Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2008 R2 April 12, 2013 Abstract

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Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2008 R2

April 12, 2013


This guide describes important tuning parameters and settings that you can adjust to improve the performance and energy efficiency of the Windows Server® 2008 R2 operating system. This guide describes each setting and its potential effect to help you make an informed decision about its relevance to your system, workload, and performance goals.

This paper is for information technology (IT) professionals and system administrators who need to tune the performance of a server that is running Windows Server 2008 R2.

This information applies to the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system.

References and resources discussed here are listed at the end of this guide.

The current version of this guide is maintained on the Web at:

Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2008 R2

Feedback: Please tell us whether this paper was useful to you. Submit comments at:

Disclaimer: This document is provided “as-is”. Information and views expressed in this document, including URL and other Internet Web site references, may change without notice. You bear the risk of using it.

Some examples depicted herein are provided for illustration only and are fictitious. No real association or connection is intended or should be inferred.
This document does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Microsoft product. You may copy and use this document for your internal, reference purposes.
© 2013 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

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Document History



April 12, 2013

Added note in the “Performance Tuning for TPC-E workload” section that the tunings are specifically for OLTP benchmarking and should not be perceived as general SQL tuning guidance.

October 19, 2012

Updated Server Core Installation Option, Correct Memory Sizing for Child Partitions, and Correct Memory Sizing for Root Partition.

September 7, 2012

Further updates to the Performance Tuning guidance for the TPC-E Workload section

May 13, 2011

“Performance Tuning for Web Servers” – Updated guidance to reflect that Http.sys manages connections automatically.

“Performance Tuning for File Servers” – Fixed typos in NFS Server tuning parameter registry keys.

“Performance Tuning for Virtualization Servers” – Added information about Dynamic Memory tuning.

“Performance Tuning for TPC-E Workload” – Clarified tuning guidance.

“Resources” – Updated references.

October 15, 2010

Throughout the paper – Clarified some explanations; clarified energy consumption vs. power consumption.

“Interrupt Affinity” – Added recommendation to use device-specific mechanism for binding interrupts, if supported by the driver model.

“Network-Related Performance Counters” – Added IPv6 and TCPv6.

“Performance Tuning for the Storage Subsystem” – Various minor updates throughout.

“Performance Tuning for File Servers” –Added guidance for NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate; added “Tuning Parameters for NFS Server”, “File Server Tuning Example”, and “File Client Tuning Example”.

  • “Performance Tuning for Remote Desktop Session Host” – Added references to two new white papers on capacity planning.

  • “Monitoring and Data Collection” (multiple sections) – Updated the list of counters to monitor.

  • “Performance Tuning for File Server Workload (SPECsfs2008)” – New section.

  • “Performance Tuning for SAP Sales and Distribution Two-Tier Workload” – Substantial updates to the whole section.

  • “Performance Tuning for TPC-E Workload” – New section.

  • “Resources” – A few additions and updates.

November 18, 2009

  • Throughout the paper – Updated the references to the Remote Desktop Session Host (previously called Terminal Server); various minor edits.

  • “Choosing a Network Adapter” – Fixed a typo in the RSS registry entries.

  • “Performance Tuning for File Servers” – Added MaxMpxCt parameter information; updated the default maximum payload for the SMB redirector to 64 KB per request; added MaxCmds parameter information.

  • “Performance Tuning for Remote Desktop Session Host” – Added information about the settings used when you choose a connection speed.

  • “Resources” – Provided additional resources.

June 25, 2009

First publication.


