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Server running slowly

Posted on 2014-09-16
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Last Modified: 2015-05-09
I have a sbs2011 server that recently lost a secondary volume due to lack of disks pace.  We managed to image the c volume and then recovered the e volume from a backup. The secondary volume "e" had the Exchange mailboxes on it.  It crashed because the swap file was also on the E volume and it ran out of space.
The original config was two 250GB hP disks which were mirrored using the hp software raid controller.  We broke the mirror and recovered the partitions to a 1TB drive (not HP) - still running on the raid controller. Since the recovery, the server seems to provide resources to the clients but when logging into the server the GUI is very slow to respond.  The Backup software also failed to do a bare melt backup after about 10 days and the server needs to be restarted.  It times out.
There are no obvious issues and no obvious logs suggesting an issue.  I/O on the resource manager looks ok but I'm not too sure of the details.  
The partitions have been increased with the c volume going from 120GB to 400Gb and the E volume going from 120GB to 500GB.
I am planning to move the email off the server to Exchange Online soon and then migrate the server to windows 2012.  But I am concerned migrating the email may strain the server as I have about 80GB of mail to transfer.  Will do one at a time though.

Any thoughts on why might be the cause of the slow performance?
Thanks
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Question by:TMS
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Expert Comment

by:Larry Struckmeyer MVP
ID: 40326990
SATA drives have always felt sluggish from the console to me, even when well maintained.  What model server, how much RAM and how much free RAM after a few days to a week.  The fact that the backup failed "after 10 days" leads me to think of overuse of RAM.

If you have not already, consider restricting the RAM used by exchange as found here:

http://www.thirdtier.net/2012/01/solving-the-unresponsive-exchange-sbs-server-problem/
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Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 40327181
Agee with Larry, the main contributor to the growth of a page file is lack of physical memory compared to the resources needed.

Most applications exchange, sql, the amount of system memory needs continually grow.

The other issue suggests you allowed windows to manage the page file which is not advisable.  Manually allocating and adjusting the page file limits can be used as a "notice" that additional resources are needed when complaints about the slugishness of the system are raised.
Adding RAM if possible to at least match the current size of the database in SQL, or twice the largest exchange mailbox could improve the situation. (twice deals for allowing at least two users with large mailboxes to access their data at the same time)
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Author Comment

by:TMS
ID: 40327315
Thanks both.   The server is a Proliant ML110(I think) entry level. It has 16GB of RAM.  The SBS server allows Exchange to use all  unallocated memory and prior to the crash it was not restricted.  We have reduced this to use only 10GB but this didn't change the performance.  Largest mailbox is 6.5GB but I'll reduce that as I have been archiving the larger ones.  The one thing that has changed is the swap file as this was set to a fixed size when on the E volume and after the recovery this is now set to automatic on the OS partition C.  I'll set this to be fixed and see if that improves the situation.  My main concern is confidence that when I start to move the mailboxes to Exchange Online then I don't want to cause a server failure.  Will only move one mailbox at a time.  
Last night, the backups ran ok including the whole system so always feel better when I know I have a backup..!!
Cheers
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Author Comment

by:TMS
ID: 40358845
Sorry for the delay in replying.  I stumbled across an issue that seemed to improve the performance.  I have this email signature manager service with an SQL db and App service.  After the restore the db service was turned off.  I started this and things improved immediately.  Spoke to the vendor and this should not have been an issue but it clearly it did something.  
the last couple of days Exchange has been a problem and it doesn't not seem to be sending and receiving internally.  I have disabled monitoring but it took 45min to start Exchange.  I'm looking at the queues and there is one poison queue and when I clicked on it it and is is still running tasks at the bottom  and has been doing so for 45 min. It is up to 123 tasks...!!  
Will keep looking but my thoughts are to migrate to Exchange Online and then migrate to Win2012.
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Accepted Solution

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TMS earned 0 total points
ID: 40758319
This problem was resolved by turning off SharePoint services and Its database.
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Author Closing Comment

by:TMS
ID: 40768192
Only one that could be found
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