Windows 10, 8, 7, and Vista all support symbolic links, also known as symlinks, that point to a file or folder on your system.
Symbolic links are basically advanced shortcuts. Create a symbolic link to an individual file or folder, and that link will appear to be the same as the file or folder to Windows—even though it’s just a link pointing at the file or folder.
For example, let’s say you have a program that needs its files at C:\Program. You’d really like to store this directory at D:\Stuff, but the program requires that its files be at C:\Program. You could move the original directory from C:\Program to D:\Stuff, and then create a symbolic link at C:\Program pointing to D:\Stuff. When you relaunch the program, it will try to access its directory at C:\Program. Windows will automatically redirect it to D:\Stuff, and everything will just work as if it were in C:\Program.
Why the Performance Monitor?
When it comes to the subject of disk performance in Windows, the majority of questions can be quickly answered by Performance Monitor alone. Performance Monitor is very low overhead, does a great job with averages and can also capture and store data over long periods of time. It is an excellent choice to record a performance baseline and to troubleshoot.
For short in this text, we are going to call the Windows Performance Monitor by its nickname: Perfmon. The nickname comes from its executable file located at %systemroot%system32Perfmon.exe.
Why an Open Guide?
A lot of information on AWS is already written. Most people learn AWS by reading a blog or a “getting started guide” and referring to the standard AWS references. Nonetheless, trustworthy and practical information and recommendations aren’t easy to come by. AWS’s own documentation is a great but sprawling resource few have time to read fully, and it doesn’t include anything but official facts, so omits experiences of engineers. The information in blogs or Stack Overflow is also not consistently up to date.
This guide is by and for engineers who use AWS. It aims to be a useful, living reference that consolidates links, tips, gotchas, and best practices. It arose from discussion and editing over beers by several engineers who have used AWS extensively.
The default alignment of 31.5Kb on Windows Server 2003 can lead to enormous I/O performance problems with SQL Server (see Are your disk partition offsets, RAID stripe sizes, and NTFS allocation units set correctly?). I thought it would be useful to do a quick blog post showing how to use the diskpart and wmic tools.