Thursday, January 12, 2012

SCOM 2012 - Monitoring the System Center 2012 App Controller Website

Following on from my last post on the new '3-Tier (360)' Service Template, this post will go through the steps required to create a synthetic transaction within System Center 2012 Operations Manager (SCOM 2012) that will monitor a website URL and report back on latency or authentication errors.

The System Center 2012 Private Cloud Community Evaluation Program has been running for the last few months now and this weeks session was based mainly around the new System Center 2012 App Controller (AppController) product and it's management of private and public clouds combined.

Anyone can apply to join up to the System Center 2012 Private Cloud CEP and you can get more information from the link below:

Keeping with the theme of the System Center 2012 Private Cloud CEP, I've decided to dedicate this post to the AppController management website URL and show how you can use SCOM to monitor its health state. You can however use the steps in this post to create a synthetic transaction web monitor for any URL you wish.

To get started, open up your SCOM 2012 console and click on the 'Authoring' tab down the bottom left hand side of the screen. Once you have this open, expand 'Management Pack Templates' on the left hand side and then right mouse click on 'Web Application Transaction Monitoring' as below

From the 'Add Monitoring Wizard', select 'Web Application Transaction Monitoring' as the monitoring type, then click 'Next'

Now enter in a friendly name for your website monitoring synthetic transaction, select an unsealed management pack to store it in, then click 'Next'

In the 'URL' field, input in the full URL of the System Center 2012 App Controller management website that you want to monitor and then click the 'Test' button (this URL doesn't have to be the AppController one and can be any website address that you like including over http or https). When you are happy with the results of the test, click 'Next' to continue

From the 'Watcher Node' screen, choose a server from the list that will be allocated the task of running the synthetic transaction. Specify also here how often you want this test to run from the watcher node server (e.g. every 15 minutes)

When you get to the final screen of the wizard, tick the box for 'Configure Advanced Monitoring or Record a browser session' and then click 'Create'

Once the monitoring wizard has created the synthetic transaction, the 'Web Application Editor' window will open and it is here that we can configure parameters to report back on things like the http status code, content matches and response times for your chosen website URL

If you click on the drop down menus in the 'Http Status Code' section, you can select a number of options to suit the error checking you want SCOM to report back on

For this transaction, I've selected 'Greater than or eqals' for the '401 - Unauthorised' http error code

and here, I've specifed  a response time of 'Greater than or equals' to '10 seconds' which means if it takes 10 seconds or more to open up my chosen website URL, then SCOM will report back with an error based on these criteria. We can configure the same or similar parameters in the section below but this will report back as a 'Warning' instead of an 'Error'

Ensure to click on the 'Verify' button when you've made the changes you want

 To complete, click on the 'Apply' button

To test your newly created web monitor, click on the 'Run Test' link on the right hand side of the screen and you will then be presented with a results screen detailing what the outcome of the test is as shown below

All that's left to do now is to close out of the test results and go back to the main 'Monitoring' tab within the SCOM console by clicking on the button down the left hand side of the screen. When here, locate the 'Web Application Transaction Monitoring' folder and expand it to show the 'Web Applications State' screen where you should see your newly created System Center 2012 App Controller Website synthetic transaction monitor

If you want to know more about System Center 2012 App Controller, then take a look at some of my previous posts from the links below:

Cloud Management with System Center - Connecting your private cloud to System Center App Controller 2012

Cloud Management with System Center - Customizing System Center App Controller 2012

Cloud Management with System Center - Connecting App Controller to Azure Part 1

Cloud Management with System Center - Connecting App Controller to Azure Part 2

Cloud Management with System Center - Integrating App Controller with SCOM


  1. Hi kevin, How are you doing?
    I have a question. When I receive a email alert, I ´m only receveiving a alert request1. How to receive especific alerts , with the specific errors? I don´t wanna enter in console to see what particular problem i have. Could please help me ?
    Thanks for while

    Marcio (Brazil)

    1. Hi Marcio,

      If you want to receive e-mails for a specific alert that is being generated in your Management Group, then all you have to do is to right-mouse click on the alert from inside the console and choose the Subscribe option to create a custom subscription based on the alert criteria.

      Hope this helps!


  2. I have setup a URL monitoring using SCOM 2012 and the URL monitoring is happening fine. My question is related to"

    I am monitoring a website called (Requires NTLM authentication)-- I am using the run as account to monitor the URL and I see the URL state stays in healthy condition things are up and running fine.

    Now User called John is trying to access the site from his workstation and he is prompted with a window to type in the credentials to login to the site. He types the credentials but gets the error stating that he does not have access to login to this site

    Exact error mesage he get is "HTTP Error 401.1 - Unauthorized: Access is denied due to invalid credentials.
    Internet Information Services (IIS)"

    When this error occurs, I am not getting the alert in SCOM. I understand that SCOM will alert only if the run as account that I am using to monitor the URL does not have access I would get alert. But I am intrested to see how many unauthorized login attempts are made on site in my company.

    Please let me know if we have an option set it up. I think I can do it by doing the IIS logfile monitoring, but I was wondering if we can do it using URL monitoring

    Any answers to this will be of great help.

    Thanks in Advance.

    1. You won't be able to do that with the URL monitoring as that is only monitoring the request it's making itself. You'll need to watch the log files as you say.

  3. Why do I cannot see the created website monitoring synthetic Transaction in the Monitoring tab as you described in the last step?

  4. Thus application controlling is same as the website monitoring? Please give me your reply soon.