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Performance and tuning features

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Performance and tuning features

This topic contains a brief overview of the performance and tuning features in the Windows Server 2003 family. It is divided into two sections: New and updated features since Windows NT 4.0 and New and updated features since Windows 2000.

For links to more information about the features in this release, see New Features.

New features in the Windows Server 2003 family provide for better performance and the ability to tune your server to your needs and environment.

New and updated features since Windows NT 4.0

The Windows Server 2003 family offers the following improvements (in comparison to Windows NT 4.0) that help provide increased levels of server performance:

Winsock Direct
Winsock Direct enables applications that use Winsock to perform faster and with less CPU overhead when they communicate across a system area network (SAN). Winsock Direct has the effect of streamlining communications between distributed components, if there is a SAN in place.

I2O support
I2O (also called Intelligent Input/Output) architecture allows for higher I/O performance on your servers by offloading certain I/O operations to a secondary processor. I2O improves I/O performance in high-bandwidth applications, such as networked video, groupware, and client/server processing.

CPU throttling for Web applications or sites
CPU throttling limits the amount of CPU time a Web application or site can use, which ensures that processor time is available to other Web sites or to non-Web applications.

Process Accounting for Web applications or sites
With Process Accounting, you can obtain information about how Web sites use CPU resources. This information can be crucial for making decisions about changing or improving hardware or applications. It can also be important when monitoring or diagnosing problems with scripts or applications.

Predictable, end-to-end Quality of Service
Quality of Service (QoS)-based services and protocols provide a guaranteed, end-to-end, express delivery system for traffic that is generated by QoS-enabled programs across a network or across multiple disparate networks. For more information, see Quality of Service (QoS).

Network Load Balancing
Previously known as Windows NT Load Balancing Service (WLBS), Network Load Balancing distributes incoming TCP/IP traffic between multiple servers. Your clustered applications, especially Web server applications, can handle more traffic and provide higher availability and faster response times.

New performance tools
Several new performance tools are available to help you diagnose and resolve memory, registry, driver, and other system problems.

Disk Defragmenter
Disk Defragmenter enhancements include Defrag.exe, a new command-line tool. Both Disk Defragmenter and Defrag.exe can now defragment the master file table (MFT) on NTFS volumes. For more information, see Disk Defragmenter.

Event tracing enhancements
Event tracing provides a mechanism for managing data that is useful to performance monitors, capacity planning tools, and other applications that analyze information relating to system resource utilization. New command-line tools control event trace log scheduling, collection, and analysis on local and remote computers.

New and updated features since Windows 2000

The Windows Server 2003 family offers the following improvements (in comparison to Windows 2000) that help provide increased levels of server performance:

Performance Options
Performance Options is a tool that consolidates processor, memory, and virtual memory settings, so that you can quickly and easily configure a computer for best performance.

New command-line utilities for System Monitor
New command-line tools are provided to control performance counter and event trace log scheduling, as well as collection and analysis on local and remote computers without using System Monitor (Sysmon). These command-line tools include logman, relog, tracerpt, and typeperf. For more information, see Logman, Relog, Tracerpt, and Typeperf.

System Monitor enhancements
The Windows Server 2003 family supports viewing data from multiple log files simultaneously and from data stored in a SQL database that has been collected using the Performance Logs and Alerts service. Selected data from a performance log file or SQL database can be saved to a new file for analysis at a later time. Display enhancements make it easy to select multiple counter objects and to display the data properties page for a selected counter directly from the list window.

Performance Logs and Alerts improvements
The Windows Server 2003 family supports log files greater than 1 GB in size and, with the new log file format, performance data can now be appended to an existing log file. You can log data directly to a SQL database through Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) data connections.

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