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Search Server 2010 slow crawls on CMS 2.0

Posted By:      Posted Date: October 15, 2010    Points: 0   Category :SharePoint
My client is crawling a CMS 2.0 installation with SharePoint Search Server 2010 and we are noticing that crawls on this content source for roughly 250K pages can take anywhere between 1-3 days.  As a comparison, our WSS 3.0 farm, with roughly 150K items, finishes a full crawl in slightly under 7 hours.

I am trying to troubleshoot why the CMS crawl is taking so long.  We have a small farm configuration with a dedicated DB server (which is a cental server for all applications requiring databases organization wide), a single crawl server hosting CA and the crawler component and two WFE/query servers that have one index partition spread over both of them.  All servers are virtualized Windows 2008 SP2 64-bit instances.

The CPU on the crawl server is pinned at 100% during crawls, usually consumed between various msdmn.exe processes and the mssearch.exe process.  The crawl server consistently uses roughly 3GB of the 4GB of allocated memory (I have advised them to at least double the amout of RAM, though Microsoft's recommendation of 16 GB per server would be the best practice.  This request is in process and it takes the organization a couple of weeks to fulfill any hardware upgrade requests!).

Here are some steps I have taken in an attempt to alleviate the slowdown

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