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Chapter 25. Integrating Microsoft Operations Manager with Windows Server 2003

Chapter 25. Integrating Microsoft Operations Manager with Windows Server 2003

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WhatIsMicrosoftOperationsManager?

MicrosoftOperationsManager(MOM)providesanexcellent

approachtomonitoringandmanagingWindowsServer2003

andWindows2000basednetworkenvironments.MOMhelpsto

identifyproblemsbeforetheyevolveintocriticalissuesthrough

theuseofMOM'seventconsolidation,performancemonitoring,

andalertingfeatures.MOMprovidesareal-timeviewofcritical

eventsandintelligentlylinksthemtoappropriateMicrosoft

KnowledgeBasearticles.CrypticeventIDsaredirectlymatched

toknownissuesandimmediatelyreferredtotechnicalreference

articlesinMicrosoft'sKnowledgeBasefortroubleshootingand

problemresolution.MOMmonitorsWindows-basedserversand

applicationsusingstandardWindowsservicessuchasWindows

ManagementInstrumentation(WMI)andWindowslogged

events.Inaddition,MOMalsoprovidesareportingfeaturethat

allowsnetworkadministratorstotrackproblemsandtrends

occurringontheirnetwork.Reportscanbegenerated

automatically,providingnetworkadministratorsaquick,realtimeviewoftheirserverperformancedata.



Note

MicrosoftOperationsManagerwasoriginally

developedbyNetIQ,andthenwaspurchasedand

releasedasMOM2000.MOMwassubsequently

updatedandreleasedasMOM2005.Bothversions

containpowerfulmanagementcapabilities,with

MOM2005providingadditionalfunctionalityand

scalability.Itisrecommendedtodeploythelatest

versionwhenpossible,totakeadvantageofthe

additionalfeaturesandenhancedperformance.



MOMintegrateswithandmanagesWindowsServer2003.Itcan

alsobeusedinWindows2000Serverormixedenvironmentsto

provideforautomatedmonitoringofvitalnetworkfunctionality.

Thistypeoffunctionalityisinstrumentalinreducingdowntime

andgettingthemostoutofaWindowsServer2003investment.

Inanutshell,MOMisaneffectivewaytogainproactive,rather

thanreactive,controloveramixedWindowsServer

2003/Windows2000environment.

ThischapterfocusesondefiningMOMasaserviceinaWindows

Server2003network.ItprovidesspecificanalysisofhowMOM

operatesandpresentsMOMdesignbestpractices.Inaddition,

thischapterpresentssampleWindowsServer2003designsto

giveareal-worldapproachtoMOMfunctionalityandusability.



HowMOMWorks

MOMisaneventandperformancedatadrivenmonitoring

systemthateffectivelyallowsforlarge-scalemanagementof

mission-criticalservers.Organizationswithamediumtolarge

investmentinWindowsServer2003orWindows2000servers

willfindthatMOMallowsforanunprecedentedabilitytokeep

ontopofthetensofthousandsofeventlogmessagesthat

occuronadailybasis.Initssimplestform,MOMperformstwo

functions:processinggatheredeventsandperformancedata,

andissuingalertsandautomaticresponsesbasedonthose

data.

MOMprovidesforseveralmajorpiecesoffunctionality,as

follows:

EventLogConsolidationMOMAgents,deployedon

managedsystems,forwardalleventloginformationtoa

centralMOMSQLServerdatabase,whichismanagedand

groomedbyMOM.Thisdataisusedforreporting,auditing,

andmonitoringthespecificevents.

AdvancedAlertingCapabilitiesMOMprovidesadvanced

alertingfunctionalitybyenablingemailalerts,paging,and

functionalalertingrolestobedefined.

PerformanceMonitoringMOMcollectsperformance

statisticsthatcanletanadministratorknowwhethera

serverisbeingoverloadedorisclosetorunningoutofdisk

space,amongotherthings.

Built-inApplication-specificIntelligenceMOM

managementpacksarepackagesofinformationabouta

particularapplicationorservice,suchasWindowsServer



2003,FRS,DNS,DHCP,ExchangeServer,orother

applications.TheMicrosoftmanagementpacksarewritten

bythedesignteamsforeachindividualproduct,andthey

areloadedwiththeintelligenceandinformationnecessary

toproperlytroubleshootandidentifyproblems.



ProcessingEventsandPerformanceData

MOMmanagesWindowsServer2003networksthroughevent

consolidationandperformancedatagathering.Itcollects

application,system,andsecurityeventsthroughoutthe

WindowsServer2003networkandwritesthemtoasingle

databaserepository.ProcessingrulesdefinehowMOMcollects,

handles,andrespondstotheinformationgathered.MOM

processingruleshandleincomingeventdataandallowMOMto

reactautomatically,eithertorespondtoapredetermined

problemscenario,suchasafailedharddrive,withapredefined

action(triggeranalert,executeacommandorscript)orto

consolidatemultipleeventsintooneeventthatcorrelatesa

groupofrelatedevents.TheprocessingrulesalsoenableMOM

toautomaticallydeterminewhicheventsareimportanttoa

networkadministrator,minimizingadministrativeoverhead.



GeneratingAlertsandResponses

MOMprocessingrulescangeneratealertsbasedoncritical

eventsorperformancethresholdsthataremetorexceeded.An

alertcanbegeneratedbyasingleeventorbyacombinationof

eventsorperformancethresholds.Forexample,afailedfancan

generateasimplealert,whereasafaileddatabasegeneratesa

morecomplexalertrelatingtothefailedSQLdatabaseservices

andIISWebpagesthatrelyontheavailabilityofthedatabase.

Alertscanalsobeconfiguredtotriggerresponsessuchas

email,pages,SimpleNetworkManagementProtocol(SNMP)



traps,andscriptstonotifyadministratorsofpotentialproblems.

MOMcanbeconfiguredtonotifyvariousITgroups.For

example,analerttriggeredbyafaileddatabasecanalertthe

helpdeskwithemailandthedatabaseadministratorwithemail

andapagedmessage.Inbrief,MOMiscompletelycustomizable

inthisrespectandcanbemodifiedtofitmostalert

requirements.



OutliningMOMArchitecture

MOMisprimarilycomposedoffourbasiccomponents:the

database,dataaccessserver,consolidator/agentmanager,and

MOMagents.MOMwasspecificallydesignedtobescalableand

cansubsequentlybeconfiguredtomeettheneedsofanysize

company.ThisflexibilitystemsfromthefactthatallMOM

componentscaneitherresideononeserverorcanbe

distributedacrossmultipleservers.Microsoftseparatesthe

componentsintoadistributedmultitierarchitecturebasedon

thestandardnetworkOSImodel,condensedintothe

Presentation,BusinessLogic,andDatalayers,inthiscase.Each

layerofthemodelcorrespondswithMOMcomponents,as

illustratedinFigure25.1.



Figure25.1.TheMicrosoftOperationsManager

architecture.



TheMOMadministratorconsole,Webconsole,andthe

ReportingfeaturemakeupthePresentationLayercomponents.

Theconsolidator/agentmanager,dataaccessserver,andagents

makeuptheBusinessLogiclayer.Lastly,thedatabaseanddata

providerscomprisetheDatalayer.

EachofthesevariouscomponentsprovidesspecificMOM

functionality.MOMdesignscenariosofteninvolvetheseparation

ofpartsofthesecomponentsontomultipleservers.For

example,thedatabasecomponentcanbedelegatedtoa

dedicatedserver,andthedataaccessserverandconsolidator

canresideonasecondserver.Moredetailsontheseconcepts

canbefoundinthe"IdentifyingSampleDesignsofSuccessful

MOMImplementations"sectionlaterinthischapter.



HowMOMStoresCapturedData

MOMutilizesaMicrosoftSQLServerdatabaseasthecentral

repositoryforallcollecteddata.Thisdataincludesalleventlog

andperformancedatagatheredfromeachmanagedcomputer.

Thedatabasealsostoresallthescriptsusedbythe

managementpackrules.Thisdatabasemustbeinstalledasa

separatecomponentfromMOMbutcanphysicallyresideonthe

sameserver,ifneeded.ProperSQLproceduresand

maintenanceforthisdatabasecomponentarecriticalforproper

MOMfunctionality.



Note

Fortestingpurposes,anMSDEdatabasecanbeused

withMOMtoprovideforMOM'sdatabaseneeds.

However,itishighlyrecommendedthatafullSQL

databasebeusedinaproductionenvironment,as

thereareseveralrestrictionsassociatedwiththe

MSDEdatabase.



TheRoleoftheDataAccessServer

Thedataaccessserver(DAS)istheMOMcomponentthatis

usedtocommunicatewiththeMOMdatabase.Ithandlesallthe

datatransactionsbetweenthedatabaseandalltheotherMOM

services.Mostrequeststoreadinformationfromthedatabase

useDAS(withthemajorexceptionofReporting),aswellasall

requeststowritedatatothedatabase.



TheConsolidatorComponent

Theconsolidatorisresponsibleforcontrollingandupdatingall

themanagedcomputersinaMOMdatabase.Itdeliversall

clientagentupdates,whichincludeupdatinganyrulesor

configurationsettingstothemanagedcomputers.Italso

deliversalldatagatheredbythemanagedcomputerstothe

DAS.



DeterminingtheRoleofAgentsinSystem

Monitoring

Theagentsarethemonitoringcomponentsinstalledoneach

managedcomputer.Theyusethecollectedeventlogsand

performancecounterdataandprocessthembasedonthe

managementpackrulesinstalledonthecomputer.



CreatingAdministrativeBoundarieswith

ConfigurationGroups



MOMutilizestheconceptofconfigurationgroupstologically

separategeographicalandorganizationalboundaries.

Configurationgroupsallowadministratorstoscalethesizeof

MOMarchitectureorpoliticallyorganizetheadministrationof

MOM.Eachconfigurationgroupconsistsofthefollowing

components:

Onedatabase

Oneormoreconsolidator/agentmanagers(CAMs)

Oneormoredataaccessservers(DASs)

Managedagents

Asnotedinthe"IdentifyingSampleDesignsofSuccessfulMOM

Implementations"sectionlaterinthischapter,MOMcanbe

scaledtomeettheneedsofdifferentsizedorganizations.For

smallorganizations,alltheMOMcomponentscanbeinstalled

ononeserverwithasingleconfigurationgroup,asillustratedin

Figure25.2.



Figure25.2.Singleconfigurationgroup.



Inlargeorganizations,ontheotherhand,thedistributionof

MOMcomponentstoseparateserversallowstheorganizations

tocustomizetheirMOMarchitecture,asillustratedinFigure

25.3.Multipleconfigurationgroupsprovideloadbalancingand

faulttolerancewithintheMOMinfrastructure.Organizationscan

setupmultipleconsolidators,dataaccessservers,oragent

managersatstrategiclocations,todistributetheworkload

betweenthem.



Figure25.3.Multipleconfigurationgroups.



Note

Thegeneralruleofthumbwithconfigurationgroups

istostartwithasingleconfigurationgroupandadd

onmoreconfigurationgroupsonlyiftheyare

absolutelynecessary.Administrativeoverheadis

reduced,andthereislessneedtore-createrules

andperformotherredundanttaskswithfewer

configurationgroups.







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