Exchange 2003 "local delivery queue and OWA slow performance

Hi guys,

Our Exchange server has started to act up in the past week.

We have a FE server with 2 BE servers. One of the BE ones is located in NY while the FE and the other BE are in London.
As of Friday last week, the BE in NY starts to queue up on local delivery service and simultaneously, the owa grinds to a halt.

A reboot resolves all of this for a few minutes before it all happens again. The London FE and BE are unaffected.

Can't find "any" errors in Event Viewer, so I'm a bit stumped as to where to begin troubleshooting.

Any ideas?
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As always with performance issues, check CPU, Memory and Disk IO utilisation, it's possible a faulty process or service is consuming to many resources and impeding the system. Download process explorer from Microsoft and get a better insight into the Exchange server.
also try updating the network card drivers, that helped me in one instance. other than that -> check system resources to see if anything is hogging disk i/os etc.
Hmm TCP Offloading used to cause major headaches, I almost forgot. I think this was resolved in later hotfixes but if TCPchinmey is enabled, I would disable it.

At the command prompt, type:

Netsh int ip set chimney DISABLED

This disables TCP Offloading.
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entuityadminAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the tips guys.

I've done some of this and will monitor for a few more hours as this is a kind of an intermittent problem.

Appreciate the heads up.
entuityadminAuthor Commented:
okay - sorry for the delay but I thought to leave this for 24hrs to provide a good snapshot window.

Right so after installing explorer, I didn't find anything that was eating up resources. High on the list were the Exchange services which you'd expect anyway.
I did managr to shutdown some old apps that didn't need to be on there, and also shutdown Symantec Mail for Exchange (its a secondary server, so the FE server already protects the environment)

Perfmon though showed the pages/sec and Avg.Disk Queue Length were hammering the server at 100% - so I increased the paging file and everything's dramatically dropped to normal.

So I rekcon another 24hrs monitoring is on the cards to ensure the bottleneck is resolved and then I can close this. I will troubleshoot further if not.

Thanks so far guys.

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entuityadminAuthor Commented:
I had to take the weekend to conduct some tests on the server b/c of usage and we've sussed the origin of the problem.

We run a backup assist app on the server, and it seems the problem occurs just as this is aboutt to start.

Whether it is the software doing this or the HDD reacting to the i/o activity from the software remains to be seen, but my money is on the HDD.

I will monitor for one more day (as the users will be back to their heavy use today) and then close ticket.

As a resolution,  will have to replace HDD at an opportuned time.

Are you running a Raid 5? They have terrrrrible performance.

A defect HDD should cause more errors than this - but of course can't be ruled out.
Try monitoring the I/Os using the Performance monitor and see what comes up.
entuityadminAuthor Commented:
I had to find a permanent solution to this while managin the problem at the same time so "time" got the better of me.
We have now migrated to a new server and released "said" server fro other non-critical use.

Like I said earlier, when we stopped the Backup software, the server remained stable till we were done with, so whether HDD or software I'm not sure but its somewhere in between - as the perfmon showed high disk activity durin the backups.

Anyway, as we don't have the personnel to continue to research what happened, I will close this and accept your suggestions as they helped in identifying potential problem areas.

Thanks for your help on this.

Appreciate it.
entuityadminAuthor Commented:
while the issue did not have a permanent solution, the suggestions helped in narrowing down potential problem areas which helped in decision making.
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