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Integrating System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 with Windows Server 2008 R2 : Understanding How to Use OpsMgr

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Using OpsMgr is relatively straightforward. The OpsMgr monitoring environment can be accessed through three sets of consoles: an Operations Console, a Web console, and a command shell. The Operations Console provides full monitoring of agent systems and administration of the OpsMgr environment, whereas the Web console provides access only to the monitoring functionality. The command shell provides command-line access to administer the OpsMgr environment.

Managing and Monitoring with OpsMgr

As mentioned in the preceding section, two methods are provided to configure and view OpsMgr settings. The first approach is through the Operations Console and the second is through the command shell.

Within the Administration section of the Operations Console, you can easily configure the security roles, notifications, and configuration settings. Within the Monitoring section of the Operations Console, you can easily monitor a quick “up/down” status, active and closed alerts, and confirm overall environment health.

In addition, a web-based monitoring console can be run on any system that supports Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher. This console can be used to view the health of systems, view and respond to alerts, view events, view performance graphs, run tasks, and manage Maintenance mode of monitored objects. New to OpsMgr 2007 R2 is the ability to display the Health Explorer in the Web console.

Reporting from OpsMgr

OpsMgr management packs commonly include a variety of preconfigured reports to show information about the operating system or the specific application they were designed to work with. These reports are run in SQL Reporting Services. The reports provide an effective view of systems and services on the network over a custom period, such as weekly, monthly, or quarterly. They can also help you monitor your networks based on performance data, which can include critical pattern analysis, trend analysis, capacity planning, and security auditing. Reports also provide availability statistics for distributed applications, servers, and specific components within a server.

Availability reports are particularly useful for executives, managers, and application owners. These reports can show the availability of any object within OpsMgr, including a server (shown in Figure 1), a database, or even a service such as Windows Server 2008 R2 that includes a multitude of servers and components. The Availability report shown in Figure 1 indicates that the SP server was down on 9/29/2009 for about 4.17% of the time or just slightly over 1 hour. The rest of the time it had been up.

Figure 1. Availability report.

The reports can be run on demand or at scheduled times and delivered via email. OpsMgr can also generate HTML-based reports that can be published to a web server and viewed from any web browser. Vendors can also create additional reports as part of their management packs.

Using Performance Monitoring

Another key feature of OpsMgr is the capability to monitor and track server performance. OpsMgr can be configured to monitor key performance thresholds through rules that are set to collect predefined performance data, such as memory and CPU usage over time. Rules can be configured to trigger alerts and actions when specified performance thresholds have been met or exceeded, allowing network administrators to act on potential performance issues. Performance data can be viewed from the OpsMgr Operations Console.

In addition, performance monitors can establish baselines for the environment and then alert the administrator when the counter subsequently falls outside the defined baseline envelope.

Using Active Directory Integration

Active Directory integration provides a way to install management agents on systems without environmental-specific settings. When the agent starts, the correct environmental settings, such as the primary and failover management servers, are stored in Active Directory. The configuration of Active Directory integration provides advanced search and filter capabilities to fine-tune the dynamic assignment of systems.

Integrating OpsMgr Non-Windows Devices

Network management is not a new concept. Simple management of various network nodes has been handled for quite some time through the use of the SNMP. Quite often, simple or even complex systems that utilize SNMP to provide for system monitoring are in place in an organization to provide for varying degrees of system management on a network.

OpsMgr can be configured to integrate with non-Windows systems through monitoring of syslog information, log file data, and SNMP traps. OpsMgr can also monitor TCP port communication and website transaction sequencing for information-specific data management.

New to OpsMgr 2007 R2 is the ability to monitor non-Microsoft operating systems such as Linux and UNIX, as well as the applications that run on them such as Apache and MySQL. OpsMgr monitors the file systems, network interfaces, daemons, configurations, and performance metrics. Operations Manager 2007 R2 supports monitoring of the following operating systems:

  • HP-UX 11i v2 and v3 (PA-RISC and IA64)

  • Sun Solaris 8 and 9 (SPARC) and Solaris 10 (SPARC and x86)

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (x86/x64) and 5 (x86/x64) Server

  • Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 (x86) and 10 SP1 (x86/x64)

  • IBM AIX v5.3 and v6.1

These operating systems are “first-class citizens” in Microsoft’s parlance, meaning they are treated as equals with the Windows operating systems. Agents can be pushed from the console, operations data is collected automatically, tasks can run against the agents, and all major functions are supported.

Special connectors can be created to provide bidirectional information flows to other management products. OpsMgr can monitor SNMP traps from SNMP-supported devices as well as generate SNMP traps to be delivered to third-party network management infrastructures.

Exploring Third-Party Management Packs

Software and hardware developers can subsequently create their own management packs to extend OpsMgr’s management capabilities. These management packs extend OpsMgr’s management capabilities beyond Microsoft-specific applications. Each management pack is designed to contain a set of rules and product knowledge required to support its respective products. Currently, management packs have been developed for APC, Cisco, Citrix, Dell, F5, HP, IBM, Linux, Oracle, Solaris, UNIX, and VMware to name a few. A complete list of management packs can be found at the following Microsoft site: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/opsmgr/cc539535.aspx.

Other -----------------
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