Automating PerfMon Report Generation With PAL

After my blog post about the server diagnostics lifecycle, PerfMon and PAL, many of you asked me how the report automation could be set up. In this post, I’ll therefore outline a couple of ideas and provide you with some guidelines on how automation of PerfMon and PAL could be configured and scheduled in practice. In this post, you will find information on how to configure PerfMon and how to execute PAL from PowerShell to create fully automated diagnostics reports on a regular basis.

.NET Framework 4.6.1 Rollback for BizTalk Server 2013 (R2)

Microsoft official software requirements for BizTalk server 2013 (R2) support no other versions but .NET Framework 4.5.x. On a couple of our environments, we noticed that the .NET 4.6.1 update has been pushed automatically because of the Windows updates mechanism. This could cause different issues in our production environment in all kinds of software packages that have never been tested with this version. Due to its sensitive nature, no answer from Microsoft could be found online on how to rollback from .NET 4.6 to 4.5.2.

Investigate SQL Server tempdb I/O latency

In my post about increasing your SQL Server performance with tempdb, I talked about performance tuning steps related to the tempdb system database. But of course: as proof or even part of such tuning steps, it is crucial to measure the differences between current and previous implementations. That is why I would like to highlight some useful techniques and provide you with functional insights on how to analyze tempdb I/O stalls or bottlenecks. This information is especially useful if you’re a database administrator!

Service Accounts in Active Directory: Best Practices

Using service accounts managed in active directory to have detailed security control of the technical applications is a best practice. A while ago, one my clients experienced a major issue in their production environment, and this due to an expired technical service account. To anticipate similar behavior in the future and avoid further impact on other applications, we created a small PowerShell script to scan the entire or parts of the active directory for those kind of misconfigured settings.

Visualize Azure Metrics into Power Bi Real-Time Streaming Service

Real-time information is hot and trendy! As part of the operational environment, you want to gather information on the health and performance as soon as possible. Azure Monitoring Service can deliver the data one needs in the blink of an eye. In one of my previous blog posts on Azure Monitoring Service, I explained how to utilize and integrate metrics in the Azure dashboard. Thanks to the metrics’ extensibility, you can stream this information directly to Power Bi. The big advantage? This information now becomes available in the reporting tool Power Bi, typically used to create an application reporting dashboard. Technical and business information can be brought together in Power Bi, thus providing even more analysis insight.

Performance Monitoring: The Diagnostic Lifecycle

Many IT divisions and administrators of companies struggle answering questions such as: Is your current infrastructure still capable to handle the load from years ago and deliver the same performance? What is the maximum amount of capacity your severs can handle? Where do you feel bottlenecks or pain points today in system’s or application’s performance? What is the long-term growth and usage of your applications servers? If you cannot answer half of the questions based on data provided by a monitoring system, it would be a good idea to consider and set up fine-tuned diagnostics tools for your system administrators. This will improve your capacity planning and help you identify bottlenecks, including disk latencies, IIS web call performance, and SQL deadlocks.

Azure Monitor Service: a first test with logical apps

Last week, Microsoft released its newest feature: Azure monitor. This new platform service provides monitoring for single Azure resources and can visualize, query, route, archive, and take action on the metrics and logs coming from those resources. Working in an enterprise environment, I am curious to explore how this feature provides an added value to cloud integration. In this post, I’d therefore would like to point out some interesting properties! Personally, I’ll mainly use Logical apps to investigate Azure Monitor, but those technics are, of course, applicable to other Azure resources as well.

Tempdb Tweaking: Best Practices to Improve SQL Server Performance

The tempdb system database is a global resource that is part of the system database and available to all connected users in SQL Server. As such, the tempdb can be seen as the worksheet of SQL server. Any improvement to the system will automatically effect all your custom databases. It is therefore highly recommended to fine-tune the tempdb configuration as much as you can. In this blog post, I’d like to highlight some interesting ways or best practices on how to increase its performance!