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ESXi SBS server performance issues

Posted on 2011-10-10
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-07
we have a new Dell PowerEdge T410, RAID 10 15K RPM drives, 24 GB RAM. SBS 2010 on ESXi, we were planning on moving the Terminal server to the Dell as well., all windows updates applied. Bios, firmware updated. Our server is slow, i am having a hard time pinning down the cause.  I can share statistics if needed.   The only thing i can think of at this point is disk latency, but we have only 8 users on the network using standard file shares, quicken, word, a lot of linked files in excel.  Blackberry professional server is also installed.  I have recently shut down that service.

We have some disk latency values of mxa: write: scsi0: 1 scsi1: 8   read scsi0: 19 scsi0: 21.
Not sure where to go from her.  any help is appreciated.   Considering rebuilding the server if it persists.
Question by:egrotjahn
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 36946954

Without knowing what is going on it is hard to suggest. My suggestion for you to have a look on the ESXi first, this free tools might help you to monitor the performance of those host and guest os, http://www.solarwinds.com/products/freetools/vm_monitor.aspx

After getting clear result on what excatly happen then may be we can try to get the solution. May be you can shared here any statistical information here for experts here to give their opinion.

Having more disk on spindles really help in heavy disk activitiy, but is it the disk that cause problem? But how about CPU and Memory usage?
LVL 125
ID: 36947728
How many disks in RAID 10?

Veeam Monitor for free

If you want a quick tool, to help you with wanting to know all the individual elements, then I would suggest using Veeam Monitor Free Edition

Veeam Monitor leverages Veeam Business View™ to enable performance monitoring, alerting and reporting for virtual machine groups based on criteria such as business unit, department, location, purpose, service-level agreement or any other criteria you define. This ability to perform business-centric monitoring helps to identify the business impact of a virtual infrastructure’s performance and respond accordingly. It also allows you to configure flexible alerts based on known server type characteristics and the potential business impact of an outage for more granular service-level management. You can also create targeted reports showing only the data relevant to specific business units, departments or types of server.
More features


If you want to get down and dirty with the servers, then I would recommend the following documents

Performance Monitoring and Analysis

Guest-based performance monitoring is an inaccurate and unhelpful means of evaluating performance in virtual deployments.  See Guest-based Performance Measurement for more inforamtion.  Monitoring and analysis of VMware ESX Server should be performed with esxtop and VirtualCenter.

esxtop is the tried-and-true means of collecting every performance stat  needed and making it available in a way that is conducive to analysis.  The best source of information on launching esxtop can be found in the Resource Management Guide (page 159).

1. Check and correct CPU utilization: CPU Performance Analysis and Monitoring

2. Identify memory bottlenecks and remove: Memory Performance Analysis and Monitoring

3. Characterize storage performance and correct: Storage Performance Analysis and Monitoring

4. Understand and improve the network utilization profile: Network Performance Analysis and Monitoring

Within each of these articles are techniques for using counters from  VirtualCenter and esxtop.  Information on those counters is provided in

vCenter Performance Counters
esxtop Performance Counters

Also, note that, while useless in collecting performance data, Perfmon  can help with analysis of large esxtop output files.  

Using Perfmon for esxtop-based Performance Analysis
LVL 10

Accepted Solution

PlusIT earned 1000 total points
ID: 36947748
Are you sure it's not the VM itself?  What does taskmgr say you?  High cpu usage or memory usage?  Is vmware tools installed in the vm?

How many Ram did you gave the server and how many cpu cores?
SBS 2011 needs 4 cores at least.
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Author Comment

ID: 36950001
Server has RAID 10 with 4 @ 450 GB hard drives.  I installed with a 6 core physical processor and assigned 4 vCPU's to the server before installation.   from what i have read, i should change this back to 1 vCPU or 2.  

On the SBS server. there is high RAM usage.  I disabled Blackberry services and SQL and RAM went to 8 GB, but no performance difference.  

I will install one of the freeware tools or will run esxtop to get additional details.
LVL 125

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 1000 total points
ID: 36950047
Do not get carried away with assigning CPUs, unless you really need them. Start with 1, and if performance suffers, add another.

vSMP can slow down a VM, becuause of the SMP scheduling.

Author Comment

ID: 36952353
Can I reduce the number of vCPU's without having to rebuild the OS or will the OS be able to adjust to the changes with out any major intervention/rebuild on the windows side?
LVL 125
ID: 36952370
Yes, SBS 2011 has a multi processor HAL. So you'll need to shutdown, and remove vCPU, restart. No changes to OS required.

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