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Activating All Performance Counters

By default, Windows 2000 (Win2K) doesn't activate two of the core performance counters: network and logical disk monitoring. If you don't activate these counters, half of your performance tuning and sizing puzzle will be missing, which makes analyzing your system's performance extra challenging. If you're concerned about a performance-related problem, you need all the help you can get!

To activate Win2K Performance Monitor's network counters, install SNMP and Network Monitor services by clicking Add Networking Components in the Network and Dial-Up Services Control Panel applet. Next, select Management and Monitoring Tools.

By default, Win2K starts the physical hard disk counters. You can use the diskperf command at a command prompt to control which disk counters are on or off. For more information about the diskperf command options, type this line at the command prompt:

diskperf -?

If you want to activate both the logical and physical hard disk counters, run this command from the command line:

diskperf -y

You must reboot your system to activate these counters. In addition, you can use the diskperf commands to start disk counters on remote systems, if you have the proper administrative privileges.

Third-Party Monitoring Tools

When your organization grows into an enterprise and you have to manage more than a handful of servers and desktops, Windows 2000 (Win2K) System Performance Monitor's shortcomings (such as no support for automatic logging into databases, and a lack of extended reporting capabilities) become apparent.

In this situation, you can integrate third-party monitoring tools into your environment. Most third-party monitoring tools are more flexible than Performance Monitor is. These tools implement one of two architectures: agent-based or polling-based. Agent-based tools place their agent on your system, collect performance information over time, and then transfer the collected performance information to a central database once a day (usually on a nightly basis). Polling-based solutions use one or more polling servers to collect performance information from target servers every few minutes, and store this information in a central database.

These tools automatically centralize performance data, creatively obtain more performance information than Performance Monitor obtains, and produce predefined performance reports that help you track bottlenecks and plan for the future. Some of the most popular third-party monitoring solutions include Hewlett-Packard's HP OpenView ManageX, and NetIQ AppManager's.

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