some basics of windows performance tweaking

For any practicing sysadmin, sometimes you just have to tweak servers to milk a little bit more performance. Sometimes the good ol’ basics are still the best things to do. I liked these steps (mostly) from SearchWinComputing. I’ll just give my own notes on the steps.

1. Use a dedicated drive for the pagefile. This makes sense.

2. Keep your hard disks defragmented. I don’t do this much, but when trying to milk a bit more performance out of a server, defragging is still a low-hanging fruit to try out.

3. Use the NTFS file system. I wouldn’t think to do otherwise, not from a performance standpoint necessarily, but definitely for security.

4. Avoid running 16-bit applications. Ok.

5. Look for memory leaks. Basically need to continuously monitor memory usage to catch this. Sometime apps (like ASP) will automatically recycle themselves and clean up, thus lowering the indications of a memory leak. Once a process is identified that has a leak, research it on Google or with your own teams if it is homegrown.

6. Remove seldom-used utilities. I would also suggest making sure server software is inventoried and reviewed regularly. That way when some piece is no longer needed, it can be identified and removed. But yes, it sucks to see unused things running on a server.

7. Disable unused services. A tried-and-true best practice for…just about everything.

8. Log off. Makes sense to me!

9. Compress the hard disk. The author makes a decent case for this, but I would definitely only do this in conjunction with baselining performance and testing after each change otherwise this could be detrimental.

10. Adjust the server response. i.e. Adjust background applications for a higher priority.