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mjacobs

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I'm looking to see if anyone knows of some performance tweaks I might be able to do in order to help a server limp along until we get a replacement. We see traffic, messages, and basically everything peak and drop out during high-traffic periods (see attachment).

We've got Kerio Connect 7.2.2 running on an Apple XServe running OSX 10.6. We've got ~375 users at the moment. The catch is, it's not a RAID system, which, from searching the forums, is probably the main source of our troubles (the drives are 7.2k RPM). It's got two dual-core 3 Ghz Xeon processors, and 8 GB of RAM.

Any ideas on how we can keep this thing functional?

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barup

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How big is the mailstore?


kind regards
Lars
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scottwilkins

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Really, there is nothing you can do that I know of, and I've tried. Just make sure to get SAS drives in RAID10, do not use RAID 5, on your new system. That's the only way to fly.
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mjacobs

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Our Mailstore is 160 GB.

I suspect we've been seeing issues fairly suddenly because we've begun installing the KOC on more and more users, and others have converted to only using the web client.

[Updated on: Wed, 21 September 2011 20:38]

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GlennK

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1. Get a test url from your ISP if possible on your use of the connection to see if you are tapping it out (and at what hrs of the day).

2. don't perform back up during the work day

3. minimize the number of blacklist servers you're using. Keep it to a reasonable number like 4.

4. Consider at minimum, doing a RAID 1 mirror on your main drive (make sure it is similar drive).

5. Limit attachment size

If you want a faster RAID, consider external eSATA RAID (affordable). Agreed the consensus is RAID 10.
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benjalamelami

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I dont know... I am actually reaching 100 users. I have a virtualized solution on Dell 410T single processor Xeon with 4 GB for the Virtual machine. It actually runs smooth. The total bulk of mail is over 250 GB... and it doesnt break a sweat. Up to 50 users use the KOFF, and some use webmail... the rest use plain POP/SMTP very few IMAP. Frankyl, performance is something I cannot complain.

The VM uses Windows 7 with AD integration on a Windows 2008 Server also virtualized. Check processor usage to see whats dragging the machine

[Updated on: Tue, 27 September 2011 05:22]

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scottwilkins

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benjalamelami wrote on Tue, 27 September 2011 05:13
I have a virtualized solution on Dell 410T single processor Xeon with 4 GB for the Virtual machine. It actually runs smooth. The total bulk of mail is over 250 GB... and it doesnt break a sweat.


Kerio is very VERY low useage on processor and memory. Considering what it does and how it does it, that's easy to understand. However, what type of drive system do you have? Kerio, as with any e-mail system, is extremely storage throughput hungry. That's 99% of the performance concerns any e-mail admin should have.

Faster drives = more Kerio performance.
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benjalamelami

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I have SATA drives @ 7200 rpm
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scottwilkins

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benjalamelami wrote on Tue, 27 September 2011 14:51
I have SATA drives @ 7200 rpm


While acceptable on the desktop, they just don't have the throughput power of SAS or SCSI. Normally, SATA is just too slow for Kerio. If you're stuck on needing SATA at least get 10K drives with NCQ or similar technologies and RAID 10 or RAID 1+0. Since you only have 50 real users (in that they use KOFF) you're about at your limit. POP3 really doesn't use much at all.

SAS is the way to go, by far.

EDIT:
benjalamelami: thought some more about your 7200 SATA. If they have NCQ, and are business class drives then you can see a difference in speed. Also be sure to get the models with vibration tolorance, which can help a lot too. Especially in RAID configurations where vibration can offset/slow read ability between drives. Seageate Constellation ES drives are a very good example of enterprise SATA drives. Of course all these features are standard in SAS drives, that's why they are so good.

[Updated on: Thu, 29 September 2011 15:46]

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benjalamelami

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While I wouldnt say that SAS is not better, I honestly am very, very satisfied with the performance that the SATA are currently giving.
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rcohen

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Another vote for RAID10 & SAS.

Make sure you have write caching enabled, with disable write cache flushing checked.

Also, defragging helps. Without defragging, you can end up with large directories in thousands of fragments.

Adding lots of RAM can help a lot, too, especially combined with full write caching. RAM is so cheap, consider 32gb. That can do a lot to isolate you from slow disk performance.

[Updated on: Thu, 29 September 2011 15:22]

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scottwilkins

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rcohen wrote on Thu, 29 September 2011 15:21

Adding lots of RAM can help a lot....


My performance testing showed zero performance difference between 4 gigs of ram and 16 gigs of ram. This was on a 64-bit Windows 2008 server with SAS drives and a good RAID controller. I thought it would help too, but for some reason it didn't. I'm guessing that at a point with a large number of files open, the Windows Server caching mechanism stops utilizing RAM due to the administrative overhead.

Kerio itself uses very little ram. Amazingly small amount. Future versions may change that a bit though, as new features are added (web mail, hopefully)

Your milage may vary of course. Smile
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rcohen

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Agreed that Kerio doesn't use much RAM, but RAM should help with server disk performance, if that is your bottleneck. Never heard of any file limits for caching. If you didn't have write flushing disabled, you were probably bottlenecked on writes. Also, check perfmon's % disk time, to see if Kerio is waiting on disk access, in the first place.

For raw (out of cache) IOPS throughput on the disk drives, RAID10 is about 5-10x faster than RAID5/6, and SAS 15k is about 3-4x faster than SATA 7k.

Often, it's the clients that are the bottleneck, not the server. The Kerio cache files get highly fragmented. Make sure you close Kerio before a client defrag. Also, using a junction to move the client cache file onto a small SSD with good random read/write performance (for example, Intel) helps a ton.
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rcohen

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I just noticed that the OP was on Mac OS. Can't help you much there, but the fundamentals on caching and disk IOPS should still apply.
benjalamelami

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Frankly guys... having more RAM is better... ONLY IF YOU USE IT. I have asigned 12 GB to the VM on the Kerio Connect... only to find out its usage never goes above 3 GB... seldomnly it crosses the threshold of 3.5 GB... but never above that.

100 Users, 50 with KOFF, 10 mobile devices, 20 uses webmail...

Runs on windows 7 professional virtual machine with 4 GB DDR3 <_at_> 1333 MHz ram on RAID 1 SATA HDD...

My next step: RAID 10... but I cannot complaint at all on my perfomance. Its always there, always ready.

[Updated on: Thu, 29 September 2011 16:29]

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