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Windows Server 2016 – Using the new Task Manager to its full potential

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We have all used Ctrl + Alt + Delete to open Task Manager and attempt to close problematic applications. With the Task Manager provided by Windows Server 2016, we can do much more right from that same interface. Let’s work through this recipe to explore some of the new things that can be done to take full advantage of this tool.

Getting ready

We are logged into a Windows Server 2016 server. This is the only system required for our recipe.

How to do it…

Follow these steps to learn a little more about Task Manager:

  1. Right-click on the Taskbar and choose to open Task Manager. This is an alternate way to get into the utility, other than using the Ctrl + Alt + Delete key combination. I prefer using the Taskbar right-click in fact because, when using the keyboard, it is easy to open the wrong Task Manager when you are using a virtualization console or RDP to administer remote servers.
  1. You are now looking at the simple version of Task Manager, where you can choose an application and click End task in order to forcibly close that application. To dig a little deeper, click on the More details link near the bottom:
  1. Now this is more like it! We can see all open applications at a quick glance, including how many resources each one is consuming. This makes it pretty easy to identify applications that might be stuck and consuming large amounts of CPU or memory. It also lists Background processes separately, which can be hugely helpful for finding malware or rogue processes:
  1. The Details and Services tabs are pretty self-explanatory. Details will show even more information about the individual processes that are running and consuming resources on your server. The Services tab shows a list of services installed on your server and their current statuses.
  1. Click on the Users tab and then click the arrow listed under your username to see the expanded view. Listed under each username are the applications that they have open. This sorted list of running programs is especially nice when logged into a server hosting many user connections at once, such as a Remote Desktop Session Host:
  1. Now browse over to the Performance tab. You will find that this screen looks much nicer than in previous versions. You can click between the different performance counters on the left to see the different details. If you right-click on the graph itself, you will notice there are some additional options. You can click on Graph summary view in order to change the Task Manager window into a smaller, graph-only mode that you can leave running in the corner of the screen. You can also choose to copy the screen, which can be helpful for grabbing a quick copy of this data and sending it on for troubleshooting or monitoring purposes:
  1. At the bottom of your Task Manager screen, click on Open Resource Monitor. This runs the new Resource Monitor, which is an even more extensive tool for monitoring hardware resources and utilization. This is very helpful for monitoring hardware in real time:

How it works…

The new Task Manager provided with Server 2016 contains many additional pieces of information that are helpful for monitoring system performance in real time. As you start to administer your new Server 2016 machines, make sure you spend some time in this interface so that you are familiar with the new layout when you need to access information quickly.

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