[Video] System Performance Monitoring: Servers, Services, and Apps

In system performance monitoring, it’s really important to gather information as quickly as possible. SysKit Monitor, with its real-time monitoring functionality, enables you to instantly report on server performance. SysKit Monitor allows you to monitor various kinds of servers – primarily those that are Microsoft Windows-based. It doesn’t matter what you are running on top of your Window server. It can be SharePoint, a SQL server, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, or anything else that’s based on Windows. You can also monitor any Windows-based workstations.

We decided to prepare a video about performance monitoring of your Windows Server infrastructure using SysKit Monitor. In this video, we’re going to show you how you can review the status of all your servers, generate a complete overview of all counters running on your servers, track all app processes, manage thresholds, monitor services, receive notifications on critical warning states, and much more.

Watch the video or read the transcript to learn more about system performance monitoring with SysKit Monitor.

Table of contents:

01:27 SysKit Monitor Overview
07:11 Demo
08:00 Web Application
10:18 Server Performance Monitoring
13:55 Application Performance Monitoring
19:38 Threshold Configuration
23:35 Alert Classification
25:25 Service Monitoring

Video Transcription

Hello everyone! My name is Toni Frankola and I’m one of the co-founders of SysKit (formerly Acceleratio). SysKit Monitor is our new application and today I’m going to show you the newest features that we have in the current release.

SysKit Monitor – completely agentless solution

SysKit Monitor is a solution that’s completely agentless. If you are running a medium-sized data center, you just need to install it on a single server. This server is going to act as your central console, and from that console, you will be able to monitor all the servers that are located in your farm, and you’ll be able to retrieve the information from various types of servers in your data center. If you are running a larger environment and you have multiple data centers that are distributed in different regions or countries, you might have to deploy a data gatherer that collects data from servers that are not housed in a central location. If you are also running a single data center but with a lot of servers, you will still have to install multiple agents just performance-wise to make sure that you can retrieve information from all these servers in real time.

Server performance monitoring

On the performance dashboard, data is being gathered from all your servers, and it’s being displayed in real time. It’s very easy to add an additional server. I just have to click the Add button, select the appropriate Organizational Units in my active directory, and the system is going to give me all the servers that are available. In this case, I’m going to add a particular server to my monitoring pool. Then I can check which kind of operating systems this server is running, the number of CPUs, memory, etc.  SysKit Monitor has a web-based console as well, which displays data in real time, and you can see that values are changing because data is being retrieved all the time. The web-based application is fully featured, so it includes all the reports.

When I go back to Performance Dashboard, I’m going to focus on the SQL2012 server that I have added. I can see that the server is in the warning state and that something is causing problems for that server. In order to see more information about that server, I’m going to double-click on it, and it will open an Overview dashboard for this particular server. The Dashboard is showing the last 15 minutes of activity on this server. You can see that the majority of memory is in use and doesn’t consume much CPU. We have a lot of disks in this environment, and we have one network adapter. The process that is hosting the SQL server is consuming a lot of memory. This information is useful in a situation when you want to find out if there is something causing problems for your server, what the most important performance counters are doing, and what you have to do in order to fix the situation. You can easily switch to different servers. If you are running a farm of SQL servers, you can easily switch to a particular server that you want to see.

Application performance monitoring

Proactive application performance monitoring requires more than just keeping an eye on overall infrastructure. It means you need to know which applications to monitor and to understand the metrics you’re overseeing. Having this knowledge allows you to respond quickly to application-related problems.

With SysKit Monitor, you can see all the applications that are running on your server in real time. What this means is you can verify the resource-consuming applications and decide what actions to take. For example, this is a great way to pinpoint the root cause of application issues. If you have an application that you don’t want to run on your servers or consume that much memory, CPU, disk space, or something else that is causing problems for your server, you can easily click on a particular application to end this process. It would also be a good idea to monitor memory and network usage just to see if the values deviate from any normal standards.

Besides real-time application reports, you can check the history of a particular application – what has happened during a particular time. You can choose the time range, in which you can see all the key metrics of that particular application. You are able to choose different time periods, servers, and processes. You can troubleshoot what might have caused certain problems with applications or check a couple of important metrics, such as CPU, memory, IO reads, IO writes, and IO operations. You can even compare two different servers that are not showing the same performance results.

Application performance metrics are refreshed and updated every 30 seconds and you can monitor them from a single dashboard. You can then flag certain metrics as critical and set alarms so that each time a performance threshold is crossed you will be notified.

SysKit Monitor comes with a list of predefined reports. However, for our many satisfied customers, we offer an option to contact us if you have a specific request – perhaps a specific report that helps you fine-grain certain data.

Threshold configuration

Let’s say you want to configure a particular threshold. Click on the Manage Threshold button, create a new group, select that group, and then configure different thresholds. When you purchase SysKit Monitor, we are going to deliver predefined threshold groups based on the Microsoft-recommended best practices for servers and applications that are running on top of them. You can configure any performance counters that we are currently monitoring and adjust them in order to suit your needs, then add servers to your group. Just specify the preferred values for thresholds and a time period spent above the specified threshold to define when the computer should change its state. For example, you can receive an alert when your available disk space goes over a certain threshold. Then this server will be displayed on your Dashboard in red because the threshold has been configured to indicate that you don’t have enough memory.

Alert classification

SysKit Monitor provides you with intelligent notification classification. You can see all your alerts, which you can filter by specific server. For example, I will choose my SQL2014 server, and I can see that I have a lot of critical alerts. I can easily select all these alerts and say that they are not that important to me and reduce the level of importance. If I reduce it too low, I won’t receive that many emails, because all low-level alerts won’t be sent by default. Even though I configured something to be my threshold, I can train the system to reduce the number of emails for some particular cases.

Service performance monitoring

The final thing that I want to show you today is service monitoring. Choose a particular server and click on the Manage Services button. It is going to list all the services that are currently running on that server. Currently, I don’t have any services that are being monitored, but if I click change button, the system will automatically recognize what kind of services might be important, and you can add and start monitoring them. You can choose to receive an email notification when these services are stopped and then take appropriate action to resolve the problem. You also have the option to automatically restart the services when they are stopped.

This concludes our basic demo. Thank you for watching the video.

If you have any questions, please contact our support team. For a 30-day SysKit Monitor trial, click here.

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