Windows Server 2008 Interop and Performance Benchmark

This week is an exciting one for Microsoft, particularly those of us who work on the Server & Tools Business-today we’re launching new versions of three cornerstone technologies-Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008. The theme is “Heroes Happen Here”-meant to recognize the valiant efforts of our IT Pros and Developers every day. These are the individuals who help make real, meaningful connections between IT and the business.


One of folks on my team who is making heroes happen is Greg Leake, who is a technical marketing director. In his own  words, Greg’s purpose is to “improve the lives of developers.” To do this, he has created a lab, and spends time on interoperability testing for Web Services as well as performance testing. No matter the time of day or night, it’s likely that you will find Greg in his lab, which means he probably also holds the record for most cups of coffee in one day.


Once again Greg jumped in the ring to find out just how far we could push the perf boundaries for Windows Server and .NET against other publicly available apps like IBM’s J2EE StockTrader perf application.


My favorite findings:

%u00b7         Microsoft Windows Server 2008 with .NET Framework 3.5 delivers 117% better throughput than IBM WebSphere 6.1 on Red Hat Linux for the Web Application Server test using the IBM-designed Trade 6.1 benchmark as well as delivers 93% better throughput for the remote services test.

%u00b7         On the Sun Microsystems’ WSTest Web Services benchmark, .NET StockTrader demonstrates 94% better throughput on Windows Server on processing Web Service requests and 86% better throughput performance for the EchoStruct operation.


The paper on MSDN presents the benchmark results of two key application server workloads:

1.     Trade 6.1 Application Server Benchmark created by IBM – This benchmark serves as IBM’s primary capacity planning tool for WebSphere, and as their primary performance sample application for Java Enterprise applications. The benchmarks detail throughput results for the IBM implementation vs. the functionally equivalent of the .NET Framework 3.5 implementation.


2.     WSTest Web Services 1.5 Benchmark, created by Sun Microsystems – This benchmark tests an application server’s performance as a Web Service Host, measuring the platforms ability to process Web Service operations involving HTTP/SOAP requests, isolating the networking stack, Web server integration, and XML serialization engines within the application server.


For more information and complete results, check out! You can also download the application with the benchmark tests and try it yourself! Also, look out for the upcoming .NET StockTrader 2.0 in the next few weeks!

TFS and Reporting Server Instances…

Team Foundation Server 2008 provides the ability to specify a “remote”
Sql Server Analysis server as well as a remote Sql Server Reporting server. 
Normally, your Analysis Server is located with the data tier, and the Reporting Server
is located on the application tier.  (Of course, everything can be collapsed
on a single physical tier as well.)

However, by editing the “msiproperty.ini” file within the “AT”
directory of your installation media, you can customize this.  The relevant keys
are VSTF_RS_SERVER (reporting) and VSTF_AS_INSTANCE (analysis).  See the Team
Foundation 2008 installation guide
for details.

What you should know, however, is that apparently Reporting Server instances are
not really supported.  If you attempt to specify an instance name in the VSTF_RS_SERVER
property, the installation will fail.  This property needs to refer to a server
name only.  TFS 2008 apparently expects the instance name to match the data tier
instance name (a strange assumption.)  If that doesn’t work, it tries the
default instance.  (After that, it will try the first instance it finds…so
you might see “WARNING: Selecting the first instance name of…”
in the installation log.)

According to this,
you won’t see a change in this behavior with TFS 2008 SP1…

I have a few clients that would like to see TFS make use of an enterprise Reporting
Services infrastructure (rather than spinning up a new reporting server…) 
If you do as well, this is something to keep in mind.

Unit Testing BizTalk Applications

Unit testing is a best practice when it comes to application development.  BizTalk development falls into this realm of application development so it would be great to be able to unit test these applications as well. 
The most commonly used unit testing tool with BizTalk is BizUnit (   This is a step based test framework […]

Yet more Recommendations for Organisations Getting Started with BizTalk

Richard Seroter has a great article entitled You’ve Just Bought BizTalk Server. Congrats. NowWhat? over on his blog, in which he lists his top ten recommendations for organizations getting started with BizTalk. He highlights some important points – which I wholeheartedly endorse – including: committing to, and enforce naming standards; setting-up a standard release management […]