Thursday, October 29, 2009

Updated SCCM MP

Yesterday an updated MP for monitoring SCCM SP2 has been released. This MP works with OpsMgr R2 or OpsMgr SP1 when hotfix KB971541 has been installed. This enables this MP to work with both the 32-bit and the 64-bit Operations Manager 2007 agent.

Supported configurations

  • SCCM SP2 MP with Configuration Manager 2007 SP2 and OpsMgr R2
  • SCCM SP2 MP with Configuration Manager 2007 SP2 and OpsMgr SP1 + hotfix (KB971541)
  • This MP can be used to monitor Configuration Manager 2007 SP1, but performance counters will not work if the Configuration Manager 2007 site is installed in a 64-bit environment. In a 32-bit environment, performance will be the same as with the Configuration Manager 2007 Management Pack.


    MP and the guide can be downloaded here.

    MP Catalog, new approach

    For some weeks now Microsoft has chosen a new approach with their MP Catalog. Now not only the msi-file containing the MP files and guide can be downloaded, but the guide is available as a separate download as well. This is good.

    Now there is no need anymore to download the msi-file, extract it just in order to get the guide.


    Wednesday, October 28, 2009

    Playtime! Visio add-in for OpsMgr R2

    Phew! Have been a ‘bit’ busy lately. So my blog became something like the news: I didn’t make much blog postings myself any more (at least not as much as I prefer to) and I ‘only’ wrote about new MPs and work from others which came out. So this evening I have put everything aside and decided to write up a good old fashioned blog posting about something which really interests me very much:

    I wanted to test the Visio add-in for OpsMgr R2 for a long long time but never got to it. Until now that is. So this posting will be a run down about this add-in to see what it is capable of and how it operates. So let’s start.

    First of all, some installation work is at order. It needs certain components before it can installed:

    • Visio 2007
      Duh! This is really to simple! :)

    • .NET Framework 3.5 SP1
      Never leave home without it. When you do, download it from here.

    • Visio Studio Tools for Office system Runtime 3.0
      Found here.

    • Redistributable Primary Interop Assemblies
      This 2007 Microsoft Office System Update is already present on the system when Visio 2007 any version of the .NET Framework. When Visio 2007 was installed prior to .NET Framework, run the Visio setup to add this component, or download and install this update.

    When all these components are in place the Visio Add-in for OpsMgr R2 can be installed. This installation is straight forward and fast.

    Preparing Visio 2007 
    Now it is time to start Visio 2007 and make a connection to the RMS as data source.

    1. When Visio 2007 is started for the first time after the add-in has been installed, this screen will pop up:
      Click Install in order to install the Add-in for OpsMgr.

    2. A new button will show up in Visio 2007:

    3. Start a new drawing an hit the Operations Manager, select Configure Data Source. This screen will appear:
      Provide the name of the RMS, use the button to find the web console address and – when needed – place a checkmark in order to automatically refresh data.

    There are multiple ways to go about it. For instance, with the settings configured as described earlier, a new blank drawing can be filled with objects present in OpsMgr. This can be done by with the button Operations Manager in Visio 2007, in conjunction with the choice Insert Shape. But I will describe that later.

    A more easier way to go about it (and faster as well) is using the OpsMgr Console. For instance, open a Diagram View of a Distributed Application, and export it as a Visio drawing. Good to know is that anything that can be shown as a Diagram View within OpsMgr can be exported as a Visio Drawing.

    When opened in Visio, it wil automatically connect to the RMS in order to collect data and show the state of the objects contained within the drawing.

    Some examples?

    • Default DA ‘Operations Manager Management Group’ in Visio:
      Notice the yellow highlighted part of the screen. This displays the External Data, coming from OpsMgr. It shows what OpsMgr objects are being used, the Display Name, Health State, whether it is in Maintenance Mode, the Class and when the data has been refreshed for the last time. (all OpsMgr information!)

