Friday, February 26, 2010

The newest Core MP for SCOM R2: The New Road Ahead. Part II: Agent Management

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Postings in the same series:
Part I: The System Center Core Monitoring Reports 
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As promised in the previous posting of this series, this posting will be all about Agent Management. Besides the newly added worth while Reports, the management of the SCOM R2 Agents has been hugely improved and simplified as well.

Some examples:

01 – Agent Version and Patch Level
Until now you had to create such a View yourself. Now this View is present at default so with a few mouse clicks and a single glance one can see at what Version the SCOM Agents are and whether or not a certain hotfix/CU has been applied.

Go to Monitoring > Operations Manager > Agent > Agents By Version:
image

02 – Agent Performance
Also the performance of the SCOM R2 Agents can be easily tracked. So whenever an Agent is flooding the SCOM R2 Environment it is easily to be detected. Go to Monitoring > Operations Manager > Agent Peformance > Agent Performance:
image
Select one of the performance views and then an Agent in the underneath pane. Soon a graph will be displayed showing how that Agent performs.

03 – Script issues
As we all know, a script triggered from a MP on a certain Agent can go wrong from time to time. Now a new  View shows this in detail. The list within that View is a bit long but it helps to pinpoint exactly what goes wrong. With this a deeper insight into the engine room of the Agent is available which helps to find the exact cause.

Go to Monitoring > Operations Manager > Health Service Module Events:
image

04 - Agent Version and Architecture Check
As we all know, a 32-bit SCOM Agent installed on a 64-bit Operating System is not a happy marriage. It will produce unreliable results and many performance counters (x64 based) cannot be accessed by a 32-bit SCOM Agent. On top of that, when running an ‘old’ SCOM Agent can also be problematic.

So the new Core MP for SCOM R2 has introduced two new monitors: the ‘Agent and OS architecture are the same’ monitor and the ‘Agent Version Monitor’. Both are enabled by default and trigger a Warning with Priority level Medium. Which is good since it hasn’t to be a Critical Alert nor an Informational since it is a bit more serious than just that.

Both Monitors can be changed:

The ‘Agent and OS architecture are the same’ Monitor:
image 

The ‘Agent Version Monitor’:
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Nice to know is that also the Version upon which the Monitor checks can be changed as well.

And both Monitors have the Auto Resolve ability standard enabled. Which is nice as well.

So as you can see, Agent Management has become way much more easy and flexible with the new Core MP for SCOM R2. A job well done by Microsoft.

6 comments:

Dominique said...

Hello,

Do we have a view/report about the 32 bits/64 bits discrepancies?

Thanks,
Dom

Marnix Wolf said...

Hi Dominique.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Good question. Until now I haven't found such a View nor such a Report. Also I haven't been able to produce such a Report. I will take a deeper look at it and write a posting about it when I know how to create such a View/Report, at least when it is possible.

Personally I am not sure whether a report can be made out of the box since for a Report like that a Rule is needed and the 32/64 bits part a Monitor is being used.

Besides this, the Monitor is enabled by default so an Alert will be generated when 32/64 bits descrepancies are detected. So what you could do is create an View which is based on the Alerts triggered by this Monitor.

Cheers,
Marnix

Thomas said...

Hi
I would like to get the "Agents by version" view via a powershell command to get even the patch level to an excel-file. Since its easy to do that output for the agent version it's possible even with powershell?

Regards
Thomas

Marnix Wolf said...

Hi Thomas.

With this PS cmdlet you get a list showing the Agents and their versions:
Get-Agent | Where {$_.Version -like "*"} | Select Name ,Version

You can pipe this output to a file (csv file for instance) and open it in Excel.

Hope this helps

Bye
Marnix

Dominique said...

Hello,

Fow servers having 32-bits softwares (SCCM, FCS,...) and 64-bits (native, ..) on them should I install 64-bits agent or 32-bits agent? I am asking this as some servers have their agent installed manually and I am getting the warning Alert: A 32-bit agent is installed on a 64-bit operating system

Thnaks,
DOm

Marnix Wolf said...

Hi Dominique.

A 32 bit Agent on a 64 bit OS won't do and vice versa.

So when you run a 64 bit OS,you'll need to install the 64 bit Agent, regardless of the applications you're running.

Cheers,
Marnix