Performance Rules

Performance Rules use W200x performance counters.

Over 2,000 counters are available and both Microsoft and third-party products add additional counters. For example, if you use Oracle, then Oracle adds over 300 counters related to the performance of the Oracle databases.

Performance counters are arranged in a tree structure, as is shown in the following chart.

Some performance counters have multiple instances. For example, on a SMP machine with two CPUs there will be an instance for processor0 and an instance for processor1

Another machine with one CPU and there will be only one instance for processor

Save Performance Data To The Argent Predictor

The Argent Predictor is Argent’s capacity planning and trend analysis product. By checking this option on the Performance Rule each time the Rule is run, the data point is added to the Argent Predictor – the data is saved in the Argent Predictor for later trend analysis and capacity planning.

Note: it’s not each time the Rule is broken, rather it is each time the Rule is run.

For example, if the Rule is run once a minute, but is broken once a day, then 1,440 data points will be added to the Argent Predictor each day, not just one data point.

Creating A Performance Rule

There are two secondary screens used when creating or editing a Performance Rule – the C46A screen and the C46B screen (‘C46A’, etc., refers to the screen id in the top right corner of each screen).

The Performance Rule Criteria Screen – C46A

Here the first section of C46A — the Type Of Performance Metric — is described.

Simple Example Of Performance Rule Criteria Screen

This simple example of a single counter will now be examined.

Here the Pages/Sec counter in the Performance Object class of ‘Memory’ is being tested. On any machine, there is only one Pages/Sec counter – there is NOT one Pages/Sec counter for the C drive, another Pages/Sec counter for the D drive, and yet a third Pages/Sec counter for the E drive.

As there is just one Pages/Sec counter for the complete system there is no Instance field in this case.

The final part of this example is the value to be tested. In this case it is ’95’.

To summarize:

This Rule will be broken if the Pages/Sec counter in the Performance Object of ‘Memory’ exceeds 95 pages per second.


You may find this test is too easily broken, and you may want to have it send an Event to the Argent Console only if the test is broken twice in a row.

To do this specify ‘2’ for Post Event Only After Rule Is Broken x Times in the common section of the Rule at the base of the G6A screen. By doing this, the Pages/Sec counter will need to exceed 95 three times in a row before the Rule is considered broken.

Example Of Performance Rule Criteria Screen With Instances

In this example, disk free space is tested.

As is typical, the machine has a number of disk drives, in this case two – ‘C’ and ‘E’.

But only the ‘C’ drive will be tested in this Rule. As you can see from the screenshot, in the lower section of the C46B screen, ‘C’ is specified as the single instance.

Show Current Value On The Performance Counter Screen

It’s all well and good to know what you want to test.

But what value should you use to define the Rule being broken?

To answer this completely reasonable question, it’s essential to know what the current value is.

You can see the current value of any counter by simply clicking the button on C46B called Show Current Value.

In this screenshot, C drive disk free space is 90%.

One more example of Show Current Value

Slight variation on a theme: here it’s the same machine but with the accumulated total disk free space.

In this case, for all two drives the total free space is 95%.

Rule Is Broken If

In the lower section of the C46A screen you define the value causing the Rule to break.

In this example the value specified is ’95’ – if the value exceeds 95 the Rule breaks.

Of course the value is specific to the counter – this ’95’ is real page faults per second. For disk free space it will be – not surprisingly – the disk’s free space value.

Fail Rule If The Data Is Unavailable Or Nonexistent

Sometimes when a performance counter is checked, the counter is not available.

This can be caused by many reasons: the counter was for an application that’s been de-installed; the Microsoft counter is temporarily unavailable – the world’s knowledge bases overflow with descriptions of this error; the kernel is having temporarily a Bad Hair Day — counter is available most of the time, just not at this instant in time.

Regardless of the cause, you have to decide how you want to process this case.

It can be useful to set this flag so if the counter you want to check is temporarily or permanently not available, then you tell the Rule to consider this an out-of-bounds condition and tell the Rule to fail.

The Criteria Must Be Met For More Than X Seconds

By setting this optional field, the Rule tests to ensure the counter is out of bounds for the specified number of seconds.

In the example of the Pages/Sec counter, were you to set this field to ’30’, then the counter would have to exceed the value for 30 continuous seconds.