Setting up Operations Manager for Nutanix

Nutanix has a management pack available for several monitoring solutions such as Solarwinds, Nagios and of course Operations Manager, which allows us to monitor hardware / DSF / hypervisor directly into Operations Manager. Now combining this with the service management capabilities that Operations Manager has is a killer combo. Now the setup is pretty simple when run from a management server



After the management packs are installed, new monitoring panes should appear within the console.


Now the management pack uses a combination of SNMP and the REST API, first of we can configure the SNMP properties for the management pack, which can be done in PRISM under settings // SNMP


From there we need to enable SNMP, set up a v3 user profile which OpsMgr will use to authenticate and encrypt traffic.


And lastly define transport rule which is UDP on port 161.


Next we can run a discovery wizard from within Operations Manager to search for the CVM machines.


Next we need to add each device and create a specific SNMP user that we can use to contact the Nutanix CVM.




Eventually that devices will appear under the discovered devices pane, which means that we can contact the devices using SNMP.


If we now head back to the monitoring pane we can see that the devices appear healthy.


Next is to add monitoring to the cluster. This uses the REST API to communicate with the cluster IP.



Now we should add both a PRISM account and an IPMI account (Note that I have excluded the IPMI part since I had some minor issues with the IPMI connection on my nodes at the time)


Eventually the nodes will appear in the monitoring pane we can extract out performance information from the cluster as well.


If we go into health explorer of a CVM we can see all the different monitoring objects it checks.


Note: If you upgrade NOS you might/should need to rerun the cluster monitoring wizard again.

#nutanix, #operations-manager, #scom-and-nutanix

Veeam Management pack for Hyper-V and Vmware walktrough

Yesterday, Veeam released their new management pack which for the first time includes support for both Vmware and Hyper-V. Now I have gotten a lot of questions regarding (Why have Hyper-V monitoring if Microsoft has it ?) well Veeam’s pack has alot more features included, such as capacity planning, heat maps and so on.

The management pack can be downloaded as an free trial from veeam’s website here –>

Now as for the architecture of the functionality here it’s quite simple


First of there are two components.

  • Veeam Virtualization Extesions (Service and UI) it manages connections to VMware systems and the Veeam Collector(s), controling licensing, load balancing, and high availability
  • Veeam Collector component gathers data from VMware and injects its information into the Ops Agent.

It is possible to install all of these components on the management server itself. You can also install the collector service on other servers which have the Opsmgr agent installed. The virtualization extension service must be installed on the management server.

In my case I wanted to install this on the mangement server itself, since I have a small enviroment. Before I started the installation I needed to make sure that the management server was operating in proxy mode.


Next I started the installation on the management server. Now as with all of Veeams setup it can automatically configure all prerequisites and is pretty straight forward. (Note it will automatically import all required management packs into SCOM1

If you have a large enviroment it is recommended to split ut collectors into different hosts and create a resource pool (There is an online calculator which can help you find out how many collectors you need)

You can also define if collector roles should be automatically deployed


After the installation is complete (using the default ports) you will find the extensions shortcut on the desktop


By default this opens a website on the localhost (using port 4430) from here we need to enter the connection information to Vmware (Hyper-V hosts are discovered automatically when they have the agent installed) Same with Veeam Backup servers as well.


After you have entered the connection info you will also get a header saying the recommended number of collector hosts.


After this is finished setup you can open the OpsMgr console. From here there is one final task that is needed. Which is to Configure the Health Service, this can be dome from tasks under _All_active_Alerts under VMware monitoring pane.


After this is done you need to expect atleast 15 min before data is populated into your OpsMgr servers, depending on the load. You can also view the events logs on the Opsmgr servers to see that data is correctly imported.


and after a while, voila!

I can for instance view info about storage usage



Vm information


Now I could show grafs and statistics all day but one of the cool stuff in this release, is the cloud capacity planning reports.


They allow it to see for instance how many virtual machines I would need in Azure (and what type) to move them there.


