Baseline is a set of data that indicates normal usage of monitored network resources.

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A set of data that indicates normal usage of monitored network resources. The Microsoft Windows NT administrative tool Performance Monitor and the Microsoft Windows 2000 snap-in called System Monitor can be used to collect data for the present performance of your network to establish a baseline. Then, if you upgrade hardware or add new users, the performance of the network can be measured again and compared with the baseline to determine trends, identify bottlenecks, and measure capacity.

How baseline Works

Creating a baseline for server and network activity begins with the process of identifying which server and network resources should be systematically measured. Generally, you always want to measure at least the following four resources: memory, processor, disk, and network subsystems. Using Performance Monitor or System Monitor, you should collect data for the objects shown in the table.

Resources and Corresponding Performance Objects to Monitor Performance

Resource Objects to Collect
Memory, cache
Processor, system, server work queues
Logical disk, physical disk
Server, network interface, network segment

These performance objects should be regularly captured for a period of time in order to collect the data needed to establish the baseline. Generally, you should append each log file collected to a master log file using relogging. Focus on periods of peak server and network activity, and collect at least a week of measurements to establish your baseline.


If you want to collect disk subsystem data, first enable disk objects using the diskperf command. Make sure you use a computer that is not being monitored to create your measurement baseline log files so that the activity of the computer doing the monitoring will not affect the data being collected.