      Also it allows for drilling deeper into a certain object/shape displayed within the drawing. When right-clicking the top level node for instance, the context menu shows two OpsMgr options: Health Explorer and Alert View. Both options will open up the relevant part of the OpsMgr Web Console.
      There is much more to the External Data area as well, but that I will describe later on in this posting.

    • A Computer opened as a Diagram View in OpsMgr with al levels available opened and then exported:

      Now as full screen:

    Fresh drawing
    Now we have seen some of the possibilities, lets built a new Visio drawing, right from the ground up.

    1. Start Visio > New > New Drawing (Metric or US) > button Operations Manager > Configure Data Source. Set it accordingly the OpsMgr environment > OK.

      Now we have ourselves an empty drawing (Choose landscape as layout since it offers a better view) BUT with connectivity to the OpsMgr RMS. Time to move on.

    2. Now we will link to OpsMgr objects. On top of it, the add-in allows to add live health state information to an object within the drawing. There are multiple ways to add links:

      01 -Linking a single shape to an OpsMgr managed object:

      Suppose you make a drawing with a computer shape. Select it, go to the button Operations Manager and select the option Link Shape to Data. Select the appropriate Class, select the right object and use the Link button:
      Now the shape is linked to the OpsMgr object. Also the live Health State will be shown:

      02 - Add multiple links to the Visio drawing and match these with Visio shapes later:
      Go to the button Operations Manager and select the option Add Data Links. Select the Class > Object > Add
      Repeat this for every object you want to use. All these object will be shown in the External Data window, but they aren’t linked at the moment:
      Now drag an OpsMgr object to a shape in the drawing and this will be shown:
      As you can see the OpsMgr object is now linked to a shape. The Visio drawing shows the Health State now as well:

      03 - Automatically link shapes in the Visio drawing to computers and network devices:
      This one really rocks! Suppose you have a drawing with some shapes in it. Every shape needs to have a name which matches with OpsMgr objects, like here:

      Go to the button Operations Manager and select the option Automatically Link. Follow the onscreen instructions and voila:
      And later on the shape is linked to the OpsMgr object

      04 - Insert a new shape that is linked to an OpsMgr object which uses the OpsMgr icons:
      In the Visio drawing you add shapes which are directly linked to OpsMgr objects. Go to the button Operations Manager and select the option Insert Shape. This works very straight forward.

    This way many good drawings can be made which reflect the business core IT structures correctly. Also these drawings can be shown full screen and set to an automatically refresh rate.

    But suppose you have a huge drawing, containing many many objects. It is hard to see whether a small green check mark has turned into a yellow exclamation mark, or even worse, a red circle with a white cross. But that can be changed as well. (Visio toolbar > Data > Link Data to Shapes.)

    Default View:

    Adjusted View:

    And you can select a certain set as well so that for instance only the top level nodes are using the color scheme and the rest the default OpsMgr icon set. This way you’ll keep a drawing which is OK to look at.

    The Visio Add-in for OpsMgr R2 certainly delivers added value to any OpsMgr R2 installation. It takes time to built a good and usable drawing where the real art is to be found in the credo ‘Less Is More’: you don’t want to end up in a situation where a drawing shows too much information so the critical alerts are overlooked. So think before starting to draw. What do you REALLY need to see and what NOT?

    When those questions are answered and translated into a good workable drawing, it will certainly help out in getting a fast overview of the Health Status of the most critical IT processes.

    But. Yes, there is a but. Perhaps it is just me. What I really miss here is drill down functionality. Suppose you have a geographical location like Rotterdam. It turns red. You click on it, and the data centers of Rotterdam are shown. One is red. You click on that one and the lay out of that data center is shown. One of the 30 racks within that data center is red. You click on that rack and it is shown. Only one server is red, the rest is green. You click on the red server. Its name, function AND issue are being shown. Now that is something really cool. SF? No way!

    But for that kind of functionality, Savision Live Maps is needed. And as I see it, the Visio Add-in helps OpsMgr users to appreciate that software much more. They start out with the add-in and soon they are used to it and do not want to miss it any more. Now the added functionality of Savision is much more appreciated and understood thus making the switch to that software much easier and to sell within the IT department to the one responsible for the budgets.

