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Windows Vista

Maintaining Desktop Health : Monitoring Reliability and Performance (part 1) - Component Binaries, Opening the Reliability and Performance Monitor, Using Resource Overview

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3/29/2013 4:50:46 PM

The Reliability and Performance Monitor is new in Windows Vista and provides new features as well as improvements to existing features. The key objective of the Reliability and Performance Monitor in Windows Vista is to provide an interface that makes it easier for users to visually find and isolate the cause of performance problems rather than just obtain and view performance data.

The Windows Vista Reliability and Performance Monitor contains the following components:

  • Resource Overview

  • Performance Monitor

  • Reliability Monitor

  • Data Collector Sets

  • Reports

1. Component Binaries

The Reliability and Performance Monitor is a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in that is implemented in perfmon.msc. The following component-specific binaries are loaded when you start the Reliability and Performance Monitor MMC:

  • pdh.dll Used to interact with various performance counter sources

  • pdhui.dll Provides the new Add Counter dialog boxes (formerly in pdh.dll)

  • pla.dll Determines if the user has permission to view/modify performance data and allows programmatic logging of performance data

  • perfctrs.dll Acts as a performance counters interface

  • perfdisk.dll Acts as a disk performance object interface

  • relmon.dll Reliability Monitor

  • tdh.dll Event Trace Helper

  • wdc.dll Includes all Perfmon user interface elements

2. Opening the Reliability and Performance Monitor

You can open the Reliability and Performance Monitor by using any of the following methods:

  • Open the Computer Management console (compmgmt.msc), expand System Tools, and click Reliability and Performance

  • From within Administrative Tools open the Reliability and Performance Monitor

  • Add the Reliability and Performance Monitor snap-in to a Microsoft Management Console (MMC).

  • Type perfmon.exe or perfmon.msc and press Enter at the Start menu.

You can also open the Resource Overview and Performance Monitor alone from the command prompt without opening the Reliability and Performance Monitor as follows:

  • Type perfmon /sys to launch Reliability and Performance Monitor in standalone Performance Monitor mode (formerly System Monitor).

  • Type perfmon /report to launch Reliability and Peformance Monitor in a standalone window, run the Diagnosis report for 60 seconds, and display the resulting report (new for Windows Vista).

  • Type perfmon /rel to launch Reliability and Performance Monitor in standalone Reliability Monitor mode (new for Windows Vista).

  • Type perfmon /res to launch Reliability and Peformance Monitor in standalone Resource Monitor mode (new for Windows Vista).

To open Reliability Monitor outside of the Reliability and Performance Monitor, you can add the Reliability Monitor snap-in to a MMC console.

Note

When you open the Resource Overview using /res or Performance Monitor using /sys, these components are hosted in perfmon.exe rather than in mmc.exe. The parent window for Resource Overview is titled Resource Monitor when you open it with the command perfmon /res. In addition, Performance Monitor no longer supports collecting data from Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), so the command perfmon /wmi is no longer supported.


3. Using Resource Overview

When you open the Reliability and Performance Monitor, the Performance Diagnostics node is highlighted by default and the new Resource Overview is displayed in the main MMC pane as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Resource Overview showing expandable details for CPU graph.

The Resource Overview provides a resource utilization summary for the four main performance metrics:

  • CPU

  • Disk

  • Network

  • Memory

Four scrolling graphs in the Resource Overview pane display the real-time resource usage in one-second intervals. Beneath the scrolling graphs are four expandable sections that provide more granular detail about each resource. You can expand the details sections to show more resource information by clicking the resource graph or by clicking the down arrow on the right side of the desired details section.

The Resource Overview is implemented in wdc.dll and is hosted in either an MMC console (mmc.exe) or perfmon.exe, depending upon the method that you use to start the component. Resource Overview components are discussed in more detail in the following sections.

Note

You can use the Resource Overview to monitor resources only on the local computer. You cannot obtain Resource Overview information for a remote computer.


CPU Graph

The CPU graph shows the overall CPU utilization. The expandable CPU details section shows the per-process CPU utilization along with a mini graph that displays the current CPU usage. The CPU details section (shown in Figure 22-1) includes the following information:

  • Image The application using CPU resources

  • PID The process ID of the application instance

  • Threads The number of threads currently active from the application instance

  • CPU The CPU cycles currently active from the application instance

  • Average CPU The average CPU load resulting from the application instance, expressed as a percentage of the computer’s total processing capacity

Disk Graph

The Disk graph displays the total current disk I/O rate. The expandable Disk section shows the per-process disk utilization along with a mini graph showing current total disk usage in KB/sec. The Disk section includes the following information:

  • Image The application using disk resources

  • PID The process ID of the application instance

  • File The file being read and/or written by the application instance

  • Read The current speed (in bytes/min) at which data is being read from the file by the application instance

  • Write The current speed (in bytes/min) at which data is being written to the file by the application instance

  • IO Priority The priority of the I/O task for the application

  • Response Time The response time in milliseconds for the disk activity

Network Graph

The Network graph displays the current total network traffic in kilobits per second (Kbps). The expandable Network section shows the per-process network usage along with a mini graph showing current network utilization. The Network section includes the following information:

  • Image The application using network resources.

  • PID The process ID of the application instance.

  • Address The network address with which the local computer is exchanging information. This may be expressed as a computer name when referring to other computers on the same local area network, an IP address, or a hostname.

  • Send The amount of data (in bytes per minute) the application instance is currently sending from the local computer to the address.

  • Receive The amount of data (in bytes per minute) the application instance is currently receiving from the address.

  • Total The total bandwidth (in bytes per minute) currently being sent and received by the application instance.

Memory Graph

The Memory graph displays the current hard faults per second and the percentage of physical memory currently in use. The expandable Memory section shows the per-process memory usage and two mini graphs showing hard page faults per second and the percentage of physical memory in use. The Memory section includes the following information:

  • Image The application using memory resources

  • PID The process ID of the application instance

  • Hard Faults/min The number of hard faults per minute resulting from the process instance

  • Commit The amount of memory committed by the process

  • Working Set The amount of physical memory, in KB, currently in use by the process instance

  • Shareable The current size of memory, in KB, that a process has allocated and that can be shared with other processes

  • Private The current size of memory, in KB, that a process has allocated and that cannot be shared with other processes

Note

Hard page faults are a better indicator of memory starvation than soft page faults. A hard page fault occurs when the referenced memory page is no longer in physical memory and has been paged to the disk. A hard page fault is not an error, but it can indicate that more memory is needed to provide optimal performance.

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