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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Using PerfCollector with InfluxDB and Grafana

Using PerfCollector with InfluxDB and Grafana:
To collect Windows and SQL Server performance metric data, the following steps needs to be completed:

1.       Install InfluxDB from and run it as a service.
2.       Create a database named metricsdb.
3.       Install Grafana from and run it as a service.
(a)    Create data source as metricsdb for PerfCollector.
(b)    Import the pre-designed dashboard.
4.       Create a Windows Scheduler Task to run PerfCollector continuously.

Installation of InfluxDB:
Currently PerfCollector utilizes InfluxDB for data storage. This guide will help you install InfluxDB on a Windows environment. Please note that the InfluxDB can be install on different OS. Please see for more details.

In this guide, we will install influxDB as a Windows Server Service:

1.       Download the latest pre-build Windows version of influxDB from
2.       Create a folder, for example, d:\influxdb
3.       Extract the binaries into this folder.
4.       Navigate to the d:\influxdb folder.
5.       Create three more folders as follows:


6.       Open the “influxdb.conf” configuration file with Windows WordPad. Change the following sections as follows:

  dir = "d:\\influxdb\\meta"

  dir = "d:\\influxdb\\data"
  wal-dir = "d:\\influxdb\\wal"

7.       Open an elevated Windows command prompt and then navigate to the folder, d:\influxdb
8.       Run the InfluxDB daemon as follows:
Influxd –config influxdb.conf

Creating a database for PerfCollector:
1.       Open another elevated Windows command prompt.
2.       Navigate to d:\influxdb
3.       Run influx.exe on the command prompt.
4.       While you are in influx shell, create a database with any name of your choice. Please note that the name is case sensitive.
5.       To create a database, execute, CREATE DATABASE metricsdb

Creating a Windows Service for InfluxDB:
To create a Windows Service for InfluxDB, download the open source nssm tool from
1.       Extract the contents in a folder, for example, d:\app.
2.       Open an elevated Windows command prompt and navigate to d:\app
3.       Execute the following command to create a Windows Service:
d:\app\nssm.exe install influxdb
4.       Fill in the input fields in the dialog box as follows:

5.       Press “Install Service” when done. The nssm will take you back to the command prompt.
6.       Now on the command prompt, execute net start influxdb to start the InfluxDB service.

Installation of Grafana:
To display PerfCollector metrics in-real time, the open source web based metrics visualization tool “Grafana” is highly recommended. We will be using nssm to create a Windows Service for Grafana.

Download the latest Windows build of Grafana from
1.       Create a folder, for example d:\grafana
2.       Extract the zipped file to this folder.
3.       Open an elevated Windows Command Prompt and navigate to d:\app folder.
4.       Execute the following command:
d:\app\nssm.exe install grafana
5.       Fill in the input fields as shown in following dialog boxes:

Importing dashboard into Grafana:
Open a web browser and then browse to http://localhost:3000. Use the default username (admin) and password (admin) to login to the Grafana Interface. You will see the following Grafana web interface:

1.       Data Source for PerfCollector: A data source is needed for the dashboard to display real-time metrics. Click the “Add data source” and create a data source for InfluxDB database which is metricsdb.

2.       Import the dashboard: navigate to the Dashboard menu and hit the “Import button” to import a pre-designed dashboard for PerfCollector.

3.       Dashboard: From the import dialog box, browse the dashboard JSON file and fill in the input fields as follows:

 Sample dashboards:


  1. It can not be executed.
    C:\Users\ksgon> C:\PerfCollector\PerfCollector.exe KSG-PC\SQLEXPRESS 5000 metricsdb SQL “GEO\Geographic Survey App”
    EAccessViolation:Access violation

    1. You may have WMI corruption or Permission issue!