Boost Memory First

Because 64-bit Windows servers eliminate the memory bottleneck imposed by 32-bit operating systems, Citrix recommends that customers who are upgrading to 64-bit servers for performance load up on memory before increasing the number of processors in their servers.

Citrix's recommended configuration for its thin-client Presentation Manager Server on 32-bit Windows uses a server with no more than two processors and 2GB to 4GB of memory, says Sumit Dhawan, director of product management. That's because as the server runs more user sessions, he says, "the system becomes memory-bound. As a result, the system isn't able to leverage the power of the larger systems, such as a quad processor, which is usually four times the price of dual-processor hardware."

For customers moving to 64-bit Windows, Citrix recommends adding more memory which can be up to 32GB using 2GB memory chips to each of the 16 slots in the average server to existing dual-processor systems and evaluating the effect of added memory on the number of users who can be hosted on each server, Dhawan says. Most customers, he says, see their performance bottlenecks disappear after moving to 8GB of RAM.

For customers who are ready to replace their server hardware, Dhawan recommends servers with four dual-core processors and up to the maximum 64GB that those four processors can access in a 64-bit world.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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