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Adding Objects to the Monitor

Use the Add button (+) on the Monitor toolbar to add objects to the Performance Monitor. Click the Add button; the Add Counters dialog box appears (see Figure 24.4).

Figure 24.4. The Add Counters dialog box is used to add counters to the System Monitor.

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Did you Know?

You can also open the Add Counters dialog box by right-clicking the graph or the legend at the bottom of the graph and selecting Add Counters from the shortcut menu.

The dialog box enables you to select where the counters are located (on the local computer or other computer on the network) and for which performance object you want to add a counter. Each performance object, such as a Processor, has a number of performance counters. Each of these counters uses different parameters to measure the object’s performance.

By the Way

By default, % Processor Time (monitoring the processor) is the only counter that appears in the Performance Monitor.

A number of different options are available in the Add Counters dialog box (almost too many). For clarity, some of these options are listed and defined in Table 24.1.

Table 24.1. Add Counters Dialog Box Options
Available Counters Provides categories of counters for the currently monitored computer. Expand a category to view individual counters for a particular object.
Select Counters from Computer A drop-down box is used to select the computer to be monitored.
Show Description A check box that, when selected, shows a description of the currently selected counter group or counter.
Instances of Selected Object When you select a group or a specific counter, a list is provided of the process instances for that group or object. Click a process in the Instances of Selected Object list and then click Add to add it to the counter. Adding all instances for a particular group such as PhysicalDisk provides aggregate drive performance rather than performance for a particular drive.
Search You can highlight a counter group and then type a process name in the Search box. Click Search to find a particular process counter in the group. You can re-use search names that you enter in the Search box by using the Search drop-down list.

You can add a particular counter from the expanded counter group by selecting it or by selecting a particular instance of the selected object in the Instances of Select Object box. You then click the Add button. You can add any number of counters; however, remember that in Graph view, a large number of counters can give rise to a very busy (and confusing) graph.

When you have finished adding the appropriate counters, click the OK button. You are returned to the Performance Monitor. Your new counters appear on the graph.

Each counter that you add to the graph is assigned a different graph color. This enables you to monitor multiple counters on the graph.

By the Way

Remote performance monitoring is nothing more than selecting performance objects and counters that are on a remote server on the network. Selecting the computer to be monitored is handled in the Add Counters dialog box.

The graph provides a visual representation of your counters, but you can view statistics for a particular counter by selecting the counter name in the legend at the bottom of the graph. The last instance measured (Instance), an average, a minimum, a maximum, and the duration (monitoring time) are provided directly below the graph for the selected counter.

Did you Know?

You can highlight a particular counter by selecting the counter in the legend and then clicking the Highlight button on the toolbar (or pressing Ctrl-H). This turns the graph lines white so that they are easily viewed. Click the Highlight button a second time to turn off highlighting.

You can also delete counters from the graph. Select the counter in the legend area and then click the Delete (Delete key) button on the Graph toolbar. If you want to remove all the counters on the graph, right-click on the Counter list and then select Remove All Counters from the shortcut menu.

Did you Know?

To clear the current activity on the chart in the Details pane (but not remove the current counters), right-click on the Counter list and then select Clear from the shortcut menu.

Adding counters is a simple process, but understanding what the various counters mean is another story. We’ll look at some of the counters that you might want to use in the Performance Monitor and how the values that they provide give you insight into the performance of a particular object (coming up later in this hour).

Did you Know?

To clear the graph (all those colored lines) but keep the current counters and allow them to continue to accumulate data, click the Clear Display button on the toolbar.

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