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SBS 2011 memory Issues server crawls to a halt

Posted on 2014-10-09
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Last Modified: 2014-10-21
Hi EE,

Recently one of our SBS 2011 servers (We are managing about 5 atm) has started to have some real issues with its memory usage and the server gets to a point where it grinds to a halt. At that point logging in VIA RDP and selecting restart can be a half an hour task.

One thing that is strange is the store.exe and w3wp.exe just continue to grow sometimes getting as big as 20,000,000K. This resets once the server is restarted.

During our monthly health checks we take note of memory at the time for things like this and for the past 3 years the store.exe was never recorded at more than 700,000K. (All of our other SBS servers are sitting around the same and have twice as many users as this one).

The server runs nothing out of the ordinary just the email & file services and has Sophos for AV and Shadow Protect for backup.

What seems to be happening is that every few days as the store.exe has grown up extremely high and the Shadow Protect runs its daily consolidation the server just locks up slows to a halt and has to be restarted.

Some of the server hardware specs. HP Proliant
Intel Xeon E5506
34GB Ram
2x HDD in raid 5 for OS
2x HDD in raid 5 for Data and Exchange

Server is fully up to date and has had no hardware issue apart from 1 failed harddrive in the 3 years it has been running.

Searching myself a lot of the threads explain how Exchange 2010 and up allocate all of the spare memory and release it as needed.... I do not believe this is what is causing the issue. A lot of people also talk about limiting the amount that store.exe can allocate itself. While I am happy that changing that may fix this issue I am worried that overall there is some sort of memory issue that then may arise elsewhere.

Would love to get some thoughts?
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Question by:RickP24
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Expert Comment

by:Gareth Gudger
ID: 40372155
Do you have Exchange fully patched? SP3 RU7?

Make sure you are including all the necessary exceptions in Exchange for your antivirus.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb332342(v=exchg.150).aspx
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Larry Struckmeyer MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 40372173
You should limit the RAM used by Exchange:

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

for most SBS networks the defaults listed in the link above, and the links it links to should be enough.   But the post on Third Tier also references a way to calculate for different loads.

This will reduce and cap the amount of RAM used by Exchange.  We use this technique on every SBS 2011 no matter how few users or how little mail.
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Author Comment

by:RickP24
ID: 40372226
Exchange is completely up to date yes.

I guess the point of this post was mainly to see if limiting the RAM cap was something that other professionals used as I had found that info previously. Going to do this now and let it run for a few days. Will quickly be able to tell if it has fixed it or not.
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by:Zaheer Iqbal
ID: 40372646
What type of Hard drive do you have in the System ?
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Expert Comment

by:Zaheer Iqbal
ID: 40372648
What backup software are you using to backup exchange also ?
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Author Comment

by:RickP24
ID: 40376035
This particular server is just Sata. 7200RPM Seagate's

Shadow Protect is the backup software.
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Expert Comment

by:Larry Struckmeyer MVP
ID: 40376068
Shadow Protect, according to their web site, does not clear the exchange log files.  You may want to use circular logging or run an SBS backup at least weekly to clear them.
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Expert Comment

by:Zaheer Iqbal
ID: 40376740
The issue is more likely related to disk access I would try and upgrade your disks to faster disks. SAS disks if you can.
I would use Perfmon and log disk usage..

http://rickardnobel.se/windows-performance-monitor-disk-usage/
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Author Closing Comment

by:RickP24
ID: 40396024
Server has now been running stable since the change.

More of a work around than a fix but the server is due for an upgrade in the next 12 months happy for it to last until then.
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