Windows Server 2012 : Comprehensive Performance Analysis and Logging (part ) - Viewing data collector reports

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Viewing data collector reports

When you’re troubleshooting problems, you’ll often want to log performance data over an extended period of time and then review the data to analyze the results. For each data collector that has been or is currently active, you’ll find related data collector reports. As with data collector sets themselves, data collector reports are usually organized into two general categories: user-defined and system.

To view data collector reports in Performance Monitor, expand the Reports node and then expand the individual report node for the data collector you want to analyze. Under the data collector’s report node, you’ll find individual reports for each logging session, as shown in Figure 19. A logging session begins when logging starts and ends when logging is stopped.

Access a report to view the collected data.
Figure 19. Access a report to view the collected data.

The most recent log is the one with the highest log number. To view a log and analyze its related data graphically, double-tap or double-click it. Keep in mind that if a data collector is actively logging, you won’t be able to view the most recent log. You can stop collecting data by pressing and holding or right-clicking a data collector set and selecting Stop. Collected data is shown by default in a graph view from the start of data collection to the end of data collection. Only counters that you selected for logging will be available. If a report doesn’t have a counter that you want to work with, you need to modify the data collector properties, restart the logging process, and then check the logs again.


Open the most recent report for a data collector set directly by pressing and holding or right-clicking a data collector set and then selecting Latest Report. This shortcut works only if reports are available.

Save a data collector set as a template that can be used on the current server as well as other servers by pressing and holding or right-clicking a data collector set and then selecting Save Template. Next, in the Save As dialog box, select a save location, type a name for the template, and then tap or click Save.

You can modify the report details using the following techniques:

  1. In Performance Monitor, press and hold or right-click the Performance Monitor node and then select Properties. In the Performance Monitor Properties dialog box, tap or click the Source tab.

  2. Specify data sources to analyze. Under Data Source, select Log Files and then tap or click Add to open the Select Log File dialog box. You can now select an additional log file to analyze.

  3. Specify the time window that you want to analyze. Tap or click Time Range, and then drag the Total Range bar to specify the appropriate starting and ending times. Drag the left edge to the right to move up the start time. Drag the right edge to the left to move down the end time.

  4. Tap or click the Data tab. You can now select counters to view. Select a counter, and then tap or click Remove to remove it from the graph view. Tap or click Add to display the Add Counter dialog box, which you can use to select the counters that you want to analyze.

  5. Tap or click OK. In the monitor pane, tap or click the Change Graph Type button to select the type of graphing.

INSIDE OUT: Use the Data Manager to automate report cleanup

Use the Data Manager to determine how much data can be generated and stored for each user-defined data collector set. To open the Data Manager, press and hold or right-click a user-defined data set and then select Data Manager.

Settings on the Data Manager tab allow you to ensure that a minimum amount of free space is available before generating reports, control the maximum number of subfolders that can be created during report generation, configure whether the oldest or largest existing data set is cleaned up either before or after a report is generated, and much more.

Settings on the Actions tab allow you to specify cleanup actions. For example, reports based on the predefined templates are cleaned up in several ways by default. After one day, a .Cab file is created containing the report data and then the report data itself is deleted. After eight weeks, the .Cab file is deleted. After 24 weeks, any remaining data is deleted, including the report itself.

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