Before you can optimize the performance of Windows 7, you must monitor the operating systems critical subsystems to determine how each is currently performing and what is causing system bottlenecks that negatively affect performance. Windows 7 ships with many tools that you can use to monitor system performance. The monitoring tools enable you to assess your server’s current health and determine what requirements are available to improve its present condition. Performance monitor is a tool that you can use to perform the following tasks:
- Create baselines
- Identify system bottlenecks
- Determine trends
- Test configuration changes or tuning efforts
- Create alert thresholds
A baseline is a snapshot of how your system is currently performing. Suppose that your computer’s hardware has not charged over the last six months, but the computer seems to be performing more slowly now than it did six months ago. If you simply note that Windows 7 seems to be running more slowly, without any supporting statistics, you will not have the idea what is causing your problems.
- When the system is first configured, without any load
- At regular intervals of typical usage
- Whenever any changes are made to the system’s hardware or software configuration.
Identifying system bottlenecks
A bottleneck is a system resource that is inefficient compared with the rest of the computer system as a whole. The bottleneck can cause the rest of the system to run slowly. You need to pinpoint the cause of the bottleneck to correct it. By making use of performance monitor, you can measure the performance of the various parts of your system, which allows you to identify system bottlenecks in a scientific manner.
Many of us tend to manage situations reactively instead of proactively. With reactive management, you focus on a problem when it occurs; with proactive management, you take steps to avoid the problem before it happens. In a perfect world, all management would be proactive. Performance monitor is a great tool for proactive network management. If you are creating baselines on a regular basis, you can identify system trends.
Testing configuration changes or tuning efforts
Make only one change at a time. If you are making configuration changes for tuning, and you make multiple changes at one time, it is difficult to quantify the effect of each individual change. Repeat monitoring with each individual change you make. This will help you determine whether additional tuning is required. As you make changes, check the event viewer event log files. Some performance will generate events within Event Viewer that should be reviewed.
Using alerts for problem notification
Performance Monitor provides another tool for proactive management in the form of alerts. Through data collector sets, you can specify alerts thresholds and have the utility notify you when these thresholds are reached. Once alerted, you can add more disk space or delete unneeded files before you run out of disk space. Setting up Performance Monitor and using its capabilities is a boon to you as an administrator to keep Windows 7 optimized.