#hyper-v, #operations-manager, #system-center, #veeam, #vmware

Setup Management pack for SQL 2012 with Operations Manager

Now Microsoft recently released their new management pack for SQL Server, which included new dashboard views for SQL administrators. Now this is nice and it gives a clear overview of the current configuration and what’s happening at the time. Now it supports most the SQL versions, except 2014 (yet…)


32-bit SQL Server on 32-bit OS

32-bit SQL Server on 64-bit OS

64-bit SQL Server on 64-bit OS

SQL Server 2005



Supported (for SQL Server 2005 SP2 or later only)

SQL Server 2008




SQL Server 2008 R2




SQL Server 2012




Another heads up! is that by default Microsoft recommends that you monitor no more then 50 databases (per agent) to avoid spikes in the CPU usage. And also not all features are discovered and monitored by default


So in order to get monitoring on these features we would neeed to create en override on the different objects. This can be done by going into Authoring –> Management Pack –> Objects –> Object Discovery –> Scope –> (Choose SQL objects) right-click on the feature which is not enabled and choose Override –> choose a class for which you want this overide to work for. Then create a new management pack and choose Enabled == True


Now the installation is quite simple, head to this webpage and download the management packs –>

Download and then go into the Operations Manager Console –> Administration –> Management Packs –> Import

(NOTE: it is also an best-practice to import the Windows Server management packs first in order to properly monitor aspects such as disk, processor, memory, network)

And after we have imported the management packs we get alot of tasks related to SQL in the dashboard


In order to use these we need to install the SQL management studio on the Operations Manager server. After you have imported the managmeent pack you also need to attach accounts to the SQL profiles in order to have the proper access to the SQL servers.

This post from Kevin Holman (which is a couple of years old, still explains in good detail how to configure the profiles and accounts –>

Now after you have properly configured the managment pack with permissions, its time to do some proper tuning. For instance by default, the mangement pack will not inform about database backups, which I find a bit disturbing since this is something I would really want to monitor.

In order to enable this monitor go into Monitoring pane –> Microsoft SQL Server –> SQL Server Database Engines –> Databases –> Databases view (Then choose a random SQL database) right-click choose open –> Health explorer (Click the filter monitors to remove showing of unhealth objects) Then under Database backup status it does not have any info.


Now right-click on that object and choose override –> choose enabled true and enter a date here where it should check how old the database is.


After you have then stored this in a mangement pack and choosen which object this rule should apply to, Operations Manager should start to report back with the status if you have taken backup or not.

I can see that after enabling the rule, the alarm appears.


Now there are of course loads of different monitors, which will cause overhead to the SQL server and the operations manager. Many monitors are by default added because Microsoft thinks its a good idea, but your database admin or yourself might not agree. Important to remember that Microsoft have to create a baseline which applies to most setups but if you don’t agree you can customize to your hearts desire! Smilefjes

So I live by a rule with Operations Manager, if you don’t need to monitor it. Disable it!
Last but not least a preview of the new dashboards which comes with the new management pack


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

System Center 2012 tools and third-party extensions

This is something I’ve been meaning to write for some time, since I see new  tools and extensions added to System Center every day. Many of these extensions are powerful and free which many use in their day to day job. So therefore I decided to write down a list of those tools I know free or otherwise(cost money) for the System Center portofolia. This list shows the whole ecosystems around System Center and the possibilities it has!  Im guessing that many here might be new to someone. Hopefully some of these tools are of use to you Smilefjes

And if someone knows of an extension or tool that is not on the list please leave a comment and ill add it to the list ASAP.

