Monday, July 20, 2009

Using Performance Monitor to Gather Server Performance Statistics

Before you begin, if you are going to use a central workstation to collect statistics, make sure the Performance Logs and Alerts service on the workstation is configured to start with a domain account that has access to every server that you want to monitor.
1. Load the PerfMon utility on a workstation or server (Administrative Tools > Performance).
2. In the left pane, select Counter Logs (located under Performance Logs and Alerts).
3. Select Action from the top menu (or right-click Counter Logs) and choose New Log Settings.
4. Enter a descriptive name for your log settings.
5. Click the Add Counters button.
6. Choose the Select Counters from Computer option, and type in the name of one of the servers you are going to monitor below it. Be sure and include the \\ before the Windows server name.
7. After you enter your server name, it will connect to it and display a list of available counters below it.
8. Select the performance object that you want to display counters for (for example,
processor, memory, network interface), and then select the individual counter (for
instance, Pages/sec), select All Instances if it is applicable (except for Network
Interfaces, you do not want to select the Loopback interface) and not grayed out, and
then click the Add button.
9. Repeat this for every performance counter that you want to monitor on the server.
The recommended counters you will want to add are listed here:

Memory: Available MBytes
Memory: Pages/sec
Processor: % processor time
System: Processor queue length
Network Interface: Bytes total/sec
Physical Disk: % Disk Time
Physical Disk: Avg. disk queue length
Physical Disk: Disk bytes/sec
Physical Disk: Disk transfers/sec

10. After you have added all counters for a particular server, you can type in a new server name to continue adding counters for other servers.
11. Click the Close button after you have added all counters.
12. Select the data sample interval, the default is 15 seconds, which is an aggressive interval and will result in more peak instances because of the shorter sampling period. You may want to consider changing this to a high interval between one and five minutes so that you do not overwhelm the workstation and cause it to miss data from some of the servers.
13. Click OK to save your custom log settings.
14. Collection will automatically begin (as indicated when the icon turns green). The results will be written to a log file (for example, C:\PerfLogs\MyServers000001.blg). You can stop it at any time by selecting your log settings and selecting Action, Stop (or by right-clicking it and selecting Stop). When you stop a collection, the log file it has written to is no longer used; a new log file is created once you start it again.
15. If you have stopped your collection, you can review it by selecting System Monitor in the left pane, and then clicking the Disk icon (View Log Data). Then, on the Source tab, select your log file that was created. Optionally, you can change the time range. On the Data tab, add your performance counters for each server. On the General tab, select your view type (Graph, Histogram, or Report) and click OK. Your counter will be displayed, and you can see the minimum, maximum, and average results for each one.
16. It’s a good idea to test this for a short period (for example, one hour) and review the
results to make sure it is working before you leave it running for a longer period of

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