Windows 2008 – Windows Performance Analyzer (WPA)

Over the years I have created a number of presentations and performed a number of architectural engagements where we have used various tools to track and establish performance baselines, determine constant expectations and build out formulas for scaling. Microsoft has new tools which help in the process.

The Windows Performance Analyzer (WPA) is a set of performance monitoring tools which can establish in-depth performance profiles of Microsoft Windows operating systems and applications. Although these tools cannot discover, quantify or otherwise adapt to your essential hardware flaws, they do allow you to understand the limits within a classification of hardware. This has always made it difficult to predict how your application will work on different hardware when scaling.

When using WPA, the xperf.exe program is primarily used for the following operations:

  • Control tracing. You start and stop tracing sessions and specify the events that should be logged.
  • Trace merging and enhancement. A kernel trace must be ”merged” on the machine on which it was taken before it can be processed by the tools or viewed on another machine. The merge operation adds meta-information from the target machine to the trace. Additionally, the merge operation can combine multiple traces.
  • Trace processing. Xperf supports many dedicated analyzers, called actions. Actions produce reports about specific parts of the trace. For more information on actions please see the Actions section of this document.

Quick Start Guide: WPA Basics

Quick Start
Detailed Walkthrough
WPA Providers
Starting a Trace
Stopping a Trace
Stack Walking
Merging Traces

Jeff Loucks
Available Technology
Available Technology
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