No matter what the screen's title bar has labeled through the years, Perfmon is one of the most important tools a Windows administrator can have at their disposal. Windows Server 2008 brings new features to the table, while still providing the same counter functionality you are accustomed to using for troubleshooting and administering Windows servers. Here is a list of some of the key new functionality of the Windows Reliability And Performance Monitor (I'm still going to call it Perfmon) in Windows Server 2008.Data Collector Set: This is a template of sorts of collector elements that you can frequently reuse. This makes it easy to compare the same collectors over different timeframes. Reports: Perfmon now offers reports that provide graphic representations of a collector set's captured information. This gives you a quick snapshot so you can compare system performance as recorded in the timeframe and with the selected counters. In this report, you can perform some basic manipulations to change display, highlight certain elements of the report, and export the image to a file. Figure A shows a Perfmon report. Figure A
Reliability Monitor: Perfmon now provides the System Stability Index (SSI) for a monitored system. This is another visual tool that you can use to identify when issues occur in a timeline fashion. It can be beneficial to see when a series of issues occurred, and if they went away or increased in frequency. Wizard-based configuration: Counters can now be made up using a wizard interface. This can be beneficial when managers or other non-technical people may need access to development or proof-of-concept systems for basic performance information. Further, the security model per object can allow delegated permissions to make this easier to manage.
To get to Perfmon, you can still just run it from a prompt. The standard user access control (UAC) irritation applies to this console, but otherwise, getting there is easy.
For more information about Perfmon, visit the TechNet Web site.
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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.