Introduction to Exchange 2003 – Processor Performance
It’s always a pleasure to monitor the % processor time because it’s so easy to spot a bottleneck. I suggest not only monitoring the processor, but also checking individual processes so that you judge which program is hogging the CPU.
Topics for Processor Performance in Exchange 2003 Server
- Monitoring Processor Objects
- Solutions to Processor Bottlenecks
- Specific Processor Counters to Monitor
When the processor is the bottleneck, it gives a most distinctive trace. Do not be too worried about a processor time threshold of 75, 80 or even 90% just look at the pattern. If the graph looks like a drunken curtain hanging from the ceiling, then that processor is your bottleneck. On the other hand, if all you get is a series of spikes starting from a 20% or 30% baseline, then look elsewhere for a bottleneck.
If you do find that the processor is the bottleneck, it’s not particularly easy to fix. While it’s easy to say, ‘get more or faster processors’, there are often practical difficulties involving the motherboard. So, turn to lateral thinking for a solution. I would start with offloading services, for example printing. Also, if you are indexing public folders or mailstores, then perhaps the users can forgo faster searches. Another solution would be to move mailboxes to another server.
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Note that there are two counters with a very similar name, Processor, and Process. Your classic counter is the performance monitor, processor time.
|(_Total)\% Processor Time||80% for 5+ mins|
|(STORE.EXE)\% Processor Time||75% for 5+ mins|
|(system)\% Processor Time||75% for 5+ mins|
|(inetinfo)\% Processor Time||75% for 5+ mins|
Note: If you have multiple processors, then multiply the critical value by the number of processors, for example, a critical value for a twin processor would be 160% for (_Total)\% Processor Time (80% x 2).
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Processor bottlenecks are the easiest to problem detect in Exchange 2003 server. Monitor % processor time, and just look for a trace which looks like a curtain hanging from a ceiling. You gain extra information by logging process counters, for example store.exe.