Thursday, March 21, 2013

OM12 SP1 Q & A: Meet The Alert Attachment MP

OM12 SP1 is capable of sending out Alerts with additional information attached to it. Since I got many questions about it I have written this posting hoping to clarify the ramifications of this new capability.

Q & A
There is much to share, so let’s start.

  1. Is this functionality present by default in SCOM 2012 SP1?
    No, you’ll need to import a MP for it, the Alert Attachment MP (Microsoft.SystemCenter.AlertAttachment) found on the installation media of SCOM 2012 SP1 (~:\ManagementPacks). Good to know is that UR#1 for SCOM 2012 SP1 contains an updated version of this MP.

  2. When this MP is imported I am all set?
    No, you aren’t. First of all you’ll need to configure the MP as described in this TechNet article. Also you’ll need to create a dedicated file share. The same TechNet article tells it all.

    (The same procedure is also to be found in the document mentioned in QA item 6, on page 517 and further.)

  3. OK, I have configured the MP and setup the file share. Now ALL the Alerts will have additional information attached to it?
    No, the new capability doesn’t mean every Alert will have additional information attached to it. As stated here: ‘…Some management packs for Operations Manager attach additional information to alerts…’

  4. Can you tell me what MPs these might be?
    Unfortunately Microsoft isn’t very clear about it. But my educated guess is that it’s targeted at APM (Application Performance Monitoring) and GSM (Global Service Monitor) web tests, since the same TechNet article, under Security Notes states:

    ‘…This will enable integration with Team Foundation Server (TFS), IntelliTrace Historical Profiling, sharing Application Performance Monitoring events with developers, Global Service Monitor web tests, and any other scenarios that require files to be associated with Operations Manager alerts…’

  5. So I need to configure Team Foundation Server (TFS) as well? And how?
    Yes, you’ll need to configure TFS and a TFS related item in SCOM 2012 SP1 as well.

    The document SC2012_OpsMgr_Operations describes it in more detail, found under the header How to Configure Whether Files Are Attached or Linked in Synchronization TFS in System Center 2012 SP1 (in the PDF file from page 501 and further).

    Document SC2012_OpsMgr_Operations (in DOCX and PDF formats) to be found here.

  6. So basically I can’t select what Alert will have additional information attached to it?
    That’s correct. This new capability is aimed at APM in particular where developers need more information for good troubleshooting, like an IntelliTrace Historical Profiling snapshot which might be several hundred megabytes in size.

  7. I don’t use APM nor GSM. So changes are the Alert Attachment MP isn’t meant for me?
    At this moment that’s correct. However, it’s hard to say what the future will bring. None the less, many times the Alert itself contains sufficient information to solve the root cause. So why introduce more noise to it?

Hopefully this posting answered most questions related to the Alert Attachment MP. Whenever you have comments or more questions about this MP, please let me know and I’ll update this posting accordingly.

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