Friday, April 8, 2011

New SCOM Exchange 2010 SP1 Management Pack

Microsoft have just released (well 2 days ago but I didn't get around to blogging until today about it!), the updated Microsoft Exchange 2010 Management Pack which includes support for Microsoft Exchange 2010 Service Pack 1 and the associated roll-ups that SP1 comes with.

There are quite a few significant changes to this Management Pack that makes it even better than the original Exchange 2010 MP that was released last year.

Here's some of the highlights that are included in this new update:

  • Capacity planning and performance reports - New reports dig deep into the performance of individual servers and provide detailed information about how much capacity is used in each site. 
  • SMTP and remote PowerShell availability report - The management pack now includes two new availability reports for SMTP client connections and management end points. 
  • New Test-SMTPConnectivity synthetic transaction - In addition to the inbound mail connectivity tasks for protocols such as Outlook Web App, Outlook, IMAP, POP, and Exchange ActiveSync, the Management Pack now includes SMTP-connectivity monitoring for outbound mail from IMAP and POP clients.
  • New Test-ECPConnectivity view - Views for the Exchange Control Panel test task are now included in the monitoring tree. 
  • Cross-premises mail flow monitoring and reporting - The Management Pack includes new mail flow monitoring and reporting capabilities for customers who use our hosted service. 
  • Improved Content Indexing and Mailbox Disk Space monitoring - New scripts have been created to better monitor context indexing and mailbox disk space. These new scripts enable automatic repair of indexes and more accurately report of disk space issues. 
  • The ability to disable Automatic Alert Resolution in environments that include OpsMgr connectors -    When you disable Automatic Alert Resolution, the Correlation Engine won't automatically resolve alerts. This lets you use your support ticketing system to manage your environment.
  • Several other updates and improvements were also added to this version of the Management Pack, including the following. 
  • Suppression of alerts when the alerts only occur occasionally was added to many monitors. 
  • Most of the event monitors in the Exchange 2010 Management Pack are automatically reset by the Correlation Engine. Automatic reset was added to those event monitors so that issues aren't missed the next time they occur.
  • Monitoring was added for processes that crash repeatedly. 
  • Additional performance monitoring was added for Outlook Web App. 
  • Monitoring of Active Directory access was improved. 
  • Monitoring of anonymous calendar sharing was added. 
  • Reliability of database offline alerts was improved. 
  • Monitoring for the database engine (ESE) was added.

Also, Microsoft had promised that they would update their documentation guide for the original Exchange 2010 MP to include information on making the Microsoft Exchange Monitoring Correlation Service Highly Available in a cluster environment but I didn't see anything in the new and updated guide in relation to this. See my earlier blog posts on this if you want to make the Correlation Service Highly Available:

If you are one of the many thousands who have already deployed the original SCOM Exchange 2010 MP, then you will need to download the new updated one from the link below and import it into your SCOM infrastructure as you had done previously with the older MP (you can't update this MP from the SCOM Catalog automatically - it needs to be downloaded first and then have it's .MSI file run to accomodate the Correlation Service installation)

As always, don't forget to read the MP guide fully before you install the MP into your live environment and implement any recommendations that the guide gives around configuration and alert tuning.

Happy SCOMming!!!

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