Windows performance counters list

Pb_user_/ October 2, 2012/ Windows performance counters list/ comments

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#71 Performance Counters

IT insights. When a Windows server is running as expected, no one notices. But as it begins running low on resources, a system administrator typically finds out quickly just how important that server is. Performance suffers and Windows performance counters can help. It's important for admins to track resource utilization over time and get alerts on when resources such as CPU, disk, memory and network usage are showing anomalous behavior.

This is where performance counters come in. Performance counters are an extensive system of metrics that can be tapped into through a number of means.

Nearly anything an admin can think of has a performance counter that's capable of exposing just how much a server is being utilized. In this article, we're going to go over how to read these performance counters and look at some common counters that, if proactively tracked, will result in fewer headaches down the road.

There are two main ways to read performance counters on a Windows system; through the Performance Monitor application or via command line probably PowerShell. Let's use the GUI first. To get to the Performance Monitor, run perfmon. This is actively tracking the total processor usage determined by the Instance column at the bottom. Let's now add a couple of other common counters to this graph. These are performance counters that track, in real time, how much percentage of free space all disks combined or single disks are consuming.

Once I add them, you'll see that it immediately begins monitoring each counter once a second. An administrator can track as many counters as necessary here on the local or remote computers. The Performance Counter is nice for seeing point-in-time snapshots of activity but doesn't scale well if an administrator needs to monitor activity across lots of servers at once.

This is where PowerShell comes in. Using PowerShell's Get-Counter cmdletan administrator can query this data and build alerts, various triggers or output the data in just about any way she wants.

Let's hook into these three performance counters we just went over above but this time with PowerShell. As I mentioned, I'll use the Get-Counter cmdlet to continuously get at the exact same information that Performance Counter was polling.

Windows and Linux performance data sources in Azure Monitor

I can do the same for the Available Memory performance counter as well. These counters are all being done locally, but I can gather a point-in-time snapshot of a performance counter across many different remote servers as well. You can see that by using the ComputerName parameter, I can specify as many servers as I want to query. Let's now build a small monitoring tool with PowerShell to keep an eye on a remote server's performance that's easier to read than the default output.

To make this happen, we'll need to write some PowerShell to capture the output from Get-Counter on a regular basis and format it into a table.

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This is some fancy PowerShell code, but this is again just polling a performance counter once per second and doing it for a total of five seconds.

Although this time, by using PowerShell, we can manipulate the output to whatever format we desire! Using PowerShell allows you more control. Topics: IT insights. Adam Bertram is a year veteran of IT.The Get-Counter cmdlet gets performance counter data directly from the performance monitoring instrumentation in the Windows family of operating systems.

Get-Counter gets performance data from a local computer or remote computers. You can use the Get-Counter parameters to specify one or more computers, list the performance counter sets and the instances they contain, set the sample intervals, and specify the maximum number of samples. Without parameters, Get-Counter gets performance counter data for a set of system counters.

Many counter sets are protected by access control lists ACL. To see all counter sets, open PowerShell with the Run as administrator option. The dot.

windows performance counters list

This examples gets the counter data for all processors on the local computer. Data is collected at two-second intervals until there are three samples.

The SampleInterval parameter sets a two-second interval to check the counter. MaxSamples determines that three is the maximum number of times to check the counter. This examples gets continuous samples for a counter every second. To specify a longer interval between samples, use the SampleInterval parameter.

This example uses the pipeline to get the counter list set and then sort the list in alphabetical order. The CounterSet objects are sent down the pipeline.

The objects are sent down the pipeline to Format-Table. The AutoSize parameter adjusts the column widths to minimize truncation. In this example, Start-Job runs a Get-Counter command as a background job on the local computer. To view the performance counter output from the job, use the Receive-Job cmdlet. The MaxSamples parameter specifies to get samples of the counter. ComputerName specifies the two computers and MaxSamples specifies to get 10 samples from each computer.

This example gets the value of a performance counter on 50 random, remote computers in the enterprise. The ComputerName parameter uses random computer names stored in a variable. To update the computer names in the variable, recreate the variable. An alternative for the server names in the ComputerName parameter is to use a text file.

