+ Post New Thread
Results 1 to 12 of 12
Windows Server 2012 Thread, Server 2012 questions - from a Netware shop in Technical; Hello all, I'm new here, in fact I just found these forums today when googling about slow file server access ...
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Waleska
    Posts
    6
    Thank Post
    4
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0

    Server 2012 questions - from a Netware shop

    Hello all,

    I'm new here, in fact I just found these forums today when googling about slow file server access on Windows 2012. I work at a small private college in Georgia, so I'm guessing I'm among peers here.

    I just last week finished migrating our file shares from Novell OES2 to Windows2012. So far, I am less than impressed, and my users are even less impressed.

    I started building the infrastructure last summer with all new hardware - HP DL380's Gen 8. Nice gear that is. Since we were shaking off the shackles of ancient Novell, I decided to go whole-hog with Windows and move us straight to 2012, the latest and greatest. I got the first DC setup, then DNS/DHCP servers, then RADIUS servers. All was well. Then I spent a few months figuring out how to migrate 3000 accounts and groups from eDirectory into AD. Then I setup the new fileserver and spent another month figuring out how to migrate files and map drives. (Powershell was helpful with the AD account/group stuff, but the file stuff really came back to simple batch files). I finally settled on using GPO preferences to map the drives. From what I could find, that seems to be the direction MS is heading.

    So after Christmas, I started migrating mapped drives, starting with the two least important drives. After I moved those first two drives, I did notice that accessing files on the new 2012 server from my desktop (also a 2012 server,...) was more "laggy" than it had been with the Novell server. The biggest problem seemed to be the looooong 10-15 second pause when I'd first access a drive - I'm guessing my Windows client and the fileserver are doing key-exchange stuff in the background that Novell never did. That was unpleasant after spending the last 15 years running speedy Novell where you double-click the drive and boom, there's your stuff. But since nobody much was using those drives, I decided to keep going.

    After the first two drives, I took a long pause while the PC guys got the rest of the computers joined to the new AD domain. By late March, they were finished, so I started moving drives again, starting with the least "critical" and slowly moving along, finishing up last week.

    So far, here are the issues I've wondered about:
    1. Do Windows logins always take soooo looonng? Some computers are taking 30+ seconds to apply the GPO settings. Most computers get three fairly simple GPO's - one does 5 or 6 drive mappings, one sets 8 rules in the Windows firewall, and the third prohibits running exe's from APPDATA. I realize the client is doing key-exchange stuff with whichever DC it's talking to before it downloads the GPOs, but wow, this seems slow. Is this "normal" for Windows?

    2. Is there any good way to alleviate the long pause when first accessing files/folders/drives on the fileserver? I've tried setting the mslanmanager AutoDisconnect to 10 hours, but that hasn't seemed to help much, if any. I've also munged around today with the RequireSecuritySignature setting via GPO, but won't know if that helps any until tomorrow.

    3. Are Windows2012 fileservers just "slower" than Novell fileservers? My old Novell box was an HP DL360 G7 machine that's 4 years old, but it runs circles around the new Gen8 2012 fileserver. I don't have a SAN here, so both boxes are using DAS. Nor do I use DFS. Do I need to start managing expectations with my users? I've had complaints from our head Accountant (who loves terribly complicated and inter-linked Excel spreadsheets) who said that opening his spreadsheets is now "painfully slow". Also, our Financial Aid folks are complaining that their mail merges are moving at a glacial pace. So far, all I've managed to tell them is "I'm working on it".

    I've read the threads here about Server 2012 not responding, and the more recent one about Office files being slow to open. Some of the posts there sound sort of like the problems I'm having here, although my server doesn't stop responding (that I know of), it's just slow at responding. Maybe I should have used 2008 or 2003 for my file server? Are they generally faster/better at serving files than 2012?

    Thanks,
    Dave

  2. #2

    FN-GM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    16,054
    Thank Post
    888
    Thanked 1,729 Times in 1,492 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    Rep Power
    454
    All your points could be down the DNS configuration issues. How do you have it setup? Can you give as much detail as possible? EG what do your clients DNS settings point to? Access files should be instant. Our 2012 and 2012 R2 servers respond instantly. Your issues can be fixed.

