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Write Cache Filling Up


Jimmy Raborn

Question

We have a pool of Windows 10 vms using cache to ram (1024MB) with overflow to disk (30GB) and consistently have complaints from users that in the course of a work shift they will fill up their write cache. Our image is packed with software but we know the biggest offenders are Teams and Outlook. Our VMs are on a reboot schedule so they come up with a fresh cache every morning if nobody is logged into them. But a VM that has been up for an hour will blow up to 50% cache when a user logs in and launches Teams + Outlook because Teams is a whale and users mailboxes are huge. We have GPOs in place to only pull down 1 year of mail (because when we had it at less there were riots). Any suggestions on what could be done to try to alleviate some of the cache growth or is there a way to purge the cache short of a reboot?

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The problem was disk fragmentation. I stumbled upon a random blog that talked about a similar issue. The poster said that if your image has a high fragmentation level writes to your cache that may normally be small might balloon in size due to the bits being separated due to the fragmentation. I checked the fragmentation level on the master image and it was about 9%. I defragmented the maintenance disk and promoted it to test. The cache wasn't filling up and I went to production with it. I have a script that runs several tasks before shutting down for deployment and I added "defrag c:" to it and I haven't had a single write cache issue since.  

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Hi

I would suggest that you implement FSLogix Profile Container to handle both the Teams data, the OST file and potentially any other profile related data that might fill up the write cache. When this is in place, you can go hunt for what ever is filling your write cache. I am some times lucky to locate the culprit by using the "I/O Writes" and "I/O Writes Bytes" columns in Task Manager.

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FSLogix is definitely one solution. I was actually going to ask what (if any) profile management solution is being used here since whatever that is it should capture the user specific changes currently being written to the cache. There are several choices including User Personalization Layer (a standard component of the VDA), UPM (citrix profile management), full app layering user layer and FSLogix.

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