Q. What's Windows System Resource Manager (WSRM)?

A. Available only for Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition, and Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition, WSRM is a component that's used to throttle CPU and memory usage on the servers on which it's installed. WSRM can be useful when you want to run multiple applications on a server while ensuring that no application consumes more than its fair share of resources, which could impede other applications' performance. WSRM lets you place caps on a process or user level to make sure that all processes have the required resources.

WSRM uses "soft" caps, which means that although each process is limited to a specific percentage of CPU utilization and amount of memory, a process can exceed the limit if no other process is competing for the resource. Let's say I've defined caps for three applications:

  1. Application 1: 30 percent of CPU
  2. Application 2: 50 percent of CPU
  3. Application 3: 20 percent of CPU

If applications 2 and 3 each used 10 percent of the CPU and application 1 required more than its 30 percent allocation, WSRM would give application 1 the additional amount that it required, up to 80 percent of the total CPU. However, if one of the other applications later required more CPU, WSRM would grant the other application the amount of CPU it requested, up to its limit.

WSRM is supplied on the Windows 2003 Datacenter and Windows 2003 Enterprise CD-ROMs. You can also download WSRM at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/downloads/wsrm.mspx.

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