Jun 172012
 

Ever run out of drive letters on a server, or have some other business requirement, and have the need to go with mount points? Do you wonder how you’ll monitor those new drives with Perfmon? Here’s how!

By the way… If you’re not monitoring any of your disk activity on your production servers, shame on you. I like to take five minute performance metric samples and rotate log files by day on all of the production servers that I work with. If you ever need to reference back to see how a server was performing, you have the ability to do so. Too much information is never a bad thing, right?

First, determine where you’ll be mounting the drives. I’m going to mount two drives in the E:\mount folder. One is for SQL Server database data files, and the other is for log files.

Second, I’m adding two thin provisioned 1GB virtual drives (drives 3 and 4 below) to an existing VM in my home lab. The server runs Windows Server 2008R2, but the same concepts apply to Windows Server 2003 as well.

Perform a drive rescan in Disk Management, and you’ll see the new drives appear as offline and uninitialized.

Set one of the drives to online, then initialize it. Next, right click on the unallocated space and create a new simple volume. Where you would normally assign a drive letter, select one of the paths you previously created on the disk.

If you are doing this for a SQL Server, you are formatting each partition to a 64KB NTFS allocation size, right?

Perform the same actions for the other drive. Once completed, your disk list should resemble the following.

When you click through to the folder in Windows Explorer, you see the following items, telling you (poorly) that these are mount points.

OK. We’re all connected and ready to test. First, find a way to generate some disk activity. I like to use IOmeter for simple things like this.

Errrr. Maybe not. IOmeter does not distinguish mount points from the base drive. Oh well. We’ll just copy a large file back and forth.

Stage something to move around. In my case, it was just an ISO file.

Open Perfmon and click into the counters list.

Check it out! Perfmon has the two mount points listed out appropriately. Add a couple of appropriate counters, and start your file movement testing. Problem solved!