Lesson 12: Monitoring System Performance

The Performance console contains many indicators to help you determine how efficiently your system is operating. This lesson introduces Performance Console and explains how to use it to monitor system performance.

After this lesson, you will be able to

  • Use Performance Console to monitor your system

Estimated lesson time: 10 minutes

Using Performance Console to Monitor System Performance

You can monitor the activity of your symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) system by using Performance Console and its counters. Performance Console helps you to gauge a computer's efficiency and locate and resolve current or potential problems. In Performance Console, a set of counters exists for each object. Table 2.14 describes a few of the available objects.

Table 2.14 Performance Console Objects

Object Description
CacheMonitors the file system cache that is used to buffer physical device data
MemoryMonitors the physical and virtual memory on the computer
PhysicalDiskMonitors a hard disk as a whole
ProcessorMonitors CPUs

Adding Counters

Adding counters to an object, such as the ones described in Table 2.14, allows you to track certain aspects of the objects. You can use the following steps to add counters to an object in Performance Console.

  1. Click Start, point to Settings, Taskbar and Start Menu, and click the Advanced tab.
  2. On the Advanced tab, check Display Administrative Tools, then click OK.
  3. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Performance.

    Performance Console starts.

  4. At the bottom right of the console, right-click Counter and click Add Counters.

    The Add Counters dialog box appears.

  5. In the Performance Object box, select the object for which you want to add counters.
  6. Ensure that Select Counters From List is selected.

    You can add all counters, but that usually provides more information than you need or can interpret.

  7. Select a counter from the list and click Add.

    For an explanation of a counter, select it and then click Explain.


    If you want to add several counters at the same time, you can hold the Ctrl key down and select the individual counters of your choice from the list. If you want to select several counters in a row, hold down the Shift key and click the first in the list that you want and then click the last in the list that you want to select. All counters listed between the first and last you clicked will automatically be selected.

  8. When you have completed your selection of objects and counters, click Close to return to Performance Console.

Table 2.15 describes a few of the counters you might find useful in evaluating your system's performance.

Table 2.15 Performance Counters

Under Processor;choose % Processor Time This counter shows the percentage of time that the processor spends executing a non-idle thread. This counter is an indicator of percentage of time that the processor is active. During some operations, this can reach 100 percent. These periods of 100-percent activity should occur only occasionally and should not reflect the normal amount of activity for the processor.
Under Processor,choose % DPC Time This counter determines how much time the processor is spending processing deferred procedure calls (DPCs). DPCs are software interrupts or tasks that require immediate processing, causing other tasks to be handled at a lower priority. DPCs represent further processing of client requests.
Under Processor,choose \Interrupts/Sec This counter determines the average number of hardware interrupts the processor is receiving and servicing in each second. It doesn't include DPCs. This counter value is an indicator of the activity of devices that generate interrupts, such as the system clock, mouse, network adapter cards, and other peripheral devices. If the processor time value is more than 90 percent and the Interrupts/Sec value is greater than 15 percent, this processor probably needs assistance to handle the interrupt load.
Under System,choose Processor Queue Length This counter determines how many threads there are in the processor queue. There is a single queue for processor time, even on computers with multiple processors. A sustained processor queue of greater than two threads usually indicates that the processor is causing a problem to the overall system performance.

Lesson Summary

In this lesson you learned that you can use Performance Console and its counters to monitor the activity of your SMP system. Performance Console helps you to gauge a computer's efficiency and locate and resolve current or potential problems. Adding counters to an object allows you to track certain aspects of the objects.

MCSE Training Kit(c) Microsoft Windows 2000 Accelerated 2000
MCSE Training Kit(c) Microsoft Windows 2000 Accelerated 2000
Year: 2004
Pages: 244

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