Windows Terminal Server Load Balancing problem

Discussion in 'Windows Operating Systems' started by stalin, May 4, 2005.

  1. stalin

    stalin (Taking a Break)

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    Windows Terminal Server Load Balancing problem - FIXED (at last)

    I have deployed 2 Windows 2003 terminal servers running in unicast NLB mode, with 1 file server for the profiles etc. and am experiancing some performance issues.

    The TS boxes have a tendency to go slow then fast relating to network access. But they spend more time slow than fast. I suspect it is because it is trying to communicate via the NLB adapter not the management NIC like it sholud.

    The 2 TS boxes have 2 NIC's each (broadcom gigabit), one NIC is a managment NIC so it can talk to the other TS box, and one NIC is part of the NLB unicast team. As per the design requirements of Windows NLB
    The file server runs 2 NIC's in a load balanced/fault tolerance team (using HP NIC software).
    All the IP addresses of the servers and clients are in the same subnet (not how it should be but can't be changed at the moment).

    What is happening is that the NLB traffic tends to get broadcast all over the core switch cluster and out to the edge switches and routers. Performance can be very slow at times and lightning quick at some other times. the NLB IP is only set to load balance on port 3389

    I dont think that he broadcast traffic is causing the problem from a network load perspective, but it might be in other ways.

    I have setup a few IIS NLB teams in an identical manner and have not run into this problem.

    Can anyone please help.. or report how they have setup a similar environment. This is acting rather weird.. im a linux engineer.. and have got a couple of windows engineers to come in and look and they can't work it out..
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2005
  2. Myne_h

    Myne_h Member

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    Sorry I dont know anything about load balancing, but cant you just remove the NLB protocol bindings from the non management card? Or is it done over tcp? In which case, can you block the port on the other card?

    Is NLB an installed service? If so, what's under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\(servicename of NLB) key? Have a look in there and see if you can see any long hex values, and then see if those valuse crop up elsewhere and are to do with NIC's.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    stalin

    stalin (Taking a Break)

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    I posted this one in the wrong forum.. wanted it in the windows one..

    Myne, the managment card is not bound to NLB, which is the point of it, to provide a way for NLB members to talk to each other.
    NLB is only listening to 3389, the other IP i want to be able to respond to all traffic. The problem seems to be that the traffic (non-terminal traffic) goes OUT the NLB interface which means that it then returns on that interface and consequently gets broadcast around.

    i've stuck in a static route for each TS box to point back to the file server through the management NIC, so I will see tomorrow if it will make any difference.

    thanks for your ideas though :)
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2005
  4. OP
    OP
    stalin

    stalin (Taking a Break)

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    hmm thought it might be fixed.. but isnt read on.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2005
  5. digian

    digian Member

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    You may as well tell us the solution ... went to the effort of reading it :)
     
  6. FLB

    FLB Member

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    yes yes, share the wealth! :)
     
  7. FearTec

    FearTec Member

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    I cannot give advice but can say that our work has had 14 Windows 2000 Terminal Servers runnong for almost 4 years. Each server runs upto 40 users with Office 2000 and Outlook 2000 etc. They are running on Pentium 3's with 1GB of memory. They get rebooted every night and this fixes performance issues.

    We will be upgrading to Windows 2003 Server and Office 2003 in the next few weeks.

    I will keep you posted.
     
  8. maddhatter

    maddhatter Member

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    They work fairly bloody well don't they?

    I'm not a big fan of 2003 though, but 2000 TS is da bomb.
     
  9. bsbozzy

    bsbozzy Member

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    Obviously never used 2003 as a TS then have you? ill tell you now they a 2003 TS Server is a hell of alot better to use than what 2000 is
     
  10. maddhatter

    maddhatter Member

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    I've Got (and manage) 5 2003 TS's in the field (2 x 25 cal, 1 x 10 cal), and 3 2000 based TS's (2 x ~30 cal), and the 2000's behave themselves alot better than the 2003's. Speaking from personal experience; but the 2003's seem to barf up some funky errors from time to time, where there is no stopping the 2000's, and that's what I want. Not prettiness, not functunailty, just an OS that works and does what I tell it to do.