    Used sources
    For this posting I have used these sources:

    Microsoft’s Storage Team blogs about how to configure the DFS Replication MP

    Microsoft’s Storage Team has posted some interesting articles about how to configure the DFS Replication MP:
    1. Configuring the DFS Replication Management Pack

    2. Optional configuration for the DFS Replication Management Pack

    There is another article as well. It describes how to import this MP. Since I take it for granted that this is common knowledge I only have listed the url’s referring to the most interesting articles.

    All credits go to Microsoft’s Storage Team.

    Tuesday, October 27, 2009

    OpsMgr Fun, part II

    Finally! It is here! The MP that checks the status of your coffee pot! This is really a showcase where OpsMgr monitors the most critical processes of the IT department. Can’t imagine my life without it (coffee that is). :)

    But more seriously: this is a showcase of the REAL power of OpsMgr: it can monitor anything!

    Check it out here.

    OpsMgr SP1 MP version 6.0.6709.0 has been released

    For OpsMgr SP1 Microsoft has released an updated MP, version 6.0.6709.0.

    This MP is meant only for OpsMgr SP1!

    Changes in common with the most recent R2 MP Update:

    • Updated the layout and default filters and sort order for a number of views.
    • Fixed an issue that was previously preventing all rules related to AEM from generating alerts.
    • Added display names, descriptions, and product knowledge where missing.
    • Added the rule “Collects Opsmgr SDK Service\Client Connections” to collect the number of connected clients for a given management group.  This data is shown in the view “Console and SDK Connection Count” under the folder “Operations Manager\Management Server Performance”.
    • Updated a number of monitors and rules to ensure that data is reported to the correct management group for multihomed agents.
    • The following rules and monitors are now disabled by default as they are generally not actionable:
      • A GroupPopulator module unloaded due to an unrecoverable error
      • Health Service Cannot Find Management Group
      • Data Validity Check
      • Root Connector Data Validity Check
    • Updated the alert suppression criteria for the rule “Alert on Dropped MultiInstance Performance Module” in order to significantly reduce the alert volumes generated by this rule and make it easier to identify the root cause.

    Changes specific to this SP1 Update, which were made in the initial R2 MP release:

    • The implementation that triggers the “Restart Health Service” recovery was changed to be driven by monitors as opposed to rules, to address a number of shortcomings in the previous design.
    • Changed the default severity and priority of alerts raised by the “SDK Spn Registration” rule from “warning” to “critical” and updated the knowledge for the rule significantly.
    • Added the “Communication Certificate Expiration Check” monitor to monitor certificate expiration for untrusted domain endpoints (agents, gateways, servers) and alert before the certificate expires.
    • Fixed an issue with the “Management Configuration Service - Windows Service State” monitor so that it will properly generate alerts for the state of the “OpsMgr Config Service” on a clustered Root Management Server.
    • Fixed the “Operational Database Space Free (%)” monitor to compute free space based on maximum data file size, rather than maximum data and log file sizes combined.
    • Updated the workflows that drive the state of the “Computer Not Reachable” monitor to handle the condition when the computer’s name does not resolve. 
    • Added additional criteria to the rule “WMI Raw Performance Counter Module Execution Failure” to account for some event IDs that were not being detected.
    • Removed criteria from the rule “Performance Data Source Module could not find a performance counter” to avoid generating alerts on warning events.

    It can be downloaded from here. The guide can be found here.

    Monitoring Windows 7 with OpsMgr

    Yesterday Microsoft released an update of the Microsoft Windows Client Management Pack (version 6.0.6729.0). With this MP Windows 7 can be monitored.

    The MP can be downloaded from here. The guide can be found there as well.

    Monday, October 26, 2009

    OpsMgr Agent stays in ‘Not Monitored’ status. Is DNS OK?

    Picked this one up from a thread on the Microsoft TechNet OpsMgr Forums. Special thanks to Graham Davies who found the cause.

