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Skyhooker
09-21-2010, 01:08 AM
Hi, all,

I have a meeting tomorrow with a physician who has a small office. He runs Microsoft SBS (2008. I think), and currently has only two workstations and two printers (I believe those are wireless HPs, not on the network). He said a friend set up his office a couple years ago, but really doesn't have the time to maintain it, and I came recommended to him by our local Chamber of Commerce, for whom I did some work a while back. I have almost no experience with SBS, or servers in general, but the office setup sounds pretty straightforward.

According to him, the network has run dog-slow since it was installed. Why his friend did not or was not able to address this, I have no idea - maybe he really didn't press the issue. He was told by someone else that it "might be a motherboard problem," which sounds idiotic on its face, especially since the server was purchased new. I don't think he runs more than two server-based progs, and an antivirus (server edition, according to the Dr.).

The goal for tomorrow's visit is to do a "site survey" of the server's equipment, that of the workstations, the network hardware, installed progs, and so forth, to try and determine both what it would take to get things running more smoothly now, and what he will need in the way of new equipment when he moves to a larger office, adding two workstations, in a few months.

I'd appreciate any help or pointers you might give as to what I should be looking for tomorrow. I'd like to get some idea of what's causing the slowdown in his network - I think I'll be a hero if I can do that for him, and may get my first service contract out of it.

Thanks!


Sky

ProTech-MN
09-21-2010, 05:35 AM
Way too many variables to isolate or zero in on any particular reason for the performance issue - RAM, NIC, Antivirus software, network switch, etc... could be anything.

If wants to add a couple additional workstations though, he shouldn't need to add anything other than the new workstations & a couple of SBS CAL's (assuming there's nothing wrong with the server itself).

-Randy

Martyn
09-21-2010, 06:57 AM
It could be absolutely anything including a bad network cable. Until you start questioning what is 'slow' you're not going to find a solution to it.

RedFoxComp
09-21-2010, 07:58 AM
Inexperienced people setting up servers is a bad scene. I 'fixed' a slow and troublesome SBS server by asking the admin if he had done all the proper exclusions for the antivirus install. His response was "exclusions..? what exclusions?"

Martyn
09-21-2010, 08:12 AM
Inexperienced people setting up servers is a bad scene. I 'fixed' a slow and troublesome SBS server by asking the admin if he had done all the proper exclusions for the antivirus install. His response was "exclusions..? what exclusions?"


Exactly. I had a Java application that ran soooo slow. It turned out to be the anti virus accessing the Java files when they were running. Just had to exclude read access to the Java folder and leave write protection to the folder. Sometimes it's that simple. :) So a simple test for a 'slow' server could be to turn off the anti virus temporarily.

4ycr
09-21-2010, 11:07 AM
Also check the event logs, I have an sbs 2008 network that ran very slow with only 6 computer, the server and 2 printer on the network. Turned out he had done something, he is an accountant who claimed to be good at IT, and I found a lot of .COM errors in the even logs

e2346437
09-21-2010, 11:14 AM
The most common problem that I see are networks that do not have a proper DNS setup. Your SBS server must be running DNS, and all your workstations must ONLY have the IP address of the SBS server as their primary DNS. Do not use a secondary.

Failure to do so can manifest itself as a "slow" network. Workstations will take a long time to pull up the contents of a network drive. I've even seen Outlook Express take a full two minutes from mouse-click to splash screen.

Eric

cmonova
09-21-2010, 11:31 AM
Few things:

According to him, the network has run dog-slow since it was installed. Seeing that I am assuming it was a new install what is he baseing this slowness on? Compared to what?

I don't think he runs more than two server-based progs I would think these programs are sql types for patients etc that should not matter too much

that of the workstations, the network hardware I'd check the server and workstations for memory, processors etc to see if maybe they are a bit dated.

might actually just need a bit of maintenance in order to get it running smoothly especially if all he did was install and walk out the door.

Skyhooker
09-21-2010, 12:59 PM
Thanks for the advice, guys - I feel like I'll be going in much better-armed.

Skyhooker
09-21-2010, 02:45 PM
OK, one more truly noobish question: I don't think they have a separate monitor/terminal for the server itself. How do I access the GUI to view the configuration settings for the server from either one of the workstations or my own laptop?

Thanks!

B3ng
09-21-2010, 03:36 PM
If it is set up for RDP and there are no DNS issues you should be able to access it by name from another workstation on the same domain provided you have login credentials. It might be an idea to bring along a monitor, KB and mouse in case RDP is not enabled.

Skyhooker
09-21-2010, 11:53 PM
Thanks again for the reply. Actually, it turned out to be pretty simple: they had a KMV switch under the desk, and a mouse & keyboard tucked away.

The server, however, does not look at all healthy. I don't know what's going on yet, as we all ran out of time today, but it took on the order of 30 minutes for a full reboot. I suspect hardware, but I'll know more after I run some test next week.

On a very positive note, since I'm talking about next week, I now have the job!! :) I'm going to put together a maintenance proposal once I get the system squared away.

Thanks again to all!


Sky

dbdawn
09-22-2010, 01:13 AM
Thanks again for the reply. Actually, it turned out to be pretty simple: they had a KMV switch under the desk, and a mouse & keyboard tucked away.

The server, however, does not look at all healthy. I don't know what's going on yet, as we all ran out of time today, but it took on the order of 30 minutes for a full reboot. I suspect hardware, but I'll know more after I run some test next week.

On a very positive note, since I'm talking about next week, I now have the job!! :) I'm going to put together a maintenance proposal once I get the system squared away.

Thanks again to all!


Sky

Congrats!
30 minutes for a full reboot on a server is horrible, you need to find out what is going on.