Choosing views and controlling the display
Performance Monitor can present counter statistics in
several ways. By default, it graphs the statistics. A graph is useful when you are
tracking a limited number of counters because you can view
historical data for each counter that you are working with. By
default, Performance Monitor samples the counters once every
second and updates the graph over a 100-second duration. This means
at any given time there can be up to 100 seconds’ worth of data on
the graph. If you change the sample interval and duration, you can get more information
into the chart. For example, if you set the sample interval to once
every 10 seconds and the duration to 1000 seconds, you can get up to
1000 seconds’ (or about 17 minutes’) worth of data on the
You can set the sample interval by using the General tab of
the Performance Monitor Properties dialog box, as shown in Figure 10. To open this dialog
box, press and hold or right-click the Performance Monitor node and
select Properties. Then set the sample interval and duration using
the Sample Every and Duration text boxes.
Figure 10. Configure the display properties.
The options on the Display Elements panel on the General tab
of the Performance Monitor Properties dialog box control the
availability of the Legend, Value Bar, and Toolbar. The Legend is displayed at the
bottom of the details pane, and it shows the color and line style
that are used for each counter. The Value Bar is displayed between
the graph and the legend. It shows values related to the counter you
selected in the graph or in the legend. The Toolbar is displayed above the graph and provides the
basic toolbar functions for working with Performance Monitor. You might find that it is much
easier to use the shortcut keys than to tap or click the Toolbar
buttons. The Toolbar buttons and their shortcut keys are as
View Current Activity
Ctrl+T; switches the view so that current activity being logged
View Log Data Ctrl+L;
switches the view so that data from a performance log can be
Change Graph Type Ctrl+G;
switches the view to toggle among bar graph, report list, and
Add Ctrl+I; displays the
Add Counter dialog box, which lets you add counters to
Delete Delete key; removes
the counter so that it is no longer tracked.
highlights the counter using a white line so that it is easier
to see. Highlighting works best with graphs. If you want to turn
the Highlight function off, press Ctrl+H again.
Copy Properties Ctrl+C;
creates a copy of the counter list along with the individual
configuration of each counter, and puts it on the Windows
Clipboard. The information is formatted as an extensible markup
language (XML) file. If you open a text editor, you could paste
in this information and save it for later use.
Paste Counter List Ctrl+V;
pastes a copied counter list into Performance Monitor so that it is used as the
current counter set. If you saved a counter list to a file, you
simply open the file, copy the contents of the file to the
Clipboard, and then press Ctrl+V in Performance Monitor to use
that counter list.
Properties Ctrl+Q; displays
the Properties dialog box for a select item.
Ctrl+F; freezes the display so that Performance Monitor no longer updates the
performance information. Press Ctrl+F a second time to resume
Update Data Ctrl+U; updates
the display by one sampling interval. When you freeze the
display, Performance Monitor still gathers performance
information; it just doesn’t update the display using the new
information. If you want to update the display while it is
frozen, use this option.
Help F1; displays the
Performance Monitor Help information.
The Histogram Bar and Report views deserve a bit of additional discussion. In the
Histogram Bar view, Performance Monitor represents the
performance information by using a bar graph with the last sampling
value for each counter displayed on an individual bar within the
graph. The sizes of the bars within the graph are adjusted
automatically based on the number of performance counters being
tracked and can be adjusted to accommodate hundreds of counters.
That is, in fact, the biggest advantage of the histogram—it allows
you to track a lot of counters more easily. In Figure 11, approximately
100 counters are being tracked, and it is easy to pick out which
counter is which.
Figure 11. The histogram view enables you to easily track counters
using bar graphs.
In the Report view, shown in Figure 12, Performance Monitor represents the performance information by using a report list format.
In this view, objects and their counters are listed in alphabetical
order. Current values are displayed rather than being graphed. If
you are trying to determine specific performance values for many
different counters, this is the best view to use because the actual
values are always shown.
Figure 12. Report view gives users performance information as specific
values rather than using graphs or charts.
Monitoring performance remotely
Monitoring performance on the computer for which you are
trying to establish a baseline can skew the results. The reason for
this is that Performance Monitor uses resources when it is running,
particularly when you are graphing performance information, taking
frequent samples, or tracking many performance counters. To remove
the resource burden (or at least most of it), you should consider
monitoring performance remotely. Here, you use one computer to
monitor the performance of another computer. Although this does
generate some extra network traffic, you’ll get more accurate
results for the monitored computer because you’re not using its
resources for monitoring.
By default, only administrators can monitor performance
remotely. You need to be at least a member of the Performance Monitor Users group in the domain or the
local computer to perform remote monitoring. When you use performance logging,
you need to be at least a member of the Performance Log Users
group in the domain or the local computer to work with performance logs on remote computers.
To begin remote monitoring, select the Performance Monitor node in the Performance Monitor console or in Computer Management.
To start with a new counter set and clear out any existing counters,
select a counter entry in the lower portion of the details pane,
press Ctrl+A and press the Delete key. Press Ctrl+I to open the Add
Counters dialog box. In the Add Counters dialog box, type the
Universal Naming Code (UNC) name or Internet Protocol (IP) address
of the computer you want to monitor remotely in the Select Counters
From Computer text box. A UNC computer name or IP address begins
with two back slashes (\\). So, for instance, you could type \\CorpServer03 or \\192.168.1.56.
After you type the UNC computer name or IP address, press Tab
or tap or click the Performance Object list. When you do this, Performance
Monitor will attempt to connect to the remote computer and retrieve
a list of available performance objects to monitor. You can then
choose performance objects and counters to track just as you would
for a local computer.
The Legend area shows the associated UNC computer name
or IP address for each performance counter you are tracking. If
you want to see how performance compares on different computers,
use your monitoring computer to track the same performance
counters on these computers. You can then make direct comparisons
of how these computers perform relative to each other.