Exchange Server Sluggish
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Thread: Exchange Server Sluggish

  1. #1
    Senior Member Blunted One's Avatar
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    Unhappy Exchange Server Sluggish

    Recently (like today) I noticed that many of the employees Outlook programs were running pretty slow and even got hung up when searching through old emails and even just at random.

    Lots of "trying to connect to server" messages.

    Our network is doing fine and everything else seems to be running smoothly. I haven't noticed the issues much because my Outlook is set to cached exchange mode. Does that help with server performance/load?

    What other things are good to check on or do to increase performance of exchange and hopefully reduce the load that the server has to take on.

    I am applying updates and the like, but I doubt that will have much benefit. It is not a dedicated exchange server which I know is not optimal, but we are a small company so I can't just make this server a sole exchange server.

    Any ideas would be great...I am trying to find some good ideas or procedures to implement in the future that will help lighten the system load.
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  2. #2
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    what version of exhange are you using? you can always consider running a defrag against the exchange server using eseutil....BUT please be warned that a) this will take time and b) you could seriously mess your information store by playing with this util.

  3. #3
    Right turn Clyde Nokia's Avatar
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    Have you put the /3GB switch into the boot.ini?
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Blunted One's Avatar
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    Forgot some details. This is a Windows 2003 Exchange server. All client machines are Win XP SP2. We have a total of about 60 client machines.

    The only other issue I have heard of today with the exchange server is one outside worker who says he can't use his outlook to send email, just receive it. Could that be related at all?

    I have tried using a exchange analyzer tool to show me what areas might need some fixes, but nothing really jumps off the report.

    A few issues with permissions on Public Folder and the SSL certificate expired, but that was about it. Of course I am sure the two guys who have been here the longest and have mailboxes of 7-8GB is probably heavily weighing down on the server...however, it didn't seem to have much of a performance affect in the past...perhaps i should just twist there arms more and get them to archive their stuff.

    I have not tried the /3GB switch....I'll give it a go...

    Any other things that can plague a exchange server with drops in performance?
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  5. #5
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    you might want to add a filter gateway ( filter spam , viruses , etc ) before reaching the exchange server ...
    When a virus is detected on exchange it will slow the performance of the server it self , i remember i red an article about excluding some running services from daily scan as well ( store.exe ? ) not sure ...

    limiting attachment sizes can help too .

  6. #6
    Senior Member WolfeTone's Avatar
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    I noticed this too with Outlook using the cached mode - especially with users with vast amounts of emails - it's because it is synching the local copy with the Exchange Server constantly - if you remove the cached mode option then it will resolve the problem, however the user will no longer have an offline copy should they be using a laptop etc.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hi Blunted One,

    My advice is to forget the rocket science and get back to basics to start with.

    You say that:

    Recently (like today) I noticed that many of the employees Outlook programs were running pretty slow
    The first thing that would suggest to me is that your machine is getting FULL.

    I generally work on the principle that you should have no more than 80% of total capacity utilised. This applies both to partitions and the total drivespace.

    My experience of database driven applications on Windows boxes is that the performance deterioration tends to be quite marked (noticeable), and stepwise. This seems to match your field observations?

    I have also noticed that individual's performance experiences can be related to the amount of their allocated server space that is utilised, although that could just be a volume thing.

    The basic problem is that without sufficient working space, efficiency tools such as defragmentation and database compaction don't work properly

    Go check on how much space you have on your server

    As for the external worker................ no, I think that is a problem local to him, or they would all be complaining?
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  8. #8
    AOs Resident Troll
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    Is this a MS Small Business Server??

    Be careful with the 3gig switch if it is.

    The SBS is a fussy beast...have you turned up the exchange logging??

    What are your DNS settings on the server...workstations?

    Depending on your version of SBS and service pack level...you have a 16 gig limit on the exchange....and once its full it stops working.

    also I would follow Nihils advice and check your disk space.....min 20% free...else MS servers and apps start to slow?

    What 3rd party applications do you have installed on the server, such as AV...and what is the exchange analyser tool??

    MLF
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  9. #9
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WolfeTone
    I noticed this too with Outlook using the cached mode - especially with users with vast amounts of emails - it's because it is synching the local copy with the Exchange Server constantly - if you remove the cached mode option then it will resolve the problem, however the user will no longer have an offline copy should they be using a laptop etc.
    You'd think that cached mode would make thing run more smoothly? I say this because the cilent is using the local copy *after* the messages have been downloaded. When they go to open an email, the email is already on the machine and it doesn't have to wait for the server. Granted, it does have to wait for the server to update the local copy and it might be a tiny bit slower after everyone arrives to work for the day. However, this should reduce the load on the server overall... after the initial surge of updating the local cache. If bandwith is a problem, set it to download headers only first, then once there is enough bandwidth, or a user wants to view an item, it is downloaded. You can control the client's settings in group policy based on sites or groups. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/870926

    What kind of hardware are we talking about? How much memory? How large are your mailbox stores? How large are mailboxes? Do you have quotas? Set to what? How often do you do offline maintenance of the machine? (be sure to get a full and verified backup before doing this) Are your OS, logs and databases on different physical harddrives/volumes? Have you run exchange best practices analyzer? What other uses does this server have? How many NICs? Are you load balancing the NICs? What type of switch? You used to network performance issues... are we sure that was taken care of? You said that this server has other roles... what types of roles? Have you run the performance monitor to check for disk, memory or cpu utilization problems? Do you have a benchmark to compare it to?
    Last edited by phishphreek; August 21st, 2007 at 12:38 PM.
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  10. #10
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    MLF: The exchange BPA and troubleshooting tool are great tools to help you head off potential problems. Or, once you encounter a problem. I run it about once a month or so, just to be sure everything is going smoothly. One of those CYA things... if I should ever have a problem and mgt comes to me later down the road, I can show them my log book with the reports printed and dated.
    Last edited by phishphreek; August 21st, 2007 at 12:28 PM.
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