What the Heck is Wrong with my Hyper-V?

Old 9 Comments on What the Heck is Wrong with my Hyper-V? 65

Universe of NERDS please HELP!!!

I must admit, I am not by any means a noob… But I’m in over my head on this one. What the heck is up with my new server?

So here’s the deal… I stepped into managing a small hyper-v environment for a non-profit organization. One of my first tasks was to purchase new severs to hold our virtual environment. It’s not very often that you step into a position and the first thing they tell you is to spend $25k on new equipment.. but it happened to me, and it was GLORIOUS!!!!

Now with new servers in hand I completed the migration without a fault, or so I thought. I got everything moved and all services up and running properly. After a few days I started to get complaints that outlook was slow. Searching, loading, just in general, very slow. I found that this problem was greater with people who had larger mailboxes. We did not use cached exchange mode in our environment because bandwidth is an issue and we have people who travel all over our territory. As a band-aid solution I’ve been enabling cached exchange mode and this has fixed the problem for each user that has had this done. However the speed of access problem still exists.



  • Moved VHD from a server 2008 R2 environment to server 2012 R2. (should I convert the drives to VHDX?)
  • I’m hosting the mailboxes on a separate drive on the same server as my virtual machines. (should I move the mailboxes to a network storage maybe?)
  • Speed of access to the host operating system is running at full speed, but copying anything to the virtual machine is painstakingly slow…

I know someone has seen this before… C’mon Geeks, let your brains take a dump!


John Fawcett

Learning most of what he knows by way of the school of hard knocks, John is a Computer Systems Technician Graduate from Nunavut Arctic College. He has a basic understanding of Windows server systems, Cisco networking, and web design/management. John works for a non-profit organization, managing every aspect of IT for 2 sites and about 60 users. In the world of IT he considers himself a knowledgeable NOOB. This makes his blog posts technical enough to help get things done, but readable by the regular Joe Schmoe.

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  1. Jimmy Simpson III July 16, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    VHDX is generally used for servers running 2012+. Are you using thin provisioned (dynamiclly sized) VHDs by chance? They can basically fragment like crazy and that can cause huge losses in disk i/o. That would be my first guess. Other than that look at your HOSTS disk i/o and see if there is anything wonky going on. Your VHDs should be almost as performant as your hosts. If you have databases or other things on the same storage it could be eating up your iops.

  2. james July 16, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    If you have the proper amount of bandwidth allocated try these 2 steps.

    1) Use the VM os to backup your system
    2) Use the VM os to defragment your drive. It will probably take close to 24 hours depending on your mailbox size.

    Let me know if this works. I know further steps that may help.

    • John Fawcett July 16, 2014 at 6:22 pm

      Thanks for the suggestions. I’m in the office trying a few things out. I’ll keep your suggestions in mind. Cheers!

  3. Ei the Computer Guy July 17, 2014 at 8:33 am

    “We did not use cached exchange mode in our environment because bandwidth is an issue and we have people who travel all over our territory”

    Am I missing something here? 1) The only reason I wouldn’t used cached Exchange mode is for security reasons. 2)… no seriously… isn’t the whole point of cached mode to decrease bandwidth and load on the exchange server..?

    Maybe I drank some stupid juice this morning, but I would suggest you turn on cached mode for EVERYONE and call it a day…

    Past that maybe you should put the exchange store on an SSD, but I genuinely believe your issue is the caged mode.

    • John Fawcett July 17, 2014 at 9:23 am

      I should have been clearer about the bandwidth issue. Sure for personal local computers cached exchange mode would be the best option, but we have a 30GB cap on our internet and download speeds of up to 2.5Mbps. When an employee comes from one of their other sites and logs into a computer here, if cached exchange mode were enabled, then it would download their entire mailbox to a computer at our site. Some of our employees/executives have mailboxes that are anywhere from 1 to 5 GB. With the amount of travel between sites that happens inside of our organization, allowing cached exchange mode is not financially responsible as we already exceed our cap every month by at least 50 to 80 GB so I can’t have cached exchange mode downloading to computers at $15/GB. Either way it turns out that during the copy process something happened that provided me with “poor” quality VHDs. After the conversion to VHDX everything has been running smoothly. Thanks for all of the help and suggestions guys.

  4. cory July 17, 2014 at 11:51 am

    I would also suggest you can use a system approach
    — Train the customer to be more productive in outlook with easy to follow articles to follow.
    — Check Configuration in VM/ outlook for any issues there
    — Run performance testing on network/storage tier.

  5. Ei the Computer Guy July 17, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Check this out: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2851419

    Also, did you give the VM at least 8GB of RAM?

    Basically it comes down to performance of your database store. The “correct” answer depends on you exact situation…

    A “not wrong” answer may be to set a quota on your mailboxes to 200MB and then have your users create Archives for everything else. You could even store the archives on a shared folder on the server so that they get backed up.

  6. Jake Gardner July 18, 2014 at 7:39 am

    Have you monitored your HDD access on the host? You can find it in task manager.
    Have you tried giving the VM more cores?
    What sort of drives are in the server? And what raid config are they in and how many?

    If it is a problem with hdd access you can run the VHD from a NAS. Synology ones are really good for this noy that I have used any others for it.

    Definitely make sure you have over 8GB of ram. Our exchange server that has 20 mailboxes uses 10 GB Ram. You can set the ram to dynamic allocation then it will just use what it needs.

    I have also heard that iPhones connected to Exchange can use alot of resources. Try removing iphone connection to your exchange server to rule that out. Not sure if that one is true I have only heard about this today and haven’t done any research about it.

  7. Andrew July 18, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    Where are the users PST file/s residing? make sure there PST file/s are on a separate driver other then there actually home drive (this has been know to slow down Outlook access)

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