How and Why to Monitor Active Directory Performance - Page 2

By Brien M. Posey | Posted Oct 18, 2000
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Directly below the Performance Object section are two radio buttons that allow you to either select counters from the list or implement all the available counters. I personally recommend selecting the individual counters from the list--as you can see in Figure 3, looking at all the counters at once can be a bit difficult, to say the least.

Figure 3
Figure 3: Looking at all the Active Directory counters at once can be confusing.

To load the specific counters you want to look at, make sure the Select Counters From List radio button is selected in the Add Counters dialog box. Now, scroll through the list of available counters to locate a counter that relates to the performance statistic you want to monitor. I'll write a description of some of the more popular Active Directory-related counters in part 2 of this article series; but for now, there's another way for you to figure out which counter you should use.

One of the best features of the Windows 2000 Performance Console is that you can get an explanation of what the various counters mean. If you've ever tried to use the Windows NT System Monitor, then you realize just how valuable this new feature is. To get a description of a counter, select a counter from the list and click the Explain button. As you can see in Figure 4, you'll get a plain English explanation of exactly what the counter does. In the case of the counter in the figure, the description Total number of object properties received from inbound replication partners is much easier to understand than the counter's name, DRA Inbound Properties Total / Sec.

Figure 4
Figure 4: You can get a detailed explanation of an individual counter's purpose.

So far you've seen that you can use many different counters to monitor Active Directory. In part 2 of this article series ( Using System Monitor Counters ), I'll explain which counters you should routinely monitor, and why. //

Brien M. Posey is an MCSE who works as a freelance writer. His past experience includes working as the Director of Information Systems for a national chain of health care facilities and as a network engineer for the Department of Defense. Because of the extremely high volume of e-mail that Brien receives, it's impossible for him to respond to every message, although he does read them all.

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