    Some one had pushed out OpsMgr Agents to multiple servers. Most of them worked properly but just a few of them staid in a ‘Not Monitored’ status. After having tried many things, this status was still unchanged.

    Finally, it turned out that were problems with DNS. Although the FQDN’s were in place, on the problematic servers the DNS suffix for the computer name wasn’t correct.

    So whenever you have problems with non-responsive OpsMgr Agents, while the rest is working properly, double check DNS. Not only the FQDN’s but also on the problematic servers itself. Is the DNS suffix of the computer name OK? Also, run a netstat –an from the Primary Management Server for the Agents (mostly this isn’t the RMS) to see whether the ip-addresses of the problematic servers are being shown.

    Friday, October 23, 2009

    Updated NLB MP

    Yesterday an updated MP for monitoring NLB has been released. Changes in this update are (taken from the guide):

    Added support for discovery and monitoring of Windows Server 2008 R2 NLB clusters.

    • Updated discoveries to run every 4 hours.
    • Updated all monitors to be public.
    • Updated each rule to have the following parameters:
      - CollectEvent (boolean, default to false): controls whether or not the rule collects the event to the database - - AlertEnabled (boolean, default to true): controls whether or not the rule generates an alert
    • Replaced the following manual reset monitors with corresponding rules:
      - NLB cluster IP address is invalid
      - NLB cluster network mask is invalid
      - Number of port rules exceeds the configured maximum
      - NLB cluster network address is invalid

    The MP can be downloaded here. Also the guide is to be found there.

    Thursday, October 22, 2009

    Verifying SPN’s for OpsMgr on Windows 2008 servers

    Since many good postings about SPN’s for OpsMgr are to be found on the internet:

    I won’t repeat it here. Just check out these postings since they cover everything you need to know about OpsMgr and SPN’s.

    However, when one wants to verify the SPN’s on Windows 2008 Servers, a tool is needed, like Ldifde.exe. (ADSIEdit will also work but this posting isn’t about that.) On Windows 2003 Servers this tool is to be found in the folder ‘%systemroot%\system32’. But on Windows 2008 Servers (non-dc’s), this tool isn’t to be found there.

    As we all know Windows 2008 has default only the most needed components loaded. All extra’s are installed as Roles or Features. The tool Ldifde.exe is something like that. It needs to be installed. Not as a Role or a Feature, but from an elevated cmd-prompt. It is a part of RSAT-ADDS, aka Remote AD Management Tools.

    1. Start an elevated cmd-prompt

    2. Give this command: ‘ServerManagerCmd -i RSAT-ADDS’ <enter>
      The installation is about to start.

    3. The tools are installed:
      A reboot is needed.

    4. After the reboot the tool Ldifde.exe is available:

    New MP released: DFS Replication MP

    On October the 19th Microsoft released a new MP. This MP monitors the DFS Replication service on Windows Server 2003 R2 or Windows Server 2008.

    This MP does NOT monitor the Windows File Replication Service (FRS).

    The MP can be downloaded here. I have extracted the guide which can be found here.

    OpsMgr R2 Authoring Resource Kit

    Microsoft has released yesterday the OpsMgr R2 Authoring Resource Kit.

    Besides the Authoring Console it also contains eight tools to help with MP creation:

    1. Management Pack Best Practice Analyzer (MPBPA)
      MPBPA scans MPs for best practice compliance and provides automated resolution for numerous issues. This tool integrates with the Authoring Console.

    2. Management Pack Spell Checker (MP Spell Checker)
      MP Spell Checker checks spelling in management packs to eliminate errors in display strings.

    3. Management Pack Visio Generator (MP Visio Generator)
      MP Visio Generator allows you to generate a class inheritance and class relationship diagram using Microsoft Office Visio.

    4. Management Pack Diff (MP Diff)
      MP Diff shows the differences between two management packs.

    5. Management Pack Cookdown Analyzer (MP Cookdown Analyzer)
      MP Cookdown Analyzer identifies workflows which may break cookdown. Suggestions are provided for how to fix the performance problems.

