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SBS 2008 excessive use of memory and poor performance

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  • SBS 2008 excessive use of memory and poor performance


    Having read a previous post on excessive usage of memory in SBS 2008, I am currently experiencing similiar issues on a new installation for a client but they are also having performance issues.

    Set-up is as follows:
    HP Proliant ML350 G6 server, 2 x 300 GB 10K SAS hard disks configured for Raid 1, 6 GB RAM. Its main function apart from DC and Exchange is to operate as a file server for Sage Accounts Production.
    While the server is currently using over 80% of memory as expected, Sage often apparently hangs while running reports or printing via the server can sometimes also be very slow.

    Yesterday I created a data collector set based on the System Perfomance template and left this running for about 2 hours. On checking the report, I had the following:
    System is experiencing excessive paging
    Available memory on the system is low
    Total physical memory on the system is not capable of handling the load.
    Upgrade the physical memory or reduce the load.

    I also checked Task Manager and it showed:
    Physical Memory 6132 MB
    Cached 1229
    Free 0

    So far, there are no errors relating to any of this in any of the event logs. I dont know if adding extra RAM will help much as SBS will simply continue to use as much memory as possible. I have already reduced the max memory that sqlserver can use which has freed up a little RAM.

    My other main approach is to try to lessen the load on the server. So far, I have been unable to establish whether I can simply disable Sharepoint services and websites as well as WSUS as Sharepoint is not used at all. Also, are there any other specific services that are not really needed for this environment?

    We have just been informed by Sage support that we will need to downgrade 2 windows 7 PC's to XP and downgrade to a previous version of Sage as this is a mixed client environment and the version of Sage that is now installed has not been tested on Windows XP and therefore may be unpredictable. I hope to be able to do this on Friday so it will be interesting to see if this was actually causing the problem.

    Regardless, I would still like to know how I can reduce the system load without impacting on the main functions of SBS.

    Thanks and regards
    DM Computing

  • #2
    Re: SBS 2008 excessive use of memory and poor performance

    6 GB RAM sounds too little to me.
    8 GB minimum
    16 GB definitely good
    12GB a good sweet spot.
    Adding RAM will probably "cost" less than your troubleshooting IMHO

    Steven Teiger [SBS-MVP(2003-2009)]
    Iím honoured to have been selected for the SMB 150 list for 2013. This is the third time in succession (no logo available for 2011) that I have been honoured with this award.

    We donít stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.


    • #3
      Re: SBS 2008 excessive use of memory and poor performance

      While we did find some issues with hardware drivers that were not installed properly and may have prevented Windows from correctly managing memory, we have narrowed this down to an network issue when accessing network shares on the SBS 2008 box from XP clients.
      Network tests from a Windows 7 client showed both read and write speeds about equal around 85 Mbps (100 Mbps network). However, running the same tests from an XP client showed a write speed of around 45Mbps (still acceptable). However the read speed from the share using the same file ran at only 4.5 Mbps.

      This seems to be a fairly common issue after upgrading to 2008. I've read some posts that suggest switching off SMB2 on the server. Also, others seemed to be able to fix this by switching off Task Offloading in either Windows or in the nic settings.
      Is there anything else that I should look at when I am on-site tomorrow?



      • #4
        Re: SBS 2008 excessive use of memory and poor performance


        Fixed the slow read from network share by disabling one of the large send offload settings on the client nic.

        However, the main culprit causing problems with the accounts program was Symantec antivirus on the server. Even though this had been set with all the correct exceptions, it still had a dramatic impact on performance. Once this was removed, things seem ok. We'll know for definite next week when all the users are back.
        Must remind myself to be careful what AV I put on servers in the future.