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I have transferred to a new dedi to host a game server using Windows Web 2008 R2 x64.

The problem I am having is that the CPU utilisation drops to 0 every 5 minutes for the game server process. I am unable to identify if this happens to other applications it is just obvious for the game server as it runs at 22% CPU - total CPU for the server hovers around 24%.

It seems strange that this happens every 5 minutes. This was not an issue on the previous server which was Windows 2008 32bit. The game server itself is written in delphi, I just hope its not a compatibility issue? Any ideas?

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I don't think I've ever heard someone complain about LESS utilization (scratches head). – SpacemanSpiff Dec 27 '12 at 16:40
Sounds more like a defect in the monitoring software. Perfmon has also been known to do this - have gaps where no data was collected. – Greg Askew Dec 27 '12 at 16:44
Utilisation should be constant as the environment is being managed, fluctuations are normal however large dips mean the environment has stopped being processed and causes a lag spike in-game. Something is causing it to stop processing every 5 minutes - but what?? – Andy Dec 27 '12 at 16:46
The effects are felt by all the connected users so its not just the monitor – Andy Dec 27 '12 at 16:47
Got it... load up perfmon, and see if your disks are queuing. – SpacemanSpiff Dec 27 '12 at 17:23

I can think of at least 3 categories of problems to check, as first steps:

1) New Hardware configuration:

Memory utilization -- what % free memory is available? Low memory also causes high disk usage as the OS thrashes memory pages to/from disk.

Regardless of memory, if your game/app writes to disk, check your disk wait during one of the CPU blips.

2) New software configuration environment -- "Configuration Secrets" that exist on your old box that need to be re-applied to the new server:

Check your virus-scanner config -- often there are files that need to be exempted from the 'scan-before-access' protection on a server. Were there configs like this on the previous server that need to be re-applied in the new environment?

What about things like CPU affinity?

There could be anything in this category; it's why configuration management is so important. Hopefully one of the other two categories holds the real problem.

3) New Network environment:

Is the new host in a different datacenter? If your server communicates to a backend service (authentication/database/etc) of any kind, verify that throughput between your server and that service are sufficient.

A bad router port/NIC could also be an issue; but that should be easier to detect -- run a continuous ping and pay attention to the delay times during the CPU drop.

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Ok thanks gave me some ideas there and I have some more details: Memory: around 60% free Virus scanner: Happens with this disabled unless there is a windows one running that I don't know about? CPU: I have tried switching to different CPU affinities and same problem Data centre: same as before – Andy Dec 28 '12 at 9:37
What I have found however is it does not seem to be related to the application however the system itself seems to lock up every 5 minutes: This issue seems to be exactly every 5 minutes I first logged it yesterday at xx:11:01 and then lastly today at 09:41:01 ((cmd: "net statistics workstation" gives "statistics since 11:25:56" which is very close to the above times. There is the same problem for other applications (I tested with winrar using 25% CPU) Ping gives "Request timed out" and obviously remote desktop locks up for a second. It still happens when I have remote desktop logged off – Andy Dec 28 '12 at 9:45
Do you log in directly to the physical console, or only over the network/rdp? (And, is it a VM or standalone). – Gus Dec 28 '12 at 14:24
Remote Desktop + standalone – Andy Dec 28 '12 at 14:53
OK, so it'll be a bit difficult to determine whether it's the machine locking, or just network disruption; but my money's on network disruption -- see if you can get the box moved to a different router port, and/or use a different NIC if the box has more than one. – Gus Dec 28 '12 at 15:36

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