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ESXi 4.1 Poor Performance when Accessed Externally

Posted on 2011-03-16
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Last Modified: 2013-11-11
Hello All,

I've been working a tough problem for one of our customers. They have a brand new HP ML350 G6 Proliant Server running VMWare ESXi 4.1, 260247. They have 4 VM's on the server - APPSVR, Citrix Server, Terminal Server, and vCenter Server. The main problem is that the users accessing the APPSVR from either the Citrix or Terminal Server do not experience and delay of slowness. However, users on the physical network experience slowness when running application or accessing files against the APPSVR.

Has anybody seen anything similar? I've contacted VMware support and I'm waiting for my call back. Any suggestions on troubleshooting steps?

Thanks in advance.

Nathan
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Question by:tbcnetinc
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Expert Comment

by:CHutchins
ID: 35149940
Quick guess is Network Traffic.  What is the network like on the VMWare box? The citrix and Term server should have unlimited internal bw to the app server which would be why I wouldnt see that issue but everything out of the box has to go through the nic.  

You may need to bond the nics in ESX and parallel them on the switch to add bw.
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by:predragpetrovic
ID: 35164137
Hi,

As CHutchins said, this is caused by networking. Usually by network configuration (upstream switches).
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Author Comment

by:tbcnetinc
ID: 35165207
Thanks for the feedback so far. Here is an update.

We've poured over the switch (Cisco 3560) that this ESX server is connecting to and also the settings on the vSwitch itself to no avail. The configuration is a single management Nic and a single Network NIC both running at gigabit speed to the CISCO 3560. The Cisco ports are both configured with trunk ports with no exclusions. We've seen no errors or indicators on the Cisco logs to indcate bottlenecks or configurations problems.

I've thought about adding a second NIC and teaming the connections. Anyone provide me with the Cisco side program to accomplish this on the 3560? I'm familiar with the VMware configuration side, but helpful hint there as for things to watch out for would be great as well.

I've also talked to VMware about the issue and they recommended some performance changes to the individual VM's configuration settings. Those also did not help.

At this point we are going to try migrating the problem server to a seperate VMware ESX server and see if that helps, hurts, or makes no change. Based on the results from that test, we may also try a new switch just to eliminate the physical networking side.

Hope to know more after this weekend's work. Thanks for the advice so far everyone!

Nathan
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Author Comment

by:tbcnetinc
ID: 35182142
Ok - Monday morning update.

We did not try a new ESXi server over the weekend. Instead while preparing to do that install, we learned from the clients that only Windows XP machines are having the problems with slow application and network access the the 2008 R2 server. The Windows 7 and Vista machines are running just fine.

So now this looks like a Windows connectivity  issue between Windows XP SP3 and Windows 2008 R2. Any suggestions?

Otherwise, I'm going to create a new question under Windows to continue this issue based on this new informaiton.

Thanks,
Nathan
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Expert Comment

by:predragpetrovic
ID: 35182182
Hi,

There is no reason which will make Windows XP run slower on Windows 2008 networks. Could you verify that you are using the same name servers/wins servers.
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Author Comment

by:tbcnetinc
ID: 35182307
Hello,

I've verified that the DNS and WINS servers between machines are the same. There is only one DNS / WINS server on the network. WINS is not enabled on the 2008 R2 box.
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Author Comment

by:tbcnetinc
ID: 35191992
All,

Thanks for your help. At this point, it looks like it might be an application specific issue. We are working with the vendor to address. If it turns out differently, I'll post back.

Thanks,
Nathan
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Accepted Solution

by:
tbcnetinc earned 0 total points
ID: 35231979
All,

Thanks for your help. At this point, I'm going to close the question. Here is the solution we found has worked to resolve this problem.

1) Applied this MS knowledge base article fix - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/297684
2) Applied Service Pack 1 for 2008 R2 Server

These were basically done at the same time in order to make a broad stroke fix as time was imperative to resolve for our client. Sorry I couldn't narrow it down more than this, but these were the last two items changed before the issue was corrected.

Also to note was that the applications on this server were ones that opened many smaller files and locked them outside of the windows lock. That is they wrote their own lock files to the directory to prevent other users in the application from opening them.

Hope this helps someone in the future.

Thanks,
Nathan
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Author Closing Comment

by:tbcnetinc
ID: 35304228
Accepted this solution as the final solution
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