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Windows Server

Windows Server 2008: Performance and Reliability Monitoring (part 3) - Reports

1/7/2011 5:40:34 PM

Reports

The final folder in the Performance Monitor snap-in is Reports. The Reports folder provides diagnostic reports to support administrators in troubleshooting and diagnosing system performance problems including reliability. Reports are viewed in the central details pane of the Performance Monitor snap-in.

The reports are based on Data Collector Sets that were previously defined by users or preconfigured and included with Windows Server 2008 R2 Performance Monitor. The report console’s features and functionality are very similar to those seen by means of the reports introduced with Server Performance Advisor in Windows Server 2003.

The Reports folder is broken into two main subfolders: User Defined reports and System reports. The default System reports typically include reports relating to LAN Diagnostics, System Diagnostics, and System Performance. Additional System reports are automatically generated depending on the server role installed on the Windows Server 2008 R2 system. For example, an Active Directory Diagnostics system report is automatically included in the console when the Active Directory Domain Services server role is installed on the Windows Server 2008 R2 system.

Creating a User Defined Report

The first step in creating a User Defined report is creating a User Defined Collector Set and defining the parameters for a collection. After the User Defined Collector Set is created, data collection must be manually started or scheduled to run at a specific date. At this time, a report folder is automatically generated under the User Defined folder. After the report is created, you can review the contents by selecting it. When viewing reports, it is possible to expand specific items such as the report summary, diagnostic results, or CPU for additional information. This is depicted in the sample System Performance Report in Figure 4.

Figure 4. Viewing the System Performance Report.


Viewing Predefined System Reports

Another option for assessing system health and troubleshooting system anomalies is to leverage the predefined system reports. The following steps illustrate how to view these system reports:

1.
In the Performance Monitor navigation tree, expand the Data Collector Sets folder and then System.

2.
Right-click one of the predefined Data Collector Sets such as System Diagnostics, and then click Start. This starts the data collection process.

3.
Now expand the Reports folder, System, and then System Diagnostics.

4.
Highlight the newly created report and review the contents of the report in the central details pane.

Note

The report generates and appears when the data collection process is complete. The report is automatically tagged with the current date.


Reliability Monitor

The Reliability Monitor was a brand-new tool first introduced with the release of Windows Vista and then reintroduced with Windows 2008. This enhanced system management tool is the second monitoring tool available within a Windows Server 2008 R2 system. The tool can be invoked by selecting View Reliability History from within the Action Center. Use this tool when you need help troubleshooting the root cause associated with reduced reliability of a Windows Server 2008 R2 system. Reliability Monitor provides event details through system stability charts and reports that help diagnose items that might be negatively impacting the reliability of a system.

The tool uses a System Stability Index to rate the stability of a system each day over its lifetime by means of an index scorecard that identifies any reduction in reliability. An index rating of 1 represents a system in its least stable stage, whereas an index rating of 10 indicates a system in its most stable stage. Each day’s index rating is displayed in a System Stability Chart graph, as illustrated in Figure 5. This graph typically helps administrators to identify dates when stability issues with the Windows Server 2008 R2 system occurred. Additional itemized system stability information can be found in an accompanying System Stability Report section of the Reliability Monitor screen. The additional stability information further assists by identifying the root cause of the reliability issues. This information is grouped into the following categories: Software Installs and Uninstalls, Application Failures, Hardware Failures, Windows Failures, and Miscellaneous Failures.

Figure 5. The Reliability Monitor screen.


Reliability Monitor is an essential tool for identifying and correlating problems with Windows Server 2008 R2. With Reliability Monitor, an administrator can quickly identify changes in a system that caused a negative trend with system reliability. As such, this tool can also help administrators anticipate other problems, which ultimately leads to solving issues efficiently and effectively.

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