Why is my SBS 2008 server performance very slow?

Posted on 2011-05-10
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
We have a Dell Poweredge T410 server running with 8GB RAM and 1 x Intel Xeon 5504 processor. We only recently upgraded from 4GB to 8GB to address performance issues after installing ACT! 2011 on the server but things seem to be getting worse. I restart the server and the memory usage starts betwee 4-5GB right away and slowly creeps closer to 8GB, generally stopping around 7.5GB. This brings server access to a crawl.

I have noticed several processes running under the following names:

I have attached a text file with the process explorer output.

Any ideas? process-explorer-201105100950.TXT
Question by:lockrows_ainsley
    LVL 3

    Accepted Solution


    8GB is far too little for SBS 2008 no matter what they recommend. We are never handing out these boxes below 12GB. With a little extra services you will quickly need 16-20GB.

    w3wp is the worker process for IIS. Wevey time an application pool in IIS processes some code on a web page, it is run by a worker process. If these are eating up resources, you need to look in your IIS to see the source of the mischief.

    My first thing to do would be to add 8GB of memory, just to make sure you have enough. Then see if the problem persists. We had the same issue at a customer site just the other day, and we added memory before we started searching for an error. By mistake the server had only 8GB.


    Author Comment

    Thanks for the comments. I will certainly look into adding additional memory. If you didn't notice I mentioned that the server has 1 processor. It has an empty socket and we are looking into installing a second processor. So I may order additional memory when ordering the second processor.

    Do you think just installing the second processor and redistributing the memory between the 2 processors (4GB on each) would resolve the issue?
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    The utilizztion of resources is always a challange. I can tell you - your server is a typical support call. IT is a very busy server. SBS is meant to be an all in one solution for a small business and has a very specific audiance. you can add application to the server, but you have to plan your hardware carefully. In short, there are several applications which could be suspect. I will list those below. I would boot the server with each of these applications disabled and look for an impovmeent.

    1. Alexandria Software Consulting + Multiplan Consultants (tomcat?)
    2. Blackberry
    3. all antivirus -SpamCure_W_0_0_6_20101213 and Sunbelt software email security
    4. SQL 2000
    5. OPen Manage

    Use MSCONFIG to stop these individually or in combinations. If this does not show you the offending application then it is probably a compination of apps that dont play together well:

    Possible bad combinations

    1. OPen Manage and Logmein
    2. SQL 2000 (nt) and defauut SQL instance installed
    3. SpamCure_W_0_0_6_20101213 and BU exec
    4. Sunbelt software email security and SpamCure_W_0_0_6_20101213 and BU exec
    5. Blackberry may be conflicting with Exchange and the antivirus software and or backup exec

    YOu are really looking for a memory leak or a resource hog. I can tell you the senario may be simply that you have a compination of application that are just taking up your server. HEre is the senario

    1. SQL (default) reserves  1 GB
    2. SQL 2000 reserves 1 GB
    3. Sharepoint reserves 1 GB
    4. Exchnafge reserves 1 GB
    5. Symantec reserves 1 GB
    6. Blackbaerry reserver 1 GB
    7. ANtivirus Bottle necks these apps
    7 DFSR starts rewuiring more RAM because jobs pile up (1GB)

    you have now only 1 GB of RAM to run your OS and you havent even measured the alexandria software or open manage.

    The bottom line is you have an application resource issue, a memory leak, or a bottle neck. In any case- MSCONFIG is your best friend. Turn some of the stuff off and let us know if you narrow it down.

    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    Distributing the memory between the two CPU's will not help you.

    You can add more memory when you add the second CPU, but you MUST add more memory.


    Just saving you alot of time researching here ;)

    Author Comment

    I am looking into purchasing additional memory so no worries there. But does anyone know which SQL databases/processes I can probably live without? I know SBS 2008 has very interconnected services so which services can I disable to leave me with the bare essentials which would be:

    File Sharing services
    Symantec BackupExec
    Vipre security services (antivirus, spam, etc.)
    Outlook web access

    Another way to think about it would be: what is the minimal set of services I need to leave running so that all of this works? Any ideas would be welcome.


    Author Comment

    I forgot quickbooks as well

    Author Comment

    Ok, I am in the process of quoting out more RAM (getting pricing for both a total of 16GB and 32GB). I am also considering installing a second processor (see previous comments) and need to make sure there aren't any software changes required as part of that. Will I need to make any changes to the OS or any other software to accomodate the jump from 1 to 2 processors?

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