Terminal Server on VM host freezes

Peter Vogelaar
Peter Vogelaar used Ask the Experts™
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Good day,
We have a VM host that runs two server machines.  The first is the DC/FS and it works great.  The second machine is a terminal server.  It constantly is freezing on the users and it is getting frustrating.  Here is some info:

Host machine is running Server 2016 Standard.  Its specs are:

HPE Proliant DL380 G9
Xeon E5-2620 v3
32GB RAM
RAID 10 for the virtual disks

Server is stable, no issues.

The host machine allocates a large portion of RAM to the DC and the TS.  The DC currently has 8GB and 8 virtual processors.  The TS has 10GB RAM, and also 8 virtual processors.  Originally I had the TS with less RAM and processors, but in trying to fix the freezing issue, I increased the resources.  I plan on bringing them back down.

The TS has only 3 users signing in.  They use the same domain account to log in to the server.  The TS is configured to allow the same user to log in multiple times.  It is light usage.  The TS exists to run only one program.  While using that program, the users may open Word or Adobe, but not much of anything else.  About 4 or 5 times a day, the server just stops responding to that user.  The other users logged in do not experience the same.  It will just spin and spin.  The remote connection never breaks.  Frustrated, they just click the x on the top blue ribbon, and re-log back in.  Then its totally normal until it freezes again.  

During the freeze, the internet is working normally, the others users aren't affected.  A VPN is configured between this remote office and the main office.  I've checked through the event logs, and there is nothing that I can find that would indicate the issue.  

Please help.
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Hi Peter

First and foremost: Do not give that many virtual CPU's to VM's. As many as needed, as less as possible!

So for the DC and the FS, 2 vCPU's is enough.
For the terminalserver, use 4vCPU absolut maximum in your enviroment. For 3 users even 2 vCPU's would be way enough.

Then explain "the same user can login multiple times". That should not be done and each user should have his own Terminalserver User. I am quite sure that is the culprit.

regards
Thomas

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Commented:
Ok great, I was planning on decreasing the vCPU count.  I'll do that at the end of the day.  

As for the multiple login, it is a bit confusing to explain.  

At the main office, there are about 20 users that use a generic 'staff' login.  When this was all set up, I begged them to go separate, but the owner said no, and still doesn't want to.  He is aware of the risks, and that's is just the way it goes.  At the main office, there is also folder redirection enabled so that these generic staff accounts can see the same files on each workstation.  

We tried to replicate this for the new satellite office.  I was going to suggest only using a VPN, but the proprietary software people said it HAS to be a TS.  Ok, so I install a TS.  We create a new user account that is generic to that satellite office.  3 different people use the same log in to connect to the TS and access the network.  All 3 can be using it when all the sudden, one will freeze.  Close out the session and start again and it works fine.
I am quite certain that this is the culprit on the TS. If you logon multiple times with the same user.
While its no problem to use the same user on different Clients to login (but folderredirection with multiple users access the same profile can lead to errors as well) on a TS Server its different...

while its ok for Admin purposes (multiple admins on the server) for 3rd party software not so much.

Also do they have Roaming profiles?
One oddball item to consider is printing. If it seems "random" it may be due to when someone tries to print something specific and freezes everything ... especially if remote printing is enabled. If nothing above seems to fix it, I would look into a possible printing issue.

Also, what server OS and does "VM host" mean VMWare or another version of Windows Server OS running underneath the VM which uses Hyper-V?

I'm asking because https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/28446417/Terminal-Server-2012-rdp-sessions-freeze-and-server-becomes-inresponsive.html mentions an odd issue on Windows Server 2012 with a specific version of Office.
Yes.
Server OS -> Windows 2012 or WIndows Server 2016, Linux, BSD...A Server Operating System.
VM Host -> Hyper-V, Vmware Esxi, QEMM, etc -> The Operating System "underneath" the Virtual Machines
Vm Guest / Guest OS -> The VM / VirtualMachine that is running on a VM Host.

That the session freezes when printing can be, printing on a Terminalserver is still a red flag for TS Admins ;) If a printer driver crashed, the session can freeze. especially in an enviroment like yours, when muiltiple users are using the same username.

What you can do, is update the printerdrivers, even install the SAME Version of the clientprinterdriver on the server itself. Sometimes that helps.

regards
Thomas

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