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Do You Have Enough Cache?

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench

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Posted: 16 Apr 2002

We plucked this problem off the support forums and because it sounded common, we opted to pass it along.

Here's how the problem reared its ugly head:
We had a nasty problem with the server that held the master [Root] for our tree. It's NetWare 5.0 SP6 with NDS8.78. To complicate matters, it (was) our sole BorderManager server AND the Certificate Authority for the tree.

A couple of weeks ago, DS operations on this server slowed down to a crawl. DSREPAIR | Timesync took over a minute just to display the list of servers. "Check External References" took nearly an hour. We removed the replica temporarily, bounced DS, rebooted the server, ran VREPAIR with Purge All set on ... nothing helped. The really interesting part was that processor utilization was almost nil, but hard drive activity was continuous on the SYS: volume.

Here's the solution:
I finally tried using the SET DSTRACE=!M15F90 command to change the cache available to DS. Bingo. DS was fixed. Somehow the memory cache setting was changed to a very small value, which was choking all DS operations, and causing the HD 'thrashing'.

Here's some background from another poster:
Almost all the latest DS8 and eDir patches mention this in the readme. Novell changed the DS caching some while back to allow DS to self-handle the caching parameters and opt for best performance. In some cases one may have to manually specify the amount of memory to be used for DS caching.

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