What would a “good” server look like?

Oct 19, 2010 at 5:53 PM

Hi,

I work for a company that buys hosting and I simply do not understand that we does not get more performance for the buck.

I have create a number of PAL reports and given them to my boss. Although it is really depressing read, there seems to be an consensus in the company that this is just the way Windows Server 2003 is. I do not believe this.

Does anyone have PAL reports that they can share? I am especially interested in Windows Server 2003 with IIS.

I am not going to state hardware etc. as I simply does not believe that any one can do worse...

Coordinator
Oct 22, 2010 at 7:00 PM

The alerts in PAL are designed to warrant more investigation into the potential problem. The thresholds are based on initial indicators of potential performance problems. For example, a "good" server will have disk response times of less than 15ms on average, but will still have short spikes above 25ms.

Can you be more specific about the alerts you are seeing?

Oct 25, 2010 at 6:58 PM

Hi Clint,

I used the template for IIS and ran the logs for about a week and I am seeing it “all”.

I have alerts or warning from the following (and the others don’t look good)

.NET CLR Exceptions / Second (Max 12)
ASP.NET Request Execution Time (Max 238.058)
Logical Disk Read Latency (Max 0,057 for C. 0,22 for D)
Logical Disk Write Latency (Max 0,043 for C. 0,041 for D)
Available Mbytes (Min. Value 67)
Output Queue Length (Max 23)
Paging File % Usage (Max 98)
Physical Disk Read Latency (Max 0,057 for C. 0,22 for D)
Physical Disk Write Latency (Max 0,043 for C. 0,041 for D)
Process IO Data Operations/sec (Max total 37.238) - Funny enough Winlogon is maxing at 1.147
Process IO Other Operations/sec (Max total 16.608) - Lsass is maxing at 1.134
% Processor Time (All four processor at max)
Privileged Mode CPU (for the different processor 23, 23, 29, and 42)
Processor Queue Length (Max 13)
High Context Switching (Max 29.921)

And there is always some alerts:

15-09-2010 11:09:11 - 15-09-2010 17:34:12 Alerts: (68)
15-09-2010 17:34:12 - 15-09-2010 23:58:15 Alerts: (36)
15-09-2010 23:58:15 - 16-09-2010 06:22:18 Alerts: (29)
16-09-2010 06:22:18 - 16-09-2010 12:46:23 Alerts: (30)
16-09-2010 12:46:23 - 16-09-2010 19:10:26 Alerts: (37)
16-09-2010 19:10:26 - 17-09-2010 01:34:27 Alerts: (28)
17-09-2010 01:34:27 - 17-09-2010 07:58:29 Alerts: (30)
17-09-2010 07:58:29 - 17-09-2010 14:22:32 Alerts: (26)
17-09-2010 14:22:32 - 17-09-2010 20:46:35 Alerts: (37)
17-09-2010 20:46:35 - 18-09-2010 03:10:37 Alerts: (27)
18-09-2010 03:10:37 - 18-09-2010 09:34:45 Alerts: (18)
18-09-2010 09:34:45 - 18-09-2010 15:58:47 Alerts: (18)
18-09-2010 15:58:47 - 18-09-2010 22:22:47 Alerts: (22)
18-09-2010 22:22:47 - 19-09-2010 04:46:49 Alerts: (11)
19-09-2010 04:46:49 - 19-09-2010 11:11:51 Alerts: (17)
19-09-2010 11:11:51 - 19-09-2010 17:35:55 Alerts: (14)
19-09-2010 17:35:55 - 19-09-2010 23:59:59 Alerts: (16)
19-09-2010 23:59:59 - 20-09-2010 06:24:01 Alerts: (19)
20-09-2010 06:24:01 - 20-09-2010 12:48:03 Alerts: (12)
20-09-2010 12:48:03 - 20-09-2010 19:12:03 Alerts: (18)
20-09-2010 19:12:03 - 21-09-2010 01:36:05 Alerts: (21)
21-09-2010 01:36:05 - 21-09-2010 08:00:07 Alerts: (6)
21-09-2010 08:00:07 - 21-09-2010 14:24:13 Alerts: (10)
21-09-2010 14:24:13 - 21-09-2010 20:48:18 Alerts: (21)
21-09-2010 20:48:18 - 22-09-2010 03:12:21 Alerts: (10)
22-09-2010 03:12:21 - 22-09-2010 09:36:25 Alerts: (11)
22-09-2010 09:36:25 - 22-09-2010 16:00:29 Alerts: (13)
22-09-2010 16:00:29 - 22-09-2010 22:24:33 Alerts: (12)
22-09-2010 22:24:33 - 23-09-2010 04:48:37 Alerts: (15)
23-09-2010 04:48:37 - 23-09-2010 11:12:44 Alerts: (21)

I can’t post the report here. I could email you it, that would also allow me to give you more information about the setup.

About the server:

The server is a virtual server.

The “My Computer”->”Properties” says Windows 2003 server, standard edition, SP2. Intel(R) Xeon CPU 3.40GHz, 2GB ram.

The server is part of a web farm (2 servers in all)

It is in QA and not production. There is some load on, but I would not expect this type of load on it.

My observation:

I know that 2GB RAM is low for a server but that can’t explain it – right?

I have used Process Monitor and Process Explorer to look what is running and it includes 3 scanners (antivirus, inventory and operations scanners). There are too many things on the server (which really just slows it down).

I can’t be sure but the virtual machine is potentially on a SAN optimized for storage.

My Problem:

I have been trying to raise focus on the poor performance of our server running Microsoft Server (actually also the clients running Windows XP). Without success. It became possible to collect/create a PAL report for a couple of servers in QA which reveals that we have problems. Management got that when I gave them the report. Now I need to pin-point the problems such that we could look into solutions and not just accept it.

I have gotten access to another Windows Server 2003 with IIS which have not gone into use yet. I am collecting performance counters to create a new PAL report.

 

Coordinator
Nov 3, 2010 at 2:45 AM

Zip up the PAL report and it's resource directory and send it to me at clinth@microsoft.com. I'll take a look at it. I can share some of my other reports, so you can get an idea of what "normal" looks like.