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I'm not a sysadmin, so this may be trivial.

We have about 20 Windows Server 2008 R2 VMs we want to monitor centrally using Perfmon. The only issue is that the user account that's going to be doing the monitoring is not (and I assume will never be) in the Administrators group. The servers, and the user account (currently one, but could be more) are all on the same domain.

Right now we're running a pilot with 5 of the servers, touching each VM manually to set the permissions, which is already getting cumbersome to manage. If we decide to roll this out to all the servers, we need a scalable solution to control access.

What is the most flexible way to accomplish this? I'd like a solution that would work with 200 servers just as easily as the 20 servers we have now.

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You can use a monitoring tool like System Center Operations Manager or for SMB's System Center Essentials. It collects for you by Microsoft defined counters in a database and you are able to view them. Or you can also Perfmon to connect to a remote computer: To connect to a remote computer with Performance Monitor

  1. Start Performance Monitor.
  2. In the navigation tree, right-click Reliability and Performance, and then click Connect to another computer.
  3. In the Select Computer dialog box, type the name of the computer you want to monitor, or click Browse to select it from a list.
  4. Click OK.
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My point about Perfmon is that it requires permissions to be set on each individual box I want to monitor. I will check out the other two products. Thanks. – Jon Seigel Apr 9 '11 at 17:39
The other 2 products will also require access to the machine to get at most data. You can do simple SNMP monitoring remotely without anything but a SNMP community string but if you want detailed perfmon-like data, you need access. Perfmon really isn't the solution for monitoring many remote machines remotely. You need a monitoring system that can access Perfmon data remotely and programmatically. The 2 solutions above would work. A cheaper solution is Whats Up Gold. There are a ton of other solutions too. – icky3000 Apr 9 '11 at 19:14

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