    Fucking 2003 with it's new common controls fucks up everything. Quickbooks, Groupware.

    I've got another 2003 TS install coming up (5 cal) maybe it'll just work and be an eye opener. :o
     
  11. OP
    OP
    stalin

    stalin (Taking a Break)

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    This place had a Single 2000 server with 170 users on it. It struggled but worked OK. Rebooted every night.
    Most TS servers i know of are rebooted either nightly or weekly. Lots of large Govt ones are rebooted weekly.

    I will stick up the 'fix' soon. although it fixed some of the problems its still flacky, may be posting for more help ;)
     
  12. bsbozzy

    bsbozzy Member

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    Thats so weird, i have just upgraded all of our 15 terminal servers in 3 countries/4 sites from 2000 to 2003 and i have to say that performance is a hell of alot better, and all the errors we were receiving on 2000 arent happening on 2003. What kind of machines are the TS you are running? The more ram you have, the better the performance will be, especially with 2003.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    stalin

    stalin (Taking a Break)

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    I would agree with bsbozzy.
    2003 has a number of significant improvments over 2000 for TS.

    Maybe you are just going through teething problems at the moment, once it has settled you should see the benefits.
     
  14. maddhatter

    maddhatter Member

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    Funnily enough another fault on the 2003 TS today, in outlook 2000, one users pop3 server information is migrating to other peoples profiles and when they send email, it sends from the misplaced profile instead.

    things that make you go hmmmmm
     
  15. bsbozzy

    bsbozzy Member

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    Thats obviously a configuration problem. We have over 200 users on a few TS here at work, and none of them have ever had that problem.
     
  16. maddhatter

    maddhatter Member

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    Never seen it before today either :-/

    Restarting the server seems to be the common cure for TS though, recommended that :p
     
  17. OP
    OP
    stalin

    stalin (Taking a Break)

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    origninally all the devices were in a single subnet, we now made an VLAN for the windows servers. ALl the UNIX and linux servers are still on the client VLAN, until we can move ethem across.

    ok my problem is that the 2 front end TS boxes can be VERY slow talking back to the file server, to the point that Word etc start 'not responding' due to th elong wait time.

    previously it seemed liek massed of broadcast traffic was a problem, i dont think thisis the case anymore.

    the TS servers internal nics, file server and domain controllers are in a server VLAN 10.1.1.x external NIC's on the TS boxes are 192.192.*.* range as are the clients.
    sometimes the speed is excellent (what i would expect) normally it is very shit.

    even copying 400Kb from one spot on the file server to another takes 1min.
    Copying on the file server itself is super quick. transfering between TS boxes is fast. and sometimes transfering from TS boxes to File server is fast as well. Generally from the File serve to the TS boxes is good to.

    All NIC's are gigabit broadcom or Intel into 2 Cisco 3750 gigabit switches... any thoughts?
     
  18. maddhatter

    maddhatter Member

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    Virus Scanner.
     
  19. Dunska

    Dunska Member

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    A few quick thoughts:

    1. Are the ports on the switch and the Servers both manually set to 100(0)/FDplx. I have seen issues where auto negotiation seems to fail at one end or the other. One end may be negotiating to HDplx. Check on the switch as to what Duplex all the ports are currently.

    2. If the Server NICs are bonded (LACP, FEC/GEC, etc.) check that they are seen as a bonded trunk in the switch. I have also seen setups where the Server end had the NICs in a team, but the switch did not. This caused lots of broadcasts as the "virtual" MAC address of the bonded team is what the server would respond to ARPs with, but the switch did not know about that MAC - so it flooded the packets out all ports! A quick ethereal packet sniff on a switched port showed lots of this flooded traffic with the "virtual" MAC. Doing some sniffing on a mirrored port will also tell you a great deal about what is going over your networks.

    3. On the file server, ensure the server service memory allocation mode is set to "maximise for file sharing" (or whatever the file sharing setting is).

    Good luck! :thumbup:
     
  20. OP
    OP
    stalin

    stalin (Taking a Break)

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    Nope. Haven't had any on them, as they are currently getting a new AV package and are out of licence.

    Please suggest more :)
     

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