Thursday, October 16, 2008

PAL is still a good friend of mine

A new colleague of mine was experiencing some issues with performance in our BizTalk test environment. They hadn't heard of PAL before so I gave them a quick walk through. When I launched the PAL site I noticed that Clint Huffman had recently updated his tool.

The current version of PAL is, when I initially blogged about PAL the version that I was running was 1.1.8.

The tool's purpose has remained unchanged. PAL continues to provide empirical data based upon defined Performance Counters that are related to your Product(s). Green/Yellow/Red indicators are used to tell you when your counters are "Safe/Warning/Critical".

From looking at the GUI and the feature's list, here are some of the changes that stuck out for me. This is a non-exhaustive list(some points copied from official site):
  • The ID Process (PID) for each of the BizTalk 2006 host instances has been added to make it easier to identify them. A side note is that if you want to see the name of the BizTalk host as long as you know the PID you can execute the following from a command prompt: tasklist /svc /fi "imagename eq btsntsvc.exe

  • Some of the analyses in the other Exchange 2007 threshold files did not make it into the single file.

  • The PAL installation wizard now detects if Microsoft Office Web Components 2003 is installed and if Microsoft Log Parser v2.2 is installed. If they are not installed, then the installer points the user to the installation URL for the respective product.

  • A Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V threshold file has been added to PAL. This is a beta release of this threshold file pending review from other subject matter experts.

  • The ability to "queue" multiple vbs instances so they are run as a group instead of you executing individually.

  • The UI now supports time range restrictions - meaning the perfmon log can be restricted to a time range

  • UI is now "wizard based" - what can I say Clint works for Microsoft. :-). It is cool though, it is more intuitive than the previous version.
Below I have included some images that highlight some of these new features.

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