Windows Server 2003 Server Performance Advisor (SPA)

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Server Performance Advisor (or SPA for short) is a simple but robust tool that helps administrators diagnose the root causes of performance problems in a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 deployment. Actually, SPA is in fact a cool network monitor and performance monitor wrapped into one package so that you can correlate […]

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Server Performance Advisor (or SPA for short) is a simple but robust tool that helps administrators diagnose the root causes of performance problems in a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 deployment. Actually, SPA is in fact a cool network monitor and performance monitor wrapped into one package so that you can correlate which clients might be causing load on your system.

Server Performance Advisor collects performance data and generates comprehensive diagnostic reports that give you the data to easily analyze problems and develop corrective actions. Windows Server 2003 Performance Advisor provides several specialized reports, including a System Overview (focusing on CPU usage, Memory usage, busy files, busy TCP clients, top CPU consumers) and reports for server roles such as Active Directory, Internet Information System (IIS), DNS, Terminal Services, SQL, print spooler, and others.

SPA has many useful templates. There are templates for System Overview, AD, print servers, terminal servers, and so on. Each one of these templates focuses on a specific role and collects different counters depending on the role selected. For example, on a DC SPA will capture the Directory Services counters and then analyze the output from those counter and flag issues it finds for follow-up.

To download SPA please follow the link below.

To install SPA (on Windows Server 2003 SP1 or above computers) just double-click MSI file and leave the defaults.

Some cool things about SPA

  • It's XML based, so the reports that are collected get organized by date and/or by server, so you can drill down on a particular server. This makes it easy to navigate to the right server report and date that you are looking for. 
  • You can setup SPA on your servers in "Data" mode, and then setup a member server as a SPA "reporting" server, then you can schedule your servers to collect at a certain time and send that data to the reporting server. You can also have SPA (with version 2.0) take the data from those servers and put it in a SQL database for trending purposes. 
  • SPA's usefulness has made Microsoft built it right into Vista and Windows Server 2008 (Data Collection Sets)

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