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