    6. All References Add-in
      All References Add-in helps find all MP elements that reference the specific element chosen. For example, the ability to right click a class and find all rules, monitors, overrides, as well as anything else that targets that class is provided. This tool works on most MP elements.

    7. Workflow Analyzer
      The Workflow Analyzer provides the ability to statically analyze all types of workflows. It also allows users to trace workflows running on any Health Service.

    8. Workflow Simulator
      The Workflow Simulator provides the ability to test certain types of workflows such as discoveries, rules, and monitors without a Management Server and Management Group. Key functionality includes the ability to test workflows as well as view and validate output prior to signing and importing the MP into a Management Group for additional testing.

    To be downloaded here.

    The program has a Help file which shows the basics. However, when you want to know more about authoring MPs, check out these video’s from MP University.

    Stefan Stranger also provided this link with online documentation from Microsoft TechNet.

    Updated Cluster MP

    Yesterday an updated Cluster MP has been released by Microsoft. Changes in this update are (taken from the guide):

    · Added support for discovery and monitoring of Windows Server 2008 R2 clusters.

    · Disabled discovery and monitoring of resources by default.

    · Discovers and monitors cluster shared volume resources only on Windows Server 2008 R2 clusters.

    · Limited discovery of resource groups to a maximum of 300 resource groups per cluster.

    · Disabled discovery of clustered objects on an Operations Manager root management server (RMS) cluster running Operations Manager 2007 R2.

    · Fixed an issue where the DiscoverClustering.vbs script would fail to submit discovery data when there were WMI provider issues on the cluster node.

    · Updated display strings and knowledge in the management pack.

    · Updated discoveries to run every 4 hours.

    · Updated the MAC Address property for the network adapter to use hyphens instead of colons.

    · Disabled the Windows Time Service monitor for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 clusters because the cluster service has no dependency on the Time service.

    · Disabled the WMI service monitor for all operating system versions of the management pack because the cluster service has no dependency on the WMI service.

    · Added a Sync Time parameter to the discoveries and monitors for resources and resource groups to ensure that these do not run simultaneously or immediately after an agent is restarted.

    · Disabled the following rules on Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 clusters, which would cause discovery to instantly run when cluster properties changed:

    · Cluster object property changed

    · Cluster object added

    · Cluster object removed

    · Cluster object changed property value

    · Cluster object space changed due some addition

    · Cluster object space changed due some deletion

    . Cluster changes are now discovered on a schedule (by default, every 4 hours).

    Cluster MP can be downloaded here. The guide, which I have extracted, can be downloaded from here.

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    Upgrading to R2 – Sometimes thinking outside the box is needed

    At a customers site multiple OpsMgr SP1 Management Groups had to be upgraded. The first really went smooth. All went well and within a couple of hours R2 was running like clockwork. Time to move on the next MG, also the most important one.

    Here the upgrade didn’t run smooth. This MG had a ‘past’. Long long time ago it started as a ‘All-In-One’ server. So the RMS hosted the OpsMgr DBs as well. But the performance was poor. A dedicated SQL 2005 server was built and the OpsMgr DBs were moved to this server. All done by the book. The registry entries on the RMS were changed accordingly and the table in the OpsMgr DB, stating the SQL server was changed as well. And all worked fine. For almost a year since the DBs had been moved, no issues what so ever.

    Until today. The upgrade process stopped dead in it tracks stating the SQL server couldn’t be found at all. But hey, I am a lucky guy and as soon as I was through all my tricks I contacted two highly respected colleagues/OpsMgr friends. Even with their help and advise the problem kept on coming back biting me. So time for an alternative approach before making a PSS call. And believe me, with the three of us, many options were (double) checked and tried but all to no avail.

    This MG also runs a Management Server which was installed AFTER the DBs were moved to the dedicated SQL server. So why not promote this MS to RMS – for a short while – and run the upgrade process from there?

