean.  I've turned on diagnostics for the IS and am monitoring for errors this week.  After this stage, I'll have to figure out how best to split up the EDB from the log file, when only using a 2 disk mirrored array.  I'm wondering - at the very least, would it help to split 1 disk into 2 partitions, to split up the database and log files?
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Accepted Solution

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lancecurwensville earned 250 total points
ID: 35139488
Having two partitions on that array would be a much better situation, but...doing so after the fact is a **little** scary as if it fails in the process you've really created a nightmare.  I didn't realize from your post that you had a single partition on the existing array.  I've done this successfully in the past, and I mean no offense to the open-source crowd but I wouldn't trust any that are out there on a production exchange server.  I've used Acronis Disk Director Server edition successfully creating and resizing partitions on Server 2003 after it is in production.  http://www.acronis.com/enterprise/products/diskdirector-server/index.html  It is a little expensive, but...when you gauge your time in fixing a failed partition using open source and the lost $$$ in downtime for the company; Acronis's price balances out.  Additionally, you would have access to their support if you have questions.
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Author Comment

by:Damian_Gardner
ID: 35148471
Point taken.  Thanks for the suggestion and standby for more updates.

Damian
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LVL 12

Assisted Solution

by:xmlmagician
xmlmagician earned 250 total points
ID: 35196707
Looking forward to them
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Author Comment

by:Damian_Gardner
ID: 35355195
Sorry for the delay.  The performance trouble seems to have cleared up without changing anything, surprisingly.  I've turned on logging and am still monitoring, but so far it's been ok.  Thanks for your help and I'll try and split the points.

Damian
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