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How do I increase performance in OWA 2010 SP2?

I am running CAS on a seperate installation, which has 8GB RAM and 4 CPU cores - running virtualized in a vmware environment.

However, the load times are pretty bad, so is there any way to improve those?

I am thinking of installing a linux cache-stuff-server in front of the OWA, but will that work? And how should it be done?

Allright, I "fixed" it - was just something temporary issue. Thanks for your replies

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What is causing your poor performance? Since this is a site for professionals, you've certainly done the professional thing and profiled the performance of the server in question, right? Is it a RAM bottleneck? A disk one? Are the CPUs maxed? Is there resource contention with other VMs? – MDMarra Jun 25 '12 at 15:20
Start with perfmon and it will probably tell you that RAM is pegged and you're swapping like crazy. Exchange 2010 eats RAM like a fat kid does chocolate cake. – Chris S Jun 25 '12 at 15:33
@ChrisS it only uses 1,25GB of 8GB ram, so that shouldnt be an issue. I know that exchange eats RAM, which is why I gave it plenty. – Frederik Nielsen Jun 25 '12 at 19:16
@MDMarra I have been looking at the performance, and it actually looks quite fine - CPU is not stressed at all. The only thing that could be an issue is disk speeds. – Frederik Nielsen Jun 25 '12 at 19:16

The 'linux cache-stuff-server in front of the OWA' will help, if at all, a tiny fraction.

With anything Exchange related you're going to want more memory and faster IO - extra CPU can help if that's where you're deficient but given you've not provided us with any profiling data at all I'd put my money on you needing much faster IO, then maybe extra memory. You may also want to check your network latency too, but I'd say that's less likely.

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Allright, ill drop the linux cache server. – Frederik Nielsen Jun 25 '12 at 19:17

I can't speak to the Linux Cache-Stuff-Server however I don't think you will get the results your looking for since most of what a user is going to pull out of OWA is data that has to be pulled from your backend Mailbox servers at time of login. What I would take a look at are the following

  • What type of disks the VM is sitting on (SATA can cause degraded performance if the VM is not tuned around running on slow disks)
  • Take a look at Performance Monitor
  • Look at the login request to the DC from the CAS server. Is this taking longer than it should?
  • Also look at your response time from your Mailbox Servers. It may not be the CAS Server at all that is causing the "Slowness"
  • Are your Mailbox server configured in a DAG? If so is the CAS configured correctly for a DAG.

Hope this helps. The specs for the VM should be good enough for a regular amount of Users. if your doing thousands of users you may want to look at adding a few more CAS in a load balanced configuration.

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Our iSCSI is running on SATA-disks, and I know it's not as good as SAS, but that's what we got. I got no clue what a DAG is - but will look at it – Frederik Nielsen Jun 25 '12 at 19:18

I would absolutely look at the disks. As others have said, the general specs look OK but we don't know what the underlying storage is.

With any VMware related performance problem, I would always start by looking at storage performance. Do you have vCenter? Dig into the disk performance.

For example, one of our clients was running their two load-balanced CAS VMs on 7.2k SAS disks and performance was dire. Simply moving them to a LUN running on 15k SAS completely resolved the issue.

What's your VMware local storage like? Try moving your CAS there and see if there's any improvement.

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Definately looks like a disk performance issue. I will try to dig deeper into it if performance begins to get bad again. Right now everything seems to be running just fine. – Frederik Nielsen Jun 25 '12 at 19:45
up vote 0 down vote accepted

It seems like it was just a temporary issue - and everything is fine.

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