Windows Server 2003 SP2 LUN mounted from SAN Millions of small files across hundreds of thousands of directories (100GB total) NTFS with 4k cluster size
While doing the initial file crawl for backups or archiving regular user access to files on this drive is severely slowed.
SAN and network guys show no abnormal activity in initial investigations, but deeper investigations are continuing. Some sort of server level issue with NTFS or Windows is suspected.
Given that almost all files are <10k so fit within 1-3 clusters I do not suspect regular fragmentation to be an issue, but perhaps MFT fragmentation could be. Given that backups and cleanups cause user disruption even off hours I hesitate to use windows defrag to analyze my fragmentation and I really care just about MFT fragmentation. Any was to figure just that out more quickly than a full disk analyze?
Well behaved 3rd party defrag programs are not out of the question either if anyone has recommendations. Not disturbing the users further with our analysis is a big priority.
We are also considering putting in the reg key for NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate. Has anyone found this to truly be a big improvement and not just a minor tweak?
Are there any good tools to measure file locking/access contention for a busy drive? GUI tools from sysinternals like procmon don't scale at that level any more.