Monitoring tool

40 Windows Server Performance Monitoring Tools

Setting up a smoothly running windows server is one thing. Keeping it that way is a different kind of beast. Once servers go into production they have to be constantly monitored. There is a plethora of issues which can impact the performance of windows servers. Hardware failures, increased usage, software updates, environmental problems – to just name a few.

Fortunately, the windows ecosystem provides many tools to ease the pain of monitoring. We have compiled an extensive list of available windows server performance monitoring tools. This list focuses on performance, but many tools can also be used for general monitoring (e.g. for easily preventable server failures).

Microsoft's Performance Monitoring Tools

Microsoft itself offers a wide palette of tools which can be used for performance monitoring. While some, like Windows Performance Monitor, are widely known, others are less visible but nevertheless useful.

Windows Performance Monitor

Windows Performance Monitor, probably the most obvious choice for this list, is used for analyzing system performance both on an application level as well as on a hardware level. You can choose from a wide array of metrics what to monitor. You can define thresholds which will trigger alerts and/or automatic actions. It will also collect this data to provide reports and display past performance data.

Here are a few helpful resources to get started with Windows Performance Monitor:

Operations Manager

Microsoft Operations Manager (or MOM / SCOM) is used for monitoring whole fleets of servers, applications and networks through a centralized interface. It is part of the (non-free) Microsoft System Center suite of IT management tools.

Operations Manager (or MOM / SCOM) can monitor a heterogeneous network of systems. It can monitor Windows servers, routers, switches, firewalls, AWS systems, Azure servers and even Linux servers.

Windows Reliability Monitor

Windows Reliability monitor is a small tool available in Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012 as well as its desktop siblings. It shows important events and errors that might indicate problems and performance issues. It is especially helpful for tracking down the root cause of performance problems.

Further reading

Microsoft Server Performance Advisor

The Server Performance Advisor (commonly called SPA) is a tool for optimizing server performance on Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012. It consists of two parts: The SPA framework is responsible for collecting performance data from one or more servers which should be analyzed. SPA advisor packs then analyze said data. There are several advisor packs focusing on different parts of the server architecture. One analyzes the performance of the operating system. Another one screens the performance of Internet Information Server (IIS). One tracks general performance of Hyper-V servers (not the guest operating system). Another analyzes Active Directory performance.


Relog is a small command line tool for modifying logs of Windows Performance Monitor. For example, it convert logs into different formats like CSV, merge log files or resample data.

Further reading


Logman is another command line tool which ships with Windows Server. It provides many of the features of Windows Performance Monitor, especially those used for controlling performance logging, through a command line interface. Many system administrators use Logman to automate performance monitoring tasks.


The command line tool Typeperf is used for displaying performance counters. It can show lists of available counters as well as the values of specific counters. Output can either be displayed on the command line, or written into log files. Like Logman it provides access to Performance Monitor features through the command line. Unlike Logman, it focuses on querying counters rather than controlling log creation.


Another command line tool, Tracerpt, is used for parsing logs from Performance Monitor or the Event Tracing subsystem and generating reports and/or CSV files for further processing.

Further reading

Third Party Tools for Monitoring Windows Server Performance

Opsview Windows Performance Monitor

Opsview Windows Performance Monitor uses Windows' WMI framework to monitor multiple windows servers. It can display server status by server groups, offers reports with benchmarks and can monitor end-to-end performance.

Veeam Task Manager for Hyper-V

If you are handling a fleet of virtual windows servers, Veeam Task manager lets you easily monitor the status of single VMs. It can be installed on any device or start from USB devices so that it is quickly available for trouble shooting.

ManageEngine's Free Tools

ManageEngine sells a range of commercial IT and network management solutions. Besides it's main products, it also offers various smaller but free monitoring tools.

Lepide DC monitor

Lepide DC Monitor is a freeware tool that promises to take the pain out of domain controller monitoring. It allows monitoring of multiple domain controllers from a single place. You can use it to determine the state and performance of each domain controller. Among the monitored parameters are CPU/memory/disk utilization, Page Reads/sec, Page Writes/sec, NTFRS Handles, File Reads/sec, File Writes/sec and more.

SolarWinds Free Tools

SolarWinds offers a range of free tools besides it's core IT management and monitoring products.


Logwiz can be used to automate the collection of performance monitor logs. It provides an easy step-by-step wizard to create logs using Logman. It is a free tool released under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL).

Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise

Quest (formerly Dell) offers a paid product for optimizing and tuning SQL server performance. It can monitor multiple servers from a central dashboard, analyze query performance and provide optimizations as well as monitor performance data to track down issues early and quickly.


Glint calls itself a Windows system activity monitor. The free tool shows up to 200 performance indicators on a local or remote system. It is similar to Microsoft's Windows Performance Monitor but offers a more compact view so that you can monitor more indicators at once.

Monitoring Suites

Besides these specialized windows server performance monitoring tools there are plenty general purpose monitoring suites. Most of such suites can not only monitor availability but also performance data to a certain degree.

Providing a complete list of monitoring suites would be outside the scope of this article, but here are a few of the most used suites to jump-start you into the topic.


Nagios is a widely used monitoring suite. The software itself runs on Linux, but there are components (called "agents") which allow monitoring of Windows servers. Through this agent, it can monitor plenty of performance related signals, like CPU utilization, memory usage and disk usage.


Zabbix is another open source monitoring suite. The central server runs on Linux, but it can monitor windows servers through the use of a monitoring agent on the server.


Munin collects data from different connected servers and displays them in a central web interface. It shows performance data in historical progression to help determine what changed if a performance problem appears. It is written in Perl and runs on any platform. For monitoring windows servers you need to install an agent on the server.

Veeam One

While Veeam Task Manager is meant for manually inspecting VMs, Veeam One is a complete monitoring suite specialized on vSphere, Hyper-V and Veeam environments. Besides monitoring it also helps evaluating performance and configuration and capacity planning including forecasts. A limited free version is available.

ManageEngine Applications Manager

Besides the beforementioned free tools, ManageEngine also offers a monitoring suite for larger infrastructures. Applications Manager monitors business applications and servers for availability and performance issues.


PRTG is a commercial monitoring suite running natively on Windows, but covering all platforms. It can be used for free with up to 100 sensors which for common use cases is enough for approximately 10 servers.

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor

SolarWinds' Server & Application Monitor is a commercial monitoring suite for servers, virtual servers and applications. It offers built-in capacity forecasts and other performance-centric features.


PolyMon is an open source monitoring suite based on the .NET 2.0 framework and SQL Server 2005. It monitors various parameters including windows performance counters. It allows you to analyze historic trends and generate email alerts.

PA Server Monitor

PA Server Monitor is a monitoring suite based on Windows, but providing monitoring support for a ll platforms. It stores data on local servers, offers different access levels and provides an automatic failover mode. PA Server Monitor is commercial software, available in several different editions (including a free one).

ELM Enterprise Manager

ELM Enterprise Manager consolidates events, performance counters, service and process status, file changes and ping status of multiple windows servers in one central console.

Updates welcome: Know a tool which should be on this list? Let us know!

Manual Monitoring

Some of the tools above offer automatic monitoring, but usually you also have plenty of monitoring tasks which cannot be automated. At the very least you need to frequently check that you monitoring solution is still operational.

Checkpanel lets you organize such recurring manual checks with ease. Make sure you never forget to check that backup again. You can log the current state (working/failing) of each task and view a history of all past checks. Checkpanel will remind you when it is time to check an item again.

Check out the following resources for a quick impression which kinds of checks you can manage with Checkpanel:

Title photo: Rishabh Varshney