This video opens with a quick overview of the Task Manager and the Resource Monitor and their respective benefits and limitations in Windows Server 2016. The Performance Monitor is introduced with a walkthrough of the interface and an emphasis on the importance of gathering performance data over time.
- [Instructor] The primary objectives of this course are to orient you in some of the utilities available to monitor, and to maintain, a Windows 2016 Server. And we've just finished a chapter on maintenance through updates, and this chapter is going to be about monitoring. More specifically, it's about monitoring the performance of our servers. And we'll be using the current version of some very old tools to do it. Here I am on the same Windows 2016 Data Center Server that we configured to be our update server in the last chapter.
And you can tell by looking at this screen that we've had some performance concerns. What we're going to take a look at as we move forward, is how to keep an eye on our performance, and how to get the information we need about how our server's running, and how it's handling the workload that we've assigned to it. Now the first tool I want to point out, has changed quite a bit since it was introduced back in the 1990s. It's the Task Manager. You can launch it a few different ways, and I'm a bit more old-school than some, so I'm going to do it by right-clicking on the task bar, and selecting Task Manager from the list.
The screen that loads first is not all that useful. All it does is list for us the applications that are running and have an obvious presence on the server. Now, we just described how this machine is running Windows Update Service, which is not showing up in the list, so clearly this is not giving us a complete picture. I'm going to select More Details down below, which will open up the full scope of information that the Task Manager can make available to us. Now we have something that provides the kind of information that the Task Manager originally provided.
It has a list of all processes that are running, and how much processor and memory each is taking up. But I want to take you to one other tab. The Performance tab will actually chart some of the most common metrics that we use to decide whether or not our server is running at, or near, capacity. How well the processor is being used, how much of the physical memory is being used, and what's happening over our network connection. And you can see a current and a recent view of how this resource has been used.
But I want to take you to one other link on this page. Down at the bottom, we have a Resource Monitor. I'm going to select that, and we're going to open up a tool that shows us a little bit more. Notice how this CPU tab shows me the performance of the processors combined as one entity, but if I scroll down, I can see how each processor is being used individually. So this gives me a little bit more granular view of what's going on. And these are pretty good snapshots, and they can tell us quite a bit about what's happening right now.
But most situations require monitors that can measure performance of a server over time. We may need to know how the server performs throughout the day, or how it performs throughout the week, so we can better understand how our server works under a heavy load. The performance monitor has been built into Windows for a very long time, and it allows us to collect more custom sets of information however we want, so we can really understand how our server is doing, and to use that information to decide when to migrate roles, and when to add or change the hardware, such as the amount of memory or the processor capacity of any one machine.
So I'm going to load that Performance Monitor now. I'm going to click on the Start Menu, and type perfmon, because that's the name of this application. And you can see the Performance Monitor shows up in the list. Depending on whether you've run this utility before, your search results may have it at the top of the list, or you may have other things included, but the Performance Monitor is what we're looking for. We're going to use several features of this tool over the course of this chapter, so let's open up with a quick tour.
This window has the same layout as most MMC snap-ins. There's a tree of features off to the left, and a large window showing the most important details, and some options we select will open an Action pane off to the right. The monitor starts off by showing us a summary of what's going on right now. But if you're familiar with the older view of the Performance Monitor, and you like seeing the old-school chart view, you can select Performance Monitor from this tree on the left, and you will see whatever's selected for monitoring being charted out over a short period of time.
This isn't that much different than the Resource Monitor that we just saw, with the exception that we can add and take away, and configure the lines on the chart for as many different counters as we want. It starts with the percent processor time being charged as this red line, with all of the processors lumped together into one total, but we can use this green plus sign to add counters. And we'll do that as this chapter goes on. Back to the tree on the left, Data Collector Sets are where we can specify exactly what information we want to collect, and when we want to collect it.
We'll also be spending more time there as we go forward. At the bottom of this tree, you see Reports. And if you're trying to gather information about the server over time, you're probably generating quite a bit of data, more than you can see on one clean little chart, and having the ability to gather information on your custom data collector sets is going to be important. So that's the quick tour. Stay with me as we go through this chapter and see how the Performance Monitor can give you some of the information you need to know about your server.
- Staying up to date with WSUS
- Installing and configuring WSUS
- Monitoring Windows Server performance
- Scheduling monitoring
- Monitoring network usage with Message Analyzer
- Troubleshooting Windows Server with event logs