SCOM: Agent health and you

I often find it interesting, particularly among younger engineers how little emphasis is placed on this icon greyagent , discussions usually center around phrases like “it’s only one grey agent” and there is little urgency in fixing that agent.

I use one agent as my example because what does that one agent really mean. Well it of course does depend on each environment and requires some understanding of the clients business. For example it’s the end of the month and greyagent is the payroll server, or perhaps you are supporting a web based business such as an online retailer and greyagentis their web front end. Management servers may be the heart and soul of Operations Manager but without the lifeblood of the agents you don’t have much to work with.

Agents watch data sources on the monitored computer and collect information according to the configuration that is sent to it from its management server. The agent also calculates the health state of the monitored computer and objects on the monitored computer and reports back to the management server. When the health state of a monitored object changes or other criteria are met, an alert can be generated from the agent. This lets operators know that something requires attention. By providing health data about the monitored object to the management server, the agent provides an up-to-date picture of the health of the device and all the applications that it hosts.


Below is a diagram of the data flow from the agent to the management server and from there through to the Ops and DW databases.


Agent Flow


I posted an article earlier in the year about agents not submitting performance data that shows how to pickup agents that may not be working even if they show green in the console. It just emphasises that just because agents look like they are working it doesn’t mean they are 100%

Hopefully this article helps to raise awareness of the importance of greenagent2 happy SCOMing.



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