Monthly Archives: March 2016

SCOM: SQL Server MP Community Technical Preview 1

A Community Technical Preview has been released for all of the SQL server versions and components they are available for download here. This MP is accompanied by a refresh of the SQL MPs released earlier this month v6.6.7.6, could this be an attempt to improve QA and testing on management pack releases, especially considering the issues with the SQL MP over the past year.

The new features and fixes introduced in CTP1 management packs are as follows:

    New Analysis Services 2016 MP Features and Fixes

    • Updated references and removed deprecated elements to support 6.6.4.0+ visualization library
    • Fixed bug when SSAS Monitoring Pack could not collect OS performance counters with localized names
    • Updated discoveries to throw errors in case of some problems detected during the discovery
    • Fixed module error collection on cluster instances to reduce the noise
    • Changed defaults for CPU Usage monitor, added sampling to Memory Usage on the server monitor
    • Reduced inner complexity of modules
    • Fixed the discoveries; now the last items can be undiscovered
    • Simplified the dashboard to make it quicker and more informative
    • Reviewed and updated the Knowledge Bases
    • Added timeout support for every non-native workflow
    • Fixed Blocking Session Monitor – in some situations it could calculate blocking sessions incorrectly
    • Win10 support: fixed OS version detection issue
    • Fixed CPU usage alert description
    • “Known Issues and Troubleshooting” section of the guide is updated

    New Reporting Services 2016 MP Features and Fixes

    • Fixed issue: Microsoft System Center Management Pack for SQL Server Reporting Services doesn’t discover SSRS instance when the instance name starts from some certain symbols (0-9, A-F)
    • Instance configuration monitor is introduced
    • Implemented a better logging system
    • Improved the Report Manager availability monitor: now it parses human readable message to get the real status of the Report Manager
    • Improved the Report Manager and Web Service availability monitors: now the user can treat some status codes as healthy via the override.
    • Fixed the discoveries, now the last items can be undiscovered
    • Added timeout support for every non-native workflow
    • Simplified the dashboard to make it quicker and more informative
    • Reviewed and updated the Knowledge Base articles
    • Improved Run As mappings
    • Updated the discoveries to throw errors in case of some problems detected during the discovery
    • Updated the references and removed deprecated elements to support 6.6.4.0+ visualization library
    • Changed the performance rules write actions accounts to “Default Action account”
    • “Known Issues and Release Notes” section of the guide is updated
    • Fixed “Memory consumed by other processes (%)” rule having no Run As profile for DS; added SQL MP default Run As to the data source
    • Fixed “Failing replacement: $Data/Context/Property[@Name='<MonitorName>’]$” issue in OM log

    New SQL Server 2005-2012 MP Features and Fixes

    • Fixed intermittent “Cannot login to database” alert with some rules
    • Added support for SQL Express Instances
    • Updated Knowledge Base articles
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 x86 on Windows 2008 R2: fixed the issue when DB file groups cannot be discovered
    • Win10 support: fixed “Cannot bind argument to parameter ‘Path’ because it is an empty string.” issue
    • Fixed issue when SQL Configuration Manager starts snap-in of wrong version
    • Fixed invalid Always On non-readable replica detection

    New SQL Server 2014-2016 MP Features and Fixes

    • Fixed intermittent “Cannot login to database” alert with some rules
    • Fixed display string for AgentsGroup.Discovery
    • Added support of SQL Server Express Instances
    • Always On issue: Events “967” are no longer fired for File Group and Files discoveries when server has a non-readable DB
    • DB Discovery issue fixed: masterDB is to be used if the target is inaccessible
    • DBSize issue: filter < 0 values in provider, return data for fileSize
    • Win10 support: fixed “Cannot bind argument to parameter ‘Path’ because it is an empty string.” issue
    • Agent Job Discovery is now disabled by default
    • Fixed issue when SQL Configuration Manager starts snap-in of wrong version
    • Fixed invalid Always On non-readable replica detection
    • Updated summary dashboards

SCOM: Objects, Classes, Targeting and You

This posting will be part of my SCOM basics series and covers the key concepts of Objects and Classes.

Objects

An object is the basic unit of management in Operations Manager. An object typically represents something in your computing environment, such as a computer, a logical disk, or a database. It could also represent something more abstract, such as an application, an Active Directory domain, or a DNS zone. An object can also be referred to as an instance of a particular Class.

