Thursday, April 28, 2016

Testing, Waiting, Watching, Thinking

Subtitle: I Analyse

Marcus has a project this week, and that is to answer the question:

Why does my computer take so long to do things? Answer

a) It is doing a lot of things I don't give it credit for
b) There really is a configuration problem
c) Something else


Like most people, funds are not infinite.  And there comes a time when throwing money, and perhaps large money at a new computer or car or possession or thing is not the best way.

The first step is decent Analysis

And so on my principle workstation cum server, that runs Windows and UNIX and Linux and SAP and well just about anything you can imagine, and all concurrently, I have spent a day with the Windows Resource Monitor.

Sexy right?

Well quite. More than its AIX or Linux or UNIX counterparts it is very easy to understand. It is not so simple as to be dumbo (OSX Activity Monitor, are you listening !) but it's intuitive enough for me to quickly find out why my solid, but ageing (5 years+) workstation that recently is simply grinding to a halt ...

Installing two New Microsoft Builds this week  Windows 10.14322 and Windows 2016.TP5 which seemed to take an eternity, highlighted the problem.

I notice that throughout the day the aggregate Hard Disk Activity on the system rarely goes below 60MB/second. It often hovers around 80MB/sec and for long periods is well over 100MB/sec.  I mean all day.   What is going on.

Google Music Manager, what are you doing!

 Okay I see a defrag running at 150 MB/sec

And Windows Storage Spaces Tiering Agent is sucking 130 MB/sec

Making Linux media and installation is resource hungry.  But then Ubuntu 16.04 is calling

Before falling over Google Drive client really goes to town reading all the local files on the source area

Oh and using 1.7GB memory.  I never saw it get past 2GB memory.  Maybe this is the bug that is causing to constantly crash?

Yes well, only 150K files to sync, but after a few more files this whole process will crash

 VMware tanks, that was not supposed to happen

The chrome Canary browser even with few tabs open keeps reading and writing files ALL the time.   Despite the latest tweak to hard link the user directory to a very fast NVMe disk, it is constantly draining resources

Numerous programmed and user file copies daily pull down the system

Syncback, a copy and backup program runs over 10 schedules and moves hundreds of GB or upto TB daily. And pushes it to cloud where necessary. Again slowing system. Look how many concurrent files are opened! Mind boggling.

Oh and I should mention that for nearly everything except for a photo bitmap/jpeg the AVG virus scanner needs to check every file against its always increasingly large Virus Database. Again monstrously resource eating and time consuming.

VMware is sometime frantically consolidating files bringing a VM to a standstill.

So far the analysis goes like this

- Google Music Manager, why is it always reading my static music collection and fiddling around with its local database

- Google Drive. Is it crashing when it gets to using 2GB of local Memory? I'm still trying to get it sync'd and I need to manually restarted > 12 times per day. Crap right? Both frustrating, annoying and I consider giving up soon

- Syncback: Are all the daily transfers necessary. Since Synback compares each and every file, maybe .rar unused file collections from tens of thousands -> 1 file. Would save a lot of comparison time.

- Chrome Browser: Need to compare it against Firefox. Currently Chrome canary seems like a real resource hog.

- AVG: AVG Anti virus needs to read every potentially executable file on read to check it does not contain a virus. This is an additional burden to any file based transfer. But seems unavoidable.


Writing the above has been rather stressful and depressing. So John Mayer to the rescue.  Chill.


Windows 2012 Performance Tuning