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Windows 2000 Performance Guide by Odysseas Pentakalos, Mark Friedman

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Workload Studies

We have covered a lot of ground so far in this chapter. We talked about the wide variety of options available for configuring the physical I/O subsystem of your Windows 2000 or NT server. This included options for the system bus, the I/O interface, and the characteristics of the actual disks themselves. We then discussed the counters that the system provides for monitoring the performance of the disk subsystem and for detecting and resolving problematic situations.

In this section, we put some of this knowledge to work by taking it from the conceptual level to the real world. First we describe Iometer, a tool that you can use to generate a well-defined workload against your server. We use Iometer to experiment with some of the concepts we talked about this chapter, and put some of the counters we discussed to work. This will allow you a better understanding of what these counters really mean and how to use them to evaluate the performance of your I/O subsystem.

Intel’s Iometer

We used the Intel Iometer tool to generate the workload for all the tests described in this chapter. It is a great tool for this type of testing, as it makes the task of changing the configuration parameters and running a test a very painless process. You can download the tool free from Intel’s web site. Unlike some other Windows 2000- and NT Server-based benchmarking tools, Iometer explicitly bypasses the Cache Manager so you see measurements of logical or physical disks that are not distorted ...

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