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How can I monitor my Windows server?

Now that you have your own Windows server, it is very important to monitor and keep a close eye on the resources that are being consumed. You don’t want a server that’s underpowered but at the same time, you don’t want to waste your money on a server that’s too powerful. Monitoring your server will help you gather useful information that will guide you in optimizing your resources and benefit you if and when any troubleshooting problems should arise.

What to Monitor

Depending on what applications you have running on your server, there will be some that would need 24/7 monitoring. While some applications only require their own services for monitoring, others may need additional OS services to run alongside their own. Regardless of the set of applications you have, below are 2 of the most basic aspects to monitor in your virtual server:

  1. CPU Performance
    The Central Processing Unit or CPU carries-out computer program instructions to perform basic arithmetic, logic, and input/output system operations. A CPU that is pegged at 100% for several minutes/hours means that it has maxed-out and no longer has time for additional requests – mission-critical or not. Monitoring your CPU performance will tell you whether you should upgrade your CPU, add more CPU’s, or shut down specific services that eat-up too much of your resources. Generally, for a safe and balanced CPU performance, a CPU usage of 75% or higher should already prompt you to consider one of the options mentioned above.
  2. RAM
    The Random Access Memory or RAM improves the overall performance of an application when the server loads certain required information into it, thereby allowing faster access. This is because the RAM is a flash-based storage, which is several times faster compared with the physical transfer of components on a hard disk. If the RAM is used up, performance degradation and file system fragmentation occurs, thus resulting in an overall poor server performance. Monitoring your RAM usage will tell you when to consider adding more RAM, which is actually a cheap option for boosting server performance.

There are pre-installed Windows monitoring tools, as well as many third-party free or paid tools, that you can use to monitor your virtual server’s performance.

Monitor Using Windows Resource & Performance Tools

This utility displays CPU, memory, disk, and network usage information, as well as file handles and modules resources, in real time. You can view this by following these easy steps:

  1. Open the Remote Desktop Connection (RDP) function on your computer.
    Click on the Start button, type mstsc in the search box, and press Enter. The RDP function will appear.
  2. Enter your VPS IP address and click Connect.
  3. Enter your username and password then click OK.
  4. Click on the Start button within the RDP window.
  5. Type the following commands in the search box to open the corresponding tool:
       
    • resmon.exe – to open the resource monitor
    • perfmon.exe – to open the performance monitor

Monitor Using Third-Party Server Monitoring Tools

While there are a lot of paid health and performance monitoring tools for servers out there, using one or more of the top free tools listed here will help you best save up on a significant portion of your budget. Explore your options from the list provided below:

You can also explore paid tools by testing them out first via free trial. Below are some of the top options you can choose from and check out:

Congratulations! You just learned how to monitor your Windows server.

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