How to improve your Windows Server 2016 performance

We’ve released our VDI Like a Pro Windows Server 2016 Tuning Template! With this new tuning guide now available, in this blog I will discuss how:

  • General guidelines for improving OS performance on VDI and RDS(H) are standardized.
  • Not-Optimized Windows Servers can account for over 25% decrease of performance scalability (user density) on a VDI or RDS host.
  • Optimized Windows Servers can increase performance scalability (user density) up to 25% on a VDI or RDS(H) host.

First, I would like to thank VMware for allowing me to use their open-source software to generate some incredibly exciting findings, as it relates to performance on Windows Servers for VDI and RDS(H) hosts.

As lead consultant of VDI like a Pro at Login VSI, VDI and RDS performance and scalability testing is something that I give more attention to. At Login VSI, we eliminate the effect of ‘bad performance’ or ‘bad user experience’ once and for all, by leveraging the power of vitalization-based software to determine and isolate scalability and performance issues, as well as hardware and software changes that might deliver ‘bad’ performances inside the complexity of VDI environments, which results in a ‘bad’ user experience. No user is the same, no company is the same, no infrastructure is the same. Desktop virtualization implementations aren’t the same either.

I would like to remind you to frequently check out VDI like a Pro (independent virtualization-based testing platform) and the performance blogs.

Which optimizations do you use in your VDI/RDS enterprise or lab environment? What uses the most resources on your VDI or RDS systems?

To measure is to know. If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it. Do not assume average IOPS, CPU, MEM, etc. There are many good assessment, load test and monitoring tools available that will help you to make the performance more predictive. Use these tools!

Here’s a sample excerpt from the paper:

”Are you planning to upgrade to Microsoft Windows Server 2016? Then we might have something valuable up our sleeve that will make your life a little, or more likely a lot, easier. How about a performance increase of almost 25%?”

Here are the results in short:

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2016 not-optimized: VSImax 183.
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2016 optimized (with Windows Server 2012R2 template): VSImax 190.
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2016 optimized (with Windows 10 template): VSImax 205.
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2016 optimized (with new VDI like a Pro template): VSImax 228.

not optimized vs optimized microsoft windows server impact on scalability vsi max

%VSImax Performance increase

We can see that right out of the box Windows Server 2016 does scale quite nicely. As expected the results are a little bit better than Windows 10, as a lot of background services are not running on a Windows Server OS compared to a Windows Desktop OS.

This paper will show you the true impact of optimizing Windows Server 2016 on VDI, but more importantly, you will find detailed instructions for how to manage and predict the impact and increase your VDI and RDS(H) scalability by up to 15% or more! This paper will provide results and recommendations for optimizing the use of Windows Server 2016.

Why we tuned Server 2016 in VDI?

Firstly, because we all love a good performance at Login VSI, and I happen to be the geek that likes to spend too much time in our VDI like a Pro testing lab.

Almost a year ago, we released a Microsoft Windows 10 tuning template that can be used with the VMware OS Optimization Tool, and ever since this template has been tremendously popular. Even today, we are still seeing lots of people putting it to good use. Since then of course the technology landscape has changed, especially around the release of Microsoft Windows Server 2016. For those of you unaware of VMware OSOT, this tool is a must-have for any VDI engineer. We believe that with VMware OSOT, a lot of best practices can be applied to your Microsoft Windows image in any VDI environment, not only for VMware Horizon View but also for Citrix XenDesktop and Microsoft VDI.

Until now, we recommended that our customers use the Windows Server 2012R2 template, which is available in VMware OSOT, to tune their Windows Server 2016 machines. However, we felt we could do better, so we created a template specifically designed for Windows Server 2016.

Download the Tuning Template here

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