This is one of my most closely held DBA secrets.
Do you use PAL? You should.
...but this post isn't about PAL. Lots of people have talked about PAL (deservedly so).
This post is about how to automate the inputs to PAL.
Back when I was actively doing the consultant thing, I was looking for ways to automate powerful, free tools - PAL being at the top of my list. (One thing you learn quickly when you do consulting is that those wonderful Enterprise tools you loved so much as a Full-Time DBA are suddenly out of reach financially and in regards to your permission to install them within a company you may only be visiting for a brief time.)
While doing a six month engagement I came up with a plan to use powershell to run logman, etc., and gather PAL inputs to allow anyone on the DBA team to run a powershell script that had a few simple parameters and voilà! - they would get a PAL report. I did it, but it was a kluge and I was never really happy with it and constatly rehearsed in my mind how I could change it to make it run more optimally and reliably.
Then...one day I was in New York doing a consulting gig through EMC and I was meandering through the file system of a computer where an earlier EMC consultant used to sit and I stumbled on an .exe simply named "perfcollect". I had no idea what it was so I ran perfcollect /help and became intrigued. Don't try this at home, but I became so curious that I ran it on that PC.
To may amazement, this little .exe did EXACTLY what I had just spent the last six months of my life trying to perfect - and it did it better, cleaner, and more robustly.
I was able to discover who the author of the tool was via google and to my utter disbelief the guy was my neighbor!
Paul Galjan - a brilliant guy who's intelligence is only rivaled by his coolness, has created a tool so amazing that I am reluctant to even tell you about it. This tool will get you everything you need to input perflogs into PAL (and more!) - and Paul has even created an unattended version of it.
perfcollect is truly in the Parthenon of the best things ever.
Long may the name Paul Galjan be praised.