Tallan's Technology Blog

Tallan's Top Technologists Share Their Thoughts on Today's Technology Challenges

BizTalk Performance Analysis of Logs (PAL) Tool

Stan Kennedy

Overview

The PAL (Performance Analysis of Logs) tool is a powerful tool that reads in a performance monitor counter log and analyzes it using known thresholds.  A template is created from the PAL tool and imported to the server’s Performance tool as a new counter.  This includes relative BizTalk and SQL metrics that will be tracked.  The resulting blg files are analyzed by the PAL tool and thresholds are applied once questions are answered regarding number of CPU, memory, etc.  A report is produced by the PAL tool in an easy to read format with graphs.  Tallan will use this information to make recommendations for performance improvements.

Features

Threshold files take the questions answered in the tool and apply them to the results.  This is a quick and easy way to see where the weaknesses are without lengthy analysis.

An easy to use GUI interface which makes creating batch files for the PAL.ps1 script.  This GUI also creates a template Perfmon template and allows the user to answer questions specific to the environment such as CPU count, RAM, etc.

A GUI editor for creating or editing your own threshold files.  This allows the user to modify, add, and remove threshold values and files for a more custom implementation.

Creates a HTML based report for ease of copy/pasting into other applications.

Analyzes performance counter logs for thresholds using thresholds that change their criteria based on the computer’s role or hardware specs.

Required Downloads

Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 (Partial package – internet access required)
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=AB99342F-5D1A-413D-8319-81DA479AB0D7&displaylang=en

Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 (full package – no internet access required)
http://download.microsoft.com/download/2/0/e/20e90413-712f-438c-988e-fdaa79a8ac3d/dotnetfx35.exe

Microsoft Chart Controls for Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=130f7986-bf49-4fe5-9ca8-910ae6ea442c&DisplayLang=en

PowerShell v2.0 (Windows Management Framework (Windows PowerShell 2.0, WinRM 2.0, and BITS 4.0))
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/968929

Installation

Download PAL from http://pal.codeplex.com/releases/view/51623 : developed by Clint Huffman

Unzip contents and run the installation msi.  Note, only supported on x32 machines – this requirement does not restrict using product on x64 machines because the log files can be processed locally.

Usage

Open PAL from installation directory

Click on ‘Threshold File’ tab, select ‘Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006/2009/2010’ in the Threshold File Title drop down.  Click ‘Export to Perfmon Template File’.  Note, optionally one of the features is to edit the template file – click ‘Edit’ and add/remove metrics.

Select the file location: \\servername\e$\PAL\perfmonTemplate or the central directory on the server environment you will be testing on.


Create Perfmon Log from Exported Template

Remote Desktop into the server you want to performance the analysis on (or continue on local machine) and open Perfmon tool – expand Performance Logs and Alerts.

Right click on ‘Counter Logs’, ‘New Log Settings From…’


Select the template that was previously created.

Click Ok

A new dialogue box will open, Click ‘Log Files’ tab and click ‘Configure’ to set the location of the Perfmon log (blg) files.

Set the location of the log files.  IMPORTANT – use a network drive so that there is no drive IO interference.  Here we used E:\PAL\PerfmonLogFiles directory.  Click OK.


Click on ‘Schedule’ tab and set when the Perfmon should run.  Once the log file is created, we will go back to our local environment and load it with PAL tool.

After the log completes, go to the directory that was set up above and verify blg file exists.

Run PAL Against Log File

Go back to your PAL tool on local machine and click on ‘Counter Log’ tab.  Click on path button and select the log file that was created in the above step by the server.

Click Open

Click tab ‘Questions’.  This will allow you to answer preset questions that will provide the threshold variables by the tool.  Answer the questions by entering values for each.

Next, Click ‘Output Options’ and set the timeslice Analysis interval.  Use AUTO to automatically separate into 30 time slices.  This will show as a data point for each metric (30 in this case).
Next, Click ‘File Output’ tab and select the Output Directory to store the HTM report.

Click tab ‘Execute’, make sure ‘Execute: Execute what is currently in the queue’ and click ‘Finish’ to start the powershell scripts.  After scripts are completed, browse to the report directory set up previously if report does not automatically open.

Open Report

View Report and Analyze

A Report with thresholds and alerts will open.  Use this report to analyze and perform necessary changes to the Biztalk/SQL server(s).

3 Comments. Leave new

[…] BizTalk Performance Analysis of Logs (PAL) Tool […]

Hello,

I can’t find complete “Create Perfmon Log from Exported Template” Section. I can’t see the section “Performance Logs and Alerts” in Perfmon. I have tried on “Win 7″ and also “Win Server 2k8″ OS.

Please suggest what can I do here.

Thanks,

Can you please let me know if there is any mechanism to automatically schedule the PAL run?
This would be very helpful for me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

\\\