Operations Manager MPAuthor, allows you to create custom management packs Visio stensils Operations Manager XML Connector MPViewer (shows embedded resources in bundles (such as images or scripts), loads MPs asynchronously, and has the ability to Unseal and Unpack MP Bundles.) Override Explorer Override Creater NICE management packs Maintance Mode tool Microosft Management Packs Wiki SAP Management Packs Management Packs for Veeam Management Pack for SolarWinds Infront Advanced Server Management PAck Brocade Managemement Pack Dell Management PAcks HP management packs IBM management paks Managment Packs for Citrix Management Packs for NetApp Management Packs extensions from Quest Management Packs from opslogix Management packs from F5 Management packs from Bridgeway Management Pack for Amazon Visual studio authoring extensions Management Packs for A10 Management Pack extensions for Hyper-V


Configuration Manager Dell Update tools MDT 2013 Right-Click tools Configuration Manager support center Configuration Manager tookit Client Center CoreTek Application e-mail approval tool CoreTek package source changer Secunia Update manager Enterprise Update Catalog 1E App store


Virtual Machine Manager Savision Cloud Repoter Brocade Load balancer extension Citrix integration pack Cisco integration for Virtual Machine Manager sFlow Citrix Netscaler and Virtual Machine manager F5 BIG-IP load balancer extension HP Storage add-on Virtual Machine Manager component add-ons and exteions


Service Manager Provate IT Asset Management Singature SCSM dashboard Impacted buisness services Cireson extensions Exchange connector 3.0 Send Email Service Manager authoring tool Sizing Tool Service Manager Scutils

Orchestrator Kelverion Integration Packs Orchestrator management pack transfer tool Orchestrator add-ons and extensions End-user portal orchestrator Social Media integration Pack Orchestrator Microsoft Integration Packs Cisco UCS integration pack EMC integration pack PowerShell execution Integration pack Codeplex integration packs F5 integration pack SCCM client center Integration pack


Azure Pack CloudCruiser

#configuration-manager, #operations-manager, #system-center, #virtual-machine-manager

Cross platform monitoring System Center Operations Manager

First of, this is a looong post Smilefjes

This is a subject that actually I presented at the NIC conferance in Norway in january.
How we can use Operations Manager to monitor other worksloads other then Microsoft / Windows. Since in most enterprises they have a lot of different platforms such as:
Linux, Vmware, Citrix, Cisco, Microsoft and of course many are looking at towards cloud solutions such as Amazon and Azure.

So im going to show short on each topic how we can use operations manager to monitor all of these solutions.

Now by itself Operations Manager has a good extensive list of monitoring options against Microsoft workloads such as

  • Exchange
  • SharePoint
  • System Center
  • Lync
  • Active Directory

You can see here for a comprehensive list of Management Packs available for Operations Manager –>

And of course there is support for Network devices and some Unix/Linux distroes.

The list of supported Network Devices is here –> Note that operations manager uses SNMP and ICMP for monitoring Network devices.

For UNIX/LINUX based devices you have a newly added managmenet pack –>
It supports CentOS, SUSE Linux, Red Hat, Solaris and Ubuntu and so on.

Now all of the options i’ve list so far is built-in capabilities. Operations Manager works with using agents (Except for Network devices) you have an agent installed, you import a management pack which contains the logic such as rules and alerts, views and reports and you start getting notifications.

So when monitoring for instance Hyper-V we need an agent installed on our Hyper-V agents and the Hyper-V management pack.  There is also an VMM management pack which gives us a more detailed overovew of our Hyper-V / Cloud infrastructure




Monitoring Citrix Netscaler

For Network devices, we need to have the SNMP service installed on our management server. This can be done using Server Manager or the PowerShell command.

Install-Windowsfeature SNMP-service

After that is done we define the service to allow SNMP packets from hosts.


After this is done we have to do some changes to the network device. If we for instance want to monitor Citrix Netscaler we first need to download Netscaler management pack from Citrix. If we have a Netscaler running in our enviroment we have a download pane in the GUI


And download the management pack


Then import the management pack to SCOM. Which can be done under administation –> management packs –> import.

Then we have to add some SNMP configuration to Netscaler to allow it to communicate with SCOM. This can be done using the CLI command


Community string is used for authentication against the SCOM server.  Next we need to run a network discovery rule

Make sure that the default account here has the same credentials as the community string we entered on the Netscaler


Then under Devices, enter IP address and choose SNMP version 1 / 2 and bind the run account


After we ran the discovery we have the Netscaler device appear in our infrastructure under network devices.


