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Windows CPU utilization nearing capacity

You might want to detect when CPU utilization is nearing capacity when doing the following:

Prerequisites 

In order to execute this procedure in your environment, the following data, services, or apps are required:

Example

Excessive CPU utilization on a host, particularly abnormal or prolonged, is a sign of potential issues with the critical applications running on the host. You want to detect when an application is starved for CPU resources so you can prevent performance degradations or application instability. 

Option 1

To optimize the search shown below, you should specify an index and a time range.

  1. In Splunk Enterprise or Splunk Cloud Platform, verify that you deployed the add-on to the search heads and Splunk Universal Forwarders on the monitored systems. For more information, see About installing Splunk add-ons.
  2. Run the following search: 
| mstats min(Processor.%_Idle_Time) AS "processor_idle_time" WHERE index="<name of Windows metrics index>"  host="<name of host to check>" (instance="_Total" AND object="Processor") by host span=30s
| eval processor_active_time=100-processor_idle_time
| timechart span=1m max(processor_active_time) AS processor_active_time BY host

Search explanation

The table provides an explanation of what each part of this search achieves. You can adjust this query based on the specifics of your environment.

Splunk Search Explanation
| mstats min(Processor.%_Idle_Time) AS "processor_idle_time" WHERE index="<name of Windows metrics index>"  host="<name of host to check>" (instance="_Total" AND object="Processor") by host span=30s Search metrics index(s) where CPU utilization data is being collected and filter down to the desired host(s).
| eval processor_active_time=100-processor_idle_time Convert processor idle time to processor active time for readability.
| timechart span=1m max(processor_active_time) AS processor_active_time BY host Plot the CPU utilization for each host over time.

Result

Set up an alert based on this search so you can proactively manage potential stability issues.

Option 2

  1. Ensure that you have the Splunk OTEL Collector installed on the host you want to monitor.
  2. In Splunk Infrastructure Monitoring, use the following SignalFlow to search the cpu.utilization streaming metric and filter down to the desired host(s).
     A = data('cpu.utilization', filter=filter('host.name', '<name of host to check>')).publish(label='A')

Result

To alert when CPU utilization is nearing max capacity for the selected host(s), use the SignalFlow from this procedure to configure a detector with an alert condition of "Static Threshold" and alert settings of:

  • Alert when: Above
  • Threshold: 95
  • Trigger sensitivity: Duration
  • Duration: 5m
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