Monday, April 19, 2010

Where are my counters for Windows Server 2008 Physical Disks?

Got this question from a good Australian friend of mine.

Somehow, the counters for the Windows Server 2008 Physical Disk(s) were nowhere to be found anymore. This posting (Step 6) of mine was being used to run reports against some disk counters, among them the Physical Disk counters were needed as well. But they didn’t show up in the list.

So I looked into one of mine test environments (SCOM R2 with CU#1 applied) and indeed, the counters for PhysicalDisk were missing:

So time for some investigation. Lets first take a few steps back.

As we all know, all MPs use the same methods in order to function. Without going to much into details here, these are the steps they take when being imported into any SCOM (R2) environment:

  1. Discovery
  2. Group Population
  3. Push of Rules/Monitors/Tasks to related servers
  4. Monitoring

Of course, there is way much more to it, but these are the outlines which are important here. Especially step 1 is very important. When something is NOT discovered, never ever will Step 4 take place.

So lets check out the Discovery of the Physical Disks of Windows Server 2008:

In the SCOM Console go to Tools (in the toolbar above in the Console) > Search > and click on Object Discoveries. Type Physical in the search box, hit enter. Select Discover Windows Physical Disks and check in the underneath part of the screen whether it comes from the Windows Server 2008 Operating System (Discovery) Management Pack. This tells you it is the right Discovery you are looking for. Click in the same part of the pane on the Link View Knowledge. Now the properties of this Discovery will be shown.

The first tab (General) tells you whether the Discovery is enabled or not. As you can see, this Discovery is disabled by default (the option Object discovery is enabled is NOT check marked):

So its time for an override which enables this Discovery:
Save this override in a MP of its own, not the Default MP!

The first step of the MP is OK. Step 2 (Group Population) is an automated process. The only thing we could do here is to lower the interval of the earlier mentioned Discovery. In Production environments however I will not do that since it can cause a significant additional (unwanted) load.

Now its time to check out the rules for the physical Disk. Not monitors.

Why? Read this.

In the SCOM Console go to Tools (in the toolbar above in the Console) > Search > and click on Rules. Type Physical in the search box, hit enter. Select all rules related to Windows Server 2008 which you deem to be important and click in the underneath part of the screen on the Link View Knowledge. Now the properties of the related Rule will be shown.The first tab (General) will tell you whether the rule is enabled by default or not (the option Object discovery is enabled is check marked).

As you will see, the rules are enabled by default. So when the Discovery is running fine, the performance collection will also run fine. Another check in order to see whether any physical disk has been discovered is this method:

In the OpsMgr Console go to Monitoring > Discovered Inventory > right click in the middle part of the screen and select Change Target Type > and type Windows Server 2008 Physical Disk. Select it and click OK. Now the discovered W2K08 physical disks will be shown:

Ah! That looks good. Not only the disks are found but also MONITORED! So that means some data is getting in. And as we have checked before, also the collection rules are running! Lets check out the reports and the available counters:

Available items:

Nice! Still we have to wait some hours before enough data is available to get filled reports. But all is OK now.

Still it puzzles me why this counter was gone. Lets check the latest guide for the Server OS MP. On page 12 this is being told:

So by default the Discovery of physical disks is not running. Therefore nothing showed up initially. I do not remember though how the previous versions of the Server OS MP had this Discovery set.

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