Monitoring XenDesktop

Monitoring XenDesktop 7.x requires a Managment Pack from a Citrix partner called ComTrade. They make Management Packs for most of the Citrix products. The setup is pretty basic and install the agent that they come with on the XenDesktop Controller and on the Management Server and add an license


Import the management Packs for XenDesktop.We also have to define the agent installed on the XenDesktop Delivery Controller as an Proxy, this allows it to fetch data outside of its object.

And voila we have a custom view for XenDesktop which gives us a good overview of the Site and can also view how many sessions on the site.


As a part of the transition to the Cloud many are looking at a hybrid cloud solution where we have a combined on-premise and a public cloud provider, but one of the problems that appear is monitoring cloud services on the cloud provider.

Monitoring XenServer

Again, since this is a Citrix product it requires a management pack from ComTrade. XenServer is using a custom built FreeBSD so we cannot use the regular Unix/linux management pack to monitor it. On theo ther hand using the Management Pack from ComTrade gives us the total overview.

In order to monitor a XenServer we need a regular server running as an proxy agent. This server will be running as an Xenserver management proxy, so this will connect to the XenServer pool and gather data and report back to Management Server.

First we need again to enter a connection to the pool from the proxy agent


Then enter a license (or else the agent will not forward any information at all)

and voila!


Monitoring Azure

Monitoring services in Azure is not as easy as It seems, we can use S2S VPN and have an agent installed on all VMs running there, or setup a gateway server but this only covers the virtual machines and does not cover the other roles there.

Microsoft luckily created a managmenet pack that we can use to monitor Azure services directly from Operations Manager. You can find it here –>

After importing the management pack we will get a new pane under Administration called Windows Azure, here we have to setup Operations Manager against an Azure account we wish to monitor.

Here we have to enter a subscription ID and a Management Certificate against our account

After we are done here, we acn go to authoring and setup  Azure monitoring. Since it by default does not start to monitor objects in Azure, we have to define which objets it should monitor.

Here we can monitor our Cloud Services, Subscription, Virtual Machines and Storage Containers. So after we have configured what we want it to monitor it will start generating alerts.


Monitoring Amazon Web Services

Amazon has done a good job when creating its Management Pack for Web Services. (Which can be downloaded from here –>

It contains good information and gives a good overview of most of your infrastructure running in Amazon.

To setup monitoring, import the management pack. Go into Authoring pane and run the Amazon Web Services under Management Pack objects. Here we need to define a watcher node (which will be used to communicate with Amazon as define a run as account.
The run as account should be in form of an Access Key ID and the Secret Access ID using Basic Authentication.

After we have that setup it will start gathering info and start monitoring objects as they appear.


Monitoring Unix/Linux agents

Monitoring Unix/Linux requires that we import the management pack for monitoring Unix/Linux, which can be found here –>

Now in my case I want to monitor ubuntu, then I need to use the Universal Linux MP. Since ubuntu does not have its own management pack. After I’ve imported that I have to setup two accounts under Adminsitration –> Unix/Linux accounts

ONe for agent maintance and one for monitoring.  Both of these have to be bound to a profile. (You can see more about accounts which need to be defined here –>

After that we have to setup a discovery (note the linux server needs to be entered with a DNS name)


Monitoring VMware

Monitoring VMware from operations manager, requires an Management pack from Veeam.
The management pack requires that we have some extra components installed on a server which has an Operations manager agent installed. This server is used to communicate with vCenter and get info from the Vmware enviroment.

These components are web services which allow communication flow

•Veeam Vmware Collector

•Veeam Virtualization Extensions Services

•Veeam Virtualization Extensions UI

(These components can be installed on the same server)

After these components has been installed we have to setup connection to vCenter from the Extensions Services web gui.


After this is done we will start to get information into Operations Manager.



