Extremely High CPU Usage on an SBS 2011 Server

I am experiencing extremely high CPU usage on an SBS 2011 server.  The system has been in production for about two years and has performed as normal.  Now the system starts running between 50-100% CPU usage  as soon as it boots-up.  It is not just a single application that is running wild but upwards of twenty at a time that are consuming all process.  These applications vary from time to time and are not always the same ones each time.

Not sure when the problem actually began, but users started to report that they were experiencing slow network access to the server shortly after the server was updated through Windows Update, Rollup 10 for Exchange 2010 SP3 was installed and a Consistency Check was performed on the Virtual Drives.

A few days prior to this problem we were experiencing a problem with a proprietary third party application that was using srvany to run it as a service.  The service would not start and the application would have to be launched from the desktop.  Since running this application as a service is not supported from the manufacture there wasn’t any help diagnosing the problem.  – Not sure if this has anything to do with the problem, just noting incase –

I do notice that the “System” process is using extremely excessive CPU Time and Processes.

The system:
Dell PowerEdge T320
Zeon Processor with 12 cores
3 Drives – RAID 5 with 1 Hot Spare

High CPU Usage
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Michael MachieIT SupervisorCommented:
You said VM. Did you recently have a dirty shutdown? VMs can suck all cpu resources upon reboot when not shut down gracefully. I get this after power outages lasting longer than the backup batteries and I don't get to during things down properly. When I see this, I gracefully perform two sets of restarts to resolve my 100% cpu usage.
TechAKAuthor Commented:
Thanks for responding, but this has nothing to do with a VM.  The OS is loaded as the host operating system for the machine.
Toni UranjekConsultant/TrainerCommented:
Did you disable TCP/IPv6 by any chance?
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TechAKAuthor Commented:
TCP/IPv6 is still enabled, but I have had that issue on a different SBS machine and it really slowed it down.
Toni UranjekConsultant/TrainerCommented:
Do you have fully patched server?
Do you use AV program?
TechAKAuthor Commented:
I called Dell Enterprise tech support and they said that they have seen this before, sometimes servers run for years and then one day after a reboot the CPU usage will run between 50-100% percent consistently.  They are not sure what triggers its, maybe a Windows update?  What was explained is the BIOS and/or Windows was throttling down and/or putting the CPU cores in a halted state.  Every time a process requested CPU time it had to fire up the cores.  They recommended setting the power setting in Windows to High Performance and setting the power settings in the BIOS to Performance.

Microsoft recommended upgrading the BIOS and Driver for the network card.

So, I set the power setting in both spots, upgraded the System BIOS, Network Card BIOS and Driver and upgraded the Chipset.

The server has been solid for 3 weeks.

It was explained that it’s not just Dell servers that are affected, it also happens to other manufactures and seems to be a problem between Intel and Windows.

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TechAKAuthor Commented:
It fixed the issue
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