Phylum
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Help Troubleshooting Sluggishness on R710 II Running Windows Server

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Windows Server on a well equipped R710 II is very slugish as though something was taxing the box:

  • When typing the text lags behind the keystrokes
  • Downloading & installing 3 updates (KB4034661, KB4035631 & KB3186568) took well over 3 hours
  • Enabling RSAT & Hyper-V took about an hour

Yet Task Manager and Resource Monitor don't show the CPU, RAM or Network being taxed.

I've been working on this for a few days now and I'm nearing the end of my rope:

  • Switched to UEFI & installed Server 2012 R2 bootable media not LC with just the keyboard, mouse and display attached (no network not even in mgmt port)
  • Had NOT upgraded firmware before doing this so I thought that might be contributing to the performance problem.
  • Upgraded everything via LC and reinstalled the OS - no change.
  • Thinking it might be 2012 R2 specific, I installed Server 2016 (don't chastise me about that please), via bootable media - no change.
  • Switched from UEFI to legacy BIOS reinstalled the OS - no change
  • Ran the extended tests and aside from two old errors (The storage SAS A cable is not connected, or is improperly connected. & Fan 5 RPM is less than the lower critical threshold.) all was fine.
  • Ran the memory test checking every option (e.g.: mats, march b, ecc etc) and after 4 passes everything was fine.
  • Removed two Emulex / EMC LightPulse LPe12000 adapters and a single-port Intel gigabit NIC - no change.
  • Sluggishness is seen both physically at the terminal, via RDP and in child VM's
  • Removed all modules keeping track of the DIMM slot each module was removed from
  • Re-installed 6 modules back into their original DIMM slots: A1, A2, A3, B1, B2 & B3 (satisfying the 're-seating' of memory) - no change
  • Removed modules A2, A3, B2, & B3 leaving just 2 total in A1 & B1 - slowness persists
  • Removed 7 of 8 Dell 146GB 15.2K Savvio SAS drives (in RAID10 config) keeping track of drive position
  • Re-initialized the remaining drive & reinstalled the OS - no change
  • Removed the SAS drive, installed & initialized a single consumer grade SATA drive and reinstalled the OS - no change

At this point, it doesn't appear to be hard drive specific but at this point I'm thinking possibly:

  • H700 controller
  • RAM module(s)
  • DIMM slot(s)
  • CPU memory channel(s) - thus bad CPU(s)
  • something else altogether?

Aside from that, I really don't know where to go from there so I'm reaching out for some guidance.
Anything you can think of or recommend would be greatly appreciated.

Server Stats:

  • Dual E5649's
  • 192GB - 12x16GB 2Rx4 PC3L-10600R 1.35V in Optimizer mode
  • 8x Dell 146GB 15K SAS drives on an H700 in RAID10
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5 Replies

RE: Help Troubleshooting Sluggishness on R710 II Running Windows Server

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Hello.

I would recommed that you review the controller Virtual Disk cache policies or test with another controller and see whether or not the performance picks up. You may also review the port speed settings on the switch side of the network

Robert Alakara

Dell EMC | Enterprise Services

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Phylum
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RE: Help Troubleshooting Sluggishness on R710 II Running Windows Server

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Thanks for the reply Robert.

I'm on mobile so this will be short.

The text-typing delay happens both physically at the machine and remotely via RDP. I initially noticed it when nothing was connected to the machine (no NICs plugged in, management port disconnected) so thinking maybe it was a graphics/display issue I tried via RDP but the experience was the same.

This evening I'll retest offline and confirm Virtual Disk cache policies. I don't have a spare controller at the moment but am working on it.

Thanks

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pcmeiners
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RE: Help Troubleshooting Sluggishness on R710 II Running Windows Server

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Pull all cards, clear the bios (battery pull), reinstall all cards. Sounds like contention for a resource. Raid card cache policy would not cause keyboard delays.

Do you have a SATA  to hang off the motherboard interface to install on, with the Perc removed to rule out the Perc.

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Phylum
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RE: Help Troubleshooting Sluggishness on R710 II Running Windows Server

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I ended up completely stripping the machine, pulling out or at the very least disconnecting just about everything.  I learned the machine wouldn't boot without the riser cards (found documentation stating that as well) so I reinstalled those then added parts one by one - next thing I knew it was fully rebuilt and working as expected.

Just glad to have it working.

Thanks to everyone for their guidance & suggestions - it is very much appreciated!

pcmeiners
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RE: Help Troubleshooting Sluggishness on R710 II Running Windows Server

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Glad it is working.

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