Many times doing daily work system administrators have to monitor system and hardware components usage in real time or for defined time periods. When calls form clients happened in which they ask why their computers or server work slowly its time to see computer resource usage. Many times system performances go down because of overloading processor or full disks, system memory etc. In this moment you should have right tool which can help you to monitor system usage and find cause of problem. For this type of diagnostic there is great tool that comes from Microsoft and can be used to for monitoring resources on all Windows platforms: Windows Performance Monitor. In this article I will describe characteristics and basic usage ofPerformance Monitor.
To start Monitor click on Start->Administrative Tools->Performance Monitor. Opens main window:
On main window that first appears when Monitor starts is tree on the left side where you can choose monitoring options. On the right side is overview of performance monitor and summary system information (memory, processor, disk usage and other main system information).
To choose what parameters you want to monitor expand Monitoring Tools and then click on Performance Monitor. Opens windows for monitoring:
Graph on the monitor shows monitoring results for specific counter defined to monitor (%Processor Time on the picture, shows current processor usage). Counters come within objects (Processor Information object on the picture). So, when you choose what system parameter want to monitor first choose object then counter (one or more) which will be monitored. You can add as more counters to monitor as you need in the moment of monitoring. To add counters click on green cross from the panel above the graph. Opens windows for adding counters:
Computer whose parameter will be monitored can be local computer or some other computer from network. To choose another computer click on Browse and find computer you want to monitor. To add counters in graph first choose monitoring object (in example from the picture it is physical disk from computer on which Monitor runs). Then click on cross left from object name. When have object chosen choose counter (one or more). To choose counter click on it on the list. When counter (one or more) is chosen choose instance of object you want to monitor. In case picture above we can choose C or D disk instance. When you have counters and instances chosen click on Add to add counters in list of counters which will be monitored:
Above picture shows that %Disk Read Time counter is chosen, for C: hard disk volume. To start monitoring click on Ok. Appears graph with monitoring results:
We have two graphs because we added new monitor. List of counters is below the graph. On the list we can choose which results form measurement will be shown. To choose it you can check or uncheck box in the Show column in counter list. Also color of graph for every counter can be chosen. To change graph color click on one of counters on the list and then right click:
When menu with options opens click on Properties. Opens Performance Monitor Properties window:
On data tab color of graph, width and style of lines can be changed. Also, in this tab all counters is displayed and new can be added. On other tab also useful settings can be made. On Graph tab graph type can be changed (you can choose histogram display etc.). When settings are changed click on OK.
On described way performance of your system can be monitored in real time. But sometimes there is need for measurement in exactly defined time period and storing measured data. For this purpose there is possibility to create data collector sets for storing measurement data to defined locations. To create data collector set expand Data Collector Set, right click on User Defined and click on New->Data Collector Set. Opens next window:
Type name of data collector set and choose if you want to use template for data collector set or create manually. With manually option you can choose exactly what you want to monitor. Let say that we want to add just one counter and monitor it for define time period. Click on Create manually and then Next. Opens window in which you can choose what data will be logged:
In this example we want to collect data from performance counter measuring. Click on Create data logs and check Performance counter. Then click Next. Opens window for choosing counters from which data will be collected:
Use Add button to add counters and then Next. Opens window for directory for storing data choosing:
Now you have your collector set for storing collected data created. By default data collection is stopped and you have to start it. Another option is scheduling data collection defining time period for which collection will be done. To do that right click on name of data collector set, click on Properties and go to tab Schedule where you can set time period for data collection.
When you have data collected and stored in file it can be read from performance monitor. To open log file click on Performance Monitor and then View Log Data button on panel above graph. In window which opens you can browse to log file and open it to view monitored data.
Now, we hope you got the idea about Windows Performance Monitor basic and useful tips which will make you more familiar with most popular windows performance monitoring tool which can make your job doing easier and more efficient.