I'm going to preface this with a warning: My knowledge about servers and networking is VERY limited, and if you provide me with technical answers, I probably won't understand much until I research your answer further. I'm trying to expand my knowledge and learn about it, though. If the information that I am able to provide in this question is insufficient to answer the question, I understand, and it can be closed.
We have a SharePoint 2007 system that is extremely slow, mostly from huge amounts of use. We've been told that the main speed bottleneck is the access to the sql databases. However, they do provide a statistics dashboard, so I did some poking around, and noticed that we have 11.5 million or more 401 - access denied errors every month. Could this be causing major speed/performance decreases? Authentication for sharepoint uses active directory.