Section 11.1: The System Monitor

The System Monitor is the primary tool for monitoring system performance and is located in the Performance console in Administrative Tools. This can be used to determine the computer's efficiency and locate and resolve current or potential bottleneck problems. You can also monitor the performance of remote computers from the local System Monitor console.

System Monitor contains a number of objects, each with its own set of counters. The available System Monitor objects include: Cache, Processor, Memory, Logical Disk, Physical Disk, Network Interface, Server, System, Terminal Services, and Web service. Information about these objects and their counters can be displayed in three formats: as a graph, as a histogram, or as a text report. You can alter these views by clicking one of the three buttons in the button bar directly above the graph.

11.1.1: Adding Performance Counters

To monitor the performance of an object, you must add the appropriate counter that is relevant to the aspects of the object you want to monitor. To add counters to an object in System Monitor, do the following:

•Click on the START button




•In the console tree, click system monitor

•Right-click anywhere in the Details pane

•On the pop-up menu, click ADD COUNTERS

•In the Performance Object drop-down box, select the object for which you want to add counters

•Select the appropriate counter from the list Click ADD

•When you have selected the desired objects and counters, click close

Counter Comment
Memory: Available Bytes The amount of physical memory, in bytes, available to processes running on the computer. If this is less than 4MB, check for memory leaks and add RAM if necessary.
Memory: Pages/sec The rate at which pages are read from or written to disk to resolve hard page faults. This counter is a primary MCSE 70-292 indicator of the kinds of faults that cause system-wide delays. If more than 20, investigate paging settings.
Paging File: % Usage The amount of the Page File instance in use in percent. The Paging File value should match up with the previous two values. A value exceeding 70 percent is not healthy for the system.
PhysicalDisk: Avg. Disk Queue Length The average number of both read and write requests that were queued for the selected disk during the sample interval. A count of up to 2 is acceptable.
Logical Disk: Free Megabytes The unallocated space, in megabytes, on the disk drive. If below 15% of the total disk size, clear more disk space or increase logical disk space.
Physical Disk: %Disk Time, Logical Disk: %Disk Time The percentage of time that the selected disk drive was busy servicing read or write requests. If consistently above 90%, the disk is not being read quickly enough. This could be a hardware issue. It could also be that the amount of data on the disk is too large.
Processor: % Processor Time The percentage of elapsed time that the processor spends to execute a non-Idle thread. If consistently above 80%, find the process-intensive processes and move them to separate processors or add adding another processor or by upgrading to a faster processor.
Processor: Interrupts/sec The average rate, in incidents per second, at which the processor received and serviced hardware interrupts. If the counter value increases without additional processes, the cause could be hardware related.
Server: Bytes Total/sec The number of bytes the server has sent to and received from the network. If all your servers' Bytes Total/sec is the same and similar to the maximum network speed, you might need to increase the network bandwidth.
Server: Pool Paged Peak The maximum number of bytes of paged pool the server has had allocated. This indicates the proper sizes of the Page File(s) and physical memory. This counter should not be greater than the physical RAM value. If it is, add more RAM.
11.1.2: Performance Logs and Alerts

The Performance console also has a Performance Logs and Alerts node, which you can use to configure logging of performance related information and to configure the system to alert you when thresholds are reached. The Performance Logs and Alerts node has three child nodes: Counter Logs; Trace Logs; and Alerts Counter Logs and Tracer Logs

The counter logs store the performance counter information while the trace logs enable you to trace applications and processes. You can use these logs to analyze data at a later opportunity. The creation of the counter logs and the trace logs are similar. To create a counter log, do the following:

• Click on the START button




• In the console tree, click the performance logs and counters node

• Right-click COUNTER LOGS node

• Then select new log settings from the pop-up menu

• Enter a name for the new counter log

• Click the add objects or add counters button to add performance objects or counters to the new counter log

• Select the Performance Objects or the Counters you want to add to the log

• Click ADD

• Then click CLOSE

• In the Sample data every: section, configure the frequency of the log file entries by using the interval and units option boxes

• Click on the log files tab

• In the Log file type list box, select the log file type

• Then click the CONFIGURE button

• Click on the Schedule tab

• In the Start log section, set the start date and time or select the manually (using the shortcut menu) radio button

• In the Stop log section, configure the end time and the subsequent operations of the termination of the log file

• When done, click the OK Alerts

You can configure the system to alert you when one of the performance thresholds is met. You can create an alert by right-clicking Alerts in the console tree of the Performance console and selecting New Alert Settings. You must enter a name for the alert, and then configure the settings for it.