File Server Performance Issues
Posted on 2013-01-24
I have a 64-bit Windows Server 2008 Standard file server that is giving me some grief. Basically, after a variable amount of time (days to weeks), my users will start noticing that they cannot save files or log into our Terminal Servers. The common denominator is that the file server hosts the roaming profiles and the HOME and shared directories. In total, the server has just over 5.5 million files. It is virtual (VMware). We have about 450 users, with 300-400 being concurent at peak times. The roaming profiles are only used for Terminal Server session (Server 2003). upon reboot, everything begins to function normally. The only addition programs on the server are Trend OfficeScan (antivirus) and Diskeeper Undelete (salvage program). Both have been in place for several months. This problem has only been recent (following a physical move of our server environment in November 2012). However, there doesn't seem to be an obvious changes or errors. There are no Event Viewer errors to shed any light. I've heard (and read) that 4 million files can be a threshold for certain server performance issues, especially backups. However, it is unlikely that we have had any significant changes in file count over the last 9 months. The server is allocated 8 CPU and 12GB RAM. I have 5 allocated drives (although one can be deleted at any time).
I know that the sysmptoms are vague, so I'm just trying to get some fresh brainstorming or previous experiences out there. Is it a bad design to have everything in one server? We have 3.6 million files in our HOME directories alone. As the profiles are only hit during logon and logoff of the Terminal Servers, I wouldn't expect the impact to be significant. The shared and HOME directories are accessed by all users all the time. Is there some kind of formula I should be following regarding resources versus users versus files? I've been trying to inquire into best practices, but it seems to be all over the place. The NIC is never more than 50% utilized (during backups overnight) and CPU utilization is normally lenn than 10%, while memory utilization is 50-90%. The memory utilization concerned me, but upon reading more into Server 2008, it appeared to be normal.
Anyhow, I understand that this is pretty vague, but I do appreciate any insight that anyone can provide. Obviously, having to reboot this server during business is not acceptible.