Monitoring and analyzing your system with performance counters

One problem that seems to plague everyone whether you are using ProjectWise or not is performance.  Performance can make your system go from running smoothly to your users complaining that the system is unusable.  There are a number of different ways to do this, from looking at real time performance with the task manager's performance tab or to monitor this is with some performance monitors and then an analysis tool like PAL to interpret your results.  The most accurate way to do this is with some performance monitors and an analysis tool like PAL.  Reason being this will gather data over a specified amount of time with the performance counters and then deliver the results in a nice color coded report.  Below are steps on how to do this.  In order to get the best results it is recommended that you run this for a minimum of 24 hours, sometimes you may want to let it run for a week or more depending on what you are troubleshooting.  Things like overall performance are good to monitor for 24 hours at a time and things like memory leaks are normally better over a longer amount of time.  This all really depends on what you are trying to accomplish, but 24 hours during production time is normally the best for general performance monitoring:

  1. Download the performance monitor counters that are attached to this blog post.  
  2. Unzip the package and run the .bat file as an administrator.  These counters will set everything up for you and also add in some ProjectWise counters if you are running this on your ProjectWise servers.
  3. Read the instructions on the screen to make sure that everything is running fine.  Allow this to run for 24 hours minimum for best results.
  4. Download and install PAL here (feel free to use your own analysis tool, this is just a free option):
  5. Once the performance monitors are done run the performance monitor logs through PAL.  PAL does take up some resources and will take some time to process all of the information, so make sure you run it on a powerful machine.
Once PAL is done with the results it will display everything in nice report that is color coded to help you troubleshoot what is wrong with your system.  You will want to make changes that the report suggests and then run through the above steps again to make sure that everything is running smoothly.  This may be need to be done multiple times till your server is running the best it can, it is also helpful to run this at random times during the year to make sure everything is running as it should be.  This can be and has been run on all ProjectWise servers as well as your database server.  Please do not forget about your database server, ProjectWise is a database dependent application, so if your database is slow ProjectWise will also be slow.  One thing to take into consideration is if you are monitoring your SQL database server it will consume all of the memory it has allocated to it whether it's using it or not (this is how SQL works due to memory being faster to access then disk), so this may look like a memory leak in the report, but it will not restrict you from seeing if SQL is running out of memory.  If you have any further questions about this please let TSG know and we can help troubleshoot your performance issues.