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Windows Server

Windows Server 2012 : Monitoring, Tuning, and Troubleshooting Hyper-V - Using real-time monitoring tools

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7/14/2013 7:25:06 PM

The process of monitoring their servers is an important task for a server administrator.

By monitoring the performance of physical and virtual servers, you obtain data that can be used to understand the workload and its effects, identify bottlenecks and resource trends, diagnose issues, and optimize the system.

There are two options to monitor your system: real-time monitoring and logged monitoring.

Real-time monitoring is normally used to check server performance for troubleshooting purposes, to quickly and easily identify the cause of poor performance, for example. Logged monitoring is used to measure and collect performance data, so that you can identify workload problems and trends.

In this recipe, we will walk through some default tools that can be used for real-time monitoring.

Getting ready

Before you begin, make sure your account is a member of the local administrators group. The Performance Monitor Users group also can be used (for monitoring purposes only).

How to do it...

In the following steps, you will see how to open and explore Task Manager:

  1. To open Task Manager, launch the Start menu and type task manager. Select Task Manager from the result list.
  2. In the Task Manager window, click on More Details to see the hidden tabs and advanced options shown in the following screenshot:
    How to do it...
  3. Navigate through the tabs Process, Performance, Users, Details, and Services, to check current information.

In the following steps, you will see how to open and explore Resource Monitor:

  1. To open Resource Monitor, launch the Start menu and type resource monitor. Select Resource Monitor from the result list.
  2. In the Resource Monitor window, use the tabs Overview, CPU, Memory, Disk, and Network to get resource details, as shown in the following screenshot:
    How to do it...
  3. To manage a running process or application, right-click on the object from the list and select one of the existing options, such as End Process, End Process Tree, Analyze Wait Chain, Suspend Process, Resume Process, or Search Online.

In the following steps, you will see how to open and explore Performance Monitor:

  1. To open Performance Monitor, type perfmon.msc at the Start menu and press Enter.
  2. In the Performance Monitor window, under Performance, expand Monitoring Tools and click on Performance Monitor.
  3. Right-click on the monitor area and click on Add Counters.
  4. In the Add Counters window, select the counter you want to monitor.
  5. Under Instances of selected object, select the instance you want to monitor, if available.
  6. After selecting the counter and the instance, click on Add, as shown in the following screenshot:
    How to do it...
  7. After adding the counters, click on OK. The results will be shown in the monitoring area.
  8. During monitoring, select the counter from the counter list to check information such as Last, Average, Minimum, Maximum, and Duration, as shown in the following screenshot:
    How to do it...

How it works...

Real-time tools are your best friends for quickly analyzing and checking any problem being caused by applications, services, roles, or even the hardware. In case your server is running too slow or something stops working, you can have a look in one of the real-time monitoring tools to see what is really happening.

There are three different levels of information that you can get. For each level, there is a particular tool. The first and the second ones, with less information, can show you quick system details, while the last one is more advanced and complicated but can show you almost every little detail of all local components of your server.

The first and most common one is Task Manager . With its new version, there are two different views, the light one, which is opened by default and shows only running applications, and the advanced one, with more detail and with five tabs that allow you to check the processes, performance, users, details, and services of your local server.

The second tool is Resource Monitor . It is a sort of advanced task manager showing tabs with information about the four most important subsystems of your server: CPU, Memory, Disk, and Network. This is the right tool to quickly check your hardware performance.

Performance Monitor, or just Perfmon, is the last default tool that can be used for advanced monitoring. Perfmon contains many counters, each one with lots of instances for all components in the system, such as services, hardware, application, roles, and features. Perfmon also supports remote monitoring, allowing you to monitor a bunch of servers in just one console. This is the right tool if you need high-level details about something, which the first two tools cannot provide.

Using these default and free real-time monitoring tools, you can find issues quickly, making troubleshooting even easier in times of performance problems.

There's more...

Using Tabs on Hyper-V Manager to Monitor Virtual Machines

Hyper-V Manager also comes with improvements to help administrators to more easily understand what is going on in virtual machines.

By just clicking on a virtual machine within Hyper-V Manager, you can see advanced information about the VM, memory, networking, and replication.

These details are shown by the four new tabs at the bottom of the console when a VM is selected. Using Integration Components on the VM, Hyper-V checks (for example) the VM summary, memory utilization, IP addresses, and replication health. This option is very simple and helpful, as you don't have to connect to the virtual machine or use advanced tools to check its details.

The following screenshot shows an example of the Replication tab with the most common replication data:

There's more...
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