A short while back I had to buy a new laptop and one of the choices I had to make was whether to run Vista or XP. While that is the subject for a whole different blog post the short answer is I decided to go with Vista Ultimate. I knew a lot of things changed between XP and Vista but it never dawned on me that Perfmon got such a makeover. I don’t mean the real time counter monitoring aspect or what we call the Performance or System Monitor, I am talking about the Counter Logs mode. This is the area in which you can set up counters to be collected behind the scenes and in Vista is now called “Data Collector Sets”. Even though all of the previous functionality is still there plus a whole lot more the look and feel is totally different. Now my intent is not to talk about all of these changes per say, just one aspect in particular. But I highly recommend if you haven’t played with Perfmon in Vista or Longhorn that you do so when you get a minute.
The section I want to highlight here are the new reporting features found under the Reports section of Perfmon. After you have created a new Data Collection Set you will see a corresponding entry in the Reports section as well. If you look at the properties of this you will see a dialog similar to the one below.
Again I am not going to go into all the aspects of the data manager but if you check the checkbox in the lower left hand corner you get the ability for Perfmon to automatically generate a series of XML and HTML reports each time the collection set is completed. I see a lot of people do a fair amount of manual labor to generate a report similar to what you now get for free. It will look similar to the report I show below:
Of course it will be specific to the counters you set up in the data collector set but you get the idea. Overall it will take some getting used to the new features and layouts in Perfmon but there is no getting around it. Sooner or later we will all end up on Vista or Longhorn anyway. The new look can be quite confusing at times but it brings a whole host of new features that just wouldn’t be possible the old way.