Tech Tip: Change Win2K process priority/Create a persistent connection with RRAS

Learn how to change the process priority and ceate a persistent connection with RRAS.

Windows 2000 Professional: Change process priority to improve performance

The Windows Task Manager offers several features to help monitor a computer's performance and terminate hung tasks, but it also offers capabilities that can help fine-tune the performance of individual processes.

Although you can set the priority for an application, most applications run as a single process, so setting the priority for a process effectively offers the ability to set the priority for its application. In most cases, the ability to change priority for a process is most useful when you want to lower the priority for a process that frequently consumes more CPU time than you want it to.

To change process priority, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Task Manager by pressing [Ctrl][Alt][Delete] and clicking Task Manager in the Windows Security dialog box.
  2. Click the Processes tab to view the processes running on the computer. You'll see several processes even when the Applications tab lists no applications.
  3. Find the process whose priority you want to change in the Image Name column.
  4. Right-click the process, and choose Set Priority.
  5. Choose one of the six priority levels: Realtime, High, AboveNormal, Normal, BelowNormal, or Low.

In general, avoid assigning the Realtime priority to a process because this setting has the potential to lock up the system with excessive CPU utilization.

Windows 2000 Server: Create a secure, persistent connection with RRAS

As you may know, Windows 2000 Server includes the Routing and Remote Access Service (RRAS). In addition to other tasks, you can use RRAS to establish a secure, persistent connection between two remote networks.

For example, you can use RRAS to create a VPN tunnel across the Internet between a branch office and the corporate office to enable users at one site to seamlessly access network resources at the other site (such as Exchange Server, a file server, or printers). This capability can be useful in situations where Windows 2000 Server acts as the router for the network or where an existing router or firewall doesn't offer VPN capability.

You have several options for creating the VPN tunnel. You must first decide whether to use Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) or Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP).

PPTP is easier to implement because it doesn't require installing a certificate on the servers, while L2TP requires a certificate to support the L2TP-over-IPSec connection. However, L2TP offers better security because of the certificate-based encryption, and you can use Windows 2000's Certificate Services to generate the required certificate.

You must also decide how you'll route the traffic between the two networks. You can add static routes in RRAS, or you can use a routing protocol such as Routing Information Protocol (RIP) to enable the routers to discover appropriate routes.

There are several steps to take to establish a router-to-router VPN connection using Windows 2000 Server. To learn more about the process and the required steps, consult the Help content in the RRAS, and drill down to Routing And Remote Access | Routing | Concepts | Using Routing | Deploying Routing | Setting Up Router-To-Router VPNs.