• Performance Tuning Remote Desktop Services Workload for Knowledge Workers
  • Recommended Tunings on the Server
  • Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2012 April 12, 2013 Abstract

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    Monitoring and Data Collection

    The following list of performance counters is considered a base set of counters when you monitor the resource usage on the RD Gateway:

    \Terminal Service Gateway\*

    \RPC/HTTP Proxy\*
    \RPC/HTTP Proxy Per Server\*
    \Web Service\*
    \Network Interface(*)\*
    \Processor Information(*)\*

    The following performance counters are applicable only for legacy RPC transport:

    \RPC/HTTP Proxy\* RPC
    \RPC/HTTP Proxy Per Server\* RPC
    \Web Service\* RPC
    \W3SVC_W3WP\* RPC

    Note   If applicable, add the \IPv6\* and \TCPv6\* objects.

    Performance Tuning Remote Desktop Services Workload for Knowledge Workers

    Remote Desktop Services capacity planning tools in Windows Server 2012 include automation framework and application scripting support that enable the simulation of user interaction with Remote Desktop Services. Be aware that the following tunings apply only to a synthetic Remote Desktop Services workload for knowledge workers, and they are not intended as turnings for a server that is not running this workload. This workload is built with these tools to emulate common usage patterns for knowledge workers.

    The Remote Desktop Services workload for knowledge workers uses Microsoft Office applications and Microsoft Internet Explorer. It operates in an isolated local network that has the following infrastructure:

    Domain controller with Active Directory, Domain Name System (DNS), and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)

    Microsoft Exchange Server for hosting email

    IIS for hosting web services

    Load generator (a test controller) for creating a distributed workload

    A pool of Windows XP–based test systems to run the distributed workload, with no more than 60 simulated users for each physical test system

    Remote Desktop Services installed on an application server

    Microsoft Office

    Note: The domain controller and the load generator could be combined on one system without degrading performance. Similarly, IIS and Exchange Server could be combined on another computer system.

    Table 13 provides guidelines for achieving the best performance for the Remote Desktop Services workload, and it suggests where bottlenecks might exist and how to avoid them.

    Table 13. Hardware Recommendations for Remote Desktop Services Workload

    Hardware limiting factor


    Processor usage

    • Use 64-bit processors to expand the available virtual address space.

    • Use multicore systems (at least two or four logical processors and dual-core or quad-core 64-bit CPUs).

    Physical disks

    • Separate the operating system files, page file, and user profiles (user data) into individual physical partitions.

    • Choose the appropriate RAID configuration. (Refer to Choosing the RAID Level earlier in this guide.)

    • If applicable, set the write-through cache policy to 50% reads and 50% writes.

    • If applicable, select Enable write caching on the disk through the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Disk Management snap-in (Diskmgmt.msc).

    • If applicable, select Enable Advanced Performance through the MMC Disk Management snap-in (Diskmgmt.msc).

    Memory (RAM)

    The amount of RAM and physical memory access times affect the response times for the user interactions. On non-uniform memory access (NUMA) computer systems, make sure that the hardware configuration uses the NUMA, which is changed by using system BIOS or hardware partitioning settings.

    Network bandwidth

    Allow enough bandwidth by using network adapters that have high bandwidths, such as a 1 GB Ethernet.

    Recommended Tunings on the Server

    After you have installed the operating system and added the Remote Desktop Services role service, apply the following changes.

    Navigate to Control Panel > System > Advanced System Settings > Advanced tab and set the following:

    Navigate to Performance Settings > Advanced > Virtual memory and set one or more fixed-size page files (Initial Size equal to Maximum Size) with a total page file size at least two to three times the physical RAM size to minimize paging. For servers that have hundreds of gigabytes of memory, the complete elimination of the page file is possible. Otherwise, the page file might be limited because of constraints in available disk space. There are no clear benefits of a page file larger than 100 GB. Make sure that no system-managed page files are in the Virtual memory on the Application Server.

    Navigate to Performance Settings > Visual Effects and select the Adjust for best performance check box.

    Allow for the workload automation to run by opening the MMC snap-in for Group Policy (Gpedit.msc) and making the following changes to Local Computer Policy > User Configuration > Administrative Templates:

    Navigate to Control Panel > Display, and disable Screen Saver and Password protected screen saver.

    Under Start Menu and Taskbar, enable Force Windows Classic Start Menu.

    Navigate to Windows Components > Internet Explorer, and enable Prevent Performance of First Run Customize settings and select Go directly to home page.

    Click Control Panel, and disable User Account Control (UAC) by selecting Disable UAC, and then reboot the system.
    Allow for the workload automation to run by opening the registry, adding the ProtectedModeOffForAllZones key, and setting it to 1 under:

    HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Low Rights\ (REG_DWORD)

    Minimize the effect on CPU usage when you are running many Remote Desktop Services sessions by opening the MMC snap-in for Group Policy (Gpedit.msc) and making the following changes under Local Computer Policy > User Configuration > Administrative Templates:

    Under Start Menu and Taskbar, enable Do not keep history of recently opened documents.

    Under Start Menu and Taskbar, enable Remove Balloon Tips on Start Menu items.

    Under Start Menu and Taskbar, enable Remove frequent program list from Start Menu.

    Minimize the effect on the memory footprint and reduce background activity by disabling certain Microsoft Win32 services. The following are examples from command-line scripts to do this:

    Service name

    Syntax to stop and disable service

    Desktop Window Manager Session Manager

    sc config UxSms start= disabled

    sc stop UxSms

    Windows Error Reporting service

    sc config WerSvc start= disabled

    sc stop WerSvc

    Windows Update

    sc config wuauserv start= disabled

    sc stop wuauserv

    Minimize background traffic by opting out of diagnostics feedback programs. Under Start > All Programs > Administrative Tools > Server Manager, go to Resources and Support, and make the following changes:

    Opt out of participating in the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP).

    Opt out of participating in Windows Error Reporting (WER).

    Apply the following changes from the Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration MMC snap-in (Tsconfig.msc):

    Set the maximum color depth to 24 bits per pixel (bpp).

    Disable all device redirections.

    Navigate to Start > All Programs > Administrative Tools > Remote Desktop Services  > Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration and change the Client Settings from the RDP-TCP properties as follows:

    Limit the Maximum Color Depth to 24 bpps.

    Disable redirection for all available devices such as Drive, Windows Printer, LPT Port, COM Port, Clipboard, Audio, Supported Plug and Play Devices, and Default to main client printer.

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    Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2012 April 12, 2013 Abstract

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