Friday, June 05, 2009

Performance Counters Analysis : SQL Server , IIS , MOSS , BizTalk , Exchange , and Active Directory

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Logs are one of the fundamental resource where data profiling and collection starts for performance tuning. Reading logs which can exist in a variety of formats starting from text files to Windows Event Logs, and then aggregating information and making sense out of it is not an easy task. This can become more tedious if your job is to keep a constant watch in production environment thru logs.

In case of SQL Server there are two tools that can be of use, if you are dealing heavily with logs. Log Parser Tool and Performance Analysis of Logs Tool. Mentioned below are the description of the tools from their respective project sites:

Log Parser

Log parser is a powerful, versatile tool that provides universal query access to text-based data such as log files, XML files and CSV files, as well as key data sources on the Windows® operating system such as the Event Log, the Registry, the file system, and Active Directory®. You tell Log Parser what information you need and how you want it processed. The results of your query can be custom-formatted in text based output, or they can be persisted to more specialty targets like SQL, SYSLOG, or a chart.

PAL Tool

Ever have a performance problem, but don't know what performance counters to collect or how to analyze them? The PAL (Performance Analysis of Logs) tool is a new and powerful tool that reads in a performance monitor counter log (any known format) and analyzes it using complex, but known thresholds (provided). The tool generates an HTML based report which graphically charts important performance counters and throws alerts when thresholds are exceeded. The thresholds are originally based on thresholds defined by the Microsoft product teams and members of Microsoft support, but continue to be expanded by this ongoing project. This tool is not a replacement of traditional performance analysis, but it automates the analysis of performance counter logs enough to save you time. This is a VBScript and requires Microsoft LogParser (free download).

PAL Tool Features
  • Thresholds files for most of the major Microsoft products such as IIS, MOSS, SQL Server, BizTalk, Exchange, and Active Directory.
  • An easy to use GUI interface which makes creating batch files for the PAL.vbs script.
  • A GUI editor for creating or editing your own threshold files.
  • Creates an HTML based report for ease of copy/pasting into other applications.
  • Analyzes performance counter logs for thresholds using thresholds that change their criteria based on the computer's role or hardware specs.

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