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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac OS X > Apps slower than creeping death: server issue

Apps slower than creeping death: server issue
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Jan 26, 2012, 12:52 PM
 
Hi, all. I've got a really strange issue in a networked environment. The immediate problem is that clients logging in have a long wait before applications launch. A VERY long wait. Word takes about 5 minutes and then is sluggish and unresponsive. Nearly unusable. When I log in as admin or myself, I have no issues at all. Again, the apps are installed locally.


Essential details:
I'm running OSX server 10.5.
Applications are local. Local OS is 10.6.X
Client machines are intel iMacs, not sure of the model, but it doesn't seem to matter with this issue. It's happening to every machine (except with my account or other admin accounts). There's tons of drivespace and maxed out RAM. The machines are not crap, I guess is what I'm saying. They're pretty well maintained.
Any suggestions?
Thanks, All!

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Jan 26, 2012, 12:58 PM
 
They must be waiting on something that the regular user cannot access. Check all possible log files - if it is a system service (and it should be, if it affects all users), there will be a note about it somewhere.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jan 26, 2012, 01:44 PM
 
Thanks, P- I've been log surfing for an hour now. Haven't found anything out of the ordinary. I'll keep poking.
Additional information: it appears that about 20% of the users have this issue. Working through their profiles now.

Side note: Gothenburg, huh? Well, if that isn't the town most of my relatives called home. Or did before they came across the Atlantic. Of course, there were originally two "s's" in my last name. No one here has seen that lost "s" since 1900.

Thanks for the help!

skol

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Jan 26, 2012, 01:47 PM
 
what.
     
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Jan 26, 2012, 02:53 PM
 
Need much more detail. What role does the server play? Network accounts? What's your network topology? What protocols are you using? Do you have DNS setup properly?
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Jan 27, 2012, 11:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
what.
Heh. Good morning, Ms. Andi. How's kicks in the Hub? Email me- love to hear from you!

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Jan 27, 2012, 11:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by Art Vandelay View Post
Need much more detail. What role does the server play? Network accounts? What's your network topology? What protocols are you using? Do you have DNS setup properly?
In order: Server is almost strictly client profile, log, and remote management. Static IP across the board. Filtered by MAC address over airport in this particular lab. Topology is typical star and network traffic is VERY heavy (we max out bandwidth on a regular basis, but I don't understand how this impacts, given that apps are local- we don't use an app server here- the rest of the district uses wintel and citrix- this environment is 95% Mac. This information is probably not too useful- just including what I can and would be grateful for more questions). DNS works properly- solidly, even. it seems to be mostly one class of users- the newest ones. It's also try that I was not the person to create the user accounts. They guy who did has been here forever and knows his stuff solidly- I absolutely trust what he does). I'm missing something and I don't know what it is.
Again, thanks, everyone. This issue is something I know when dealing with app servers. I'm a little lost, here. I understand that my newest users have an issue, so that is my variable. This is where I'm focusing, but it does not make sense to me. All apps are local and should not be impacted when launching by any user. Client machines are also quite healthy and barely 4 months old.
As far as I can tell at the moment- still gathering info- the issue is inconsistent and limited MOSTLY to the newest users. We've seen a coupe of long term users have the same issue- but intermittantly. We've not changed the server setups, nor changed the way we handle accounts (unless it's indicated through a server or OS change, etc.). The issue is, at two days analysis, not rooted to the local machine. If it is, I've missed it.
( Last edited by maxelson; Jan 27, 2012 at 11:57 AM. )

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Jan 27, 2012, 12:26 PM
 
Are you saying you're running network accounts off the server?
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Feb 2, 2012, 11:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by Art Vandelay View Post
Are you saying you're running network accounts off the server?
Well, I'm hoping we're talking about the same thing- but, yes.

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Feb 2, 2012, 01:21 PM
 
Isn't it obvious then? You're on a saturated WiFi network. Doesn't matter if the apps are local, the data is on the server. There is a lot of reading and writing in the user's account when you use an app and you're doing it over an overloaded WiFi connection.
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Feb 3, 2012, 12:50 PM
 
Obvious. Thanks for the observation, but if it were obvious, I wouldn't be here. I'm grateful for the suggestions, but there's no need to be insulting about it.

The issue is intermittent and not coinciding with high network traffic times/ users/ boxes (which are hard wired). Network traffic monitoring was the second thing investigated, and at length. Continues to be monitored closely. Nothing I can find coincides.

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Feb 3, 2012, 01:06 PM
 
So you have the same problem over Ethernet?
     
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Feb 3, 2012, 01:36 PM
 
So you're not on WiFi? Which is it? In one post you talk about AirPort and in another you say they're hard wired. You still haven't really clearly explained how you have things setup. Until you do, it's very hard for anyone here to help you.
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Feb 10, 2012, 08:33 AM
 
Problem ended up being Indexing. Slowed processes.

THanks for the help, all.

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Feb 23, 2012, 12:32 PM
 
More specific answer in the interest of spreading the info:
Spotlight was indexing for users who had not logged in recently, or who had a pretty good amount of data on their shares. Spotlight went nuts- sucked down cycles and disk activity- but only on Lion boxes. 10.6 machines didn't exhibit the issue.
In terms of the symptoms, I guess it was cloudy because the vast majority of users were trying to access MS Office, so we'd correlated the issue with that.
The slowdown came as Spotlight was attempting to index, well, pretty much anything the user had in storage.
Used a cmd line action to kill the mds/ mdutil apps which initiate and perform indexing functions (really not that easy to do otherwise).
There are a couple of terminal commands which will kill the function.
How to Disable (or Enable) Spotlight in Mac OS X Lion
It's a lot to type, but it worked.
The alternate command is as follows:

sudo mdutil -a -i off

of course, you can turn it back on by entering

sudo mdutil -a -i on

So, Spotlight was dragging down pretty much every other process. Further evidence exhibited was that users who had let spotlight do it's thing experienced no further issue. Problem was that it was taking 30 minutes or more to do it.

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Feb 23, 2012, 12:43 PM
 
Turn off Spotlight on your server shares using Server or Server Admin depending on the version of the server. There's no need to kill it entirely on the Mac thus disabling local Spotlight.

Spotlight will reindex each time a device or share moves between Snow Leopard and Lion since each version of Spotlight is different.
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Feb 23, 2012, 12:55 PM
 
The Vandelay speaks true.

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Mar 5, 2012, 12:40 PM
 
NEXT question: been using terminal to kill mdutil on both server and client. Can't find any info that tells me it will turn back on automatically, and yet... on client machines (10.6.8) it has been killed on all of the machines, and come back on more than a few.
mdutil has been killed on the server level.
Still, Spotlight checks in. Since it's been killed on the server level, it is no longer dragging down the network, but the client machines persist in indexing, even after the process was (supposedly) perma-killed at the server AND client level.
I performed these using the
sudo mdutil -a -i off
command on the clients, same on the server. All was performed locally (nothing was performed remotely). Still, the thing persists, but, again, not across the board.

again- server 10.5.x; client 10.6.8.

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