Optimizing Windows Server 2016 performance

Torque Booster

Swap File Optimization on Terminal Servers

To make improvements to remote desktop session hosts, first move the swap file to another physical hard disk on the server so that write access to the swap file is not slowed down by write access to the hard disk. If a second physical hard disk is not available, moving it doesn't make any sense, because relocating to a partition on the same disk will not have a positive effect.

Additionally, you should set the swap file's size to approximately 2.5 times the actual memory size to minimize file fragmentation. The swap file settings can be found under Control Panel | System and Security | System | Advanced system settings | Performance | Settings | Advanced | Virtual memory | Change . Clear the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives checkbox, and check the Custom size option.

AD Performance Optimization

If you identify performance problems in Exchange or other server-based services that depend on Active Directory (AD), such as mailbox access or messaging, you'll often run into a problem in AD or DNS. Therefore, parallel to performance monitoring, you should also diagnose name resolution and the domain controller (e.g., with DCDiag). Exchange and many services that use Active Directory access it through the wldap32.dll system file.

A very large part of server performance depends on the network speed between Exchange Server and the global catalog or domain controller. For this reason, you should always measure your network's speed, in case of performance problems with the Exchange infrastructure.

The speed to the DNS server and fast, stable, and correct name resolution are also very important for AD. The response time to the DNS server must not exceed 50ms if you want to optimize performance. If the request takes longer, you already have the first bottleneck in Exchange performance. Pinging the server is sufficient; you don't even need performance monitoring.

The MSExchange ADAccess Processes indicator group in performance monitoring is important for Exchange and AD connectivity and is added to the server by the Exchange installation wizard. The two indicators LDAP Read Time and LDAP Search Time are of interest in this group. LDAP Read Time measures the time it takes the data from an LDAP query to be transferred, whereas the LDAP Search Time indicates the time it takes for the server to perform an LDAP search against AD. The average value for these indicators should be less than 50ms; the maximum duration should not exceed 100ms.

For AD-dependent services to retrieve data quickly from AD, the global catalog must respond quickly and must not be overloaded. To check its utilization, you can also use the Performance Monitor (Figure 4). Click on Data Collector Sets | System | Active Directory Diagnostics and then on the green triangle in the toolbar to start the collection set. After some time, you can end the measurement using the context menu of the collection set or the toolbar. Afterward, you can access the data of the last performed measurement from Reports | System | Active Directory Diagnostics .

Figure 4: Because AD performance can have a massive impact on Exchange performance, monitoring is important.


To get the most out of Windows Server 2016, your network's purpose is key to determining which tuning measurements to use. Depending on how you use the operating system, you can tweak a variety of settings to solve performance problems. In most cases, however, these decisions are based on detailed measurements with performance monitoring tools. Once the weak points have been identified, the measures presented here should ensure a performance boost.

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