    This is what I did:

    1. Made a valid backup of the OpsMgr DB (was already done, never run an upgrade without it)
    2. Promoted the MS
    3. Demoted the RMS
    4. Upgraded the new RMS and the OpsMgr DB to R2
    5. Tried to upgrade the old RMS. Still no luck!
    6. Removed OpsMgr from the old RMS server
    7. Reinstalled OpsMgr R2 on that server
    8. Upgraded OpsMgr Reporting
    9. Promoted the new MS to RMS
    10. Demoted the temp. RMS to MS

    And all is well now. A bit frustrating it is not knowing what went wrong. The log file revealed nothing solid to go on. But sometimes it is better to cook up a good workable and acceptable solution and to move on. :)

    Monday, October 19, 2009

    MP released for Forefront Security for Office Communications Server (OCS)

    The Forefront Team has released their MP for Forefront Security for OCS. This MP works with OpsMgr SP1 or higher (R2). Taken directly from the website:

    The MP can be downloaded here. I have extracted the guide for this MP and can be found here.

    Friday, October 16, 2009

    Installation experiences with OpsMgr R2 Cross Platform Update

    The OpsMgr R2 Cross Platform Update about which I blogged about earlier must be handled like any other OpsMgr Software Update/Hotfix. This is the deal:
    • RTFM
      I know, until you run the msi-file, there isn’t a document to be found. As a service I have uploaded the information which is shown when the msi-file is being run. The document (docx format) can be downloaded from here.

    • Windows 2008
      Run the update from an elevated cmd-prompt, other wise it won’t run even though it will report to have run successfully.

    • Patience
      It is a rather bulky update so be patient while running it. All the screens being shown during the setup are needed. I say this since with other updates people complained about why having to run the msi-file containing the update and only found to be presented with a screen showing the option to run the update.
      Why not skip that and run the update straight off? Kevin Holman has already blogged about it so I will repeat him here:
      Screen taken from Kevin Holman’s blog posting about Hotfixes.


    • Taken from the document describing this update:

    • The UnixAgents folder get’s updated:

    • A new MP for SLES is added:

    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    Black Berry Enterprise (BES) MP, version 5.0 released

    OpsLogix, a company which is specialized in delivering good AND affordable MPs, has released today the newest version of their MP for BES. When imported it will default to a 30 day trial period.

    Screen dump taken directly from the website of OpsLogix.

    Want to know more? Check it out here.

    The same company also created the free Ping MP which I already blogged about. Now they have promised to release within the coming few months a free printer MP as well. So that’s a nice gift to find under the Christmas tree! Hope that MP will be just as good as the free Ping MP.

    OpsMgr R2 Cross Platform Update

    Microsoft has just released an update for the Cross Platform extensions for OpsMgr R2. With this update Microsoft shows its dedication for delivering end-to-end heterogeneous monitoring.

    This update adds support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 (both 32-bit and 64-bit) and Solaris Zones (Whole and Sparse Zones) and  contains the latest versions of the Operations Manager 2007 R2 UNIX/Linux agents for the following UNIX and Linux systems:

    • AIX 5.3 (Power), 6.1 (Power)
    • HP-UX 11iv2 (IA64/PA-RISC), 11iv3 (IA64/PA-RISC)
    • Red Hat Enterprise Server 4 (x86/x64), 5 (x86/x64)
    • Solaris 8 (SPARC), 9 (SPARC), 10 (SPARC/x86)
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 (x86), 10 (x86/x64), 11 (x86/x64)

    To be downloaded from here. (Two versions are available, x64 and x86, depending on the type of the OpsMgr R2 installation)

    Wednesday, October 14, 2009

    Two new MPs released

    In the last few days two new/updated MPs have been released:

    1. Exchange 2007 MP, version 6.0.6702.0 (For OpsMgr R2 only!)
      To be downloaded from here. I have extracted the MP Guide which can be downloaded from here.

    2. Exchange 2003 MP, version 6.0.6702.0
      To be downloaded from here. I have extracted the MP Guide which can be downloaded from here.

