Performance Monitors for SharePoint

OK, people, this is all new to me.  The objective is to identify a couple of dozen performance metrics that can be monitored to indicate that our farm servers are healthy.

So we need to figure out this perfmon.exe program that's part of our operating system.  Perfmon.exe is an application that will start from a command prompt and then run inside your MMC.  Out of the box, it provides a way to chart system performance over time.  You really get to the lines move from left to right over time. 

Apparently, many commercially available programs will provide "performance objects" than perfmon.exe can count; after you instally the program, you can make perfmon count occurances of things that happen inside your new program.  SharePoint obviously provides a number of these objects and if you google it, you'll find that our friend, Ben, has provided a great reference of these SharePoint Performance Objects on his blog here.

So my presumption is that somehow I can use the objects and counters in Ben's list and make the perfmon.exe program track them.

Well, Microsoft gives us this explanation of how to add a counter to your perfmon mmc.

So I run the program by selecting Performance from my Control Panel's Adminsitrative Tools menu or by typing perfmon.exe in a DOS box.  There's already a couple of counters listed at the bottom of the screen and the little red bar starts moving from left to right.  I see I can adjust the scale to get the line to move more or less.  I can also delete a counter by clicking on it and pressing Delete.

To add a counter, I right-click and select Add Counters.  The Perfromance Object pulldown is where I see the list of objects from Ben's list.  Then, the Select Counters from List option lets me choose specific counters associated with the chosen object.

For example, I select the SharePoint Publishing Cache as my Performance Object and then the Publishing cache hit count and the Publishing cache hits/sec counters.

OK, maybe those weren't such great example because I can't get them to log any activity in the mmc.

So I thought I'd try the SharePoint Search Gatherer object and select the Admin Clients counter.  The explanation says it reports the number of currently connected administrative clients.  So that starts at 2 and stays there, but, then, for a second, it climbs to 3 and goes back down.

So now I'm wondering which of these counters should I focus on to measure my server's performance.





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