20 Tips: How to Get The Most Out of Windows Server 2008 (Part3)

Monitis is dedicated to helping you make sure your servers run smoothly, but we also want to help you put them to work and maximize their efficiency. That’s why we’re presenting here some best practices for improving the performance of Windows Server. First you’ll need to make some changes in its features, hardware, application and other areas.

Previously, we discussed tips for improving Windows Server through its hardware and applicationsbased segments.

Today, we’re offering some performance tips based on the features and tools of Windows Server 2008. Here are some best practices for maximizing Windows Server features:


Feature Based

Here are some performance tips based on the features of Windows Server 2008:

12. Adjust The Server Response

A server is different from a desktop computer in that applications are not usually run from the server’s console. So, it’s best to optimize the server so that applications running in the background take priority.

13. Remote Desktop Sessions Host Configuration:

Run tsconfig from a command prompt (or find it in start-admin tools-remote desktop services menu) to configure the default options for all remote desktop connections to the server. You can mandate RDP client settings for color depth, drive, printer and com port redirections etc.

14. Set Your Power Plan

The default power plan for Windows Server 2008 is balanced. This plan is optimized for maximum power efficiency. It is recommended to leave the power plan on balanced, but decide based on a server’s role and application requirements. The power plan matches computational capacity to computational demand by dynamically reducing or increasing CPU performance as workload changes.

15. Explorer Folder Options:

Following are some common configurations which should be used for better throughput and better performance:

  • Check “Always show menus”
  • Uncheck “Display file size information in folder tips”Check “Show hidden files”
  • Uncheck “Hide empty drives”
  • Uncheck “Hide extensions for known file types”
  • Uncheck “Hide protected operating system files”
  • Uncheck “Show pop-up description for folder and desktop items”
  • Uncheck “Show preview handlers in preview pane”
  • Uncheck “Use sharing wizard”

16. Disable IE Enhanced Security Configuration:

Internet Explorer is coupled pretty tightly with any Windows Server OS. Before downloading other software (such as drivers and Firefox), it is required to disable IE ESC. Go to Server Manager
and then click Configure IE ESC.Turn it off, at least for Administrators.

17. Internet Options:

We recommend the following internet option configurations for better performance:

  • Launch IE, and configure first-time run options
  • Set Home Page (set to blank or other)
  • Uncheck “Advanced – Enable page transitions”
  • Uncheck “Advanced – Reuse windows for launching shortcuts”
  • Uncheck “Advanced – Show friendly HTTP error messages”

18. Turn On SuperFetch

SuperFetch is disabled by default on Server 2008. Turning it on is supposed to make the OS more responsive as it learns typical usage patterns and behavior. Before enabling this feature, it is required to make the following registry changes. Go to Start → Run, and type regedit.

Dig down in the hierarchy to the following path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters

Now, make these two changes:

  • Create a new DWORD Value named “EnablePrefetcher,” and assign it a value of 3
  • Create a new DWORD Value named “EnableSuperfetch,” and assign it a value of 3

19. Disable the Shutdown Event Tracker

When using Server 2008 as a workstation, there is no need to track the purpose of every system reboot or shutdown. Hence it is better to remove another little annoyance while shutting down the computer.

Go to Start → Run, and type gpedit.msc.

This will open the “Group Policy Editor.” On the left, expand “Administrative Templates,” and click “System.” On the right, double-click “Display Shutdown Event Tracker.” Switch it to “Disabled.”


Tools Based

There are some of tools you must use with a Windows Server to improve its performance. One of them is MBSA (Microsoft Baseline Security Analyser).

20. Include MBSA in the server:

The Microsoft Baseline Security Analyser (MBSA) is an excellent, free tool developed by Microsoft. It provides a simple and easy-to-use method of identifying common security misconfigurations for Microsoft Windows computers. The current version (MBSA 2.1) runs on Windows Server 2008.


We’re happy to provide these suggested adjustments to features of your Windows Server. But once you maximize usage of this technology, you need to stay on guard that it is working properly and continually for the benefit of your business.

Monitiss Windows Server monitoring allows you to measure continuously your server’s performance. When tuning up your server to handle increased volume of business and transactions, Monitis server monitoring will help you to measure and record your server’s CPU, memory and storage utilization. That will allow you to compare performance before and after applying the best practices we’ve outlined here.

Another convenient service by Monitis is Web Load Tester – enabling you to check how your server performs under heavy usage or sudden spikes in activity.

Feel free toTweet and share this article with your IT colleagues. Also, if you want to ramp up your vigilance of servers, networks, websites and more…we invite to sign up for Monitis 15-days free trial!

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