If you work in a Windows environment, you have most likely had to log onto a Windows Server machine. Windows Server is used to host web applications (via IIS), manage a corporate network, and so much more.
Every time you log onto Windows Server, your profile is actually using a portion of the resources (e.g. CPU, RAM, disk and network utilisation) on that machine. It should not sound like a surprise that while some resources are used just to keep you logged on, the more processes you are running, the more resources you are using. So keeping things like Firefox or SQL Server Management Studio open can consume a significant portion of the server’s memory.
While it is understandable to log onto a server and utilise system resources for maintenance, troubleshooting or deployment purposes, many people do not realise that these resources are not released once they disconnect from the server. In fact, when you try to close a Remote Desktop Connection from the blue bar at the top, you get a warning that tells you this:
We can confirm this by opening the Users tab in the Task Manager, and see that logged in users who have disconnected are still using up a lot of memory (and other resources):
It is interesting to note that Sherry and Smith each have just Firefox open, with 3 or 4 tabs. You can imagine what the impact would be if there were more users each with more applications running.
In order to free up resources when you’re done working on the server, simply Sign Out instead of just disconnecting:
Once users have signed out, you’ll see that those disconnected sessions have disappeared from the Users tab in Task Manager, and their respective resources have been freed:
So there you go: this little tip can help you make the most of your server simply by not being wasteful of system resources.