Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Updated MP: Windows Server OS MP version 6.0.6972.0

Some days ago Microsoft released an updated version of the Server OS MP, version 6.0.6972.0.

This MP contains some significant changes, most of them related to the monitoring of disks, taken directly from the related MP guide:

  • Updated the Cluster shared volume disk monitors so that alert severity corresponds to the monitor state.
  • Fixed an issue where the performance by utilization report would fail to deploy with the message “too many arguments specified”.
  • Updated the knowledge for the available MB monitor to refer to the Available MB counter.
  • Added discovery and monitoring of clustered disks for Windows Server 2008 and above clusters.
  • Added views for clustered disks.
  • Aligned disk monitoring so that all disks (Logical Disks, Cluster Shared Volumes, Clustered disks) now have the same basic set of monitors.
    • There are now separate monitors that measure available MB and %Free disk space for any disk (Logical Disk, Cluster Shared Volume, or Clustered disk).
      • These monitors are disabled by default for Logical Disks, so you will need to enable them.
    • Updated display strings for all disks to be consistent, regardless of the disk type.
    • The monitors generate alerts when they are in an error state. A warning state does not create an alert.
    • The monitors have a roll-up monitor that also reflects disk state. This monitor does not alert by default. If you want to alert on both warning and error states, you can have the unit monitors alert on warning state and the roll-up monitor alert on error state.
  • Fixed an issue where network adapter monitoring caused high CPU utilization on servers with multiple NICs.
  • Updated the Total CPU Utilization Percentage monitor to run every 5 minutes and alert if it is three consecutive samples above the threshold.
  • Updated the properties of the Operating System instances so that the path includes the server name it applies to so that this name will show up in alerts.
  • Disabled the network bandwidth utilization monitors for Windows Server 2003.
  • Updated the Cluster Shared Volume monitoring scripts so they do not log informational events.
  • Quorum disks are now discovered by default.
  • Mount point discovery is now disabled by default.

All these changes are really good improvements. But be careful with simply importing this MP into your production environment. Check all your overrides for the Disk Monitors/Rules in order to see whether they still apply with the new MP. Even better, test the MP in a lab environment first.

Also take notion of the notes as stated in the same MP guide, on page 9 and 10:

This version of the Management Pack consolidates disk monitoring for all types of disks as mentioned above. However, for Logical Disks, the previous Logical Disk Free Space monitor, which uses a combination of Available MB and %Free space, is still enabled. If you prefer to use the new monitors (Disk Free Space (MB) Low Disk Free Space (%) Low), you must disable the Logical Disk Free Space monitor before enabling the new monitors.

The default thresholds for the Available MB monitor are not changed, the warning threshold (which will not alert) is 500MB and the error threshold (which will alert) is 300MB. This will cause alerts to be generated for small disk volumes. Before enabling the new monitors, it is recommended to create a group of these small disks (using the disk size properties as criteria for the group), and overriding the threshold for available MB.

As you can see, RTFM is still very important with any MP.

Not only BEFORE importing a MP, but also WHILE importing the MP and AFTER it, since the MP needs tuning.

MP can be downloaded from here.

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