One of the challenges in architecting solutions of any size is ensuring fair access. Resource provisioning for solutions that utilize Windows Terminal Server access have been given a big boost by a new feature in Windows Server 2008. The Windows System Resource Manager (WSRM) feature allows policy-based allocation for memory and CPU resources. The functionality is robust and allows for the creation of process criteria. An example of this would be to assign Microsoft Office executables into a process matching criteria and then build resource polices around their use.

Figure A shows the WSRM snap-in on a Windows Server.
Figure A

Click image to enlarge.

WSRM permits configurable thresholds for the patterns, and an administrator can decide what will happen to the application when the memory is exceeded. These thresholds can be configured to stop the application or log a message. It can take some profiling to determine an acceptable amount of resources to provision to a resource allocation policy. WSRM can also have calendar configurations for policies to manage resources at the busiest times, set global per-user policies, or set per-session policies.

WSRM has a licensing implication; this Windows feature is only available on Enterprise and Datacenter editions of Windows Server 2008. There is a significant cost jump from Standard to Enterprise editions, and the extra cost is a factor in determining if the WSRM feature is worthwhile.

Note: WSRM is not listed on Microsoft’s feature comparison chart for Windows Server 2008, so be sure to plan your implementations accordingly.

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