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2003 server - high disk utilisation

Discussion in 'Software' started by madman045, May 15, 2007.

  1. madman045

    madman045 Kilobyte Poster Premium Member

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    Can anyone help....

    2003 R2 server, the hdd light is on solid, trying to find out what application or service is causing the server to crawl

    Does anyone know of an application that can show disk i/o usage in realtime to find out the cause?

    Thanks
     
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    WIP: MCSA 2008, VCP5-DCV, ITIL V3
  2. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    What roles does the server perform?

    Have you looked in the task manager to see what is going on?

    You could always try Performance logs and alerts.

    8)
     
  3. madman045

    madman045 Kilobyte Poster Premium Member

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    The server is the dc, file and print server, email server using vpop3

    task manager doesnt show anything really as the application isnt using cpu, but the hard disks.

    Perfmon shows activity, but i cant remember how to get it to show which application is using it.

    I have now downloaded filemon and found it to be the email server software.

    Just looking for alternatives, current have 85 users and by next year i imagine it will double.

    Is there a 64 bit version of exchange 2003? As i've not done a 2007 install yet and they dont have a 64 bit server at the moment.
     
    Certifications: 70-270, 70-290, PRINCE2 Foundation, VCA-DCV & VCA-DT
    WIP: MCSA 2008, VCP5-DCV, ITIL V3
  4. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    What RAID config do you have on the server? Sometime if the RAID is on the way out or trying to resync you will see high disk activity.

    Also what spec of server do you have?
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  5. madman045

    madman045 Kilobyte Poster Premium Member

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    Its Raid 5 with four 160GB Sata

    its a Dell Poweredge SC1650, 2GB Ram, Raid 5 config

    All disks reporting fine, array manager has no errors and its not resyncing

    I have checked the forums for the email software and it seems a few others have had the same problem and there isnt a solution...

    I was thinking of a new server, just for email, even price up Exchange, even though they didnt want to spend it last time

    2003 Standard R2 X64
    4GB Ram
    2x36gb 10k sas - OS
    3x146gb 10k sas raid 5 with additional drive as hot spare for the exchange store / public folders

    Is there an 64 bit version of exchange 2003?
     
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    WIP: MCSA 2008, VCP5-DCV, ITIL V3
  6. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Go to Dell's web site and download a software called (Open manager) as it checks the web site to update firmware updates etc. Let's know how you get on.
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
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  7. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Good shout that.


    Is the disk activity high 24/7? It might be worth stopping the Exchange services to see if that helps (obviously do this out of office hours!) :biggrin

    For the amount of users you may have in the future you might want to think about adding some more fault tolerance to the network (e.g two domain controllers)
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  8. madman045

    madman045 Kilobyte Poster Premium Member

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    The Server has the openmanage array manager, I haven't put the rest of it on though due to its high memory usage. But i will have a look at the firmware etc..

    Sparky, I wouldnt mind if the server had Exchange on it, then I doubt they would be having this problem.

    But they are running a program called Vpop3.

    Im trying to convince them for Exchange server, but 85 users and growing isnt cheap for licensing or hardware.

    Andy
     
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  9. supag33k

    supag33k Kilobyte Poster

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    Well sounds like you inherited a problem or two, something has to give before the server itself starts too...

    The 4 times SATA for hardware, and email, DC, and File/Print services is possibly not the best configuration...the thing is I/O bound to the gills by the sounds of it.

    I/O bound means that sooner or later your AD will also start to play up bigtime. The disks should be 5 *SCSI, with a mirrored OS and RAID 5 [3 disks] handled by hardware.

    NOTE: software RAID would run like a dog in this scenario....

    As a sanity check run replmon between the DC's after hours and check for replication issues.

    Another sanity check - are you getting much SPAM/do you have a spam filter in place?

    Is this server also your main gateway?, and possibly proxy for web access?? - if yes - talk about holey overloaded box batman!

    Note that the VPop3 is probably not migration capable to Exchange 2003. So basically configure all the clients to use PSTs to keep their email and switch across to a separate server running Exchange ASAP.

    The Vpop would not handle the number of email messages and sizes of email attachments that Exchange is capable of doing.

    Also the 4Gb RAM is not likely to be used by the Pop mail program very well, whereas the /3Gb config switch for Exchange lets you use the full 4Gb.

    something to try - see if you can set the processor affinity for the Vpop email program to the second processor -if you have one...

    I would let the file and Print stay with this server but move the DC role to another server and also implement Exchange 2003. Plus if you run WSUS at some stage use a separate server or as a inferior option the File and print server - as it does not run well/at all on DC's or Exchange servers.

    MOF - Microsoft Operations Framework, and best practice, state that DC and Exchange should not be on the same box - but for 100 users or less a suitably powerful dual Xeon with 4Gb of RAM and 5 SCSI hard drives on two RAID channels would work fine.

    The x64 stuff is nice but expensive - for under a 100 users it gets hard to justify. I would go for two dual Xeon servers in this scenario to cover the business continuation aspects of your companies operations. Also you minimise operational disruptions by progressively moving services to different servers.

    Just looking for alternatives, current have 85 users and by next year i imagine it will double. - yep hit them for a new server to run Exchange 2003 and I would do it now...

    Make the recommendation in writing and if anything happens "Well I did recommend this..."
     
    Certifications: MCSE (NT4/2000/2003/Messaging), MCDBA
    WIP: CCNA, MCTS SQL, Exchange & Security stuff
  10. madman045

    madman045 Kilobyte Poster Premium Member

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    Thanks all, supag33k i know exactly what you mean and im currently in the process of doing that.

    With that amount of users, is 4gb enough ram for a dedicated exchange box?

    Im guessing they will need 2003 Enterprise R2 then if not going the 64bit route.

    We did give them the option when we quoted for the server with a SCSI array, but they took the cheapest option and now its showing....
     
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  11. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    You wont have to go for the enterprise version, standard will be fine.

    You really need a dedicated hardware RAID controller on that server and migrating to an Exchange Server would be the way to go. 8)
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010

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