For Day 6 of this series, I am going to talk about a few useful tools you can use to identify some hardware details about a database server. These tools all require that you have access to login to that server, which might be a problem for some people, depending on the policies of their organization. If you are barred from accessing your server, my Day 5 post from this series gives you another option to get some information from T-SQL.
The first tool is msinfo32.exe, which is built into all recent versions of Windows. You can simply type msinfo32 in a Run window, and you will see the System Information dialog shown in Figure 1.
This shows that I have an Intel Core i7 930 CPU, with 12GB of RAM, running Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition, with Service Pack 1.
Figure1: System Information Dialog
The second tool is the Computer Properties dialog shown in Figure 2. You can get there by going to the Start Button, then choosing Computer, right-clicking, and choosing Properties. This shows the Processor model, along with the amount of installed RAM.
Figure 2: Computer Properties Dialog
The third tool is Windows Task Manager, which is shown in Figure 3. You can get there by right-clicking on the Task Bar, and choosing Start Task Manager. The Performance tab tells you how many logical processors are visible to Windows (the number of sections you see in CPU Usage History), along with the amount of RAM that you have installed.
Figure 3: Windows Task Manager
All of these tools are built into the operating system, so there should be absolutely no issues with running them on a server. Tomorrow, I will talk about the wonderful CPU-Z tool.