Friday, January 11, 2013

Perfmon: How to quickly add counters for multiple servers

Let's say you want to compare Free Page Table Entries across multiple servers. Using the PERFMON UI to do this would require a lot of repetitive clicking and typing. Thankfully there is an easier way.

Step 1: Create a "general purpose" PERFMON file
  • Open PERFMON
  • Important: In PERFMON, load performance counters from a remote server
  • Add the counters you would like to monitor
  • Configure the scale, color, and style for the counters you would like to monitor
  • Save the PERFMON settings as a file (SERVER01.HTM)

Step 2: Customize the file, creating one file for each server
  • Open the saved file in Notepad
  • Use find and replace to replace the original server name with the new server name
  • Save the file with a new file name (SERVER02.HTM, SERVER03.HTM, etc)
  • Repeat for each unique server

Step 3: Import all files into PERFMON
  • Open PERFMON
  • Drag and drop the files into PERFMON one at a time (PERFMON does not support dragging and dropping multiple files)
    • I have noticed that drag and drop does not work if I'm logged on to a server that has UAC enabled. Works great on servers without UAC enabled.

Step 4: Remove the counters that you do not need
  • Sort by counter name
  • Select and delete counters you do not need for this monitoring session (note it is possible to select and delete multiple counters at once - CTRL+SHIFT+Home, delete; CTRL+SHIFT+END, delete)
  • Only the counters needed remain
  • Counters are grouped by color (all PTE counters are red in the example image)
  • Use Backspace and select to view counters for individual servers


Best practice
For rapid support response, it may be a good idea to create one general purpose PERFMON.HTM file that has all of the PERFMON counters you commonly use in it (CPU, Memory, Physical Disk, Network Interface, etc). You can then either create a unique file for each of your servers ahead of time, or copy/modify this file as needed. During troubleshooting, it is much easier to delete unneeded entries than it is to create new ones.

Edited 2-1-2013