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Microsoft KB Archive/154075

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Knowledge Base

Trimming LAN Manager Server Service to Tune Applications

Article ID: 154075

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q154075


When Microsoft Windows NT Server is installed, the Microsoft LAN Manager Server service ("Server" in the list of installed network software/services) in Control Panel Network is configured to maximize file server performance. However, if you install Microsoft SQL Server, the server is changed to maximize performance for network applications. With both settings, server service will allocate a considerable amount of memory for internal buffers and tables, depending on the amount of physical memory installed.

However, this setting is only reasonable if the Server service is used during normal operation. If the computer running Windows NT Server is primarily used for application services, this memory should be used for other components. All inter-process communication, except Named Pipes, does not use Server service. However, all remote administration, except DHCP and WINS, and Windows NT-based printing is currently done with remote call procedures (RPCs) over Named Pipes. Therefore, if you are not using file sharing and Named Pipes, except for remote administration, you can set the server service for other options in Control Panel as described below in the More Information section.


To set the memory usage of server service, open the Network tool in Control Panel, and double-click the entry for Server. A dialog box will show four selections:

  • Minimize Memory Used
  • Balance
  • Maximize Throughput for File Sharing
  • Maximize Throughput for Network Applications

These settings effect several internal server buffers and table allocation sizes (number of request buffers, etc.) and rules (minimum number of pre-allocated memory objects for new connections, and so forth). The latter two settings have the same regulations for server service but effect the system cache size.

If you do not have any clients connecting to server service except remote administration, you can set it to Minimize; if there are only a few clients you can set it to Balance.

Here is a list of application services that benefit from changing this setting to Minimize Memory Used:

  • RAS Server
  • Services for Macintosh
  • DHCP Server
  • WINS Server
  • Internet Information Server
  • Domain Name Service (DNS) Server (Windows NT 4.0 only)
  • Microsoft File and Print Services for NetWare (also has a memory size setting)
  • Microsoft Site Server
  • Microsoft Commercial Internet Services
  • Other application servers, like SAP R/3 server and Oracle SQL server (uses Sockets) or Lotus Notes server (uses NETBIOS)

These services can also be optimized this way if the clients do not connect to it with Named Pipes:

  • Microsoft SNA Server (IPX and TCP sockets available since versions 2.1x)
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Microsoft Systems Management Server
  • Microsoft Exchange Server
  • Microsoft Transaction Server
  • Microsoft Message Queue Server

Services and functions that suffer from the customization to Minimize Memory Used are:

  • Windows NT File and Print Services for Microsoft Network Clients
  • Windows NT Primary Domain Controllers
  • Windows NT Backup Domain Controllers

The problems you might experience when you configure the Server service for too little memory are intermittent connection failures (for example, "not enough server memory to process this request"), or problems connecting (for example, "server refused the connection").

In one instance, this setting was changed to Minimize on an R/3 server with Oracle database; the time for the database import was reduced by 30 percent.

Keywords: kbnetwork KB154075