SBS 2011 downgrade

Posted on 2012-03-19
Last Modified: 2012-03-20
Since the system was upgraded to SBS 2011 we are constantly dealing with performance issues.  These all go away when sharepoint, SQL and sbsmonitoring are shut down. We have a small network with less than 10 stations.  we use only file services and exchange.  I am very familiar with running a domain without all these reporting and monitoring tools.  When I shut these off, How many other things can I expect to have break?  

Anyone with direct experience please reply.
Question by:billherde
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LVL 37

Assisted Solution

by:Jian An Lim
Jian An Lim earned 250 total points
ID: 37741120

you can try to throttling how many ram the sharepoint and monitoring will run.

personally, it will give you alot of warning, but as long as you are confident you only want to run exchange and AD
LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 37741665
How much RAM in your server?  Is this a name brand server, if so what is the make and model?
Have you run the SBS Best Practice Advisor?

Author Comment

ID: 37742830
The server is 3 years old, dual zeon and 8gb ram. The bottleneck appears to be disk i/o.  Disk arrays are sata 2 drives in raid 10 configuration.  BPA did not have anything useful to contribute.  We are certain all we want from this is exchange, and even that will become cloud based before too long.
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 37742969
Don't know how many users you have, but 8 GB is just barely enough for most default configs.

How many users?

As stated, you can turn disable all the sharepoint services.  You'll see lots of complaints in the Daily reports/event manager.
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 37743049
Your disk i/o issue might be RAM  related.

As you may know,when RAM is used up,it begins to swap to disk.

When that happens everything slows down.

Most of the folks I know say 12gigs is about bare minimum on an SBS 2011 server with 16gb being the sweet spot.

If you had SBS 2008 ,8gb would be just fine.

You could maybe try something like this and see if the system speeds up.

However RAM  is very cheap these days and might be the best solution.

Author Comment

ID: 37743238
System was upgraded from sbs2008, (the mobile device tools in exchange 2010 are desireable) and ram has been looked at.  Machine want ecc ram, so not so cheap, especially when all of it would have to be replaced to bring it to 16gb. Even with everything loaded however memory usage stays below 7gb until sbsmonitoring starts hammering on SQL.  When I turn off sharepoint and sbsmonitoring, memory commit drops to about 6.5gb.  Turn off SQL and another gb is freed up.  So far no ill affects on operations.

Budget is tight so we would rather turn stuff off we do not need than spend money.  As said above, there are less than 10 users. The disk cache idea looks cool, but still would run around $500 for all four drives. I put some of similar hybrid drives in a couple of the older laptops and they will remain viable for a couple more years or so. That $500 would put 2 more hybrid drives in the users hands.

So far, I am not hearing anything that says managment is going to become a pain or group policies are going to drive me nuts, or suchandsuch is going to fall down and die.  I recall in the early SBS days (4.5) there were hooks that made managment a real problem if you did not use the SBS interface.

Anybody out there who has been on this same road?
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 37743323
Your telling me that turning off those services frees up RAM  and it performs better indicates it is a swap drive /RAM  issue.

As for the drive,this is just a single caching  SSD (about 100 bucks).

I saw one at the SSD convention about a month or two ago,and I'm trying to get an NFR for testing and see how it works.

Should just work as a RAM buffer.

Intel's got a similar technology,but it requires Sandy Bridge
LVL 35

Accepted Solution

Cris Hanna earned 250 total points
ID: 37743343
The only that would break from the Management standpoint, is the wizards surrounding monitoring and sharepoint.

You mentioned that you only have 10 users and are looking at hosted email.   You might consider switching to SBS 2011 Essentials with Office 365 Integration.

8GB of RAM would be plenty for that and you still get Remote Access like SBS (if that's important to you)
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 37744046
I got to do a TAP with SBS2011 with the Microsoft developers.  They told me not to use less than 12GB of RAM

Keep in mind that both Exchange and SQL are DESIGNED to use all available RAM and will give up RAM as it is needed by other programs.  

My recommendation would be to upgrade the memory to 16GB of RAM.  I would also add an additional disk to be used solely for a SWAP file.  If you can put that drive on its own disk controller then that would be even better.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 37745247
Thank you all for contributing. SQL, Sharepoint and SBSmonitoring are disabled and as expected, managment of the domain using the "regular" tools works fine. Performance of the machine is acceptable and other than warnings the event log remains clean.

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