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Slow open / close Excel file on file server RRS feed

  • Question

  • Let me explain how how our offices servers was setup:

    Office A
    Primary File server (physical server)
    - HP BL460c blade server with 8GB RAM and Dual Xean 2.33 GHz (8) processor
    - Windows 2008 x64 Standard Server
    - Symantec Endpoint Security 11 MR4 MP1 (11.0.4010)
    - Office A users mainly accessing this file server.

    Backup File server (Microsoft virtual server on a Hyper-V server)
    - Virtual Server with 8GB RAM and 4 processors
    - Windows 2008 x64 Enterprise Server
    - Symantec Endpoint Security 11 MR4 MP1 (11.0.4010)
    - This server only act as backup of office A primary file server. Data is replicate using Microsoft DFS replication. No users will access this server unless office A primary server is down.

    Office B
    Primary File server (physical server)
    - HP BL460c blade server with 8GB RAM and Dual Xean 2.33 GHz processor
    - Windows 2008 x64 Standard Server
    - Symantec Endpoint Security 11 MR4 MP1 (11.0.4010)
    - Office B users mainly accessing this file server

    Backup File server (Microsoft virtual server on a Hyper-V server)
    - Virtual Server with 8GB RAM and 4 processors
    - Windows 2008 x64 Enterprise server
    - Symantec Endpoint Security 11 MR4 MP1 (11.0.4010)
    - This server only act as backup of office B primary file server. Data is replicate using Microsoft replication. No users will access this server unless office B primary server is down.

    Note: Both Primary file server between office A and office B is setup using Microsoft DFS replication to synchronize the data every evening.

    Both Primary File Server and Backup file server are running live. What we did to make sure all users to only access to the Primary file server is we setup the Primary File Server as "first among targets of equal cost" and the Backup File Server as "Last among targets of equal cost". Both Primary and Backup File Servers are replicate data each other online. Just in case the Primary File Server is down, all users will redirect to Backup File Servers automatically. Both office A and B have the same configuration as I just mention.

    Problem:
    1. Workstations with Windows 2000 Pro + Office 2000 SP3 + Symantec Endpoint 11 MR4 MP1a
        - No delay when open excel files
        - Average delay 5 seconds when close the excel file

    2. Workstation with Windows XP Pro + Office 2003 SP3 + Symantec Endpoint 11 MR4 MP1a
        - No delay when close excel files
        - Average delay 5 seconds when open excel file. (the excel file is open but not able to click on the cell until few seconds later.)

    Note:
    The about problem only happen to both office A and office B primary file servers. But not affecting on both office A and office B backup file servers.

    At first we suspect the problem is Symantec Endpoint Security because when we disable the file system auto-protect and we don't experience the delay for the excel files. But come to think about it, the Backup File Server also contains the same configuration without require disable the file system auto-protect in the Symantec Endpoint Security.

    Is anyone can tell me how to troubleshoot this issue? Is Windows 2008 Enterprise and Standard version make the performance different? Will Virtual server run faster than physical server?

    Note: I had post this same question on http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverfiles/thread/e73abd72-d2ae-4d5e-8468-1dc5a55a6aa6. Someone told me to re-post the questions on Hyper-V forum due to the issue may be related to the networkting stack on Hyper-V server

    Wednesday, April 1, 2009 12:02 AM

Answers

  • Depending on the situation virtual servers can perform better than physical servers.
    I have found it hard to predict as it is all about the combination of load (mainly disk IO of the host) and the applications running.
    Sometimes processors are used more efficiently, sometimes caching works better, sometimes NIC acceleration is disabled.

    Did you really allocate your VMs with 8Gb of RAM and 4 processors and your VM is running Enterprise, not standard?
    (just double checking that this is the settings of the VMs and not just the host properties).

    I see that David has given most of the regular clues in the other thread.
    And the primary abuser: AV.

    I am thinking networking.
    Since this is a file server, and you are talking Excel files. (relatively small).
    Have you attempted disabling TCPOffloading on the physical file servers?

    Since you are using older clients, you are getting no benefits from SMB2.  The only item I can think of is the old culpret of TCPOffload.  TCPOffload really benefits is situation of large files (I generically think 2MB or greater).  And then, primarily, in a copy operation.
    We have disabled it for years on Terminal Servers and IIS servers.


    Brian Ehlert (hopefully you have found this useful)
    • Marked as answer by Vincent Hu Wednesday, April 8, 2009 3:26 AM
    Wednesday, April 1, 2009 3:49 PM