Performance Monitor

Definition of Performance Monitor in The Network Encyclopedia.

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What is Performance Monitor?

A Microsoft Windows NT administrative tool for monitoring the performance of Windows NT servers on a network. (In Windows 2000, this tool is called System Monitor.)

You can use Performance Monitor to:

  • Capture real-time performance objects and counters
  • Log, graph, and set alert conditions for performance data
  • Identify bottlenecks and trends in resource usage
  • Observe the effect of system configuration changes
  • Establish a baseline and determine system capacity

Graphic P-6. Performance Monitor.

How It Works

When you use Performance Monitor, you should collect data on the four main system resources (the memory, processor, disk, and network subsystems) in addition to resources specific to the aspect of server usage you are studying. The following table shows the recommended objects to monitor.

Recommended Objects to Monitor

System Resource Performance Objects to Monitor
Memory, cache
Processor, system
Logical disk, physical disk
Network segment, network interface, server


In Windows NT, Performance Monitor can run as a background service without user intervention. Use the monitor.exe utility from the Microsoft Windows NT Server Resource Kit, and use the Windows NT at command to schedule the service to run at appropriate times.

See also