Does anyone use a cheap or better yet free performance monitoring tool? I have a need to monitor about a dozen machines during an event to help identify bottlenecks but I'm having trouble finding a tool to do it. Ideally not something overly complex, this is a one time need.
Or does anyone know of a good tutorial for Performance Monitor? That can record the info I want to watch, cpu, memory, disk latency, network utilization, etc... but configuring it for remote machines seems harder than it needs to be. That and I would like to avoid setting up collector sets on 12 separate machines then have to deal with a bunch of separate reports. I actually checked Performance Monitoring Video for help but wasnt satisfied.
Any help will be appreciated.
Unfortunately I don't think you will find something simple that can do what you are looking for. What I often use and rely on is Zabbix which is free (Open Source), but a bit complex.
For an example of what Zabbix can do. I am currently watching the Disk I/O, Memory Usage, CPU Utilization, Disk Usage, SQL Status and HTTP/S status for a few servers in real time. By watching the current usages I can determine if there is any problem. If something spikes I can then enable further monitoring to specifically target the problem. In most cases, the exact issue can be pinpointed and resolved within a matter of moments.
Just to give an idea, earlier a client's server reported that MySQL was timing out for a few ms every few minutes (nothing a normal human would notice). I went in and found a stuck process that was killed and the server went back to normal. This effectively neutralized a downtime issue before it could become an issue.
In any case, you will not find anything simple that works very effectively without spending quite a bit of money. Your best bet would be to login to each server and monitor usages manually during the times needed as you said you are only intending it for a one time use. It's simple and effective.
Hope I helped!