Introduction 5

In This Guide 5

Choosing and Tuning Server Hardware 6

Choosing Server Hardware: Performance Considerations 6

Choosing Server Hardware: Power Considerations 9

Power and Performance Tuning 10

Calculating Server Energy Efficiency 10

Measuring System Energy Consumption 11

Diagnosing Energy Efficiency Issues 12

Using Power Plans in Windows Server 12

Tuning Processor Power Management Parameters 13

Interrupt Affinity 15

Performance Tuning for the Networking Subsystem 16

Choosing a Network Adapter 18

Offload Capabilities 18

Receive-Side Scaling (RSS) 18

Message-Signaled Interrupts (MSI/MSI-X) 19

Network Adapter Resources 19

Interrupt Moderation 19

Suggested Network Adapter Features for Server Roles 20

Tuning the Network Adapter 20

Enabling Offload Features 20

Increasing Network Adapter Resources 21

Enabling Interrupt Moderation 21

Enabling RSS for Web Scenarios 21

Binding Each Adapter to a CPU 21

TCP Receive Window Auto-Tuning 22

TCP Parameters 22

Network-Related Performance Counters 23

Performance Tuning for the Storage Subsystem 24

Choosing Storage 25

Estimating the Amount of Data to Be Stored 26

Choosing a Storage Array 27

Hardware RAID Levels 27

Choosing the RAID Level 31

Selecting a Stripe Unit Size 36

Determining the Volume Layout 37

Storage-Related Parameters 37

I/O Priorities 38

Storage-Related Performance Counters 38

Logical Disk and Physical Disk 38

Processor Information 40

Power Protection and Advanced Performance Option 40

Block Alignment (DISKPART) 41

Solid-State and Hybrid Drives 42

Response Times 42

Queue Lengths 43

Performance Tuning for Web Servers 44

Selecting the Proper Hardware for Performance 44

Operating System Practices 45

Tuning IIS 7.5 45

Kernel-Mode Tunings 46

Cache Management Settings 46

Request and Connection Management Settings 47

User-Mode Settings 48

User-Mode Cache Behavior Settings 48

Compression Behavior Settings 49

Tuning the Default Document List 50

Central Binary Logging 50

Application and Site Tunings 51

Managing IIS 7.5 Modules 52

Classic ASP Settings 52

ASP.NET Concurrency Setting 54

Worker Process and Recycling Options 54

Secure Sockets Layer Tuning Parameters 55


Managed Code Tuning Guidelines 55

Other Issues that Affect IIS Performance 56

NTFS File System Setting 56

Networking Subsystem Performance Settings for IIS 56

Performance Tuning for File Servers 56

Selecting the Proper Hardware for Performance 56

Server Message Block Model 57

SMB Model Overview 57

SMB Configuration Considerations 57

Tuning Parameters for SMB File Servers 58

SMB Server Tuning Example 60

Services for NFS Model 61

Services for NFS Model Overview 61

Tuning Parameters for NFS Server 61

General Tuning Parameters for Client Computers 64

File Client Tuning Example 66

Performance Tuning for Active Directory Servers 67

Considerations for Read-Heavy Scenarios 68

Considerations for Write-Heavy Scenarios 68

Using Indexing to Improve Query Performance 69

Optimizing Trust Paths 69

Active Directory Performance Counters 69

Performance Tuning for Remote Desktop Session Host (formerly Terminal Server) 70

Selecting the Proper Hardware for Performance 70

CPU Configuration 71

Processor Architecture 71

Memory Configuration 71

Disk 72

Network 72

Tuning Applications for Remote Desktop Session Host 73

Remote Desktop Session Host Tuning Parameters 74

Pagefile 74

Antivirus and Antispyware 74

Task Scheduler 74

Desktop Notification Icons 74

Client Experience Settings 76

Desktop Size 78

Windows System Resource Manager 78

Performance Tuning for Remote Desktop Gateway 78

Monitoring and Data Collection 79

Performance Tuning for Virtualization Servers 79

Terminology 80

Hyper-V Architecture 81

Server Configuration 82

Hardware Selection 82

Server Core Installation Option 83

Dedicated Server Role 84

Guest Operating Systems 84

CPU Statistics 84

Processor Performance 85

VM Integration Services 85

Enlightened Guests 85

Virtual Processors 85

Background Activity 86

Weights and Reserves 86

Tuning NUMA Node Preference 87

Memory Performance 87

Enlightened Guests 87

Correct Memory Sizing for Child Partitions 87

Correct Memory Sizing for Root Partition 88

Storage I/O Performance 88

Synthetic SCSI Controller 88

Virtual Hard Disk Types 89

Passthrough Disks 90

Disabling File Last Access Time Check 90

Physical Disk Topology 90

I/O Balancer Controls 90

Network I/O Performance 91

Synthetic Network Adapter 91

Install Multiple Synthetic Network Adapters on Multiprocessor VMs 92

Offload Hardware 92

Network Switch Topology 92

Interrupt Affinity 92

VLAN Performance 92

VMQ 93

VM Chimney 93

Live Migration 93

Performance Tuning for File Server Workload (NetBench) 94

Registry Tuning Parameters for Servers 94

Registry Tuning Parameters for Client Computers 94

Performance Tuning for File Server Workload (SPECsfs2008) 95

Registry-Tuning Parameters for NFS Server 95

Performance Tuning for Network Workload (NTttcp) 96

Tuning for NTttcp 96

Network Adapter 97

TCP/IP Window Size 97

Receive-Side Scaling (RSS) 97

Tuning for IxChariot 97

Performance Tuning for Remote Desktop Services Knowledge Worker Workload 98

Recommended Tunings on the Server 99

Monitoring and Data Collection 101

Performance Tuning for SAP Sales and Distribution Two-Tier Workload 101

Operating System Tunings on the Server 102

Tunings on the Database Server 103

Tunings on the SAP Application Server 104

Monitoring and Data Collection 105

Performance Tuning for TPC-E Workload 106

Server Under Test (SUT) Tunings 106

SQL Server Tunings for TPC-E Workload 107

Disk Storage Tunings 109

TPC-E Database Size and Layout 109

Client Systems Tunings 110

Monitoring and Data Collection 110

Resources 112

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Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2008 R2 April 12, 2013 Abstract

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