I was doing some research earlier this week on SQL Server related troubleshooting tools and was surprised I’d forgotten about Microsoft’s PAL tool – Performance Analysis of Logs.
PAL is a free PowerShell UI based tool from Microsoft that creates a perfmon template which can then be used to capture counters most relevant to a high-level performance review PAL will them give for specific Microsoft server deployments, SQL Server being one of them.
Everyone knows what perfmon does, probably too well, to the extent that we sometimes overlook using it to help identify problem components we can then drill down into. If you know a server’s IO bound do you know for sure which drives are having problems and whether they’re having IOPS or bandwidth starvation or high service times? PAL will at least identify that IO is the only problem you have, or perhaps identify other areas for concern, perhaps when the server’s not IO bound its CPU bound for example.
Below is a link to the tool itself and to a SQLBits video with Justin Langford which demonstrates its ease of use and value: