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We programmers get asked questions like the following a lot from our network engineers.

  1. Do you know which applications are running on Server123?
  2. I have list of applications, windows services, queues, etc etc on Server123 .. do you know which ones are you still using it? Which ones are not used any more?
  3. What other servers are calling into Server123?

There must be a tool out there that could answer these questions for network engineers in terms of what is currently actively working in terms of applications, log files, queues, windows services, desktop applicaiton, web applications, web services, etc.

The tool should also be able to answer questions like which of the apps, file directories, etc. have not been touched in last 3 months, etc.

Is there a tool out there for this?

We are a purely Windows (Microsoft shop). Our servers all have Windows Server operating systems.

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What operating systems are your servers running? –  nhinkle Dec 3 '10 at 0:30
    
we are purely a Microsoft shop. –  dotnet-practitioner Dec 3 '10 at 0:48
    
With a username like that... –  paradroid Dec 3 '10 at 1:30
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1 Answer

I'm going to assume that your servers are running Windows since your question says "windows services". The answer would be different for Linux or OS X servers.

There are a variety of Windows command line and GUI tools for monitoring servers.

Much of the information you want can be viewed through the Microsoft Management Console. Services, network shares, performance information, and other info can all be viewed by adding a server to the MMC.

The following command line tools may be useful to you:

  • tasklist: lists all tasks running on the remote computer, or only tasks which meet certain criteria
  • net commands
    • net user displays information about logged in users
    • net session displays information about logged in users and server share connections
    • net statistics displays information about sessions and data being sent/received

SysInternals PStools also provides a lot of useful command line tools for administering remote servers. This includes showing what files are open remotely, who is logged on, what processes are running (including details about the processes), event logs, services, and server uptime. PsExec allows you to run any command you want remotely, which gives you nearly full control to get information about files, such as their last-modified date, etc.

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would tasklist and "net commands" be able to provide historical information such as which resources have not been used for lets say last 2 months?? –  dotnet-practitioner Dec 3 '10 at 0:50
    
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by determining if a resource has been "used" recently. Do you mean checking to see if a file has been opened, or when the last time was a service was run, or what? The Event Log will have some of this information, but the system doesn't keep track of every single time you run a program. –  nhinkle Dec 3 '10 at 0:52
    
What I mean by "used" is if any application "wrote" to the log file, or inserted a message to the queue etc.. –  dotnet-practitioner Dec 3 '10 at 1:21
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