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RDS 2008 R2 on Vmware Esxi 5.5 Performance issues High CPU usage


We have one ESXi 5.5 host running on a HP Proliant ML350 G6 E5520 with two CPU's and 64GB RAM. We are using local storage. 6 x 300GB SAS in RAID5

There are 3 VM's running on this host:
1. SBS2011 - 4vCPU (1 socket, 4 cores), 22GB RAM, VMXNET3
2. Server 2008 R2 (SQL) - 2vCPU, 8GB RAM, 1 NIC
3. Server 2008 R2 (Terminal Server) - 2vCPU (2 sockets, 1 core), 20GB RAM, 2 NIC's (one E1000 and one VMXNET3)

I've just been assigned the task to monitor the performance of the Terminal Server as users are complaining of random freezes.

First thing I noticed is that the CPU usage on the Terminal Server is constantly arround 70% with random peaks to 100%. Checking the cpu usage for the VM in the vshpere client also shows the same high cpu usage with peaks to 100%.
The CPU usage of the host is running an average of 30%

Checking the process tab in Task manager on the Terminal Server shows that the process winword.exe for one user is running at 50%. (Office 2010)

There are +/- 15 simultaneous users on the Terminal Server.

WSRM is running on the terminal server.

I could really use some suggestions in further troubleshooting this issue. I would like to know if the server just isn't up to the task.

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2 Solutions
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I would suspect this is normal behaviour for a terminal server with a load of 15 concurrent users.

I would change the E1000 network interface to a VMXNET3 interface. E1000 is a legacy interface.

Have you tried adding any additional vCPUs ?

Otherwise I would consider reducing the load (concurrent users), and deploying another Terminal Server, to spread and reduce the loading.
FlipTripAuthor Commented:
I just found this document:

using esxtop confirms that the server should be able to handle the load.

There is currently not an option to add an extra hardware. I first need proof that the current hardware isn't sufficient.

David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
what are your disk queues like? have you got sufficient disk iops available?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
We have seen many issues with Terminal Servers, that have been virtualized, and we have never exceeded 15 concurrent users per virtual server.
FlipTripAuthor Commented:
I'm not sure how to check the iops.

If I check the queues from the host view i see the following results:
average queue read latency's: 0.322
average queue write latency's: 0.011

which I think is ok.
FlipTripAuthor Commented:
Thin Clients are swapped by Fat clients and RDS is now only used for remote access.

I'm suspecting that the bad performance was related to applications that were not really RDS compatible.
FlipTripAuthor Commented:
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