Q

I/O consistently reaches 100 percent

Our problem is that the disk I/O consistently reaches 100 percent busy. What can we do to reduce the I/O on our drive?

Here are our site details:
-Exchange 5.5 SP4
-NT 4.0 SP 5
-IBM Netfinity 7000 M10 (single server)
-4 Pentium III processors, 2Gb RAM
-The Exchange DB is on its own RAID 5 array with striping and write through cache
-Roughly 600 mailboxes

You didn't say whether this was read I/O, write I/O, or both. However, I can still give you a couple general recommendations. First, if your logs are also on that RAID5 array, they should be moved off (if possible). Get a couple more disks, do a RAID1 array and move the logs there. Next, check with IBM and see if they have updated firmware, BIOS and drivers for your RAID controller and hard disks (firmware only). Also, look for updated network drivers, firmware and system BIOS.

Next, look at the actual I/O values you?re getting from PerfMon and see if they are consistent with the drives stated performance specifications. If they aren't running as fast as they should, they may be going bad. In that event, contact IBM about this problem.

You might also think about upgrading to NT4 SP6a. Plus, consider the latest updates from http://www.windowsupdate.com.

Finally, if you didn't run Performance Optimizer after applying Exchange 5.5 SP4, then run it.


This was first published in May 2001

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