Classes

A class represents a kind of object, and every object in Operations Manager is considered an instance of a particular class. All instances of a class share a common set of properties. Each object has its own values for these properties which are determined when the object is discovered.

Most management packs define a set of classes that describe the different components that make up the application that is being monitored and the relationships between those classes

Targeting

A target in the Operations console represents all instances of a particular class. For example, a viewlists all of the objects that are instances of the class that is used as the target class for the view, and a monitor is applied to all objects that are instances of the monitor’s target class.

targets

Classes have two further categories. Base Classes and Hosted Classes

Base Classes

Every class in Operations Manager has a base class. A class has all the properties of its base class and could add more. All of the classes from the different management packs installed in your management group can be arranged in a tree with each class positioned under its base class.

When you select a class as a target that is a base class for other classes, the monitor or rule applies to all instances of each of those classes. For example, if you use Windows Operating System as the target for a monitor, then the monitor applies to all instances of Windows Client Operating System and Windows Server Operating System. This is because those two classes use Windows Operating System as their base class.

Hosted Classes

Most classes are hosted by another class. When one class hosts another, the hosting class is called the parent, and the class being hosted is called the child. Instances of the child class cannot exist without a parent.

For example, several classes are hosted by Windows Computer because they are components on a computer. It would not make sense to have a logical disk if there was no computer for the disk to be installed on. Therefore, Logical Disk is hosted by Windows Computer. This means that every instance of Logical Disk must have one instance of Windows Computer as its parent.

Note about Groups

I’ve included groups in this posting because it can be a common mistake to try and use a group as a target for a rule / monitor this can cause that rule / monitor to not function correctly as the class for a group only exists on a management server, the group will not be enumerated into it’s members from the target selection.

SCOM: OpsLogix VMware MP V1.3.2.10

OpsLogix, a company long involved in developing management packs to improve the functionality of SCOM, have released an update to their VMware management pack. It is already available if you have a valid support contract.

Version 1.3.2.10 contains following changes or additions:

  • The VMware modules have been optimized to take up less cpu/mem resources.
  • Previously, the performance collections for Virtual Machines were disabled by default. In this version you can enable it with an override.
  • Performance collections for Virtual Machines are set to 15min intervals
  • Performance monitoring for Virtual Machines and ESX Hosts are set to 5 min intervals
  • Added Virtual Machine Snapshot to count monitoring as running level and total count
  • Added property to see what snapshot is currently used for the Virtual Machine
  • Added the location path of the Host and Virtual Machine. For example: now you can see on which host a Virtual Machine is currently running.
  • Removed the overall status of a datacenter based on the VMware api. A rollup based on the availability status has been added.
  • Added availability, configuration, performance and security rollups for the datacenter.
  • Added VMware tools status monitoring.
  • Optimized the connections/session to the Vcenter or hosts to read out the monitoring data.
  • Updated the layout of the configuration dashboard.
  • Extra log features have been added to debug the management pack by using special registry keys.
  • The password is now always stored as FIPS. In environments without FIPS it will fall back to NON-FIPS.
  • Updated installation guide with new UI screenshots.

SCOM: SQL Dashboards workaround for slow performance

Microsoft has finally officially recommended a workaround that some of us have been using for some time to keep the SQL dashboards in a usable state.

Dashboards may work slowly if used rarely

Issue: When used rarely or after a long break, the dashboards may work rather slowly due to large amounts of the collected data to be processed; especially, it is related to large environments (2000+ objects).

Resolution: Below is a “warming up” script, which may be used to create an SQL job to run on some schedule. Before scheduling it as an SQL job, please test how long these queries will be executing (if you will schedule it to run too often or execution time is too long, that may kill the performance). If you have dashboards with thousands of objects to load, then time to load the content will be 10+ seconds anyway. It was tested with 600 000 objects, and the dashboard loading time was 1-2 minutes.

