Windows Server Monitoring Tools

Server Monitoring

Server monitoring is a foundational component to any data center monitoring architecture but it has become a crutch and a deterrent to successfully building out a holistic monitoring platform. Servers exist to run applications and you will never properly monitor applications with server monitoring alone. 

What are some server monitoring tools?

Unix system administrators use tools like sar, vmstat, nmon, top, topas, and netstat to monitor my servers in real time. In the Windows world admins use perfmon for my real time monitoring needs. 


What’s the problem?

The problem is that none of the server monitoring tools are capable of knowing how your applications are performing. Some of them can probe your application to see if it is available or not but none can tell you why your application has ceased to function.  No server monitoring tool can tell you any of the following:

  • What is the response time of every request to my application?
  • What components of my application are involved in any of my transactions and where is the slow down?
  • How does the application code execute in the run time?
  • What part of the application code is slow?
  • What application functionality is used, how often, and how does it perform?
  • What application functionality is throwing exceptions and what are they?
  • Did a slow external service call impact my application response time and by how much?

What’s the solution?

The best solution to the problem at hand is to use the latest generation of Application Performance Monitoring (APM) tools. APM tools understand the inner workings of your applications. They can see the code executing, the entry and exit calls to the application, the transactions flowing through and across multiple application components, exceptions and their associated impact, and much, much more.

Application Flow Map

Dynamic application flow map showing all application components.

Business Transactions

Business transactions automatically detected, tracked, and classified.

Call Graph

Call graph of a single business transaction with all methods, timing, and remote calls.

What’s the impact?

Ultimately APM products offer a tremendous amount of value. Here are just a few of the benefits of using APM:

  • Reducing MTTR from hours/days to minutes.
  • Faster development due to less time tracking down bugs.
  • Fewer bugs released because they are easier to identify and remediate.
  • Faster QA cycle due to rapid problem detection, isolation, and resolution.
  • More stable production environment due to better development and QA.