Hard disk speed is the ONLY really important specification for a File Maker Server machine, more important than RAM or processor.If this averages more than 1000, you should probably see if you can reduce the amount of data going between File Maker Server and the clients. Whenever possible use layouts that don't include them.If this averages more than about 100, you should have faster hard drives on your File Maker Server.
When one client does something (like an unindexed find) that slows everybody down, you can often identify him by his I/O Time.This value will usually shoot to a much higher number than everyone else.Even if you weren't in crisis mode, many databases are simply too big to go through the process of taking everything down and exporting and importing data.Most of the advice given here requires you to do development on a live server.If you can't avoid it, go to gigabit ethernet (and be sure you're on CAT6 cables, not 10-year-old CAT5 cables), but remember it's of no benefit if your switches and network cards don't support it.
In File Maker 11, you can switch to the Clients tab in Statistics view, and see all these same stats broken down on a per-client basis.If it's the hourglass (Windows) or butterfly (Mac), then File Maker Server is probably OK, and the slow event is on your local File Maker Pro client.If one user is being hung up by File Maker Server, then probably all are. Some users may be accessing a different file or a different table than the one causing the problem. File Maker Server 11 gives you the ability to analyze statistics on a per-client basis, and this really helps a lot when you're trying to figure out if one particular client is doing something that slows everyone down. This is probably not the problem, but it can have an effect on overall system performance.The one thing I will advise you to do — and I remind you, others will tell you not to do this, and on a non-emergency day I'd agree with them — is to make any changes to your schema using a copy of File Maker Pro on the same machine as File Maker Server.Yes, you can open a file as a client on the same machine where it's being hosted.Often, when one client runs a troublesome script, you can identify him on this screen.