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Home > Success Center > Server & Application Monitor (SAM) > Configure Performance Counter monitor fetching method order for SAM

Configure Performance Counter monitor fetching method order for SAM

Table of contents

Updated 8-19-2016


Performance Counters can be fetched by four methods: Managed (RPC), WMI, External (RPC), PDH (RPC). Through the Performance Counter monitor, you can set the primary or preferred fetching method. If this method fails, it falls back to a specific order of fetching method attempts configured in SolarWinds.APM.Probes.config.

This article details the available fetching methods and how to modify the order.


  • SAM 6.2.4 and later


There are 4 options for fetching methods:

  • (default): Recommended. This is the default fetching method and fetching order we recommend for Performance Counter data collection. It includes a configured order and fallback sequence without requiring additional configuration.
  • Managed (RPC): Calls .Net methods to collect performance counter data.
  • External (RPC): Calls CounterFetcher.exe utility to collect data. This utility calls the PDH API similarly as the PDH (RPC) method. This method isolates some memory leaks or strange behavior, usually caused by issues  on Microsoft's side. This .exe runs only a short time, while the JobEngine worker process leak can cause issues of global kind.
  • PDH (RPC): Calls the PDH API directly from the polling job code. For details, see this Microsoft article.

  • WMI: Uses WMI to collect performance counter data.


The fallback method will be called only when the previous method fails, working through the order of methods as configured.


The order of fetching attempts is configured in the following properties in the SolarWinds.APM.Probes.config file:

  • PerfCounters.DefaultFetchingOrder for Pollers
  • PerfCounters.AgentModeFetchingOrder for Agents

This function allows an administrator to change the priority of methods for Application Template or for specific Application.


For example, SolarWinds.APM.Probes.config the fetching order is defined as: Managed, External, Pdh. You can edit this file and change the order as wanted.

  • While editing the config file, the Fetching Method is set to: PDH.
  • As a result, an effective order is set to Pdh, Managed, External.


You can select the primary or preferred fetching method to attempt first through the Performance Counter monitor. You can set the preferred method for one or a group of monitors.




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