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Windows Server 2012 : Logging and Debugging - Setting Baseline Values

11/24/2014 3:09:14 AM
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Reducing Performance Monitoring Overhead

Performance monitoring uses system resources that can affect the performance of a system as well as affect the data being collected. To ensure that performance monitoring and analyzing do not affect the machines being monitored themselves, you need to decrease the impact of performance monitoring. Some steps can be taken to ensure that performance-monitoring overhead is kept to a minimum on the server being monitored to create as accurate of an analysis on a system as possible:

• Use a remote server to monitor the target server. Servers can actually be dedicated to monitoring several remote servers. Although this might also lead to an increase in network bandwidth, at least the monitoring and tracking of information do not drastically degrade CPU or disk I/O as if the monitoring tool were actually running on the server being monitored.

• Consider reducing the frequency of the data collection interval because more frequent collection can increase overhead on the server.

• Avoid using too many counters. Some counters are costly in terms of taxing a server for system resources and can increase system overhead. Monitoring several activities at one time also becomes difficult.

• Use logs instead of displaying graphs. The logs can then be imported into a database or report. Logs can be saved on hard disks not being monitored or analyzed.

Important Objects to Monitor

The numbers of system and application components, services, and threads to measure in Windows Server 2012 are so extensive that it is impossible to monitor thousands of processor, print queue, network, or storage usage statistics. Defining the roles a server plays in a network environment helps to narrow down what needs to be measured. Servers could be defined and categorized based on the function of the server, such as application server, file and print server, or services server such as DNS, domain controller, and so on.

Because servers perform different roles, and hence have different functions, it makes sense to monitor the essential performance objects. This helps prevent the server from being overwhelmed from the monitoring of unnecessary objects for measurement or analysis.

Overall, four major areas demand the most concern: memory, processor, disk subsystem, and network infrastructure. They all tie into any role the server plays.

The following list describes objects to monitor based on the roles played by the server:

Active Directory Domain Services—Because the DC provides authentication, stores the Active Directory database, holds schema objects, and so on, it receives many requests. To be able to process all these requests, it uses up a lot of CPU resources, disks, memory, and network bandwidth. Consider monitoring memory, CPU, system, network segment, network interface, and protocol objects such as TCP, UDP, NBT, NetBIOS, and NetBEUI. Also worth monitoring are the Active Directory NTDS service and site server LDAP service objects. DNS and WINS also have applicable objects to be measured.

File and print server—The print servers that process intensive graphics jobs can utilize extensive resources of system CPU cycles very quickly. The file server takes up a lot of storage space. Monitor the PrintQueue object to track print spooling data. Also monitor CPU, memory, network segment, and logical and physical disks for both file and print data collection.

Messaging collaboration server—A messaging server such as an Exchange Server 2010 uses a lot of CPU, disk, and memory resources. Monitor memory collection, cache, processor, system, and logical and physical disks. Exchange objects are added to the list of objects after Exchange is installed, such as message queue length or name resolution response time.

Web server—A web server is usually far less disk intensive and more dependent on processing performance or memory space to cache web pages and page requests. Consider monitoring the cache, network interface, processor, and memory usage.

Database server—Database servers such as Microsoft SQL Server 2008 can use a lot of CPU and disk resources. Database servers can also use an extensive amount of memory to cache tables and data, so RAM usage and query response times should be monitored. Monitoring objects such as system, processor, logical disk, and physical disk is helpful for overall system performance operations.

 
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