CPU usage high

If you notice a virtual server has high CPU usage over a prolonged period of time, aside from automatically assuming the server needs more CPU resources, what else should an admin do to get to the root cause. Can any other admin actions identify and rectify the root cause of high CPU usage, without having to scale up CPU resources for the system. These servers are running at over 89% CPU usage consistently during working hours.
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Guy LidbetterCommented:

Open up task manager, Go to the Processes tab and make sure that "Show processes from all users" is ticked.
It should tell you what is taking up all your cycles...

You could also go to the Performance Tab and click the "Resource Monitor" button for further details of whats going on.

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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Agree. Also use Resource Monitor in Admin Tools which provides similar information but graphs it over time to give a good idea of CPU and Disk usage (amongst other variables).
MikeIT ManagerCommented:
Hyper-V or VMware?  Also, what CPUs does the host have?  I've experienced this issue with Hyper-V on older hardware.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
prolonged period of time

how long?

Check performance of the VM. Establish a base line, what function does the Server perform ?

see my EE Articles

HOW TO:  Performance Monitor vSphere 4.x or 5.0
pma111Author Commented:
3 days!

One relates to Citrix XenApp the other acts as an application server.
pma111Author Commented:
Vmware Esxi 5.1
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Okay, 3 days at 100%, that's high...

But, I would expect that normal for XenApp and Application Server...

So you need to look at concurrent user load...., check if that's normal for the servers, and then reduce the load, add more resource, or check if the performance of the server, e.g. speak to end users, if service is acceptable.

also if the server has no load, e.g. no users, is the server still at 100%

you could have a hung process. (which is common with XenApp and Application Server)
pma111Author Commented:
Thanks for the comments. Can you explain a "hung process" in laymans terms. What causes them?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
"hung process" - when an application or service stops responding, maybe caused by a bug, software issue.

In a concurrent user environment, when many users are logging on and off a server, it's fairly common.

e.g. have you never used a desktop computer, and it becomes non-responsive, and you have to restart ?
Make user your AV software is not scanning your Citrix install directories. I have seen this cause performance issues with Citrix servers in the past.

Also I have seen this happen when I user will connect to Citrix and there local prints will then be remapped through there session. The server does not like the drive and causes the server to crash
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