Wednesday, November 18, 2009

MUI (Multilingual User Interface) issue AND wrong targeting when collecting performance data

At a customers site, located in the Netherlands, a systems engineer had built a performance collection rule, based on this blog posting of mine. But no data what so ever came in. Also the Performance View stayed empty. Nothing to be seen. For another almost similar constructed rule, data came in but a detailed Performance View, on a per server basis, wasn’t possible. Only the total results of all servers was being shown. (At least that is what they thought…..)

So when visiting them I checked certain items in order to find the cause(s) behind it.

Issue 1: No performance data is coming in at all
First thing I did is checking the OpsMgr event log of the Management Server. Many times people dive into the UI of OpsMgr, but believe me, the OpsMgr event log tells one way much more.

Oops! Multiple EventID’s 33333 were to be found:

This means that somehow data can not be written to the Data Warehouse. This can have multiple reasons. Time to dive deeper. So I checked the Rule itself:

Looking at Object and Counter, the localized names (Dutch) are used here. The targeted servers are US English based Windows 2008 servers, using MUI (Multilingual User Interface). So when one connects to the OS, the Dutch language for the interface is being used here. When the systems engineer built the rule he ran the SCOM UI from his system (also Dutch). So when selecting the Object and Counter the Dutch names were being shown.

However, a MUI covers the interface, not the underlying layers which are still US English based. And here the culprit was found. After adjusting it (I ran the SCOM UI from a Management Server which runs the English Server OS) the Object and Counter with the correct name were selected:
(Of course, the information can be added manually as well but is more prone to errors/mistakes.)

So now the rule was set correctly. From now on the collection of data is running fine and data comes in. However, in the Performance View the collected data was shown as a single line. No option to select one or more servers.

The EventID’s 33333 are gone now.

Time to move on to the second issue.

Issue 2: No detailed Performance View is possible. Only ALL (?) data is shown as a single line
The cause here turned out to be the way the rule was targeted. Ideally, a new class is made. But in smaller environments this can be a bit too much of an effort. So another approach was used here. The rule was targeted directly at a group of servers. The systems engineer thought the rule collected the performance data of all the servers residing in that group.

That is not true however. When a rule/monitor is targeted at a group, the group will NOT be enumerated but run against the owner of that group which is the RMS. So only the collected data of the RMS was being shown in the Performance View.

But this is not the way to go. When one doesn’t want to make a new class, it is OK. But then another approach must be used. First one targets the rule (or monitor) at a proper existing class. For this rule I have chosen the ‘Windows Server 2008 Operating System’ class. When building this rule I disabled it by default. So the rule won’t run at all.

Afterwards I enabled the rule by using an override targeted at a group which is dynamically populated based on their DNS Name. Now this rule will only run on the servers residing in the group where the override is targeted against. Now all is well:

Lessons learned:

  1. When using MUI and creating Performance Rules, make sure using the correct language for the names. Otherwise no data will be collected.

  2. When targeting a rule/monitor without creating a new class, DO NOT target it at a group. Target it at a proper existing Class, disable the rule/monitor by default, enable it using an override targeted at a Group.

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