  3. Thanks to FN-GM from:

    DavidD (22nd April 2014)

  4. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    111
    Thank Post
    8
    Thanked 14 Times in 14 Posts
    Rep Power
    16
    Hi Dave

    I remember the speed of Netware file opening and browsing back in the day. I remember that IPX used to copy files better than TCP/IP did back in the day, especially with hubs instead of switches.

    XP and Server 2003 also had near instant file browsing, due to using SMB1. I never had any issues with SMB2 either, with our 2008 Server and Windows 7 clients. SMB3 isn't really meant to be faster, but rather more efficient. That being said, SMB3 and 3.02 only go back to Windows 8's launch, so probably hasn't had near the amount of real world testing and beating SMB1 and 2 got.

    For what it's worth, try and index the various drives on the servers. Windows 7 and 8 can use this info when users search for files on mapped drives, though I'm not sure if I have it correctly set up here at my school.

    I've found that logon times get slower with more policy settings or when you do a replace in GP Preferences. Also noticed that mechanical drives do add some time to the process compared to SSD.

    Lastly, stay away from Server 2003 or 2008R1. 2003 goes EOL next year. 2008R1 is based off the Vista codebase and despite improvements is often more sluggish than 2008R2. 2008R2 is a solid workhorse, though the amount of patches that are needed after a fresh install make me shudder.

  5. Thanks to CraigM from:

    DavidD (22nd April 2014)

  6. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    York
    Posts
    70
    Thank Post
    15
    Thanked 10 Times in 10 Posts
    Rep Power
    16
    Agree that it will be a name resolution thing. I can't remember the details as it's about 6 years since I last played with the Novell client - but there's something about the search order between Novell's name service, DNS, netbios and something else.

  7. Thanks to iom100 from:

    DavidD (22nd April 2014)

  8. #5

    localzuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Minehead
    Posts
    17,869
    Thank Post
    518
    Thanked 2,486 Times in 1,928 Posts
    Blog Entries
    24
    Rep Power
    838
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidD View Post
    So far, here are the issues I've wondered about:
    1. Do Windows logins always take soooo looonng? Some computers are taking 30+ seconds to apply the GPO settings. Most computers get three fairly simple GPO's - one does 5 or 6 drive mappings, one sets 8 rules in the Windows firewall, and the third prohibits running exe's from APPDATA. I realize the client is doing key-exchange stuff with whichever DC it's talking to before it downloads the GPOs, but wow, this seems slow. Is this "normal" for Windows?
    It can be, but it can also be indicative of other issues. A couple things that I do when moving to a new network and want to make it faster are:

    a) Make sure there are no group policies with both computer and user settings (except the default domain one)
    b) Go through and disable the part of any policy that is empty. I.E. If you have a policy which contains only user settings, you set its status to "Computer Configuration settings disabled".

    Doing only these took 2 minute logins to 30 seconds on one network.

    2. Is there any good way to alleviate the long pause when first accessing files/folders/drives on the fileserver? I've tried setting the mslanmanager AutoDisconnect to 10 hours, but that hasn't seemed to help much, if any. I've also munged around today with the RequireSecuritySignature setting via GPO, but won't know if that helps any until tomorrow.
    I don't see a pause at all - opening a drive shows its contents instantly. So, this is indicative of something not being configured correctly.

    3. Are Windows2012 fileservers just "slower" than Novell fileservers? My old Novell box was an HP DL360 G7 machine that's 4 years old, but it runs circles around the new Gen8 2012 fileserver. I don't have a SAN here, so both boxes are using DAS. Nor do I use DFS. Do I need to start managing expectations with my users? I've had complaints from our head Accountant (who loves terribly complicated and inter-linked Excel spreadsheets) who said that opening his spreadsheets is now "painfully slow". Also, our Financial Aid folks are complaining that their mail merges are moving at a glacial pace. So far, all I've managed to tell them is "I'm working on it".
    No, Windows file servers should be pretty darn quick, especially with the advent of SMB3.0. What disks are you running in this new server compared to the old server? Have you stepped down to SATA from SAS or something?

