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Disabling TCP Chimney in Windows Server 2003 and NIC Hardware

Posted on 2013-05-20
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I'm currently dealing with a couple of 2003 servers that have hangs and unresponsiveness. While doing our deep dive on it we found that TCP Chimney is enabled in the OS but is disabled on the hardware. So the question is: Does TCP Chimney have to be disabled on both the OS and the hardware or does just disabling it on the hardware work to disable it in order to prevent the non-paged pool memory leaks?  

Some Diagnostic Data:
NIC: HP NC382i DP Multifunction Gigabit Server Adapter (2 running as a Team)
NIC Driver: bxnd52x.sys
Driver Version: 6.0.32.0
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Question by:artsupplyz
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by:Tony J
Tony J earned 1000 total points
ID: 39183757
I had this issue a few years back on an Exchange server.

I disabled at both the OS and hardware levels. But I found it kept getting re-enabled at the OS level and inevitably would lead to a leak again.

In the end, I ended up writing a startup script for the Exchange server such that (a) if - well when - it happened again, a simple reboot cured it and (b) during scheduled reboots such as patch maintenance, it would again be automatically disabled.
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Rich Rumble earned 1000 total points
ID: 39184003
TOE is done at the hardware level, and the OS can detect if it's available, even if it's disabled at the hardware level. The OS does not emulate TCP Chimney, it only uses it if it can. Disabling at the hardware level stops it's ability to be used. The OS can still try to use it if it's not detecting it's disabled, so you may want to stop it at the OS level too:
(from CMD)
netsh int tcp set global chimney=disabled
netsh int tcp set global rss=disabled
netsh int tcp set global netdma=disabled
I typically disable all of those for better performance, your mileage may vary!
-rich
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Author Closing Comment

by:artsupplyz
ID: 39184548
Thanks Rich and Tony! We will be disabling this at the OS level on a few to see if it will stop the leak and improve performance before we push out to the rest of the environment.
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