System Center Management Pack for SQL

Must say that the product teams are working 110% releasing new managemnet packs almost weekly! the lastest update came from the SQL team, which has been updated 3 times the last year. (there has also been alot of changes within SQL)

You can download the management pack from here –>
And the lastest update contains some bugfixes and a new DB dashboard which is very useful for the DBA admins.

Now as a warning which is imporatant to note with this management pack:

We recommend that you monitor no more than 50 databases and 150 database files per agent to avoid spikes in CPU usage that may affect the performance of monitored computers.

Now this management pack has a lot of monitors which comes included, some are enabled by default and some are not to reduce the noise.
Since it logs typical stuff like.
* Deadlocks
* User Activity
* Space report for database, logs etc
* Disk latency

So of course YOU can use it for more then 50 databases, its just that the monitores require some tuning before you can installed the management pack on other servers. Since its hard for Microsoft to determine if you want to monitor a particular component within SQL or not.

And with the new DB dashboard here you get a complete overview!
(Had some issues with the SQL server agent at the time of the writing so therefore I have a blank DB overview)


#operations-manager-2012, #opsmgr, #system-center

Monitoring Exchange 2013 with Operations Manager 2012

Microsoft just released a Management Pack for Exchange 2013 and it couldn’t arrive fast enough Smilefjes The installation is simple as pai, download and import via management packs.

You can download the management pack from here –>

This Mangement Pack require the same prerequisites as the previous ones.

  • You have one of the following versions of System Center Operations Manager deployed in your organization:
    • System Center Operations Manager 2012 RTM or later
    • System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 or later
  • You have already deployed SCOM agents to your Exchange Servers. Show me how.
  • The SCOM agents on your Exchange Servers are running under the local system account. Show me how.
  • The SCOM agents on your Exchange Servers are configured to act as a proxy and discover managed objects on other computers. Show me how.
  • Your user account is a member of the Operations Manager Administrators role.

Now if you want to use this in a lab enviroment I always enable proxy roles for all the agents. (Not recommended for a producition because of the security risks)

But it you want to enable this for all agents open SCOM Powershell and run the command

Get-SCOMAgent | where {$_.ProxyingEnabled.Value -eq $False} | Enable-SCOMAgentProxy

This will enable agent proxy for all agents that do not have proxy enabled Smilefjes

The management gives a clean overview of the infrastructure (In my lab enviroment I only have one server which is a CAS and Mailbox server)


Now if I enter health explorer I see all the different objects that are being monitored.


And the list goes on Smilefjes 
So far my impression is that the Microsoft Exchange have been good to enter knowledge sources for each monitor.

The Server Helath shows all the different components and which servers they are installed on.

You can see more about the documentation regarding the management pack here –>

#exchange-2013-scom, #monitoring, #operations-manager-2012

Monitoring Netscaler with Operations Manager 2012

This guide has been written with Netscaler build 73 and Operations Manager 2012 SP1 (on WS2012) with the management pack from Citrix.

Operations Manager 2012 supports monitoring network devices either through SNMP (v1, 2 and 3) or through just basic ICMP.
Citrix has made a management pack solution, which you can use to enhance the monitoring capabilities in SCOM.
The pack also includes VMM PRO management pack (Which is not gone through in this guide, just the basic management pack)

The management pack can be downloaded from mycitrix (Requires login)

(Just a side note: Comtrade is a Citrix Partner who is currently making a new management pack for Netscaler so stay tuned for the new release )

So when we have a functional Operations Manager server up and running we have to install the SNMP service on one of the servers.
This can be done via Server Manager.

After that is installed go into services.msc and choose «Accept SNMP packets from any host» or just enter the IP of the Netscaler server.
Make sure that firewall on the OpsMgr server allows for SNMP traffic in.

After that is done you can install and open the management pack folder.

You will see that it includes a Guide and MP folder (which contains the Management Packs)
Now open Operations Manager console and go to administration and choose Management Packs, right-click and choose import.

And from there browse to the directory and choose the regular NS MP (Not the PRO)

And choose Install.

After that is installed, go back to monitoring and you will see that a new folder has appeared under Citrix Netscaler

by default all Performance monitoring are mostly disabled so we have to enable these to actually get some data.
So go into Authoring -> Rules and scope it to Citrix Netscaler

First of we can enable Virtual Servers current up

So we create a override rule for Netscaler Devices

and choose Enabled and save it into a Management Pack where we save our overrides.
After that is done we alter the SNMP settings on the Netscaler devices, im going it in CLI

add snmp manager IP
add snmp community enternamehere ALL (The last one is used to define which rights this community string has)

Add the IP of the SCOM MS and add a community string (In my case I used «com»)

After that is done we have to add the network device into Operations Manager.
Open Administration -> Network Management -> Right Click and choose Discovery Wizard from the wizard choose Network Devices ->

From there specify a name and which MS and resource pool to manage the device

Click next -> choose Explicit

Click Next -> Here we add the community string which we will use to authenticate with the NS
We have to add a new run as account which includes the Community String

Next we add the device IP and choose what type of service it will use to communicate with the device

After the Device Discovery Wizard is done, go into Discovery Rule and choose Run.
After a while the Device will appear under Network Devices pane.

You can check the Application Log on the Operations Manager server for info and you can check the snmp stats option in Netscaler.
So after this is complete we can see the device health properties

We also have some Performance counters for CPU and Memory we can see.

After you have enabled other Performance Monitors they will appear here as well, this allows you to create a baseline for how connections should be on your box.
This also allows for Operations Manager to generate alarms in case of DDoS attacks.

#citrix, #netscaler, #operations-manager, #operations-manager-2012, #opsmgr, #snmp