Optimize network performance on Windows instances - Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud

Optimize network performance on Windows instances

To achieve the maximum network performance on your Windows instances with enhanced networking, you might need to modify the default operating system configuration. We recommend the following configuration changes for applications that require high network performance. Other optimizations (such as turning on checksum offloading and enabling RSS, for example) are already configured on official Windows AMIs.


TCP chimney offloading should be disabled in most use cases, and has been deprecated as of Windows Server 2016.

In addition to these operating system optimizations, you should also consider the maximum transmission unit (MTU) of your network traffic, and adjust according to your workload and network architecture. For more information, see Network maximum transmission unit (MTU) for your EC2 instance.

AWS regularly measures average round trip latencies between instances launched in a cluster placement group of 50us and tail latencies of 200us at the 99.9 percentile. If your applications require consistently low latencies, we recommend using the latest version of the ENA drivers on fixed performance instances built on the Nitro System.

Configure RSS CPU affinity

Receive side scaling (RSS) is used to distribute network traffic CPU load across multiple processors. By default, the official Amazon Windows AMIs are configured with RSS enabled. ENA ENIs provide up to eight RSS queues. By defining CPU affinity for RSS queues, as well as for other system processes, it is possible to spread the CPU load out over multi-core systems, enabling more network traffic to be processed. On instance types with more than 16 vCPUs, we recommend you use the Set-NetAdapterRSS PowerShell cmdlet, which manually excludes the boot processor (logical processor 0 and 1 when hyper-threading is enabled) from the RSS configuration for all ENIs, in order to prevent contention with various system components.

Windows is hyper-thread aware and will ensure the RSS queues of a single NIC are always placed on different physical cores. Therefore, unless hyper-threading is disabled, in order to completely prevent contention with other NICs, spread the RSS configuration of each NIC among a range of 16 logical processors. The Set-NetAdapterRss cmdlet allows you to define the per-NIC range of valid logical processors by defining the values of BaseProcessorGroup, BaseProcessorNumber, MaxProcessingGroup, MaxProcessorNumber, and NumaNode (optional). If there are not enough physical cores to completely eliminate inter-NIC contention, minimize the overlapping ranges or reduce the number of logical processors in the ENI ranges depending on the expected workload of the ENI (in other words, a low volume admin network ENI may not need as many RSS queues assigned). Also, as previously noted, various components must run on CPU 0, and therefore we recommend excluding it from all RSS configurations when sufficient vCPUs are available.

For example, when there are three ENIs on a 72 vCPU instance with 2 NUMA nodes with hyper-threading enabled, the following commands spread the network load between the two CPUs without overlap and prevent the use of core 0 completely.

Set-NetAdapterRss -Name NIC1 -BaseProcessorGroup 0 -BaseProcessorNumber 2 -MaxProcessorNumber 16 Set-NetAdapterRss -Name NIC2 -BaseProcessorGroup 1 -BaseProcessorNumber 0 -MaxProcessorNumber 14 Set-NetAdapterRss -Name NIC3 -BaseProcessorGroup 1 -BaseProcessorNumber 16 -MaxProcessorNumber 30

Note that these settings are persistent for each network adapter. If an instance is resized to one with a different number of vCPUs, you should reevaluate the RSS configuration for each enabled ENI. The complete Microsoft documentation for the Set-NetAdapterRss cmdlet can be found here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powershell/module/netadapter/set-netadapterrss.

Special note for SQL workloads: We also recommend that you review your I/O thread affinity settings along with your ENI RSS configuration to minimize I/O and network contention for the same CPUs. See affinity mask Server Configuration Option.