Performance Tuning for a File Server Workload (FSCT)
File Server Capacity Tool (FSCT) is a file server capacity planning tool that measures how many users a file server can support. FSCT creates many users that connect to the server and perform typical operations such as downloading files, uploading files, browsing directories, and opening files. FSCT gives a throughput score for each user count and evaluates if the server is overloaded with that many users. The highest user count without overload is the maximum number of users that the server can support under this workload.
Registry Tuning Parameters for Servers
The following registry tuning parameters can affect the performance of file servers:
The default in Windows Server 2012 is 2, and in previous releases it is 0. This parameter determines whether NTFS generates a short name in the 8dot3 (MSDOS) naming convention for long file names and for file names that contain characters from the extended character set. If the value of this entry is 0, files can have two names: the name that the user specifies and the short name that NTFS generates. If the user-specified name follows the 8dot3 naming convention, NTFS does not generate a short name. A value of 2 means that this parameter can be configured per volume.
Note The system volume will have 8dot3 enabled, whereas other volumes will have it disabled by default in Windows Server 2012.
Changing this value does not change the contents of a file, but it avoids the short-name attribute creation for the file, which also changes how NTFS displays and manages the file. For most SMB file servers, the recommended setting is 1 (disabled). For example, you would want to disable the setting if you have a clustered file server.
In Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2008 R2, you can disable 8dot3 name creation on a per-volume basis without using the global NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation setting. You can do this with the built-in fsutil tool. For example, to disable 8dot3 name creation on volume D, run fsutil 8dot3name set d: 1 from a Command Prompt window. You can view Help text by using the command fsutil 8dot3name. If you are disabling new 8dot3 name creation on a volume that has existing data, consider stripping existing 8dot3 names from the volume. This can also be done with the fsutil tool. For example, to strip existing 8dot3 names on volume D and log the changes made, run fsutil 8dot3name strip /l 8dot3_removal_log.log /s d:\. You can view Help text by using the command fsutil 8dot3name strip.
The default is 0. This parameter disables the processing of write flush commands from clients. If the value of this entry is 1, the server performance and client latency for power-protected servers can improve. Workloads that resemble the NetBench file server benchmark benefit from this behavior.
Note If you have a clustered file server, it is possible that you may experience data loss if the server fails with this setting enabled. Therefore, evaluate it carefully prior to applying it.
The default is 0. Some distributed applications lock parts of a Read-only file because synchronization across clients requires that file-handle caching and collapsing behavior is turned off for all Read-only files. This parameter can be set if such applications will not run on the system and collapsing behavior can be enabled on the client computer.
Performance Counters for SMB 3.0
The following SMB performance counters are new in Windows Server 2012, and they are considered a base set of counters when you monitor the resource usage of SMB. Log the performance counters to a local, raw (.blg) performance counter log. It is less expensive to collect all instances by using the wildcard character “*”, and then extract particular instances while postprocessing by using Relog.exe.
SMB Client Shares
This counter set displays information about file shares on the server that are being accessed by a client that is using SMB protocol version 2 or higher.
This performance counter set consists of counters that measure aspects of connection activity. A computer can have multiple SMB Direct connections. The SMB Direct Connection counter set represents each connection as a pair of IP addresses and ports, where the first IP address and port represent the connection's local endpoint and the second IP address and port represent the connection's remote endpoint.
The following counters can be gathered to monitor aspects of the CSV Cache: