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Maximize Your Microsoft Ecosystem Performance

Microsoft offers some of its own monitoring options, such as System Center and Windows Admin Center. Federal IT pros can optimize performance by including additional monitoring strategies such as monitoring Windows servers, Microsoft applications, databases, Hyper-V, Azure, and Office 365.

Monitoring Strategies

Windows Servers

Identifying a performance issue involves understanding what’s not operating efficiently. In a Microsoft environment, this means knowing the operating system isn’t part of the problem. To gain this knowledge, consider tools capable of focusing on the Windows servers to provide highly-specific information and help pinpoint—or rule out—a server-based issue.

Microsoft Applications

It can be impossible to truly understand application health—and, in turn, performance—without understanding how well Microsoft application services, processes, and components are operating. To get this critical information, consider a tool that gives the federal IT team the ability to:
  • Isolate page-load speeds based on location, application components, or underlying server infrastructure
  • Monitor requests per second, throughput, and request wait time
  • Identify the root cause of problems by monitoring key performance metrics, including request wait time and SQL query executing time
  • Identify which webpage elements are slow and affect overall webpage application performance
A greater understanding of the performance levels of the processes feeding in to and out of applications can prove invaluable when trying to identify higher-level application performance issues.


Every federal IT pro knows monitoring database performance is a must. Specifically, be sure to invest in a tool with the ability to troubleshoot performance problems in real-time and historically. The historical perspective will allow the team to identify a baseline, so they can better understand the severity of a slowdown. This perspective will then allow the ability to analyze the database workload to identify inefficiencies. Ideally, the tool of choice will also provide SQL Server index recommendations as well as alerting and reporting capabilities.


For optimized virtual infrastructure performance, be sure to optimize Microsoft Hyper-V—the company’s virtualization platform. One of the best ways to do this is by understanding and optimizing the size of virtual machines through capacity planning. It’s also possible to take this even further by predicting the behavior of the virtual environment and solving potential issues before they escalate. Not all tools will provide these capabilities, so choose wisely.


Many federal IT pros believe cloud monitoring is in the hands of the cloud provider. Not so. It’s possible—and highly recommended—to monitor the cloud infrastructure and transit to help ensure optimized system and application performance. For example, a good tool will provide the ability to monitor Azure-based applications with as much visibility as on-premises applications. A better tool will go even further and allow the federal IT pro to measure the performance of each network node inside the cloud and to analyze historical performance data to pinpoint a timeframe if performance has degraded. Microsoft offers a tool called Azure Monitor, which allows the federal IT pro to collect performance and utilization data, activity and diagnostics logs, and notifications from various Azure resources. Azure Monitor integrates with other analytics and monitoring tools, which is a plus for larger environments supporting a range of different types of products and services from a range of vendors. For further peace of mind—and to help protect against data loss—look for the ability to back up emails to a secondary location.


Operating in a Microsoft-centric world doesn’t mean the federal IT pro must rely only on Microsoft products and services to help optimize performance. Yes, Microsoft has excellent options. But more out there can go a long way toward ensuring a top-performance environment on site or in the Azure cloud. Find the full article on our partner DLT’s blog Technically Speaking.
Brandon Shopp
Brandon Shopp is the vice president of product strategy for security, compliance, and tools at SolarWinds. He served as our director of product management since…
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