Now there are also some other Management Packs which are on Microsoft Pinpoint which shows other third party products which we can monitor from Operations Manager.
Many third party vendors do not have their management pack available on Pinpoint to contact your vendor in case you are unsure if they have a management pack.  Important to note that this is just to show the possbilities we have with Operations Manager, important to many management packs will in many cases slow down your setup and requires alot of tuning before it works as you want it to Smilefjes

#amazon, #azure, #citrix, #nic, #operations-manager, #system-center, #vmware

NIC 2014 Conference

So next week it is going to explode with nerds in downtown Oslo. NIC (Nordic Infrastructure Conference) 2014 is thursday and friday, ill be attending there standing there as a part of MTUG (Microsoft Technology User Group) on Microsofts booth, so if you want to say hi please come by!

And I am also have a session 17:20 thursday regarding cross-plattform monitoring with Operations Manager, so the agenda of the session is show show HOW you can use it to monitor solutions such as

Other systems

So stay tuned, and attend if you plan on staying there so late! Smilefjes

#nic, #operations-manager

Monitoring Windows Server 2012 R2

Microsoft just recently released a preview pack of a management pack that can be used to monitor Windows Server 2012 R2, good job Microsoft! Smilefjes

You can download the preview pack here –>

The management pack includes monitors for most of the Windows Server features. Including some awesome feature for Hyper-v 2012 R2, including for instance Host Health Dashboard and Virtual Network Usage.

It also includes for other features such as Cluster, AD, ADCS, RDS, and even Server Essentials.

Now Microsoft should hurry up and release some management packs for System Center 2012 R2 as well that would be great! Smilefjes

#operations-manager, #opsmgr-2012, #system-center, #windows-server-2012r2

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

Operations Manager and service monitoring

With SCOM 2007 you have the ability to monitor a service within your infrastructure with Distributed Applications.
Distributed Applications are basically made up of different components that make your service.
For instance let’s think of a web shop. Which are typically made up of
1x Webserver
1x Database server
1x File Server
and/or a authentication service like AD
All these components make the service. So if one of these components go down your service goes down.
So Distributed Applications allow you to monitor your service, with SCOM 2012 you have a better options of monitoring the SLA (Service Level Agreement) for that service.
By default you have an Distributed Application view in SCOM 2012 which includes the health of your SCOM Management Group


IF you wish to create a new DA monitoring, go to the authoring pane, and choose Distributed Applications right click and choose create new..

Give the DA a describing name and description. There are already some templates avaliable to choose from but we are going with the Blank one so we can cover all the steps.
And always put the DA in a separate MP, for instance you should have one MP with all the DA.


Then click OK, Now we enter the Distributed Application designer. From here we draw how the different components are attached to each other, on the left side you have the search fuction so we can find the different compoents we wish to add.
For the purpose of this post, I’m just going do create a new SCOM DA.


First of now I just added the Management Servers from the left side as an component, next I add the Management Group to the mix, and then I create an relationship between the two, since the servers depend on the Management Group.
As an example, the webserver is dependent on the database server to get its information, the database server on the other hand is not dependent on the webserver.  The designer window will now look like this.


Now lets save this layout. Click the Save button.
Now back in the authoring pane you will now see the newly created DA. Now we are going to create a SLA monitoring. Further down in the authoring pane you can see the Service Level Tracking.
Right click and click create.
Give it a name and choose the new service as a target class.

Next under service level objectives click Add. Give it a name, choose Availability type and leave the rest at the default. Since will monitor SLA based on critical events on the target “My Service” DA. So if a critical event were to happen on that service my SLA would fall. After you have created the SLA monitoring go back to the my workspace pane, Right click on my workspace and press new dashboard view, and select Service Level Dashboard.


Under Scope add the new SLA monitor you just created, (You could for the record here add multiple SLA’s to view on the dashboard.
And choose the time scope (Default is 24 hours) click next and create.
You can now see that the new SLA widget appears under Favorite viewes and I get a fancy overview of the SLA for my DA.


You can also generate reports of the SLA (If you have SQL reporting services installed)
ill give more detail when regarding monitoring of a large service including network devices and SAN solutions in a later post, but this is just to give you the general idea of how you can monitor your services using SCOM 2012.

#distributed-applications, #operations-manager, #scom, #sla