Overview of SMP Performance and Monitoring

Microsoft® Windows® 2000 is designed to implement symmetric multiprocessing (SMP). With symmetric multiprocessing, the operating system can run threads on any available processor. As a result, SMP makes it possible for applications to use multiple processors when additional processing power is required to increase the throughput capability of a system. Similarly, on Windows 2000, hardware interrupts and deferred procedure calls (DPCs), software interrupts at a low Interrupt Request Level (IRQL), can also run on any available processor determined by the hardware abstraction layer (HAL). Although most SMP systems running Windows 2000 dynamically distribute threads and hardware interrupts equally among all available processors, you might want to restrict threads and interrupts to one or more processors to improve processor cache locality and overall system throughput.

The following overview describes workloads that benefit most from scaling to an SMP system. This chapter also provides an overview of the steps involved in monitoring SMP systems and discusses the impact of SMP on system resources.