    I've read the threads here about Server 2012 not responding, and the more recent one about Office files being slow to open. Some of the posts there sound sort of like the problems I'm having here, although my server doesn't stop responding (that I know of), it's just slow at responding. Maybe I should have used 2008 or 2003 for my file server? Are they generally faster/better at serving files than 2012?
    We migrated all our file servers from 2003 to 2012 last summer. From SATA to SSD and SAS (SSD for virtual machines, SAS for user files etc...). The speed is phenomenal. Instant everything basically. All complaints of things being slow disappeared overnight. Not to mention, Windows Server 2012 has a much better disk I/O system now than older versions of Windows. (An example, comparing Windows 7 and 8 on an SSD. I saw a 20% increase in I/O speeds on one machine).
    Last edited by localzuk; 16th April 2014 at 03:48 PM.

  9. Thanks to localzuk from:

    DavidD (22nd April 2014)

  10. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Waleska
    Posts
    6
    Thank Post
    4
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0
    Here are the basic details of the Windows servers:
    five 2012 servers - DC1 was the first server I installed. NS1 and NS2 are DCs that I built specifically to do DNS and DHCP. The DHCP leases they hand out specify them in the name server field. RAD1 and RAD2 are member servers that do RADIUS for our Aruba system. FS1 is a member server that is doing file serving. All of the servers use static IPs.

    After reading FN-GM's reply this morning, I took a look at DNS. Strangely, FS1 didn't have a record there, so I manually added an A record for it. (Is manually adding A records still considered a "good idea"?) The settings for the NIC said to register the connection's settings in DNS, so I'm not sure why it didn't register itself. I'll look into that. Maybe something is screwed up. So I could see the missing DNS record being the cause of the "initial slowness" when opening/connecting to a drive for the first time, since it will eventually drop back to WINS. I do have a WINS server, embarrassingly it is running on Windows 2000. Yeah, there's no "3" on the end of that, it's a 2000 server that's been running 24/7 since ~2002. I will replace that pronto.

    As far as the storage disks, there are eight 10k SAS disks in RAID 5 (I know, I know...), I'm guessing 6 gig since this is a Gen8 box. I looked this morning and the old Novell server has pretty much the same disks in it and is also RAID 5.

    I think I'll setup a test file server running 2012 on another box and see if I get the same sluggishness.

    Thanks for all the feedback and suggestions. I greatly appreciate it.

    Dave
    Last edited by DavidD; 16th April 2014 at 06:25 PM.

  11. #7

    FN-GM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    16,054
    Thank Post
    888
    Thanked 1,729 Times in 1,492 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    Rep Power
    454
    Creating that DNS record will be fine. Do your Clients DNS setting point to your DNS servers or some other DNS service?

  12. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Waleska
    Posts
    6
    Thank Post
    4
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0
    The clients all point to ns1 and ns2 for their DNS service.

    One other thing I've noticed, especially on my workstation (2012R2), is that the Group Policy management console is really slow when I first open it. Say I open gpmc, then click on a policy object. GPMC will pause for 10-15 seconds while it grabs the policy. If I close gpmc and restart it, there is no pause when I click on an object, it's immediately there. This does sound like a DNS issue, but I've checked DNS and all the server/service records (ie - the MS specific stuff) look like they are there for the DCs. I think I'll look around and see if I can find a list of what server records are expected to be in DNS, just to make sure I'm not missing any.

  13. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,265
    Thank Post
    111
    Thanked 242 Times in 193 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1
    Rep Power
    74
    Not sure if it will help the underlying issue but there are hotfixes for gpmc related DNS issues:

    https://support.microsoft.com/kb/293...rss&spid=14019

    Win 7 though.

    Just to check.. Your DNS servers should use themselves as their first DNS enter on their ip settings (I.e. 127.0.0.1)


    And you should configure group policy and school scope to set primary DNS the suffix for client machines to be that of your internal domain.

    Also if windows 7 clients, have you installed the enterprise hotfix rollup?

