Server Performance sucks!!

Ally77Ally77 Member Posts: 212
Could anyone please give me some help on how to methodically troubleshoot a badly performing test server. Its has an AMD 1.8Ghz CPU, 512 MB RAM and 10GB H/D partitioned as drive c: & d:
As i said it is only a test server so have probably overloaded it with services i.e. dhcp, dns, application print. Saying that i have disabled dhcp + application services. The problem is regarding the system crawling. Even if it has been left alone for a good while, simply hitting the start menu can takes it minutes to respond, its simply unacceptable.

Have monitored the CPU and memory and am quite confident that there are no bottlenecks there, however i am not to sure about how best to monitor the disk performance apart from the average disk queue length, which is at an acceptable level of just over 1!! Can anyone offer me any advice? sorry if the post is a bit messed up, english aint my strong point either lol



  • spudnikspudnik Member Posts: 232 ■■■□□□□□□□
    the setup sounds ok, I run a test server with a 1.3 celeron and 512 and it works fine(DNS, DHCP, SUS, AD, File & Print and a few other management tools)...
    How new/old is the HD? What OS are you running?
    you could try montioring the disk read & write time.
  • Ally77Ally77 Member Posts: 212
    Thanks for the reply, the server is running 2003 enterprise. I hav jus been monitoring the % disk read time= 250 and pages/sec= 22, this is over the last 15 minutes. This is surely bad as the server is sitting idle and has no clients currently logging on to the domain. However, as a i speak, these values hav now dropped to acceptable levels after 20 mins but my thinking is that they rise and drop continually. What could be getting written to the disk for 20 mins when no client activity is on the domain?

    It is an older disk : Maxtor 91010D6 5400 rpm i think, was only to be used for test purposes

  • WebmasterWebmaster Admin Posts: 10,292 Admin
    20+ pages per second over a period of time can and usually does indicate you don't have enough ram. Does Task Manager show any processes that are showing more activity than they should? How large is your pagefile btw?
  • Ally77Ally77 Member Posts: 212
    I realise that 20 pages/sec plus is indication of RAM shortage, unfortunately i dont understand what the server is doing! This value can stay around 20 - 25 pages/sec for 10 mins, with the %disk read time around 200 then drop back to acceptable levels for 5 mins. This pattern seems to be continuous, all without any work being done on the server or network!! icon_sad.gif

    almost forgot pagefile size is 768MB
  • Ally77Ally77 Member Posts: 212
    Iv actually realised that the average pages/sec is quite low around 3.9 even when the % disk time is up at 250 +, dunno if that helps u!!
  • WebmasterWebmaster Admin Posts: 10,292 Admin
    Although the pagefile is at the recommended minimum size (1.5 times the ram) I'd increase it to at least 1024. Also, you could try defragmenting the disk as that should improve disk performance a bit. I doubt this will solve your actual performance problem though. It could be a bad driver even.

    What is the peak memory usage shown by the Task Manager? And does it show any processes with increased activity when performance is slow?
  • Ally77Ally77 Member Posts: 212
    Ur help is appreciated!! The peak memory usage ( i presume u mean Peak - commit charge) is 174600

    As for any high % process use when performance is slow, svchost and services temporarily increases for a very short period but nothing sustained. Il try increasing the pagefile

    thanks :)
  • WebmasterWebmaster Admin Posts: 10,292 Admin
    You're welcome, though I'm not sure if I'm actually helping... ;)

    If peak memory usage is that low compared to your installed ram, you can pretty much rule out lack of ram being an issue. And your 5400 rpm disk should be fast enough to not be a bottleneck when your server is idle anyway.
  • Ally77Ally77 Member Posts: 212
    yeah thats what i thot. iv now used performance monitor to log specific counters for an hour while the server is idle. I will look at that and see if it indicates anything to me n post my thots on that.

    And hey any reply is help to me to better understand this :)
  • Ally77Ally77 Member Posts: 212
    As i mentioned in an earlier , i have a server that is producing very slow performance when logged in locally (i.e. clicking on a menu can takes minutes to process) and appears to have a lot of disk activity, even when idle. Pretty sure the memory and pagefile is sufficient.

    I set up performance monitor to monitor the server over the period of 1 hours (sampled every 15 secs). During this time i did not work locally at the server or have any clients connected to the server or the domain. The results produced are as follows:

    Avg. Memory pages/sec = 3.54
    Avg. % Disk read time = 4.21
    Avg. %Disk write time = 139
    Avg. disk queue length = 1.43

    Going by these results can anyone offer an explanation to the poor performance of the server. All results seem acceptable to me apart from Avg. %Disk write time!! Why so high on an idle server???

    RAM is 512MB
    paging is 768MB

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