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How to diagnose high kernel (CPU) times

Problem

You have noticed that your Kaseya VSA server's CPU Kernel Time (noted in RED) is taking up much of the resources.

Kernel.jpg

 

Cause

This can be happening for a number of different reasons:

  1. Malfunctioning or buggy device driver - network/disk, etc.
  2. Management of the file system - especially when there are directories with extremely large number of files in them, and/or may sub-directories
  3. Act of aggressive memory management - especially if there are several "log lived" processes that have allocated HUGE working sets and are competing
  4. Related to #1, 2 and 3 above - Anti-virus software's driver which hook the file-system and intercept / scan file as they are modified
  5. If the Operating System is Virtual, and the host of over-subscribed in terms of memory or CPU resources
  6. VERY HIGH network activity
  7. Very frequent access / update of registry
  8. VERY high rate of MSMQ messages

 

Solution

Run through the items in the Causes section above to determine if you can isolate the issue. 

In one case, (based on item #4 above) Trend Micro was installed on the VSA which was causing the high kernel times as you see in the screenshot above. Disabling the TrendMicro product and services didn't help however after uninstalling TrendMicro from the VSA and rebooting system was functioning normal and resulted in the performance below:

perf.jpg

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