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With the push to save money and save AC power in the data center, my company has the need to find Windows (various OS - windows 2000, 2003 mainly) servers that are not being used much. I have found some great logparser 'forensics' type scripts to enumerate last used registry keys, last saves, last RDP sessions, etc. What are some other methods that can be used to 'separate the wheat from the chaff' when it comes to enterprise server usage by development groups, users, etc. The concentration here would be mainly application role servers rather than file servers. So it is possible that if an IIS site is up, there may be the need to track site usage from logs. What are some other items to investigate and enumerate. Any suggstions to automate/script for a large number of servers would be most welcome. Thanks in advance.

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For IIS: You can use the Sessions Active counter in WMI to see how many active users your have logged into your Web Application. You can track this with perfmon.

For SQL Server: You can use the User Connections counter which will give you some indication of usage, although because of application pooling, the number of connections will be much lower then the number of actual users hitting your application.

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I'd use Performance Monitor to measure CPU usage, memory usage, network usage, etc. This should give you great data for measuring the resources your systems use. With that, you should be able to put together a great case for implementing cost savings measures like VMware to consolidate your hardware and reduce your cost.

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This may not address the core question of tracking use, but you could virtualize the smaller questionable servers into virtual machines running on more powerful servers. That would allow you to eliminate some of the older, less powerful hardware and save on electricity and cooling costs without having to worry about whether a machine is being actively used or not.

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Turn on file and object access monitoring, that will tell you what's being accessed and by who. Perfmon (mem, cpu,disk,network) will tell you what the requiremnts are for virtualizing. Aside from the power and cooling savings, there will likely be licensing savings as well

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