  14. #10

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Waleska
    Posts
    6
    Thank Post
    4
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0
    Thanks for all the suggestions, folks. I spent some time last Thursday cleaning some of the fuzz out of DNS, and I think that helped a bit. And at least now I know my DNS is fairly solid going forward.

    After more testing this morning, I'm starting to think that the main issue (slowness when opening MSOffice files) is really being caused by Office, not Server 2012 or AD. When I first reboot my computer, my addresses spreadsheet opens in 1 or 2 seconds. And if I try re-opening the file every minute, it opens instantly every time for the first four minutes. Then at five minutes, when I try to open the file, there is a 24-25 second delay (the Excel spash screens sits there saying "Contacting \\fs1\blahblah\addresses.xls.) before the file actually opens. Then for the next 4 minutes, the file opens immediately, then at the 5 minute mark gives the 24 second delay, then 4 more minutes of opening immediately, etc... Does that sound familiar to anyone?

    Funny enough, if I put a copy of my spreadsheet on the Novell server, it opens immediately every single time, no matter how long I wait. So it's like Office is doing something weird because the file is on a Windows server.

    I've also tested with a plain text file saved to the same directory as the spreadsheet. The text file opens in Notepad immediately every time, there's no "5-minute cycle". Even if I edit the file from another computer (to be sure my machine isn't opening a cached version in the background). So that tells me loud and clear that the server is serving files in a timely fashion like all of you said it would.

    So it seems to be all down to Office. I've tried saving my XLS spreadsheet as XSLX, thinking maybe Office 2013 was doing something weird with that old binary format, but even as an xslx file, it's still following the 5-minute-cycle. I've tried setting the file server as a trusted location in Excel, disabling the File Integrity checker, even setting some strange registry settings for "SuppressionPolicy" that the PC guy here suggested, but nothing yet has broken the 5-minute cycle.

    If no one here has any further suggestions, I'll go bother the fine folks in the Office Software forum.

    Thanks again for the help.

    Dave


    [as a starting point for other Novell-turned-MS admins who may come here via Google wondering what the Windows equivalent of dsrepair is,
    here are 5 low-level ActiveDirectory diagnostic/troubleshooting commands I found in the past week. All will give you (lots of) help with a /? on the end...

    dcdiag - this one seems to be the big-daddy troubleshooting command - sort of like dstrace and dsrepair rolled into one, and then some.
    dnscmd - does dns stuff
    dfsrdiag - diagnostics for DFS
    ntfrsutil
    repadmin
    ]

  15. #11

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Waleska
    Posts
    6
    Thank Post
    4
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0
    iom100 (Ian Miller) had the answer. The problem was coming from the Novell client being above the Windows client in the list of network providers. I moved the Windows client to the top of the list and now accessing my 2012 file server is zippy. No 25 second timeouts every 5 minutes. It's just as fast as the Novell servers. All the time. Sweet. Thanks Ian. I owe you a beer if you're ever in Georgia (USA).

    The only down side is that it seems that changing the provider order is something that has to be done by hand on each machine. I found a vbscript that could do it for XP, although the posts there said Win7 didn't like the script. Ah well. Can't have it all, I guess. Maybe instead of doing that, we'll just uninstall the Novell client altogether.

    Again, thanks for all the help.

  16. #12

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    York
    Posts
    70
    Thank Post
    15
    Thanked 10 Times in 10 Posts
    Rep Power
    16
    Great! I can't believe I still (half) remember that. I don't think I've done anything with the Novell client since 2006.

SHARE:
+ Post New Thread

Similar Threads

  1. [Windows Software] Quick licencing question - Server 2012
    By DavePa in forum Licensing Questions
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 26th February 2014, 03:52 PM
  2. SCCM 2012 question - Servers Requiring Reboot
    By kay07949 in forum O/S Deployment
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 21st February 2014, 05:07 PM
  3. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 7th September 2012, 02:46 PM
  4. Question from BETT - Displaying Folders in Webpage
    By peterv5 in forum Web Development
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 12th January 2007, 11:01 AM
  5. Class Server noob questions
    By dagza in forum Virtual Learning Platforms
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 31st October 2006, 08:26 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •