KevSoft Rolls Out Automated Optimization

Series of patent-pending algorithms can watch how servers use cache and memory, then determine how to improve use of page files

Startup KevSoft Corp. is preparing to launch new software that automates optimization of terminal servers such as Citrix Systems Inc.s WinFrame or Microsoft Corp.s Terminal Server.

The Alpharatta, Ga. company created a series of patent-pending algorithms that can watch how servers use cache and memory, and then determine how to improve the servers use of page files. The Tscale agent that uses the algorithms can then automatically make the necessary changes without impacting the operation of the server.

For one early user, the Tscale agent was able to reduce memory utilization in one server by 30 percent, allowing the server to support another 10 users, according to Brian Hill, a Citrix integrator working for GE Power Systems Energy Services unit in Atlanta, GA.

"This one application were working with – we are saving a good 20 (megabytes of memory) per user. Thats 400 meg a machine," said Hill.

The lightweight agent watches terminal server memory and cache use every 10 seconds, without exacting a performance penalty in the process. Optimization tasks, during which the application is modified on the fly, can be scheduled to run at night or during other low-usage times.

"The major constraint in the performance and scale of a terminal server is the constant swapping of things to the page file as memory gets filled up by multiple instances of an application," said Bernd Harzog, president of KevSoft. "It watches for apps that are abusing the page file and prevents that from occuring, so you dont have to buy more memory (or servers)."

"We could effectively increase our capacity by a third by puttng this on our servers," said Hill.

Before an optimization task is executed, the software backs up the current binary code of the application, so that changes can be rolled back "piece by piece" if necessary, Harzog said.

Tscale can also detect files with digital signatures, which cannot be modified, so that they are not changed. "We also have an exclusion list built in for specifying things you dont want to change," he added.

Tscale includes a user interface that details what it is going to do and what it has done, an analysis service and the optimization task. The tool is available now.