Performance tuning requires an understanding of the entire system. Administrators should not try to tweak settings or add/remove software until they know the real cause of a performance problem. Several performance analysis tools are included in Windows, including the Resource Monitor, Performance Monitor, and even some Command Prompt utilities. The Resource Monitor is a useful tool that provides a quick reference to current performance conditions on a Windows machine. The Performance Monitor can also be used to view current performance conditions, but one of its greatest capabilities is in monitoring performance for a period of time and then analyzing the reports related to that monitoring period.
While performance tuning is often about reducing the load on servers, many newer servers are very powerful and are actually underutilized. In such scenarios, virtualization can be used to more fully utilize the servers’ capacities. Virtualization allows you to run multiple operating systems concurrently on a single host computer. Hyper-V is Microsoft’s server-based virtualization solution for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Windows Virtual PC is available for Windows 7 clients.
- Use the Resource Monitor to view network activity while downloading a large file from the Internet.
- Use the tasklist command to view the running processes consuming more than 20,000 KB of RAM.
- Use the Performance Monitor to view the values of the \Processor\% Privileged Time counter.
Answers for Exercises
- Consider downloading the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit for this exercise. It is a free download and can generate traffic you can view in the Resource Monitor.
- Open the Command Prompt. Execute the command: tasklist /fi “memusage ge 20000”.
- Use the instructions provided in this chapter to add the counter to the live view of the Performance Monitor.
- 1. What tab in the Resource Monitor shows handles opened by processes?
- A. Disk
- B. Network
- C. CPU
- D. Memory
- 2. True or false: When CPU utilization is high, a faster CPU is always required.
- 3. What Command Prompt command can be used to view performance counter values?
- A. sc
- B. taskkill
- C. openfiles
- D. typeperf
- 4. What performance counter displays the amount of time the CPU spends processing user application requests?
- 5. What is used to run an operating system on a server concurrently with the host operating system?
- A. A virtual machine
- B. VHD
- C. Resource Monitor
- D. Performance Monitor
- 6. Define virtualization.
- 7. Define System Monitor.
- 8. Define hypervisor.
- 9. What Command Prompt command can be used to configure settings for services?
- A. tasklist
- B. taskkill
- C. sc
- D. net
- 10. True or false: The System Monitor is part of the Performance Monitor.
Answers for Review Questions
- 1. C The CPU tab shows both handles and modules.
- 2. False In many cases, insufficient memory or other system resources can cause CPU utilization to rise. Purchasing faster CPUs or more CPUs is not always the best method of dealing with high CPU utilization.
- 3. D The typperf command can be used to both list the available counters and the values of those counters.
- 4. Processor\% User Time. The Processor\% User Time performance counter shows user time. This is the time spent running user mode applications as opposed to privileged or kernel mode applications.
- 5. A A virtual machine is used to run the second operating system. The VHD may provide the hard drive, but a virtual machine is required to run the OS.
- 6. A method used to run multiple operating systems concurrently on a single physical machine. Each operating system runs in a virtual machine.
- 7. An ActiveX control that gathers information about performance counters and displays values as numeric information and line graphs.
- 8. The virtualization layer that sits between the hardware and the operating system in a bare metal virtual machine solution.
- 9. C The sc command can be used to configure service settings. The net command can only be used to start or stop a service.
- 10. True The System Monitor is an ActiveX control that is in Windows operating systems and may be loaded into other applications. The Performance Monitor loads the System Monitor to display performance data from a log or live analysis.