Author Topic: How do I configure aswServ.exe (on managed clients) to use "Normal" priority?  (Read 14371 times)

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AMG

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How do I configure aswServ.exe (on managed clients) to use "Normal" process priority?  It defaults to "High" and this is causing interference with our users...they're systems frequently stall for a few seconds while aswServ.exe is busy with high CPU utilization...

Offline igor

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I don't think it's possible.

AMG

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Anyone from Alwil care to make an official statement on this...?

Offline Vlk

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What Igor said can be considered official.
The thing is, making the process priority lower is not a cure to CPU spikes. Even a process with low priority can easily take 100% CPU and all other programs will starve.

Windows is not a realtime OS, process priorities work just like hints.

It would be better to focus on what's causing the spikes. Is it the auto-update?
If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving's not for you.

AMG

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The disabling of the auto update push/pull configuration has eliminated the most dramatic intereference (1-2 minutes of aswServ.exe taking complete control of systems).

I presume it's just routine heavily file system I/O that's causing this now...tends to happen when working with visual studio projects.

As developers I'm sure you can appreciate that having visual studio freeze on you for a few seconds (on very fast machines)...and causing itunes to stop playing music...can be a major interference.  The developers go to task manager and see "aswServ.exe" hogging the CPU...and with it's process priority being high...it overrules everything else.

Is it technically not possible for me to modify the process priority, or, is it just a case of you folks not wanting to support doing it?  Sorry if I seem like a pain on this, but, I need to make avast work for us without the interference it's causing now...

Offline Vlk

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1. In the current version, there's no way to tell avast to NOT make the process priority High. We can make this configurable in the next version, but it can't be done atm.

2. I'm still a bit surprised that you're seeing so dramatic symptoms (iTunes stopping for a while etc). What is the sensitivity of the Standard Shield provider? Also, isn't there a file on your systems that is being accessed (namely, written) periodically? This may cause big overheads as avast would be trying to rescan it after each and every change (this sometimes happens e.g. with some log files; we try to filter those out from scanning, but sometimes, it's not possible).

What is the "Scanned count" value of the Standard Shield provider on your typical machine? Does it grow fast?

Thanks
Vlk
If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving's not for you.

AMG

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1. In the current version, there's no way to tell avast to NOT make the process priority High. We can make this configurable in the next version, but it can't be done atm.

2. I'm still a bit surprised that you're seeing so dramatic symptoms (iTunes stopping for a while etc). What is the sensitivity of the Standard Shield provider? Also, isn't there a file on your systems that is being accessed (namely, written) periodically? This may cause big overheads as avast would be trying to rescan it after each and every change (this sometimes happens e.g. with some log files; we try to filter those out from scanning, but sometimes, it's not possible).

What is the "Scanned count" value of the Standard Shield provider on your typical machine? Does it grow fast?

Thanks
Vlk

1. Having that as a feature in a future version would be terriffic!

2. The standard shield has been configured with the "normal" option.  I have default exculsions configured with the addition of the "hiberfil.sys".  Otherwise, it's a stock config.  Yep, we have many files that are open and get modified rather frequently...as part of working with visual studio.  I hate to exclude such files, but, that may be the way to go.  As an experiment, I'll give it a try and post my results.

AMG

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I went to add a drive-letter exclusion for the drives containing projects...and I found I had already configured this in an attempt to isolate the behavior.

If you can add a process priority method to a future version (or if there's a semi-hack way I can do it now), that would be awesome.

Thanks for all your help!

Offline Vlk

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Unfortunately, I don't think there's a way to do it in the current version (neither regular nor hack). But there'll be an INI option for this in the next build.
If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving's not for you.

AMG

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That's awesome and I couldn't ask for anything more.

A very sincere thank you!!!   :D :D :D

AMG

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A bit of follow-up information to help with the cause...I can't fathom I'll be the only one that runs into this...but if I am...I'd still appreciate the feature of being able to set the priority from an INI file, registry setting, check box in the ADNM, etc..as you'll read below, it makes a dramatic difference.

First, if you're experiencing this issue there is a simple workaround...which unfortunately doesn't hold between system restart.  Use the freeware program from Sysinternals called "Process Explorer" to reduce the priority of the "aswServ.exe" process to "Normal".  As I suspected, this completely eliminates the problem we were experiencing.  When any process on an NT-based system has to do a lot of work...and it has a higher priority than everything else...it will take control of the machine...I'm really surprised no else has run into this...

Second, this situation is most profound when either of the following is happening:

- Large file (>20MB) being transferred (regardless of transport method [i.e. USB, Firewire, WLAN, Ethernet, etc.)
- Avast managed client is updating the VPS defs., or the program itself

I look forward to having the process priority being an option in the next version of the managed client.  Until then, I have at least found a workaround we can live with temporarily...  ;)

Offline Vlk

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Hi AMG,

the new version (4.7.566) is out, and it brings the following two enhancements (related to the subject of this post):

  • the updater is now executed with lower priority; that should prevent the problems with non-preemptible background updating process
  • as promised, you can now tell aswServ.exe to not elevate its priority. This is done by using the following INI setting

    [AAVM]
    ProcessPriorityBoost=0


    You can also centrally force this setting to the managed clients by using the ADNM console -- just copy the above two lines to the "Custom INI Settings" box in the properties of a computer group.

Thanks
Vlk
« Last Edit: June 29, 2006, 10:55:40 AM by Vlk »
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Offline Lisandro

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the updater is now executed with lower priority; that should prevent the problems with non-preemptible background updating process
I can imagine that this is true to Home/Pro versions too...  8)

as promised, you can now tell aswServ.exe to not elevate its priority. This is done by using the following INI setting

[AAVM]
ProcessPriorityBoost=0
Can this be used to Home/Pro avast4.ini file too?
Which are the Priority parameters, I mean, what means 0 or 1 here?
Thanks.
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AMG

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Hi AMG,

the new version (4.7.566) is out, and it brings the following two enhancements (related to the subject of this post):

  • the updater is now executed with lower priority; that should prevent the problems with non-preemptible background updating process
  • as promised, you can now tell aswServ.exe to not elevate its priority. This is done by using the following INI setting

    [AAVM]
    ProcessPriorityBoost=0


    You can also centrally force this setting to the managed clients by using the ADNM console -- just copy the above two lines to the "Custom INI Settings" box in the properties of a computer group.

Thanks
Vlk

I say this with the utmost sincerity...the rapidity and quality of implementation of this request are extremely impressive.  Our company will continue to use your products as long as I'm still making decisions!  ;)

Offline Vlk

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Thanks for the positive feedback (now, I'm blushing...  :))

BTW any chance of creating an avast case study in your company? We're currently in the process of preparing some... ;)


Thanks
Vlk
If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving's not for you.