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Mark Russinovich: Inside Windows 7 Redux

53 minutes, 5 seconds


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Windows 7 is here, available to all for purchase and ships today with new PCs! To celebrate this momentous occasion for Windows and Microsoft, Technical Fellow Mark Russinovich joins me in a discussion that extends the great conversation we had last year on Windows 7 internals. In his previous C9 interview, Mark told us about many of the new additions to the Windows kernel which enable Windows 7 (and Windows Server R2) to scale to large numbers of processors. Well, removing the kernel dispatcher lock is not all that the great Arun Kishan did. He also developed a new scheduling mechanism known as Distributed Fair Share Scheduling (DFSS). Mark describes what this is and how it works.

We also discuss NUMA, non-uniform memory access, (and Mark explains NUMA to us while showing a demo or two on a 256 processor machine!)

Moving on to Windows memory management, the domain of the great engineer Landy Wang, Mark discusses the new additions to the Windows Memory Manager and explains why they matter to those of us who spend all of our time and in user mode.

Learn about all of this and much more as Mark digs into the insides of Windows 7, way deep down in the system (the culmative effects of which help to make Windows 7 Microsoft's most reliable, scalable and efficient general purpose operating system to date). As usual, Mark explains very complex mechanisms and concepts in a readily understandable way. This is a very conversational piece and we cover a lot of ground in a relatively short period of time. We also learn exactly why Mark is so passionate about operating systems and what the spark was that set off his passion and curiosity of how things work internally.

Mark will be presenting at PDC09 in the Technical Leaders track and the free Windows 7 Developer Boot Camp. His talks will be very deep and will explore all aspects of the new, improved Windows 7 kernel. I highly recommend that you attend both of these talks if you are going to PDC (you're going, right?!).

Check out the Windows area on 9 for more great Windows 7 content, all rolled up into a nice experience!


Note: Check out all the 9 Guys Mark has. :) Also, you should subscribe to his incredible blog.


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  • What is that tool that let's you draw on the surface of any window? Like, screen paint?

  • ZippyVZippyV Fired Up

    Can it run Crysis?


    And what did Mark do on Windows 7?

  • Bent Rasmussenexoteric stuck in a loop, for a while

    Manycore killer "application"? Raytracing. Smiley

    Impacts gamers (pretty many of them) and 3D software in general

    (And that's right Charles: peeking our interest with future trends is much appreciated)

  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change

    Mark oversees the development and evolution of the Windows kernel... That's an ambient truth in our conversation(s) with him, right? Smiley


    All new or updated kernel components do not emerge without Mark's involvement. And Mark has put SysInternals machinery into Windows.



  • stevo_stevo_ Human after all

    Great video, love hearing about the kernel Big Smile


    What's that wonderful pointing device he's using where he points and makes an arrow? I-Must-have-it!

  • @ACG That's my Zoomit tool: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897434.aspx 

  • LOL! Charles, Mark actually made you speechless at many points during the interview, including the very end. He's a real hard core technical dude to talk to, isn't he and I see you really respect him as do we all!


    Thanks for the interview...


  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change



  • Mark, here's one for you: I downloaded ZoomIt, but it doesn't draw the cool arrow heads at the end of the line like it did when you used it on this video. Are you holding features back on us Smiley ?




    Edit: I should have played wit it more, it's Ctrl-Shift-Click to get straight lines and arrows. Great tool!


  • Wow, 256 logical CPUs! Still, 252 CPUs to go Big Smile

    Moar of Mark, please Smiley



    Is it me, or the Mark really looks alike Kianu Rivz (Neo from The Matrix)?  Smiley

    Yay, Neo is on the job to fix the "Matrix"  Tongue Out

  • in the last channel9 video posts i can't see any video platform files, are you cutting it. I used IE8 and FF but i cannot see the different file versions as before. The high wmv is really nice but for online viewing for us people with low bandwidth is kind of useless. I tried to see mark's interview but the thing is not viewable. 


    anyway just extra pain i have to download the whole thing to see it.


    For not saying only the bad things i'm really happy with the new training courses on channel 9,and the nice lessons of Dr.Meier! keep them coming.



  • I can't wait to talk to Mark about the potential bug I found in the scheduler.  Hopefully I'll have all my ducks in rows to show it to him at PDC.

  • Charles, thanks for all you do but for the love of all things holy in the world, the next time you interview Mark, please use the following script "Mark, great to see you again.  Please use the remainder of the hour to tell us what you want to."  I love you man, but you had him re-hash the kernel refactoring speech of last time for something like the first fifth of this interview.  When you have a Ferrari out for a test drive, you need to leave the parking lot and get out on the Autobahn asap...  Just some constructive feedback.  Again, thanks for all you do...you're the only one who does this for us and we sincerely can't thank you enough for it.  Cheers.

  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change

    Fair enough. I appreciate your candor and feedback.


    In some sense, I guess I was trying too hard to get Mark to address the problem of OS modularity (MinWin is only the beginning of breaking Windows into meaningful and compositional pieces).


    I think we need to get Mark to do some C9 Lectures Smiley



  • Please visit the performance lab, i would like to see those monster machines in action! A long time ago you allready showed an old HP Superdome machine, connected to a huge array of harddisks - that was one of my favorite channel 9 shows ever!

  • Amazing interview: maybe Mark understimate a bit how his tools are important even for the end users. It is great to see how well he managed the transition between Sysinternal and Microsot.

    A real mind to preserve Smiley


  • Hi Mark,

    So, as an Admin, how do I specify my resource distribution on the server? More specifically, in your example you mentioned two users remoting into the server. How do I specify that user X gets atmost 25% of the CPU and user Y gets amost 50% CPU?


  • Well thank you for taking the feedback in the spirit in which it was intended and not reading too much into it.  Don't want to sound like I'm looking a gift horse in the mouth...it's a fine gift horse after all Smiley

  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change

    Interviewing Mark is always a pleasure. You will see Mark's PDC session online (like all PDC sessions). That should give you what you want: pure Mark!


  • A Channel 9 video from 2004 - here you see the HP Superdome, it had 1TB of RAM in 2004 allready - imressive !!!


    (click on the WMV file download, the embedde video does not work)




  • Mark's smile made me come to this video.. very smart guy

    and thank you charles for the internview.




  • Hey Mark, just wondering if there will ever be a newer version of ERD Commander for Vista/Win7? I have used the 2005 version for many years and find the registry access for the installed OS to be amazing for removing rootkits which are very common these days.  Unfortunately ERD is powerless on Vista/Win7 and was wondering if you plan on releasing a self bootable tool that will be able to mount the registry of the installed OS supported by Vista and Win7?

  • Another great video!  Please keep them coming, especially if you can get Mark to give a tour of the performance lab.  I'd also love to see a more detailed discussion of the future of the Windows integrity control system: Is this a taste of a future full-blown mandatory access control system to compete with SELinux in secure environments?  What kinds of tools and Group Policy support will there be in the future for managing custom sets of integrity labels?  Thanks!        

  • Mark, so whats with PageDefrag for win7 x64 ? )

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