- Using the Task Manager as a Performance Analysis Tool
- Understanding the Processes Tab
Understanding the Processes Tab
If you're a system administrator who has worked on UNIX systems before, you'll recognize the format of the -grep command because it replicates the processes command on many of these systems. Many UNIX administrators use the grep command to get the specifics of processes running on their servers. Microsoft's inclusion of this feature is certainly more graphical than its UNIX counterpart. Just as in UNIX, a process is an executable program (such as PowerPoint or Explorer), a service (a function controlled by Services in Control Panel, such as Event Log or Messenger), or a subsystem (such as one from Windows 3.X applications). You can see that this tab provides a glimpse of which applications are taking what percentage of processor and virtual memory usage. Figure 3 shows the Processes tab selected, with processes sorted in CPU time order.
Figure 3 Exploring the Processes tab in the Windows Task Manager.
By default, the Process tab displays for each process the following variables:
Image Name. The application or process name.
Session ID. The process IDa number that uniquely identifies a process while it runs.
CPU. The percentage of elapsed time that the process used the processor (CPU) to execute instructions.
Mem Usage. The number of kilobytes of virtual memory used by the process.
Other process-related columns are also available for display. To make your selections, choose Select Columns from the View menu while the Processes tab is displayed.
The Networking and Users pages are new to the Task Managere. Briefly, the Networking page provides a scale showing the relative level of Local Area Connection traffic that the XP workstation you're working with is generating. By default, only 1% is shown. If the users you are working with are downloading many files and are working with many remote resources, the percentage of Local Area Connection will go up quickly. Figure 4 shows an example of the Networking page of the Windows Task Manager dialog box.
Figure 4 Using the Networking page of the Windows Task Manager.
Also useful is the Users page of the Windows Task Manager, which provides a quick glimpse of who is logged on, and who has which status on the workstationincluding their ID and Client Name. Figure 5 shows an example of the Users dialog box for the Windows Task Manager, with only the Administrator logged in.
Figure 5 Working with the Users Page of the Windows Task Manager.
A final note on the Task Manager: You can also minimize it to the size of a small icon along the right corner of the Taskbar. This icon is a representation of CPU Usage only. The Task Manager is minimized by clicking on the horizontal bar in the upper-right corner of the dialog box. You can reinitialize the full size of the Task Manager by double-clicking on the small icon in the Taskbar.