Monitor and Optimise

Monitoring and optimising application performance

You can monitor application performance using Windows Task Manager, which you access by clicking the CTRL, ALT and DEL keys at the same time. The default screen is displayed below:


This screen shows you the applications that you have running and their status. If an application is very slow in responding, it could be because it has stopped responding.

This shows up under Status, and you can select the application and end the task. Note also that although there are only seven applications running, there are 41 processes in this example. To examine the processes further, select the Processes tab.


This shows all the processes that are running, including those run by the operating system, where the user name is SYSTEM or LOCAL SERVICE. You can also see which user is running the process, so if a user is hogging most of the CPU you can identify them and find out what they are doing. You have also the ability to end troublesome processes here.

The Performance tab is similar to System Monitor in that it shows what is happening in graphical form:


Because the Task Manager is primarily concerned with the processor you will only see a graph of the CPU usage and the page file usage. If you have more than one CPU, they will be displayed here.(this shows quad core) The Networking tab monitors the load on your Local Area Connection, as shown in below.


Finally, the Users tab (see below) displays a list of the users that are logged onto your system and gives you the option to disconnect them, log them off or send them a message. This can be useful if a user has started a troublesome process; you can send them a message and ask what they are doing!


Resource Monitor Overview 

The Resource Monitor is a graphical tool used to display the system activity including CPU, memory, disk, and network utilisation. It includes a general overview with charts displaying each of these resources, allowing you to visualize the activity. It also provides a tabular display of process metrics for each of these resources.

The Resource Monitor can be started several different ways; from the Start button by running the ResMon.exe, from within the Task Manager on the Performance tab, or via the Server Manager under Diagnostics and Performance. With the initial release of the Resource Monitor in Windows Server 2008, it essentially provided the same functionality as the Task Manager as seen below:


New Features

All of that has changed with Windows Server 2008 R2. You’ll notice many new charts illustrating activity for each of the resources. By just clicking a resource tab, you’ll be presented with a variety of charts specific to each resource. For example, by selecting the Disk resource  several charts are graphed including overall disk utilization, and a per-disk queue length to determine how busy each disk is. This allows you to quickly visualize the utilization of all your resources with just a few mouse clicks.

The Resource Monitor allows you to select processes and drill down to the details. For example, with the CPU resource tab, you can select one or more processes and display all the associated handles including directories, files, registry keys, mapped sections, events, and more. You can also see all the associated modules such as images and dynamic link libraries (DLLs) that are mapped to each process. Each of the metrics (columns) can be sorted by clicking the header allowing you to quickly find the information you are looking.

A new “search” feature has also been added allowing you to search for a particular handle of interest. This can be very useful when trying to determine what process or application is locking a particular file or registry key. The search feature is not case sensitive and does not support wildcards. In the past, tools such as Regmon and Filemon were used to get this information, or even more drastic measures such as forcing a crash dump and analyzing it with the debugger.

 Next: Backup and Restore