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CPU utilization analysis on EC2 Windows – How to do

by | Jul 25, 2021

Wondering how to do CPU utilization analysis on EC2 Windows? We can help you!

We can use Task Manager from our instance to see the processes which use the CPU the most. Also we can use Performance Monitor or Process Explorer to find out the exact processes that are causing high CPU utilization.

Here at Bobcares, we do CPU utilization analysis for our customers as a part of our Server Management Services.

Today let’s see how our Support Engineers do this for our customers with EC2 instances.

How to do CPU utilization analysis on EC2 Windows

Following are some of the methods that our Support engineers use to analyze CPU utilization:

Use Task Manager to identify the source of high CPU utilization

  1.  Firstly, we must connect to yo the instance using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).
  2. Then open Task Manager and select the CPU column to sort by CPU.
  3. Further we have to check for any processes with high CPU utilization.
  4. And we have to troubleshoot any applications that are using more CPU than expected, if found.

If all applications are using the expected amount of CPU, we can try changing instance types.

Use Process Explorer to identify the source of high CPU utilization

Process Explorer is a SysInternals utility provided by Microsoft.

We can use the following steps to use Process Explorer:

  1. Firstly, we have to download Process Explorer to our instance.
  2. Then launch the application as an administrator.
  3. And select the CPU column to sort processes by usage.
  4. After that, go to View, and click on Show Process Tree to view the parent-child relationship between processes.

Use Performance Monitor to identify the source of high CPU utilization

We can use Performance Monitor and the Performance Analysis of Logs (PAL) tool for this analysis. Performance Monitor is a built-in Windows tool.

To use Performance Monitor, follow these steps:

  1. Firstly, we have to connect to our instance using RDP.
  2. Then open Performance Monitor, and expand Data Collector Sets.
  3. Next, open the context (right-click) menu for User Defined, and go to New, click on Data Collector Set.
    For Name, we have to enter a name for the new data collector set.
    Then select Create manually (Advanced).
  4. After that click on Next.
  5. And for Create data logs, select Performance Counter, then click Next.
  6. Click Add.
    For Available counters, select Process, % Processor Time.
    And for Instances of selected object, select All instances.
    After that click Add.
    Repeat this step for adding further performance counters.
  7. Now click Ok.
  8. (Optional) Set Sample interval and Units to the preferred values.
  9. And click Next.
  10. Next we must choose a location with at least 1 GiB of free space to store the data, and click Next.
  11. Save and close, then click Finish finally.

Use Performance Analysis of Logs (PAL) to generate a report for analysis

PAL is a third-party tool that we can use to generate a report from our Performance Monitor file for a more in-depth analysis. To use PAL, follow these steps:

  1. Install PAL, launch the PAL Wizard, and then choose Next.
  2. For Performance Counter Log, enter the path to the Performance Monitor file, and then choose Next.
  3. For Title, choose System Overview, and then choose Next.
    Note: System Overview provides a general operating system performance analysis.
  4. Review and answer the questions for each entry in the Questions section. For OS, choose the latest Operating System version available from the list with a bit version that matches our instance. Choose Next.
  5. Select Process all of the counters in the counter log, and then choose Next.
    Note: Processing all of the counter instances can be resource intensive.
  6. For Output Folder, select an output directory for the PAL Report.
  7. For HTML Report, select HTML Report, and then choose Next.
  8. Choose Next, and then choose Finish.
  9. Review the Process and Processor sections of the PAL Report to determine which processes are using the instance’s CPU.

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Conclusion

To conclude, we saw the steps that our Support Techs follow to do CPU utilization analysis on EC2 Windows.

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