Fredrik Malmborg May 17 2012 04:33:06The company providing colocation and maintenance is claiming that the customer needs to buy new hardware for a Domino server because it is performing badly.
Because of my background as an in house technician (many years ago now) I did not just respect that claim but wanted to have a look at the levels below Domino. Normally I am responsible for the maintenance of the Domino service, but often it is very valuable to also know about things below.
I was about to install a fixpack for Domino on that hardware when I noticed it was very slooooow when transferring the setup files. It was not a problem with not enough free space, so I did a check with the built in Defragmenter in Windows.
You do not have to be a technician to understand that we got a serious problem with fragmentation. So I tried the "quick" fix and ran Defragment. I executed it several times. But it did not help much but I did notice a small perfomance gain. I could not have the server out of service longer so I put on the fixpack and started everything up again.
The disk are in a RAID-set. That is no excuse for not running defragment. I found this great article explaining why. It is not fresh, but still good.
Today I had a new opportunity to take down that Domino for service. I had read about PerfectDisk and found a trial version for servers. Decided to give it a try.
I gave it some boost by moving some of the most heavily fragmented files away from the server.
It did find things that Windows built in tool said nothing about. Look at the metadata fragmentation and free space fragmentation. The fragmentation of free space prevents Windows built in defragmenter to do a good job, and metadata fragmentation it knows nothing about.
I enabled the "Boot Time Defrag" and restarted the server. It lets PerfectDisk defragment the metadata. Be aware that this can take time and that you will be unable to connect to the server until it is done. In my case it took about 1 hour to get the server back online. It did a great job.
PerfectDisk is at this moment running defragmentation of free space and watching the map change makes me confident that later today we will have a great performing server back doing its Domino.
I guess that the built in defragmenter in Windows will be enough to keep it nice after this new start.
Next in line is to look at the DominoDefrag on openntf.org. Seems like you can't trust the hosting provider to take care of the disks.
Bad thing with waiting so long time to take care of this is that it takes many ours offline to correct. Get a policy for monitoring fragmentation of disks.
The result after 5 hours of defragmentation. I stopped it before it finished due to time, but the improvement are major. Same files as before but a lot more efficiently stored
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