Indepth guide to System Performance Report for Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2

Performance Report for any machine is very important to find the reliability so when you run your applications on top of them you know it’s not going to break down. Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 both come along with an inbuilt Performance System which gives you detailed report on System Diagnostics, Performance, Event Trace and so on. In this post we will understand how you can create reports based on counters like CPU usage or TCP Ip and how to view reports.

Under Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management you can find Performance Tool. This tool is divided into three sections Monitoring Tools, Data Collector Sets and Reports.

  • Performance Tool has Monitoring Tools which has inbuilt Performance Monitor. This tool helps you in track any  process or hardware live. Useful when you want tun run an application and diagnose how it impacts the current system.
  • Data Collector Sets : Imagine this as collection of Parameters put together. Lets you say you have too many things to be checked and you cannot do it using the Performance Monitor. So you create one package and run it to create report.
  • Reports : By default Windows come with two data collector set, System Diagnostics and System Performance. Both of which are run time to time by Windows and reports are generated. These reports can be exported and used by System Administrators to understand if there is something wrong.

How to create a custom report using Windows Data Collector Sets for Performance Monitoring.

  • Right click on Data Collector Sets and choose new and give it a name.
  • At this point you will be asked if you want to to create using a template or you want to choose your own performance point.
  • The default templates available are : Basic, System Diagnostics and System Performance. All these are editable.
  • Let get to know how to create manual which will automatically tell you how to work with inbuilt template.
  • Choose Manually and next screen select  if you want logs ( Performance Counter, Event and Configuration. ) or Performance Counter Alert.
  • Once done that you will see your Data Collector Set ready.

Now before going ahead lets understand some basic points about these new terms.

  • Performance Counter data collector
  • Event Trace data collector
  • Configuration Data data collector
  • Performance Counter Alert

Data Collector are logs for information about activities and system events, changes in registry keys. They are more like records. Performance Counter Alert is when you want to get notified about an event when it crosses certain limit. For example getting notified when TCP/IP Connection fails for more than 10 times.

Create a Performance Counter Alert:

  • Right click on existing  data set and select new data collector. Select Performance Counter Alert.
  • Next you will get a Windows which will ask you to add Counters. For each counter you can set the limit point.

Creating Log Based Data Collector :

This is same as alerts except that there is no limit point, instead you have intervals here at which the data needs to be recorded.

Reports for Performance Counters

Done with counters and monitor tools its time to check the output, Reports.  Reports like Data Collection sets are of two types. User Defined and System Defined. All the data sets which you had created comes under user defined and so does the reports. Now to get reports you will need to run the data collector sets. Remember you cannot run each counter it should run as a set.

Right click and start the process. Depending on how you have configured the data collector set you will get the report.  Any time you latest report you have an option there which is very useful. Under Reports section you will all the reports generated with same name as your Data collector name.

Properties of Data Collector Sets :

Coming to the last part it is important for you to know the properties of the data set which lets you do a bit of configuration. Right click on any of the data collector set and you will get options to :

  • Change under which user it will run.
  • Add Keywords which is useful when it comes to search.
  • Specify which folder the reports will be generated.
  • You can also schedule to run on specific days.
  • Stop Conditions.
  • And any Task which you want to run when stop condition meets.

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