    As goes with every new/updated MP, RTFM it first than test drive it BEFORE putting it into production…

    By popular demand: How to make a report showing %CPU time for a particular process?

    A regular reader of this blog asked me a question which I deemed important/good enough to be shared with the community. So this blog posting will be about his question: How to create a report containing a graph on %CPU time for a particular process?

    Well, sometimes making such a thing is like baking bread. We need some ingredients which need to be put together in a certain order, than it needs to be processed (baked) before we end up with a ‘consumable’ result (the report with the graph).
    Bing Image Search: ‘Baking’

    So let’s start baking!. In this example we want to capture the %CPU Time of the sqlservr.exe process (SQL Server process).

    The first ingredient we need is:

    Performance Collection Rule
    This is needed for capturing some kind of performance. in this case the %CPU Time of the process sqlservr.exe.

    Sometimes it is made easy, and the Performance Collection Rule is already in place since it is part of a certain MP. Download Boris Yanushpolsky’s MPViewer version 1.7 from here. Open the MP what might contain that rule and check it out. Use your common sense here: The IIS MP won’t contain a Collection Rule for the SQL Server process…

    But for this posting let’s assume there isn’t a Performance Collection Rule in place. So we need to make it ourselves.

    1. Start the OpsMgr Console > Authoring > Rules. Right click it > New Rule > Collection Rules > Performance Based > Windows Performance:
      Make sure to put this Rule into its own MP! Click Next.

    2. Give it a recognizable rule name and select a proper Rule Category (in this case Performance Collection is good)
      The Rule Target must be wisely chosen. Since we want to measure/report on sqlservr.exe we can target it at the SQL 2008 DB Engine. This way we don’t have to disable the rule because it won’t be targeted at all computers, only computers running the SQL 2008 DB Engine. Suppose you would target this rule at Windows Computer. Now we would have to disable the rule since it would be targeted at all monitored Windows Computers, whether or not they are running SQL Server 2008. And enable the rule by using an override targeted at a group containing all SQL 2008 servers.

      So targeting is a very important issue when making rules/monitors.

      Click Next.

    3. Hit the button Select on the next screen and this screen will pop up:
      Select a computer running the SQL 2008 DB Engine, select as Performance Counter ObjectProcess’, as counter% Processor Time’ and as instancesqlservr’ and hit OK. Now you are back in the other screen:
      As you can see, the Object, Counter and Instance are already filled in. The only thing you have to change is the interval. For this example I have set it to 1 minute, which is way too much in a production environment. The default 15 minutes will suffice in most cases. Do not lower it since much data can be collected from it!

      Click Next.

    4. Here Optimization can be chosen. Of course, the accuracy of the collected data will be affected by it. But when having to run collections of many many processes, it is a good thing to think about. In this example I have chosen not to use it.
      Click Create.

    5. Go to the Monitoring Pane > _ShowCase JB (name of the MP selected in Step 1) > right click it > New > Performance View. Select ‘Collect by specific rules’ and in the Criteria Description area click the link ‘specific rules…’ 

    6. In the Select Rules screen, select the earlier created rule (Step 2) and click OK twice.

    7. Now the Perfomance View for this rule will be shown.
      Select the performance rule and in the Actions Pane click Select Time Range. Set it to one hour (just to see whether data is being collected) and hit OK.

      As you can see, data is coming in:

    So now we have the most important ingredient in place and a working order.

    All we need is a report showing this data. Gladly I have already written a series about that. The fourth posting in that series is at order here. Of course we don’t want reports about disks but about the %CPU time for the sqlservr.exe process so we need to change some items as described in that posting:

    1. In Step 6 of the previously mentioned posting you need to select as Performance ObjectProcess’. Hit the button Search and the correct Collection Rule will be shown. Select it and click OK.
    2. Skip Steps 7 and 8 and click OK.

    3. Follow Step 9. Now the report will run successfully (Be patient though! A report needs more data to be collected before it can show anything. So wait a couple of hours first after having built the Performance Collection Rule)