Using, running and saving perfmon


I have two Windows 2003 application servers that users can choose to use. Server 1 is quad core, G5 DL380 and the Server 2 is dual core, G4, DL380. For some reason, performance is worse on the Server 1 despite the better hardware. The main problem is that the application seems to run very slowly, e.g. a task that takes 40 secs on Server 2 can take up to 5 mins on Server 1, although the problem is very intermittent.

I would like to run perfmon to test CPU, RAM, NIC (possibly faulty NIC?), Page file and disk checks. And I'd like to run perfmon over a day so that I can get a general set of results.

I have a few questions I was hoping someone could help me with;

a) How would I go about running the above tests?
b) What counters are recommended to be used?
c) Is it possible to have permon running on the server, and at the end of the day save the output to a file (I assume right click the output and 'save as'?)
d) Seeing as I'm running permfon for the whole day and don't want to be logged in to the server from home, how can i set perfmon to run when I'm not connected? Instead of logging off the RDP sessions, should I just disconnect so that my session is still running?

Sorry for the basic questions, but I'd like to make sure I do this correctly!

Many thanks in advance!

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Toni UranjekConsultant/TrainerCommented:

Setup up dedicated computer to collect data from servers. Do not collect data on server itself, because the process of colleting performance will affect the results.

There are few counters which can always be used. They should cover all four subsystems: CPU, RAM, hard disk, NIC. Check the following document for details:

When you decide which counter will you use, go to co client computer, open Performance console, go to Performance Logs and Alerts and create new Counter Log. When selecting counter enter server's name in "Select counters from computer" list box in the following format: \\servername. Choose appropriate sample interval. I would normaly use one minute for daily baseline. If you are tracking down specific performence problem and you are able to reproduce this problem, then sample interval can be lowered. If you want to observe real time performance, use System monitor which is also a part of Performance console. Enter username and password of user wich has right to collect data. From security point of view it would be bettter to create dedicated user account and put it in Performance Monitor Users group on servers. In this case, when you are trying to get the whole thing starting I would recommend that you use administrator's account. After everything is setup up and tested, you should take care of security also.

Go to "Log files" tab, leave binary format selected but change the name of log files to yyyymmddhh. Go to Schedule and configure your performance counter to start at midnight, stop after 1 day and repeat the process daily.

After few hours, you will se that logs are collecting in C:\Perfmon folder. If you want to see data, go to System monitor, select Properties, go to Source tab and add your log file as source of your data.



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kam_ukAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the detailed reply.

Just one question, say if I set the schedule to run for 4 hours. Is there anyway to 'replay' the perfmon output that was saved, or does the above do it?...and is it possible to speed up etc?

Toni UranjekConsultant/TrainerCommented:
No, you would have to use Windows Server 2008 or Vista to "replay" log files and as far as I can remember you can't change time compression.
Toni UranjekConsultant/TrainerCommented:
I should be more clear on how choose name of log files. If you will be creating daily log files, choose yyyymmdd format in you will be creating new log file every hour, then choose yyyymmddhh format.
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