Data Analyzer Tool

May 16, 2013 at 3:56 PM
Hello. I just signed in to this discussion board. We are already using NetIQ (Formula) and SolarWind as our network monitoring tools at the World Bank. What we are looking for is a utility that can take historical data like memory usage or CPU utilization taken from Windows servers' Performance Monitoring tool and then analyze/display it in a graphical format. Is PAL capable of providing this for us? If so, could you please point me to any white paper or document on this? Also, does PAL require an agent to be installed on the target servers?
May 17, 2013 at 8:12 AM
Edited May 17, 2013 at 9:59 AM
First a disclaimer: PAL is written by Clint Huffman. I am just a long-time user of PAL and I do not know either NetIQ or SolarWind.

Assuming that you have already collected the right performance counters, it sound like PAL would be perfect for the job.

PAL does analysis of already collected performance counter logs and therefore do not need anything installed on any of the machines except the machine that will do the analysis (Do not use a production machine for this) – PAL includes functionality to choose the appropriate counters, if needed.

I suggest that you try it. Take some of your historical data and have PAL analyze it.

I do not know of any whitepaper or updated materials on using PAL but I found it to be really intuitive. If you have a specific issue, post it and someone will help!

A little note: PAL works out-of-the-box for English operating systems. For other languages the counter log will have to be translated. There is another tool for this. Would this be an issue?

I really recommend this tool. It is simply awesome!
Jun 6, 2013 at 9:33 AM
Thanks for the great introduction Thomas. Yes, PAL analyzes Performance Monitor counter logs and generates a report with reds, greens, and yellows indicating where thresholds are being broken.

No, PAL does not require an agent. It is an analysis tool only. The idea is to gather a counter log using a Performance counter data collector which is built into the operating system, move the counter log to a workstation, then use the PAL tool to analyze the counter log. The analysis can be very resource intensive.

Windows IT Pro magazine articles, SQL Server Internals book, and many blogs are out there on the internet. It is often presented in sessions at Microsoft TechEd and SQL PASS.

I created this project because I teach Windows architecture and performance analysis. This tool is a way for me to implement what I teach and make performance analysis more of a science than an art.