Putty and multiple tunnels - increasing system process handle count dramatically

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I'm running Putty 0.63 on:

Windows Vista business 32-Bit SP2
Core2Duo with 4GB RAM (Dell Laptop)

I'm experiencing a problem with configuring tunnels. Every entry in the tun
nel configuration in putty causes the handle count on the system process (l
iterally, the one named "System") to increase by approximately 400 after a  
successful login.

I have a test session open now with four tunnels configured, and it increas
ed the system process handle count from approximately 2700 to 4300.

If I logout, but leave the putty session running, the handle count returns  
to normal.

The handle count on the putty process does not change.

The system handle count does not change unless I have tunnels configured. I
n other words, I can log in to the same system without and tunnels configur
ed and the system process handle count does not increase.

One other significant difference between running with and without tunnels i
s that the tunnels increase the amount of nonpaged pool memory putty is usi
ng. In the session I'm currently using for testing, the four test tunnels i
ncrease nonpaged pool memory used for the putty session from 6K at the pass
word prompt to 276K just after the shell prompt appears. When I have more t
unnels configured, the nonpaged pool memory increases proportionally.

That's the limit of my understanding of this issue. My current working tunn
el configuration increases the system process handle count by more than 10,
000 - and that is for a single putty session. Each additional session incre
ases the system process handle count by an additional 10,000 handles. I don
't believe that's healthy for my 32 bit system.

Can anyone else confirm this behavior, or is this likely to be an issue wit
h my system alone?

Thanks for any replies or ideas.


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