How do you get started quickly in determining what could be hampering performance on one of your Exchange servers? You could run through logs, and manually manipulate the Windows Performance Monitor, or, you can use a tool Microsoft released in 2004 called the Performance Monitor Wizard, which is available for download here. Note that the Performance Monitor Wizard can be used for more than Exchange, but is of particular use on your Exchange servers.
Once downloaded, you should extract the contents of the zip file and run the PerfWiz.exe program. This starts a wizard, as you might have guessed, that walks you through managing performance logs.
The wizard asks you a few questions, including:
- The name of the computer that will collect the logs. Try to use a collection computer separate from the monitored server in order to get more precise statistics.
- What kind of performance profile you want to create: a standard profile, a profile that watches for high CPU usage, or an advanced profile with more granular settings.
- Once you select your performance profile, you need to tell the wizard which machine you want to monitor.
- The wizard also specifically asks if the target machine is an Exchange server.
- You're also asked to provide a log file name and max size.
- The sample interval is a key component and determines how often your server will be polled.
- You are also asked to provide how often "the problem occurs". This helps the Performance Monitor Wizard try to highlight times during which you might be experiencing a problem, so that you can bring it to quicker resolution.
Once you've provided your parameters, click the Start button to start data collection. Once you're done with data collection, start the Windows Performance Monitor and add the log files generated by the utility to the display (right-click the graph, choose Properties, and, from the Source tab, locate the .blg log file captured by the Performance Monitor Wizard and click OK.