Admin Know-IT-All Question #30

Admin Know-IT-All Question #30




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"When of a gossiping circle it was asked, "What are they doing?" The answer was, "Swapping lies."

- Richard Brinsley Sheridan




Today's Know-IT-All answer is:
d. Both b. and c.

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The way virtual memory, or the swap file, operates in Windows 2000 is often misunderstood. Many administrators believe that setting the swap file larger will automatically translate to better performance, since this provides more memory for the system. The truth is more complicated; bigger is not always better.

The Windows 2000 swap file is used for two things: swapping out pages of memory to disk as needed, and temporarily dumping kernels when a crash is logged. (If you have no swap file set up on your boot drive, you may not be able to get a kernel dump when a crash happens.) Memory swapping, which includes paging out the kernel, takes place less on machines that have more physical memory, if only because there is less demand for it. A machine with 128 MB of physical RAM will swap a lot more often than a machine with 512 MB of RAM, simply because a 512-MB machine is able to accommodate more in memory at the same time. This may sound elementary, but many administrators believe that the minimum size of the swap file should be anywhere from the size of the physical memory to as much as two and a half times as large. While this is not flat-out wrong, it may be overkill, and some real-world numbers may illustrate what's needed more clearly.

If this quiz has left you yearning for more information, please check the links below for related articles and tips:

>> Read Serdar Yegulalp's full article entitled: Size your swap file properly.

>> Read more virtual memory related info in the article entitled Configuring the Win2k paging file.

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