Windows Server 2008 R2 monitoring and troubleshooting : Data Collector Sets

3/5/2012 11:28:34 AM
Data Collector Sets are groups of performance counters, event logs, and system information that can be used to collect multiple data sets on-demand or over a period of time. For example, you can set up a Data Collector Set to collect processor utilization, and available memory over a 10-min period. Typically, a report will be generated providing detailed information regarding the data collected and recommended fixes to performance issues. Data Collector Sets are broken down into two categories:
  • User Defined —User-Defined Data Collector Sets are created and configured by an administrator. These are custom sets that contain counters, event logs, and trace information defined by the administrator.

  • System —System Data Collector Sets are automatically created and defined by the operating system, applications, and components. By default, two data collector sets are created during the initial install of Windows Server 2008 R2. These are Systems Diagnostics and Systems Performance, as seen in Figure 1. These Data Collector sets gather core operating system information.

    Figure 1. System Data Collector Sets.

After a Data Collector Set is created, it is ready to be run. The Data Collector Set can be run manually or scheduled. During the run process, the collector will gather data based upon its defined settings. After the data collection has run, a report will be generated under the reports node. The report will contain results of the data collection process as any detected performance problems and information on how to correct the problems.

Running a System Data Collector Set

Let us take a look at running one of the System Data Collector Sets and reviewing the results created in the report:

Open Server Manager.

Expand the node Diagnostics | Performance | Data Collector Sets | System.

Right click the System Performance Data Collector Set and choose the option Start. This will start the data collection process. While the process is running, you will see a green arrow icon on the Data Collector Set (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. Data Collector Set running.

When the Data Collector Set is complete, you will see a new report generated under the Reports node as seen in Figure 3.

Figure 3. Data Collector Set report.

You can now review the report containing the performance data collected. This report can be reviewed in the report console or sent to a printer.

Creating a custom Data Collector Set

Now that you have run Data Collector Set, we will go through the process of creating a new custom Data Collector Set. To create a custom Data Collector Set, perform the following:

Open Server Manager.

Expand the node Diagnostics | Performance | Data Collector Sets.

Right click User Defined and choose New | Data Collector Set. This will launch the New Data Collector Set wizard.

Enter a descriptive name for the Data Collector Set, choose the option Create Manually, and then click Next.

You now need to select what types of data you want to collect. In this example, we will select Performance counter and System configuration information. Then click Next.

Add the % of Processor Time counter as seen in Figure 4. We will keep the default sample interval of 15 s. This means that the data collector set will take a measurement of processor utilization every 15 s. Click Next to continue.

Figure 4. Data Collector Set performance counters.

The Data Collector Set will use registry keys to determine system configuration information. You can add keys in the Registry Keys window, as seen in Figure 5. Then click Finish.

Figure 5. Data Collector Set system configuration Registry keys.

You can now run the data collector, using the same steps used to run the System Data Collector Sets in the previous exercise.

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