I have created a user defined data collector set from the system performance template. I've made no changes to the counters. I can run it manually and it works fine but runs for 1 only minute. Yes, I see the schedule tab...

What I don't understand is how to setup the schedule in a sensible way. I want to monitor performance throughout the whole day. I don't know if I should just let it run the whole time or somehow set it up to sample at regular intervals. If the later is the right way to do it, then I need some guidance on how. The documentation on the limits isn't clear and the few things I've tried haven't worked as expected.


In my experience running data collector sets is safe, the main thing to keep an eye on is how much data you are generating. It really just depends on what you are looking for, but there are three ways to control how much data is collected:

  1. The Number of counters you monitor
  2. How long you let the collector run for
  3. The "Sample Interval" the properties for the data collector (i.e. if you collect every 30 seconds, that is only 2 observations per minute.)

If you need a high resolution view of performance, you would be better off scheduling it every so often with a high sample interval. If you only need an aggregate overview of the day, you might want to go with something like one sample every few minutes. You can also set the maximum size of the data collected, but I would view that more as a safety net.

They can also be sent to SQL if you want to take off some of the data writing load. I believe choosing something like the binary format would take less space than something like csv.

  • where do you set the sample interval? – schmidlop Nov 27 '12 at 14:45
  • I found the sample interval is set on the performance counter object itself, right click it and choose properties... – schmidlop Nov 27 '12 at 15:01

Go to "Stop Condition" tab. Change Overall Duration setting to the value you need, e.g. 8H.

Make sure you have enough space on disk to save logs, if you have multiple counters added and sample interval is set to low value.

This is safe to run them, since that's the purpose of perfmon to determine the culprit(rootcause) of performance issues you already have, so you won't notice significant decrease in performance.

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  • where do you set the sample interval? – schmidlop Nov 27 '12 at 14:44

You can also set up the performance monitor to "Circular" log mode, so it "appends to the beginning" of the file once it reaches the maximum file size. This way you can always have data, say, for the last 24 hours, without worrying about the disk space.


To enable this checkbox (if it is disabled) remember to set the max file size in the stop conditions (right click the data set in the tree and click "properties"

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