Windows

Benefit from Windows Server 2008 R2's System Performance Report

Rick Vanover explains how Windows Server 2008 R2's built-in System Performance Report can help you troubleshoot issues.

On a Windows Server 2008 R2 I recently had to determine what was going on with a slow server. There are a number of things I would look at first. I primarily deal with virtual machines, and I could determine from the virtualization tools that the system was busy, but not much else. Within Windows, I found this incredibly useful report called System Performance to help me quantify the slowdowns.

The System Performance Report is built in to Windows and is in the reports section of the Server Manager console (Figure A). Figure A

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This report has to be enabled through the Windows Performance Monitor, and then you can run it by typing Perfmon at the console. Once in Perfmon, the report in question can be enabled. A 60-second collection interval starts, and then immediately useful data is presented on the Windows Server (Figure B). Figure B

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I knew the problem was storage (as it usually is), but I didn't know exactly what was causing the issue. When you dive into the disk section of the report, you'll see a section called Hot Files (I like that name!). From there, you can see which files are causing the slowdown on the server. In this example, the server contains a database engine and is residing on a Tier-2 (slower) storage platform. The lack of disk performance is felt, and it is reported as the second hottest file in terms of Kb/Writes (other than this performance report) (Figure C). Figure C

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There is a lot of good information in this report, and while it doesn't offer central management capabilities, it can be useful for on-demand troubleshooting. Tip: When you are finished with the System Performance Report, you should make sure it is disabled in Perfmon because it may continue to consume disk resources.

Post to the discussion if you have used the System Performance Report for troubleshooting.

About

Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.

9 comments
Vern Anderson
Vern Anderson

you can also access it from the command line... perfmon /report

mdrider
mdrider

The article says "This report has to be enabled through the Windows Performance Monitor" To do so, within Server Manager or Performance Monitor (shown in the article's screenshots) expand "Data Collector Sets" then "System." Right click on "System Performance" and select "Start". This will create the report under the "System Performance" item as shown in the screenshots.

douglas.gernat
douglas.gernat

Hopefully many folks reading this post are now breathing a sigh of relief from their past experiences with perfmon on windows 2003 and prior. I recall trying to troubleshoot a DB server on a virtual host, and trying to pick through all the 1000+ counters available in the default perfmon set. Looks like Microsoft finally decided to dumb the tool down a bit for the average administrator, and give us more useful information faster. Kudos Microsoft!

harry_004
harry_004

Why authors generally miss these kind of imp steps which have been provided by Mdrider. Thanks again

jimmeq
jimmeq

From all we Server admins who are too busy to try and figure out this stuff.

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