Windows 10 Performance Metrics

January 13, 2017 at 4:42 pm

Performance Monitor

We are all impressed by the Performance Monitor capabilities in Windows 10 – but come on – what should we really be monitoring in there? And what are acceptable values? This list is compiled from the excellent text Exam Ref 70-698 Installing and Configuring Windows 10. I of course included this information in my course at CBT Nuggets in the Nugget on Troubleshooting Windows 10 Performance.

  • LogicalDisk – % Free Space
    • Greater than 15%
  • PhysicalDisk – % Idle Time
    • Greater than 20%
  • PhysicalDisk – Avg. Disk Sec/Read
    • Less than 25 ms
  • PhysicalDisk – Avg. Disk Sec/Write
    • Less than 25 ms
  • PhysicalDisk – Avg. Disk Queue Length
    • Should not be larger than 2 times the number of physical disks
  • Memory – % Committed Bytes in Use
    • Less than 80%
  • Memory – Available Mbytes
    • Greater than 5% of total RAM
  • Processor – % Processor Time
    • Less than 85%
  • System – Processor Queue Length
    • Should be more than twice the number of CPUs
  • Network Interface – Output Queue Length
    • Less than 2

Windows 10 Provisioning Packages for Fun and Profit!

December 30, 2016 at 2:23 pm


Provisioning packages are such a treat in the Windows 10 environment. What can we do with them? here is just a few things:

  • Configure many devices efficnetly without the need for new deployment images
  • Configure devices without the need for Multiple Device Management (MDM)
  • Configure multiple devices simultaneously
  • Configure devices that are not connected to the corporate network

Management tasks made simple include:

  • App deployment
  • Enroll devices with MDM
  • Distribute certificates
  • Deploy connectivity profiles
  • Apply device polices

Package Creation

How do you create provisioning packages? Download the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK). This kit includes the Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer (ICD) tool.

The steps for package creation are as follows:

Step 1: In the ICD tool, choose File > New Project.

Step 2: In the New Project window, provide a name for your project, choose the project folder, and provide an optional description. Choose Next.

Step 3: Choose Provisioning Package and choose Next.

Step 4: Select the settings to view and configure as shown in the figure below and choose Next.

Windows 10

Step 5: Choose Finish on the Importing a provision packet (optional) screen.

You now have the ability to choose which customizations to make to Windows via the provisioning package.

Once you have made your modifications, choose Export in the ICD to run a wizard to export your provisioning package. For installation on systems, you now have two options:

  • Deployment time – bake the provisioning package into the Windows image you plan to deploy
  • Runtime – make the provisioning package available on a network share and instruct users to install

ICND1 Exam Cram!

Volume Activitation of Windows 10

November 23, 2016 at 8:22 pm

Windows 10 Volume Activation

It really isn’t an option for a large enterprise to visit each Windows 10 machine and manually activate it. Thankfully, Windows Server 2016 provides several volume activation model technologies including:

  • Volume Activation Services server role: This role enables you to automate and simplify the issuance and management of Microsoft software volume licenses for a variety of scenarios and environments. With the Volume Activation Services role, you can install and configure the Key Management Service (KMS) and enable Active Directory-based Activation.
  • Automatic Virtual Machine Activation (AVMA): This technology allows you to install virtual machines on a properly activated Windows server without having to manage product keys for each individual virtual machine, even in disconnected environments. The virtual machine is activated and continues to work even when it is migrated across an array of virtualization servers. This provides benefits such as activating virtual machines in remote locations; activating virtual machines with or without an internet connection; and tracking virtual machine usage and licenses from the virtualization server, without requiring any access rights on the virtualized systems.
  • Key Management Service (KMS): This is a role service that allows you to activate systems within your network from a server where a KMS host has been installed. With KMS, you can complete activations on the local network, eliminating the need for individual computers to connect to Microsoft for product activation. By default, volume editions of Windows clients and server operating systems connect to a system that hosts the KMS service to request activation. No action is required from the end user.
  • Active Directory-based Activation: This is a role service that allows you to use Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) to store activation objects. These can further simplify the task of maintaining volume activation services for a network. With Active Directory-based Activation, no additional host server is needed, and activation requests are processed during computer startup. Any computers running a client or server operating system with a Generic Volume License Key (GVLK) that are connected to the domain will activate automatically and transparently. They will stay activated if they remain members of the domain and maintain periodic contact with a domain controller. Activation takes place after the licensing service starts.

This is an except from my upcoming book – 70-740 Installation, Storage and Compute with Windows Server 2016 Certification Guide.
Microsoft Press