Adjusting Windows 2000 Server Priorities, Part 1
Windows 2000 can be told how to adjust the priorities for multitasking purposes, such as user requests vs. background services. This can be a powerful tool for speeding up your server, but can also turn heavily against you if not handled correctly. In this series, MCSE Brien M. Posey tells you how to tweak these priorities, identifies the issues, and shows how to handle them.
Windows 2000 is designed in such a way that it could run perfectly without your ever even being aware that the concept of priorities exists. However, Windows is also designed to allow you to tweak the priorities to better suit your needs. For example, let's assume that a server is constantly receiving numerous requests from users. In such a case, you might consider boosting the priorities of the background services and lowering the priorities of something less essential. Likewise, I've seen smaller offices in which the server also doubles as someone's workstation. In such an environment, you may want to boost the priority of the applications so that the local user gets better response time.
There are actually a few different ways that you can adjust priorities. The safest way is to open the Control Panel and double click on the System icon. When you see the System Properties sheet, select the Advanced tab and click the Performance Options button. When you do, you'll see the Performance Options dialog box. This dialog box contains an Application Response section that allows you to optimize performance for either applications or for background services with the click of a button. This interface provides a generic method for adjusting priorities without having to manually enter new values. In case you're wondering, Windows 2000 Server is already set to optimize performance for background services, which means that it focuses more attention on network requests than it does on the local user.