I am not sure how many people are familiar with the great tools that Mark and the Sysinternals folks have created, but this is one that is a must for monitoring the performance of your machine.  It is called Process Explorer.  With it, you can see what is taking up your CPU time in real time as well as which process has what handles or DLL’s open.

This tool can be used with ASP.NET to keep a quick eye on the performance of your web server.  You can add it to your startup folder so it always starts and you can watch things progress in your server and make sure things don’t get out of control.  For a great video on using this tool, check out: The case of the Unexplained.  You can also check out Mark’s blog for many examples that use Process Explorer.  This tool has saved me a lot of time in tracking down performance issues and a lot of the time, you can use it instead of needed to attach a debugger or look at a dump.

I would highly suggest watching the video or checking out Mark’s blog for more details and to see if you can apply the same things to your environment.

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