What does performance monitor cover?

I can see that PerfMon covers CPU, Memory, Disk, Network, applications like SQL, Exchange.

What actually defines what all (else) Perfmon will or can monitor for you?

Does it monitor every service that is running?

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Michael OrtegaSales & Systems EngineerCommented:
Aside from Microsoft based applications, no. It just monitors the resources those applications use.


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Here's the reference guide for all the counters


Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Other applications CAN include Performance Monitor counters.  Though I can't tell you which off hand.
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anushahannaAuthor Commented:
Would every and any aspect of performance of a windows environment be able to be captured with perfmon alone?

For example, some suites like in http://www.solarwinds.com/products/ do lot of monitoring in the windows environment. Does softwares like these depend on the counters that perfmon gives, or do they do their own counters independent of the OS?
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I'm not sure as I've never used those products.  However, another widely used system for monitoring is SNMP.  This is generally available on all platforms but can be difficult/complicated to setup (I've occasionally tried...).

IF you've been working in IT long enough, you learn that you CANNOT use words like WILL, EVERY, ANY, ALWAYS etc.  Computers are logical... People are NOT.  people programmed the computers.  There will be bugs. And just because a program LOOKS perfect doesn't mean it is.  

Can you explain why you're asking these questions?  You really haven't provided a context.
anushahannaAuthor Commented:
The context is the users are generally saying the application programs are running slower, generally, as time goes by, and the office has never done any benchmarks to see what the optimal parameters are for network data flow, and they want to check on what is the best way to get a handle on if everything that could be configured on the network is optimal, not perfect, but in the right direction, and if there is any bottleneck that is not yet seen, but perhaps could be uncovered with a little checking, at a high level picture. So my thought is what those tools exactly could be, and what they may not check etc.
Glen KnightCommented:
How many servers are you running?
Is Exchange, Terminal Services & SQL all on the same server?

If not do all the users connect to the Terminal Server and then run an App that uses SQL and open Exchange?

if the latter, how many users are we talking about? Which version of Terminal Server? What is the Spec. of the terminal server.

General rule of thumb is that the server should have on average 20MB of RAM per connected user.  But this would only be for basic aplications if your using anything heavy then expect to need more.

No work it out -and this is very rough working out - take you base RAM usage, so no users connected.  Then connect a single user, get them to open all the apps they are likely to open and monitor the RAM usage.  Find the difference between the 2 usages and multiply this by the number of users.
anushahannaAuthor Commented:
Thanks for that. Once I get the OK for the analysis, I will start with these pointers.
Perfmon is a very powerful tool to monitor the system for resource depletion and the any other bottlenecks, You can track high CPU usage (not in the kernel mode), the disk sub system, to chek if there are any disk latency, some kernel mode critical resources like paged pool, non paged pool, system PTEs, the network data transfer and bottlenecks, physical and virtual memory, paging activity etc. its a very helpful tool, provided you know how windows works under the hood. Many other monitoring utilities relies on the perfmon counters and some pulls the information using WMI.
It won't monitor the services. its a tool to check the performance of a system. it won't tell you if a service terminates, starts or hangs.
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Windows Server 2003

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