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Hardware and Operating System — Windows Server 2003 (32-bit)

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Service Pack and Registry

TT supports Windows Server 2003 for all server-class machines. TT no longer supports Windows 2000 Servers.

Note: Two additional hot fixes should be installed on server-class machines:

  • Hotfix 917114: Will resolve the issue when a server experiences “An operation on a socket cannot be performed because the system lacks sufficient buffer space or because a queue is full.”
  • Hotfix 931311: The heavy use of Winsock programs may exhaust the "non-paged pool memory" of a Microsoft Windows Server 2003-based computer. This behavior is likely to occur if the Winsock program is dealing with both "Out-of-Band (MSG_OOB) traffic" and "standard TCP traffic." In this situation, you may receive various error messages. Also, you may experience poor performance. Additionally, the system may stop responding (hang).

    ** Hotfix 917114 is included with SP2, but if a client is running SP1, it would need to be installed separately. Hotfix 931311 is not included with SP2 and should be installed separately as well.

In addition, the following configuration changes must be made to the registry on each. (These changes are made in conjunction with the NIC configuration changes in the next section.)

  1. Add the following DWORDS (and values) to… HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesTcpip Parameters.
    • ArpCacheLife = ffffffff
    • ArpCacheMinReferencedLife = ffffffff
    • Tcp1323Opts = 00000001
    • EnableTCPA = 00000000
    • EnableRSS = 00000000
    • EnableTCPChimney = 0000000
    • DisableTaskOffload = 00000001
  2. Add IgnorePushBitOnReceives = 00000001 as a new DWORD (and value) to… HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesAFD Parameters.
  3. Add TcpAckFrequency = 00000001 as a new DWORD (and value) to…HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesTcpip ParametersInterfaces<Interface GUID>.

Note: See Appendix B for explanations about these Registry settings.

NIC Configuration

  • Ethernet cards must be on the latest driver version (especially Broadcom Ethernet cards).

    Note: Per internal testing, TT has found that Nvidia cards can introduce random latency and disconnects.

    Note: Due to driver and firmware limitations, TT does not recommend using Broadcom NetXtreme I based Ethernet cards in a production environment. Instead TT recommends the Broadcom NetXtreme II Gigabit cards, with either Broadcom driver version 14.2 or higher or HP driver 5.2.17 or higher.

    Recommended:

    • NetXtreme II Gigabit (chipset 5706, 5708, 5709, 5716)

    Not Recommended:

    • NetXtreme I Desktop/Mobile (chipset 5702, 5705, 5751, 5752, 5753, 5754, 5755, 5756, 5761, 5764, 5782, 57760, 57761, and 57765)
    • NetXtreme I Server (chipset 5700, 5701, 5703, 5704, 5714, 5715, 5718, 5721, 5722, 5723, and 5780)
    • NetLink 57xx (chipset 5784, 5785, 57780, 57781, 57785, 57788, 57790, 57791, 57795, 5781, 5786, 5787, 5788, and 5789)
    • NetLink 4401 (chipset 4401)
  • Optimize the server through Windows or through any NIC management utility that is installed on the server (e.g., HP NIC Utility).
    • Match the speed and duplex settings of the switch port and NIC to avoid speed or duplex mismatches.
    • For all NICs, disable the following offloads and other NIC parameters (if they exist):
      • Checksum Offload = OFF
      • Large Send Offload = OFF
      • TCP Chimney Offload = OFF*
      • Tx IP Checksum Offload = OFF
      • Rx IP Checksum Offload = OFF
      • Tx TCP Checksum Offload = OFF
      • Rx TCP Checksum Offload = OFF
      • Receive side scaling = OFF**
      • Flow control = OFF
      • Enable PME = Disable
      • Internal Moderate Interrupt = Minimal
      • Receive Descriptors = Set to a maximum value
      • Transmit Descriptors = Set to a maximum value
      • NIC Sleep
      • Number of Coalesce Buffers = 16
      • Number of Rx Buffers = maximum (2048 Intel/3000 Broadcom)
      • Number of Tx Buffers = maximum (2048)
      • Wake On = Disable
      • Wake up Mode Cap = Disable
      • Task Offload Cap = Disable
      • Jumbo Packet = Disable
      • Reduce Speed On Power Down = Disable
      • Save Power Now Enabled = Disable
      • Rx Coalescing Ticks = Disable
      • Tx Coalescing Ticks = Disable
      • Rx Max Coalesced Frames = Disable
      • Tx Max Coalesced Frames = Disable

      Note: See NIC Settings for explanations about the above NIC settings.

      *Disable TCP Chimney Offload Settings

      Impact: This setting enables TCP/IP processing to be offloaded to network adapters that can handle the TCP/IP processing in hardware. Each TCP Chimney Offload-capable network adapter has a finite number of connections that it can support in hardware. TT has determined through extensive testing that this setting should be disabled to improve performance.

      **Disable Receive Side Scaling (RSS)

      Impact: When multiple CPUs reside in a single computer, the Windows networking stack limits “receive” protocol processing to a single CPU. RSS enables packets that are received from a network adapter to be balanced across multiple CPUs. TT tests have shown that enabling RSS can slow down incoming data and cause dropped packets on both single and multi- processor machines.

      Note: Refer to CA104-07 for more information on these two settings.

NIC Teaming

Limited testing performed by TT has shown that running TT software on a machine with NIC Teaming enabled in Fault Tolerant Mode can add additional price and order latency. NIC Teaming enabled in Load Balanced Mode is not supported by TT as it can introduce packets being received out of sequence and may result in disconnects. Customers that choose to run NIC Teaming in Fault Tolerant Mode should keep in mind the following:
  • NIC drivers should be kept current.
  • Match the speed and duplex settings of the switch port and NIC to maximize speed and avoid duplex mismatches.
  • Customers should perform failover tests to verify correct configuration and connectivity with either path.
Note: Customers experiencing latency issues may be required by TT to remove NIC Teaming as part of the troubleshooting effort.

Power Save Settings

To avoid unexpected disconnects and to help ensure proper TT application functionality, turn off any power save or hibernation functionality on machines that host TT software.

  • Display Properties

    To access, right-click on the desktop and select Properties. Select the Screen Saver tab.

    • Set Screen Saver to None.

    Click the Power button.

    • Set Power Management (Power schemes) to Always On.
    • Set Turn off monitor and Turn off hard disks to Never.

    Select the Hibernate tab.

    • Ensure Hibernate mode is disabled.
  • BIOS
    • Turn off hard disk power saving.
    • Turn off HDD Spin Down.

Power Profile Setting (HP G6 /G7)

On Hewlett Packard G6 and G7 servers, set the HP Power Profile in the BIOS to Maximum Performance. This is a significant performance increase from the default setting.

The HP Power Profile value is displayed during system boot-up. You can change the setting by accessing the HP Power Profile parameter from the Power Management settings in the BIOS.

Windows Performance Settings

Ensure servers are set to automatically adjust for best performance.

To access this setting, right-click on My Computer and select Properties. Select the Advanced tab, and click the Settings button within the Performance section.

  • Select the radial button next to Adjust for best performance.

Windows Services

In Windows Services, disable all unnecessary services. For example:

  • Windows Time
  • Computer Browser
  • Automatic Updates*
  • Print Spooler
  • Windows Firewall**

* Automatic updates should be downloaded and installed outside of trading hours.

** If you do not disable your Windows firewall, ensure port 10200 is enabled.