In earlier blogs in this series we talked about configuring and tuning Unix and Linux based servers for high performance systems. Now, I will talk about configuring Windows servers. Windows servers are traditionally not used as servers anymore, but there are some applications where Windows is still the only option. Unix, and primarily Linux, have become the go-to platforms for servers due to their security, relatively low setup and maintenance costs and high performance output. Windows servers aren’t as easy to maintain, have a large memory footprint and until more recently have been problematic when it comes to security. They do often make great simulator machines especially when you have some old commodity Windows boxes lying around.
By John Cavazos, Senior Performance Test Engineer
If you recently installed a new OS onto your brand new high-performance server for production or even just for performance testing and are not seeing the results in your application you were expecting, there is likely a good explanation. If you have not tuned your server from the default setting, you are likely hitting some of the default limits of the OS. Regardless of what OS you have installed, it is still necessary to tune the server to get the best performance out of your machine.
Typically, this job is performed by a system’s administrator. However, in smaller companies or start-ups that may not have such a support role, the task may fall to others. If that’s you, and you’re looking for a little guidance in getting it done, keep reading. By no means is this an exhaustive set of tuning that can be done, but more a general guide to the most common settings that we typically tune for performance testing. This article will also be limited to Linux systems for space and time considerations, saving Solaris and Windows for later discussions to come.