The Microsoft Management Console has been around for years, since Windows NT 3.5 I believe, and it is a great tool. Recently I helped create a custom .MSC file to watch SharePoint’s “heartbeat” in real-time and had a lot of fun with the results so I’ll share them here.
First, the beautiful end product:
Scope: Windows Server 2003 + MOSS 2007
How did we do it?
- Start Run “mmc.exe” (this opens Author mode)
- Add Snap In (Ctrl+M)
- Click “Add” button
- Select “ActiveX Control” and click “Add”
- Select “System Monitor Control” and click “Next”
- Give it a name (i.e. “Current Web Connections”) and click “Finish”
Feel free to repeat #3 to #6 to add multiple nodes to the tree. This way you can monitor more than one metric across the farm. With the left hand tree complete you are now ready.
Customize each node with:
- Perfmon counters
- Chart scale
Simply right click in the blank space, choose “Add Counter”, and follow the steps you would just like in Perfmon.exe I personally like to add the same counter for each server in my farm so that on one chart I can see, for example, all of the CPU usage on all machines.
Once you’re pleased with the look and feel click “File Save As” and give a filename for the .MSC
You can now open multiple instances (windows) and tile them across the screen to have a real-time view of SharePoint’s “heartbeat” across all the web front ends in your farm.
Why do I need this?
- Establish a performance baseline (what is normal CPU? during the work day? at night during scheduled jobs?)
- Troubleshoot a broken server (easily see differences)
- Become more familiar with the impact of a topology design (slow crawls = 100% CPU?)
- It looks really cool, trust me!