Server Service & Boost
Wasn't sure if this should be in hardware or server 2003 forum so apologies if its wrong.
We currently have a dell poweredge sc1430 which is our dc/file server/printer/ basically everything. We have about 100 clients around school and our server is starting to feel the strain when whole classes log in.
The server has 4gb ram (maxed out), 2 7200rpm drives in raid 1, a single quad core xeon processor. We have a gigabit backbone with 100mb to clients so there are no bottlenecks with the actual network but when large groups log in it can become very slow and opening files anywhere around the school becomes very slow for a couple of minutes.
Now we dont have enough money for a new server but was wondering what the most efficient way would be to either boost the server or share its responsibilities.Now i dont know if any of these ideas will help so feel free to shoot me down but this is my list of maybes for a few hundred quid. What do you think would be most effective if even possible?
-purchase another matched processer for the server so it has two?
-purchase an ssd to store users profiles on and install in server?
-get 2 more standard hard drives and make a raid 0+1 (i have no idea how to do this)
-purchase a nas drive to store users profiles on?
-purchase a nas drive to and move all users docs and dfs to nas?
-setup an old machine to use for things like print server?
-install ssd as pagefile on server (thought might help as I cant add more ram)
In honesty when working on the server for the pasts few months it doesnt feel as snappy, menus have a bit of lag on them generally just doing just working on the machine feels slow, should I be looking at cleaning the machine up? If so how? Roll back? Uninstall old junk? I really dont know where to start :(
Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated
Have you installed anything recently that could be slowing it down? Has the antivirus updated it'self and changed a setting somewhere and now scanning every file accessed and wasn't before. When did you last reboot the server? Have you defragged the drive at all? (not sure if any of these will work for you but the defrag sped up our servers a fair bit) just a few ideas.
Thanks Matt. Defrag every week to try and keep on top. Have checked antivirus so might do that. Only thing I have installed is dropbox so may take that off see if it helps. Rebooted recently and probably do 1/2 times a month in the evening as well. The server only really starts creaking when lots of poeple are logging in.
Have a look at task manager and see how much of your CPU is being used - personaly I think you 7,200 rpm HDDs are going to be the biggest issues and not the CPU.
Maybe its time to consider 3-4 10,000rpm (or if you can afford it 15,000rpm) drives.
Are you using roaming profiles? These can bog down loading times.
I don't think any upgrade to the current machine would yield much improvement, better drives would be hampered by the storage controller etc. How much would it cost you to retrospectively purchase the PERC 5 controller and some sas 10k drives?
I see that dual quad processors isn't an option for your server so it may not be supported anyway. (dual dual core is) Anyhow normally you have to purchase a second power module for the board to accept a second CPU which is a way of dell insuring you but an upgrade kit (CPU and Power Module). This with a new PERC 5 controller and a couple of 10k sas drives makes it so expensive you should just try and optimise what you have until your next server upgrade.
Yes we are on roaming profiles. Sounds sensible, how would you suggest to "optimise" though? Do you think storing the profiles on a different machine would help?
no, fraid not. I'd suggest removing the ability of roaming profiles altogether. Not very popular with the staff but with pupils it should be easy!
Cheers Chazzy something I have been meaning to do for ages and finally did it today. Cant believe how much quicker it is massive improvement. Next question is do you think if I installed an ssd on the server and popped the mandatory profile on that it would also take a bit of slack of the drives in the server at moment?
Or would I be better off putting the profiles on our nas device? Also what do I need to do to find out if I need something extra to install an extra cpu, I definately have a spare socket in there for it.
Also is there anything better than taskmanager to see whats slowing me dan I.E anything that analyses HD usage etc as well, so I can get a real feel for where we are slowing down.
Lastly would it make any difference if I purchased as fast drive to use a s a pagefile being as I am maxed out on 4gb of ram.
Do an inventory on the machine. Figure out what essential programs & services you require and what you expect. DNS/dhcp/AD/etc. Remove any unnecessary software, and stop any services you feel aren't required. I would strongly recommend doing a complete backup, and doing a little @ a time. That way if anything is incorrect, you will know what caused it and be able to repair it quickly.
2nd on defrag, you would be surprised how fragmented a hard drive can get. You can schedule this to run weekly as well.
The problems I've seen with roaming profiles is b/c the users would store alot of data on their desktop in folder. So it would be forced to transfer this data back and forth and tie up the network/server. To combat this, I started using quotas, which stopped them from storing an inordinate amount of information, however it didn't remedy the speed issue. Instead I created a personal shared drive for each user, and instructed/trained them to keep their data there. Not only does this remove the stress from the server by not forcing it to download/upload at every login/logoff, but keeps all their important data in one place, allowing for easier backups and such.
Originally Posted by titch
I'm a bit out of touch with CPUs these days, you used to have to exactly match the existing and new in terms of step (think that's what it was termed!) I learnt the hard way a few years ago, despite specifying this when I retrospectively bought one (from the server manufacturer) it didn't match and hence didn't work....
Originally Posted by titch