How to identify what makes your Windows Server to run slowly?

It is always frustrating to see our Windows Server to suffer with slowness affecting everything badly associated with it. But remember you are not alone who has experienced this, whoever has dealt with Windows Servers must have experienced this at some point of time while they managed them.

You can say Microsoft Windows Servers have a tendency of slowing down over time. Your Windows Server can go slowly owing to many possible factors, however the following are seen as the major factors of them. Analyzing each of them carefully will help you to determine the root cause of the problem.

  • Over usage of RAM
  • High CPU Utilization
  • High Disk I/O
  • High Network Utilization etc.

These four key server hardware components that can be altered to improve performance. Three of these components are internal (i.e., CPU, memory, disk) and the fourth component is the gateway to the network. Let we discuss each issue one by one.

Over usage of RAM

If your ‘Task Manager’ shows the memory usage upto 90%, it will not affect the performance of your server adversely. However, if it exceeds 90% of memory usage, this will surely affect the normal speed of your server. In order to deal with this, you can either make some memory free by closing certain applications not being used or else add some extra memory to fix. If none of these helps you to improve the performance, turn to determine other factors.

Another factor affecting the normal performance of your Server is High Disk I/O

High disc I/O is one more factor that affects the normal functioning of your Server badly. When the read and write activity on your server disc goes high, your system creates a queue executing all the tasks one-by-one. Because of this, whole resource of your server is consumed creating a performance bottleneck. Reasons for this could be many, but checking (1)Available Memory; (2) Available Virtual Memory (3) How much Catche is utilized (4) How much bandwidth is available (5) Network Performance (6) How much the processor is utilized.

It is possible that while you analyze the above you may come across where exactly the problem causing the high disc i/o lies. Based on where the problem lies, you will need to find the solution thereof. The following image taken from Windows Server 2008 shows an example of high disc i/o.

High Disk I/O in Windows VPS

High CPU utilization is yet one more factor affecting the smooth performance of your server

When your processor experiences sudden increase in excessive utilization of your CPU, this may halt your system or even damage it. Many reasons could be responsible for this, but running multiple heavy applications simultaneously can be said to be the main reason for this. Apart from this, vulnerability of your server that may eventually allowing virus attack. This suck up all of the available CPU resource resulting into sudden spikes. Check out which process is loading the CPU. User can manage which tasks he / she would like to keep running, and terminate high CPU consuming tasks.

Sometime, some applications start generating sudden and frequent Error Logs and that keeps on generating every time you attempt to run that application/s. This eventually ends up in piling the large size error logs making the system performance slower. In all such cases, you will need to analyze and fix the root cause and thereafter remove the large sized error logs to get rid of this problem. Or you may want to temporarily disable the error log generation, this will also fix this problem temporarily.

Increase in high network utilization also makes your Server to run slowly

When the traffic activity on your network reaches to its peak and does not come down, this results into a slower performance of your Server. For example if any component starts using >75% of your network capacity, it is bound to affect the normal function of your server badly. Many tools are now available that can identify the which component/application that sucks up most resource of your network. Once identified, you can easily fix this and improve the performance of your server.

Avoid running backup only during the relatively idle hours, so that high business activities and backup do not conflict. Because this is also one important factor that can affect the performance of your server. Following image shows an over utilized server:
High Network Usage in Windows VPS

Other factors responsible for Low Performance of your Server

Certain processes need a significant amount of bandwidth under normal situations. Data backups, teleconferences as well as virus scanners may cause network utilization to become high, as a result these will slow down other normal processes too. Disabling automatic virus updates as well as scanning, will ensure the stability of your server.

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