Two Minute Drill: Introduction to Windows System Resource Manager (WSRM)

Two Minute Drill: Introduction to Windows System Resource Manager (WSRM)

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Hello AskPerf!  It’s Blake Morrison here once more with some information on a Windows feature with which you may not be familiar …

But, before we start off this post think about the following scenarios – how many of them have you experienced?

  • Your Server's total combined CPU utilization exceeds 70% on a regular basis.
  • Multiple users connected to your Terminal Server consume more than 35% of the CPU resources during the day.
  • You have a service that requires 50% of the CPU utilization and a large amount of Memory that has to be reserved for this application.
  • You have 10 or so applications configured as Terminal Services Remote Apps shared by multiple users. You notice that when a user runs one of these applications, other users report that the server is running slow and other applications become unresponsive.

Have you ever experienced these types of issues?  Well if you have, then Windows System Resource Manager nay be just what you’re looking for.  In a nutshell, Windows System Resource Manager is a feature that comes with Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2003 (Enterprise & Datacenter Editions).  WSRM is included on a CD with Windows Server 2003 (Enterprise & Datacenter edition), and is included as a Feature in Windows Server 2008.  It is an administrative tool that can control how CPU and memory resources are allocated.  By managing the resource allocation on a system in a more granular fashion, you may be able to optimize your system and improve your availability.  Being able to mitigate the risk that processes may interfere with one another to reduce server performance may be high on your IT Department’s wish list.

With WSRM, a System Administrator can do the following:

  • Manage system resources (processor and memory) with preconfigured policies, or create custom policies that allocate resources per process, per user, or per Internet Information Services (IIS) application pool.
  • Use calendar rules to apply different policies at different times without manual intervention or reconfiguration.
  • Automatically select resource policies that are based on server properties and events (such as cluster events or conditions) or changes to installed physical memory or number of processors.
  • Collect resource usage data locally or in a custom SQL database. Resource usage data from multiple servers can be consolidated on a single computer running Windows System Resource Manager.
  • Limit the process working set size (physical resident pages in use).
  • Manage committed memory (page file usage).
  • Apply policies to users or groups on a Terminal Server

...and much much more.

If you have a situation where you have multiple applications running on a single system, you can use WSRM to divide up the resources and assign them to each application.  Given this sort of granularity, you may be able to realize additional efficiencies because you can add additional services to a single server.  The ability to dynamically manage the resources means that you can fine tune your server as needed.  Since you are allocating resources in a much more controlled fashion you can allow high-priority users or system administrators access even when the server is at peak load.The Windows System Resource Manager that comes with Windows Server 2008, includes four built-in resource management policies that you can use to quickly implement management. In addition, you can create custom resource management policies to meet your specific needs.

So with that, what are you waiting for? Get WSRM installed in your environment, and take back your system's resources!

Additional Information:

- Blake Morrison

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