For example:. This example uses the Path property of a counter set to find the formatted path names for the performance counters.As we started working with Enterprise Backend Systems, we quickly identified a huge need for an easy way to pull data out of the Perfmon tool to allow AppAdmins and other IT Professionals to quickly identify system performance issues.

Our initial goal was to identify only the performance counters that immediately corresponded to the hardware within backend servers. This guide covers all of the Performance counters that we decided to focus on. As you read through this, you will see sections similar to below. Also note that all of the graphs were generated using our BLG Performance Report Generator and any reference toward adjusting settings to generate graphs are related to that application.

One thing to look for on the combined graph is to check for patterns. For instance, the above graph comes from a server running an ASP. As you can see, many of these dlls were single threaded and once the dlls were identified, they could be easily replaced or updated to use more than 1 CPU at a time.

Each processor has an idle thread that consumes cycles when no other threads are ready to run. This counter is the primary indicator of processor activity, and displays the average percentage of busy time observed during the sample interval. It should be noted that the accounting calculation of whether the processor is idle is performed at an internal sampling interval of the system clock 10ms.

Workload based timer applications are one example of applications which are more likely to be measured inaccurately as timers are signaled just after the sample is taken. Even though it is easier to see patterns in the combined CPU graph, there are times when it is recommended to also view the individual CPU stats, especially when a program is written to take full control of the processor s.

windows performance counters list

The above graph shows a program that has a data service that was written to only use 2 CPUs, even though the whole program was written to be load balanced across many servers, the data service was bound to 1 server. Since it was written this way, no matter how many application servers were added, the performance never increased since the bottleneck was the data service. In theory, adding all of these counters together should equal the amount of RAM installed, but in practice this does not work.

The Available Bytes counter is the pool size of available pages in RAM that the system uses to satisfy requests for new pages.

There are multiple counters available for convenience that provide this information, such as Available Mbytes, but this program uses the Available Bytes counter and does the calculation when generating the graphs. It is equal to the sum of memory assigned to the standby cachedfree and zero page lists.

The Working Set counter is the total amount of resident pages allocated in RAM that all the processes that are running on the system can address without causing a Page Fault. The value of this counter is in bytes, but this program does the calculation to MB when it creates the graphs. The Working Set is the set of memory pages touched recently by the threads in the process. If free memory in the computer is above a threshold, pages are left in the Working Set of a process even if they are not in use.

When free memory falls below a threshold, pages are trimmed from Working Sets. If they are needed they will then be soft-faulted back into the Working Set before leaving main memory.

This counter displays the last observed value only; it is not an average. Also note that Microsoft Windows has limits on how much physical memory can be consumed by Kernel Memory. If Kernel Memory reaches that Windows will in fact crash! Refer to the excellent WinInternals reference manuals for more information. The key counters that this program graphs are described below. For instance, many network card drivers utilize the Pagefile sometimes excessively and this can be misread as a memory shortage.

A System with a sustained value over 20 should be closely monitored and a System with a sustained value of over 50 is probably lacking in System Memory.

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Again, it is normal for this to spike occasionally, especially if the other Memory counters do not show a lack of System Memory.When you use the Performance Monitor tool, some counters may be missing or do not contain counter data.

The performance counter libraries may become corrupted and need to be rebuilt. This behavior may occur if certain extensible counters corrupt the registry, or if Windows Management Instrumentation WMI -based programs modify the registry. The counters may be disabled via registry settings.

Please check the following registry locations to ensure that the counters have not been disabled.

List all performance counters on a Windows computer and export it to a file.

There may be registry keys for " DisablePerformanceCounters " in any of these locations. As per the following TechNet article, this value should be set to 0. If the value is anything other than 0 the counter may be disabled.

A value of 1 means the counter is disabled. A value of 2 means the bit counter is disabled. A value of 4 measn the bit counter is disabled. Rebuilding all performance counters including extensible and third-party counters. To rebuild all Performance counters including extensible and third-party counters, type the following commands at an Administrative command prompt.

Stop and restart the Performance Logs and Alerts service. INI contains the proper information. You may be able to copy this file from an identical machine in order to restore the counters. There may be slight differences in this file from machine to machine, but if you notice a drastic difference in size, it may be missing information.

