Active Directory Authentication causing DNS Server HIGH CPU Usage

Lock007
Comes here often

Active Directory Authentication causing DNS Server HIGH CPU Usage

I have a MX100 deployed in my work environment. All features have been working smoothly until we decided to integrate the Active directory function using our DNS servers and group policies on the MX.

Ever since we enabled the Active Directory we have noted that the CPU usage would go up 100%.

I have tested this repeatedly and know that when i disable the Active Directory function on the MX the CPU level on my DNS server drops to 5%. I now know for a fact that it is the Active Directory authentication and whatever process is running on the DNS server that results in High CPU Usage. I would like to know why there is high cpu usage when i enable the Active Directory authentication. I have about 4 other remote sites that i want to enable Active Directory but this will make my CPU usage to up to 100%. The DNS server is running on a VM Ware virtual machine is using about 12 cores of CPU already. I will not keep increasing my CPU capacity as this is not practically suitable. Please help i need solutions.

5 REPLIES 5
Bruce
Kind of a big deal

Re: Active Directory Authentication causing DNS Server HIGH CPU Usage

@Lock007 I'm assuming that your DNS server also runs your AD Domain Controller function, as its the DC function that the MX integrates with. The MX integration has two parts to it, it binds to the DC to gather group memberships via LDAP, and it scrapes the security logs for logon events using WMI to match users to IP addresses.

 

I'd check both the Windows server event logs and MX event logs for errors to see if there is something not working correctly. I'd also check the permissions of the user account you are using to connect to the AD DC - maybe temporarily use a domain admin account to see if there is a rights issue, and then switch is back to a more restricted account if it works with the domain admin account (the permissions that are needed are given in this document, https://documentation.meraki.com/MX/Content_Filtering_and_Threat_Protection/Configuring_Active_Direc...)

 

Also, check the memory usage on the server too. If this gets high and results in a  lot of swap file activity this may be driving the CPU usage up.

Lock007
Comes here often

Re: Active Directory Authentication causing DNS Server HIGH CPU Usage

Bruce,

 

I checked the CPU Usage. The is high CPU Usage on the event log service.

Lock007
Comes here often

Re: Active Directory Authentication causing DNS Server HIGH CPU Usage

@Bruce I got Meraki Support to check out my Active Directory integration. They said there is nothing wrong with the current setup. Use of domain admin to connect to DC is fine. There is no rights issue. The memory usage on the server is pretty low at about 20%. I suspect where the MX scrapes the security logs for logon events and using WMI to match users to IP address is what is causing the high CPU Usage. Are you able to confirm this?

Bruce
Kind of a big deal

Re: Active Directory Authentication causing DNS Server HIGH CPU Usage

You'll need to have a look through the Windows server and see if you can ascertain what is going on from the windows event log or performance monitors. What is the memory utilisation doing? Is it running out of memory (as well as the CPU peaking)? Do you see the WMI provider take CPU or Memory (the MX scrapes the Security Log every 5 seconds). Is the Security Log large, open it and see how many records are there (are there any logs there at all?).

Lock007
Comes here often

Re: Active Directory Authentication causing DNS Server HIGH CPU Usage

@Bruce I have monitored the memory utilization and it does not peak over 50%.Most of the memory is consumed by the Domain Name System service and also the Netwrix Auditor service as well.  The CPU does peak every 5 seconds and this peak goes up to 100% and stays there for some time. The security log is 8GB and there are plenty of records there. There also records generated every second on the logs and i have to constantly hit refresh to see the new events. I will try to monitor using performance monitors but am not sure what i will achieve.

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