WRK Compatibility With Windows Server 2003 SP2

The deployment of Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V based virtual machines to facilitate our operating system course assignments has brought up the issue that virtual machines have to run at least Windows Server 2003 SP2. Since the WRK documentation says that Windows Server 2003 SP1 is needed to run the kernel, the question remains whether the application binary interface (ABI) of those two versions are compatible. As others indicated (thanks for your comments :) ) and evaluated on our server, the WRK appears to be able to run on Windows Server 2003 SP2. Nevertheless, I wanted to examine if at least the user-kernel mode ABI is compatible, for which I will give an answer in this post.

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WRK Works With Windows Server 2003 SP2

For a recent project, we are going to host a bunch of WRK virtual machines with Hyper-V on a Windows Server 2008 R2 server system. When setting up the first virtual machine, we figured out that Hyper-V is only capable of running Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 2 conveniently. That is, with mouse and network support!

Since the WRK documentation says that the WRK should be deployed on a Windows Server 2003 (W2K3) SP1 system, we were not sure how to proceed. We finally decided to give it a try and the WRK boots in this environment and works—so far. We do not know, if there may be any compatibility issues between the W2K3 SP2 environment and requirements demanded by the WRK. To further investigate the issue, we will run a set of experiments to figure out, if the WRK continues to run smoothly with W2K3 SP2 and keep you posted.

If you have any contrary or supporting experiences in this regard, please feel free to let us know.

Scalability Issues in CSRSS

One of our current topics is pushing the limits of operating systems. Inspired by Mark Russinovich’s article Pushing the Limits of Windows: Processes and Threads, we built a theoretical model for the amount of threads that can be created on a given system and then tried to reach these limits. However, the practical evaluation was kind of tricky and we stumbled upon an issue within CSRSS, Windows’ client server runtime subsystem.

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