Always create a backup copy before replacing, and there is no guarantee that copying this file from another machine will restore all counters. If possible, compare the file to backups of the machine to see if the file size has decreased at some point in time. Please note, there is a hotfix for known issues with PerfDisk.

This hotfix has been rolled into SP2 for these operating systems.

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If you are at SP1 or below, please apply the following hotfix:. Skip to main content. Ensure that the counters are not disabled in the registry The counters may be disabled via registry settings. Rebuilding all performance counters including extensible and third-party counters To rebuild all Performance counters including extensible and third-party counters, type the following commands at an Administrative command prompt.

It is possible that multiple folders exist for counters that you need to repair. In those cases, you might need to use trial and error to find the correct ini files. The Record Data in the data section contains the new index values assigned to this service.

More Information. Last Updated: Oct 26, Was this information helpful? Yes No. Tell us what we can do to improve the article Submit. Your feedback will help us improve the support experience.

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Unfortunately, I do not know exactly which performance counters I can monitor and what their names are. Where can I find a list of available performance counters and how can I add them to the sensor for monitoring? The list of available performance counters can rather vary, depending on the target system. In addition, this list can be very long because there are usually hundreds of these counters. Thus, it is not possible to have a whole list of counters available in PRTG.

To find out which performance counters are available on your system and how to add them to PRTG, follow the steps below. After clicking Create in the add sensor dialog, PRTG will immediately start to monitor the corresponding performance counter. See My Performance Counter sensor does not work. What can I do? Up Down The actual unit can be anything you like - even ::SuperUnit :. Up Down Can u please share an example, i am trying to add following counter but get an error.

Add comment Created on Oct 15, PM by ypathak7 0. Up Down should do the trick - or Segments, Resets, Failures for the corresponding counters. Please log in or register to enter your reply. Back to www. Intuitive to Use. Easy to manage. What is this? Learn more. How can I find out the names of available Performance Counters?

windows performance counters list

Votes: 0 Your Vote: Up Down.Often times, these counters can help determine system bottlenecks and fine-tune system and application performance. There are many counters we can use in Performance Monitor but here in this article I am going to list 10 very important performance counters that really matter and that you should know of. Just right-click on the chart area, and select Add Counters from the context menu.

The PhysicalDisk counters monitor disk drives on the computer. Their numbers are the sum of the access to all partitions on the physical instance, not strict only to the logical drives. Here are 4 of them that you should not miss. Preferably staying at the top of your chart at all time. Both 2 and 3 are the ones in Performance Monitor to measure the IO latency. The higher number usually indicating a problem that is hard disk related, either a program that constantly accessing the disk more often than usual, or a hard disk is failing.

The Memory counters are great resources to identify if your system is suffering because of the memory-related bottleneck. Less than that usually indicating there is insufficient memory which can increase paging activity. You should consider adding more RAM if that happens. A number higher than that, as a result of excessive paging, usually indicates there may be a memory leak happening. There may be a disk bottleneck if this value is greater than MB.

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February 3, Load more.Have you ever wondered how to list all performance counters that are present on your computer? Well, I have and after some research I discovered the TypePerf. Believe it or not, TypePerf. The syntax looks like this tested on a Vista machine. This command will list all performance counters on your computer and save it to a text file named counters.

I tried to oen in my loacal PC. I am able to see the counters. Please let me know how we can able to see the list of counters with values. Thanks in advance. And if you are using a non-english operating system like Windows R2 German and your textfile does not display the umlauts correctly, then you just use the output function of typeperf itself:. Home About Contact Privacy. Home Microsoft List all performance counters on a Windows computer and export it to a file. Z Be Sociable, Share!

This is what I was looking for. And it works…. Hi, Just tested it on Windows 8. Still works fine. Do you run it as Administrator? And if you are using a non-english operating system like Windows R2 German and your textfile does not display the umlauts correctly, then you just use the output function of typeperf itself: typeperf -q -o counters.

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This is awesome. Anyone know how to also get the description with each counter? Leave a reply Cancel reply.

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