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Exchange 2003 and ESX 3.5 performance issues

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  • Exchange 2003 and ESX 3.5 performance issues

    I'm running 2 physical ESX 3.5 servers. I've virtualized my Exchange server and it has been running great up until a few weeks ago. Now I'm getting the annoying "attempting to retrieve data from server" message for all of my users several times per day. Some its several times per hour. I'm running on a Cisco network with Dell 2950 daul quad-core systems with 32GB of RAM each. I'm not taxing the CPU or Mem on it and I've done perfmon stats and found nothing out of the ordinary. Does any have ANY info that might help???

  • #2
    Re: Exchange 2003 and ESX 3.5 performance issues

    Please provide more info as to how this is set up?

    Which version of ESX 3.5?
    Network hardware?
    Storage Configuration?
    Any updates done on your servers (exchange/ESX) as of late?

    What is the usage during these "slow response" occurrences?
    Have you checked the performance during these times (Virtual Center & ESX host)?
    Maish
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Technodrone|@maishsk|Author of VMware vSphere Design
    VMware vExpert 2013-2010,VCAP5-DCA/DCD,VCP
    MSCA 2000/2003, MCSE 2000/2003
    A proud husband and father of 3 girls
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    If you find the information useful please don't forget to give reputation points sigpic.

    Have a good one!!

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    • #3
      Re: Exchange 2003 and ESX 3.5 performance issues

      also:
      1. any firewalls in the way?
      2. have the vmsupport logs been analyzed?
      3. check the speed negotiation on the switches and NICs and port security settings as well
      4. might be a good idea to log a support ticket with dell for the servers, to have their hardware configs analyzed for possible culprits
      ________
      Hare krishna - iskcon advice
      Last edited by DYasny; 6th March 2011, 19:23.
      Real stupidity always beats Artificial Intelligence (c) Terry Pratchett

      BA (BM), RHCE, MCSE, DCSE, Linux+, Network+

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      • #4
        Re: Exchange 2003 and ESX 3.5 performance issues

        ESX 3.5 hotfix 1 I believe. All Cisco gear, GB switches throughout. I have 6 NICs on each ESX host. 2 on each to my production network, 2 on each to my DMZ, and 2 on each to my managment network. I'm connecting via 2gb fiber to a DotHill 1.5TB SAN that houses all of the VMs.

        I haven't done any updates in the last couple of months on any of the affected systems.

        My first thought is that my 2gb fiber connection wasn't keeping up so I did some perfmon collection and found that not to be the case. All of my other VMs seem to be working just fine on the same hardware....

        Usually the pop-up occurs when people are clicking around quickly inside of Outlook, sometimes when they hit send on a message with a large attachment, changing folder in Outlook, etc.

        I have checked the performance and I can't seem to locate ANYTHING to go on...

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        • #5
          Re: Exchange 2003 and ESX 3.5 performance issues

          Exchange is more sensitive to Disk I/O than anything else. Look at the disk performance for both the host and the guest. I have recently assisted two customers migrate Exchange from VM to physical because of performance problems. Once Exchange was again running on physical machines the performance problems went away.

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          • #6
            Re: Exchange 2003 and ESX 3.5 performance issues

            I am having a similar problem, have 2x Dell 6850 16Gb Ram on each host 4Gbit FC EMC SAN and exchange I have to say runs like a dog.

            Initially found this site thanks to a google search looking for ways to move Exchange 2003 to new hardware (Or in my case from ESX to Physical).

            Beginning to think that VM doesnt offer as much as people seem to think it does and definately not as much as salesmen say it does.

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            • #7
              Re: Exchange 2003 and ESX 3.5 performance issues

              You've turned a perfectly good thread into blasphemy. I'm requesting this thread be locked and your handle banned.

              just teasing...
              VCDX3 #34, VCDX4, VCDX5, VCAP4-DCA #14, VCAP4-DCD #35, VCAP5-DCD, VCPx4, vEXPERTx4, MCSEx3, MCSAx2, MCP, CCAx2, A+
              boche.net - VMware Virtualization Evangelist
              My advice has no warranties. Follow at your own risk.

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              • #8
                Re: Exchange 2003 and ESX 3.5 performance issues

                Personally, I think FE servers are ok in VMs but MBs are best left to physical boxes for 2003.
                2007 is the same, we have CA/HT boxes in VM (in certain places) but the MBs are physical.

                This isn't a bad read:
                http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/l...EXCHG.80).aspx
                cheers
                Andy

                Please read this before you post:


                Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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                • #9
                  Re: Exchange 2003 and ESX 3.5 performance issues

                  Originally posted by stoutat View Post
                  I'm running 2 physical ESX 3.5 servers. I've virtualized my Exchange server and it has been running great up until a few weeks ago. Now I'm getting the annoying "attempting to retrieve data from server" message for all of my users several times per day. Some its several times per hour. I'm running on a Cisco network with Dell 2950 daul quad-core systems with 32GB of RAM each. I'm not taxing the CPU or Mem on it and I've done perfmon stats and found nothing out of the ordinary. Does any have ANY info that might help???
                  We're seeing the same problem on physical boxes. I don't think this is related to ESX. In our case, the server that Outlook is trying to retreive data from is actually a domain controller. There are many posts on this around, but they all point to some pretty advanced troubleshooting related to networks and performance on the domain controllers. Do you have a busy DC that you MSE is connectoed to?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Exchange 2003 and ESX 3.5 performance issues

                    Hi we had something simlar with exchange2000 running on a physical box

                    try to use

                    EXMON (a small utility from MS) and see how many users are connected and if anyone is killing the rpc connections

                    try to run a tool from MS called Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant that will scan your exchange and let you know what need to be fixed

                    also try to move as much people as you can to outlook cached mode , this will free the server from having lot of people working online

                    good luck
                    Haim

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