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Dynamics CRM 2013, Thresholds files for Performance Analysis of Log (PAL) Tool

Written by Stéphane Dorrekens
Tuesday, 29 April 2014 10:27

Last week, while following a Performance training at Microsoft by Gonçalo Antunes; we had some hands on using the Performance Analysis of Logs (PAL) Tool.
It's a very nice tool but unfortunately, no template existed for Dynamics CRM.

This was a bit disappointing, so based on some knowledge built for the CRM Extreme Monitoring session I presented some months ago in Barcelona, I went to implement a first draft of the threshold files.
Those are basic thresholds, more oriented towards health than performance; but you still get quite a few of thresholds as MSDx CRM is more than generous in failure counters.

I first thought of making a file for every CRM server roles; but that would leads to a lot of files and furthermore; the counters are not that easy to split per role.
There're currently 3 files; one for front-end, one for back-end and a full server role (which inherits from the other two); you will also need to add the sql server threshold file if needed (IIS,, etc.. are already inherited) as it depends on the SQL Server version.
I would be more than happy to get feedback when some of you use PAL in real world audits; so it can be extended and improved over time.

So, how does it works ?
First, download and install the PAL Tool from codeplex (the Dynamics CRM templates are embedded)
You can then start the PALWizard; and you should be able to see the Dynamics CRM threshold files in the selection list.

 From then, you can use the PAL tool the usual way.
In short: 

  • Select the Threshold files
  • Click "export to perfmon template file" and save the template
  • Start Perfmon
  • Go to Data Collector Set, Create New Data Collector Set, Create from a Template and select the template
  • Schedule the collection or start it directly
  • When the collection is complete, you should get a blg file
  • Restart the PALWizard
  • Select the collection file
  • Re-select the Threshold file; answers some questions and next...
  • This would generate the report.

There's a lot more options but I would refer you to the PAL codeplex site for more information.
Below is a sample of the charts generated, and here're some samples reports : Report 1Report 2.