Stress Testing File Server Capacity

by Chris Sanders [Published on 29 March 2011 / Last Updated on 31 Jan. 2010]

Testing file servers for a supported workload has always been something that’s challenging outside of an actually deploying a server and seeing how it performs. Microsoft is currently testing a product which should allow for this to be done with great ease.

Although most network administrators will at some point have a desire to stress test their file servers to see the potential for how much of a user load a server can take, most will never do so because it’s never really been that practical. Microsoft recognized this problem and responded by creating its File Server Capacity Tool (FSCT).

FSCT can be used to identify server bottlenecks, provide statistics for server throughput, and to estimate the total number of users a server can support. Although Microsoft designates that this is not a capacity “planning” tool, there is nothing to say that it can’t really be use to help establish baselines for how certain servers should perform in planning for network installations and upgrades.

FSCT can be downloaded from

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The Author — Chris Sanders

Chris Sanders is a network security analyst for EWA Government Systems Inc. Chris is the author of the book Practical Packet Analysis as well as several technical articles. His personal website at contains a great deal of information, articles, and guides related to network administration, network security, packet analysis, and general information technology.

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