Troubleshoot Top Processes that Consume Most of Device Resources

Use the Top Processes dashboard to view the direct effects of performing a particular activity on the device's resource usage (CPU, memory or disk).
View the processes that consume the most of device's resources

In the six top widgets, see the summary of the system as a whole within the dashboard's timeframe: application usage time, wait time, activity response time, system CPU, system memory, and Disk IO.

In the middle of the screen, the table lists the top six processes that breach their predefined thresholds. The Agent for End User Devices reports a device's highest resource consumers (top processes) only if one of the HRC measurements exceeds its predefined threshold. By default, the Agent collects the device's resource usage every two minutes.

The widgets under the Top Processes section visualize data for the selected process(es). They are only showing data for the selected violating time period (red bar) where there was a breach.

Procedure

  1. Step 1 Open a browser and sign in to Aternity.
  2. Step 2 Use the search box in the top bar to quickly find a particular device.

    You can enter a device hostname or IP address or enter the name of a dashboard.

  3. Step 3 Select Build Your Own and then select Top Processes.

    This dashboard is Aternity out-of-the-box dashboard and you cannot edit it.

  4. Step 4 Adjust the timeframe to drill-down to a specific time period.
    To do so, drag the time blue gauge to select the timeframe within which you want to troubleshoot the device. Alternatively, open the time picker and manually set the timeframe.
    Select the exact time period for your analysis

    You can also use the predefined buttons: Recent Week , Recent Day , Recent Hour , or Recent 15 min .

    To change the timeframe of the dashboard, use the timeline gauge on the top of the screen. The arrows on the time bar shift the time and blue bar in a week or day or else, depending on the selected predefined option.

  5. Step 5 In the six top widgets, analyze the summarized information about the system: application usage time, wait time, activity response time, system CPU, system memory, and Disk IO.

    For example, see what application is mostly used or what application causes the longest wait time. See the peaks during working time and longer gaps during weekends.

    Note

    In the Application Usage, Application Wait Time, and Business Activity Response Time widgets, the measurements you see in the tooltip are in seconds for each hour of usage. Whereas, in the System CPU, System Memory, and System Disk IO widgets, the measurements are in seconds for each two minutes of usage.

    Tip

    If there is no data available for a widget, change the timeframe. Probably, there are no records for the selected time. Depending on what time range you selected, you might not having any data for processes. If nothing violated, there is nothing to show. To see the process data, select a wider time period.

    Analyze resource usage of the device over that period of time
    To see which spike is which, hover over the legend to see the colored area of the line trend. For example, see the zoom usage trend on the figure below.
    See the specific line trend out of all lines on the multi-line chart
  6. Step 6 In the Top Processes widget, analyze the resource usage over the selected period of time.

    Aternity records only the processes where there was a breach of resource usage and displays the top six processes that breach their respective thresholds for memory, CPU, or else. Any process that is breaching will be recorded with all of the data: if a process breaches for CPU threshold, Aternity still records other data too, like memory and IO usage.

    You can sort the rows by any column, depending on your investigation needs. For example, sort by Max CPU to see which process is using the most of CPU, or sort by Max Physical RAM to see which process is using a lot of memory of the device.
    Field Description
    Max CPU

    Displays the peak CPU usage (in percent) of this managed application during the timeframe, which is part of the application's process resource consumption (PRC).

    Max Physical RAM

    Displays the processes which utilize the most physical memory (known as the total working set) during the timeframe, and view the maximum physical memory usage for each process.

    Use this to find processes which suffer memory leakage, causing other applications to slow down.

    By default, Aternity collects top processes data if the total physical RAM usage of all processes on the device rises above 90%, or if the disk queue length is more than 1.

    Max Virtual RAM

    (Windows only) Displays the processes which reserve the most virtual memory (known as commit size), during the timeframe, and view the peak commit size for each process.

    By default, Aternity collects top processes data if the total commit size usage of all processes on the device rises above 90% of the device's virtual memory, or if the disk queue length is more than 1.

    Max IO Read

    (Windows only) Displays the processes with the highest data input rate (read requests) from the network and hard disk during the timeframe, and displays the maximum read rate for each process

    For example, if a virus scanner slows performance by issuing many disk read requests, reschedule to off-peak times. Alternatively, if the read rate falls to almost zero, the hard disk may be failing, or its connection to the computer may be unreliable.

    By default, Aternity collects top processes data if the total read rate from the hard disk exceeds 1 megabyte per second (MBps), or if the disk queue length is more than 1.

    Max IO Write

    (Windows only) Displays the processes with the highest data output rate (write requests) from the network and hard disk during the timeframe, and displays the maximum write rate for each process

    For example, a movie editor can perform large disk writes, slowing down the device's performance. Alternatively, if the write rate falls to almost zero, the hard disk may be failing, or its connection to the computer may be unreliable.

    By default, Aternity collects top processes data if the total write rate to the hard disk exceeds 1 megabyte per second (MBps), or if the disk queue length is more than 1.

    The time graph in this widget is showing you the timeframe selected at the top of the screen. Within that predefined timeframe, the red highlights on the graph are the periods where there were the breaches. The dark red bar indicates the currently selected violating time period, and the widget displays the processes where the usage breached a resource threshold during this violating time period (CPU, memory or disk). Also, the drop-down lists the time periods where there were breaches. To select a certain period, select the red bar on the graph or the time period from the list.
    Select the violating time for investigation

    You can also scroll right or left with the arrows to move from one red bar to the next chunk. It is only looking within the timeframe of the dashboard. Walk through the data until the last chunk in this timeframe. When you first open the dashboard and select its timeframe on the top of the screen, the Top Processes widget displays by default the longest chunk of data.

  7. Step 7 Select a red bar or a violating time from the list to investigate the resources usage during that specific timeframe. Then select one specific process (row) you want to analyze.

    The widgets below the Top Processes are only showing data for the selected violating time period (red bar) where there was a breach. Select a different red bar to see the resource usage during a different time period. The text in the Violating Time drop-down changes accordingly. The selected red bar is slightly darker than others.

    Once you select the process (row), the widgets below the table change accordingly to show the device's resource usage (CPU, memory or disk) for that specific process only.

    For example, see how much RAM and CPU are used by the OneDrive process running on the device you troubleshoot during the selected violating time period.

    Select the row to keep only one process for troubleshooting and analyze its data on the widgets below the table
  8. Step 8 (Optional) Use your mouse to zoom in on part of the chart.
    In any one out of six charts in the upper part of the dashboard, you can zoom in to investigate just the period of time you are interested in. All widgets in the dashboard and the timeframe menu at the top of the screen change accordingly.
    Zoom in with the mouse to see the required time period
    The violating time period inside the brackets in the Top Processes widget changes accordingly. You see the periods of violation only within the newly selected time period.
    View the updated charts and tables according to the new time

    Select Back to zoom out and return to the previous view. If you have zoomed in multiple times, select Back as many times as necessary to return to the initial view.