PAL processing, processors, and threads

I commonly get questioned on what response should be given to the NumberOfProcessors question variable in the PAL tool, so I thought I might try to explain it a bit…

PAL is designed to be a stand-alone tool where the analysis of a performance counter log can be analyzed on a workstation where an administrator can analyze counter logs of other computers with no connectivity. For example, customers regularly send me counter logs (*.blg) files to me and I analyze them from my home office or when I am at a hotel. I use PAL on my laptop to do the analysis.


When you reach the Questions tab in the PAL Wizard, these questions are in regards to the computer(s) in which the performance counter log was captured. The number of processors refers to the number of logical processors that would be seen in Task Manager of that computer. With this in mind, I will change the wording of the question to be more specific.


At the end of the PAL Wizard on the Execute tab, it asks how many threads to use during analysis. This is asking how many threads can the PAL tool use on the local computer (workstation) to use for analysis. PAL is very processor intensive, so I recommend 1 minus the number of processors of the local workstation. For example, if you have a 4 processor workstation, then use no more than 3 threads. Otherwise, your workstation might become sluggish and hot due to the long-term, high processor usage.

Comments (1)

  1. Theresa says:

    I have a 2 node cluster which has 4 SQL instances sharing resources.

    Ther server has 4 – 4 way processors (I see 16 in Task Manager)

    Each instance has been allotted 28GB memory.

    I ran perfmon for each instance and entered the following into PAL:

    16 processors

    28gb memory

    Is this correct way to enter?