USE [OperationsManagerDW]

EXECUTE [sdk].[Microsoft_SQLServer_Visualization_Library_UpdateLastValues]

EXECUTE [sdk].[Microsoft_SQLServer_Visualization_Library_UpdateHierarchy]

It is also worth noting that the following versions of SQL Server Management Pack are considered as deprecated and suspended:

  • 1.314.35
  • 1.400.0
  • 3.173.0
  • 3.173.1
  • 4.0.0
  • 4.1.0
  • 5.1.0
  • 5.4.0
  • 6.0.0
  • 6.2.0
  • 6.3.0

SCOM: Updated SQL MPs for Dashboards, SSAS and SSRS version 6.6.7.6

Several SQL Management packs have been updated, version 6.6.7.6 for each of them can be found at the following locations:

As usual treat new management packs with caution, especially considering the recent issues with SQL and Base OS ones and test, test, test!

SQL Server 2014 Analysis Services – here
SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services – here
SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services – here

SQL Server 2014 Reporting Services (Native Mode) – here
SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services (Native Mode) – here
SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services (Native Mode) – here

Management Pack for SQL Server Dashboards – here

 

Updated in this version

Dashboards

  • Fixed “The client has been disconnected from the server. Please call ManagementGroup.Reconnect() to reestablish the connection” exception.
  • Replaced 999+ presentation with a new one (26.2k)
  • Added configurable rule to pre-aggregate data in the DW (see the corresponding Known Issue)
  • Added second row in the instance view to show Path of the object, and allow searching by Path.
  • Fixed tooltip presentation on the Instance view

“Known issues and Troubleshooting” section of the guide is updated

SQL Server Reporting Services

  • Fixed issue: Microsoft System Center Management Pack for SQL Server Reporting Services doesn’t discover SSRS instance when the instance name starts from some certain symbols (0-9, A-F)
  • Instance configuration monitor is introduced
  • Implemented a better logging system
  • Improved the Report Manager availability monitor: now it parses human readable message to get the real status of the Report Manager
  • Improved the Report Manager and Web Service availability monitors: now the user can treat some status codes as healthy via the override.
  • Fixed the discoveries, now the last items can be undiscovered
  • Added timeout support for every non-native workflow
  • Simplified the dashboard to make it quicker and more informative
  • Reviewed and updated the Knowledge Base articles
  • Improved Run As mappings
  • Updated the discoveries to throw errors in case of some problems detected during the discovery
  • Updated the references and removed deprecated elements to support 6.6.4.0+ visualization library
  • Changed the performance rules write actions accounts to “Default Action account”
  • “Known Issues and Release Notes” section of the guide is updated
  • Fixed “Memory consumed by other processes (%)” rule having no Run As profile for DS; added SQL MP default Run As to the data source
  • Fixed “Failing replacement: $Data/Context/Property[@Name='<MonitorName>’]$” issue in OM log

SQL Server Analysis Services

  • Updated references and removed deprecated elements to support 6.6.4.0+ visualization library
  • Fixed bug when SSAS Monitoring Pack could not collect OS performance counters with localized names
  • Updated discoveries to throw errors in case of some problems detected during the discovery
  • Fixed module error collection on cluster instances to reduce the noise
  • Changed defaults for CPU Usage monitor, added sampling to Memory Usage on the server monitor
  • Reduced inner complexity of modules
  • Fixed the discoveries; now the last items can be undiscovered
  • Simplified the dashboard to make it quicker and more informative
  • Reviewed and updated the Knowledge Bases
  • Added timeout support for every non-native workflow
  • Fixed Blocking Session Monitor – in some situations it could calculate blocking sessions incorrectly
  • Win10 support: fixed OS version detection issue
  • Fixed CPU usage alert description
  • “Known Issues and Troubleshooting” section of the guide  is updated

 

XPost: Warning Base OS MP version 6.0.7303.0!!!

Kevin Holman updated his MP post with the following warning,:

***WARNING***  There are some significant issues in this release of the Base OS MP, I do not recommend applying this one until an updated version comes out.

Issues:

  • Cluster Disks on Server 2008R2 clusters are no longer discovered as cluster disks.
  • Cluster Disks on Server 2008 clusters are not discovered as logical disks.
  • Quorum (or small size) disks on clusters that ARE discovered as Cluster disks, do not monitor for free space correctly.
  • Cluster shared volumes are discovered twice, once as a Cluster Shared Volume instance, and once as a Logical disk instance, with the latter likely cause by enabling mounted disk discovery.
  • On Hyper-V servers, I discover an extra disk, which has no properties:

So best to hold off on this one folks. This of course comes back to some big questions about MP quality control as we’ve had many issues with the recent SQL MP releases and now this.