In Part 1, I walked through the process of downloading and deploying the DotNetNuke application which is a free community .NET based website that we will be using for our testing of the Application Performance Monitoring functionality within System Center 2012 Operations Manager.
Once we have our .NET applications ready to be monitored, we now need to deploy the SCOM agent to the IIS servers that host them.
Use the Administration tab from the Wunderbar in the SCOM console to start the Discovery Wizard and deploy a Windows Agent to your IIS server. The screen below shows confirmation that the agent has been deployed successfully
Once the agent deployment is complete, go to the Monitoring tab in the console again and check the Application Pool State view under the Microsoft Windows Internet Information Services folder to confirm that the .NET application has been discovered. You should see a screen similar to the one below (You may need to wait a little while for discovery to complete)
Note: The IIS 7 discovery rules are all set to discover objects after 14400 seconds (4 hours) and if you haven’t got the time to wait for these discoveries to occur, you can tweak temporarily the discovery rule for the IIS 7 ASP.NET Application Endpoint to allow full discovery of your application. Without this rule being fired properly, you won’t be able to discover your app in the Web Application and Services object search later on.
When you have confirmation that your .NET application is discovered within SCOM, we will now move on to actually creating the APM template that will give us the granular information that we need to troubleshoot issues on a deep dive level
It’s good practice to create a custom group and management pack specifically for the application that you wish to monitor. To do this, go to the Authoring tab of the Wunderbar in the SCOM console, expand the Authoring view and then right mouse click on Groups. Choose the ‘Create a new Group’ option from the resultant menu, give the group a name and create a new unsealed management pack that reflects the application that you want to monitor - see the screen below for an example
Add the Windows Server objects for the servers that host the application(s) that you want to monitor as below
Move through the rest of the Create Group Wizard and click Create at the end to finish the process.
At this point, we have the .NET application configured on an IIS 7 server, we have deployed the SCOM agent to this server and ensured that the new .NET application and website have been discovered. We have also just created a custom group and unsealed management pack for which we are going to save any customisations and rules to for this application.
The next step is to create the Application Performance Monitoring component using the built in templates provided. To do this, click on the Authoring tab in the SCOM console, expand Management Pack Templates and then right mouse click on .NET Application Performance Monitoring. Now select the ‘Add Monitoring Wizard’ option. This will open up a wizard as shown below
Leave the .NET Application Performance Monitoring option selected, then click Next to continue
Enter a name and description for your monitor and then choose the new unsealed management pack that we created previously to store the monitor in. Click Next to continue once you have entered all required information
From the What to Monitor window, click on the Add button to open up the Object Search window and from here, search for and add the .NET application that you wish to monitor
Note: If you haven’t imported the two management packs outlined in Part 1 of this series, then you will not be able to find your application in the ‘Web Applications and Services’ list here. This is a common pitfall when people try to configure APM.
Once you have added your application, choose an Environment tag and targeted group from which you want to run the monitor under. I’ve chosen the ‘Test’ environment and selected the custom group I created earlier for this application. See the screenshot below for an example
Leave the Server-Side Configuration settings as they are for now and click Next
From the final screen in the Add Monitoring Wizard, you can review your configuration and then click on the Create button when you’re happy to continue.
Note: You will see from the screen below that there is a warning message stating: ‘IIS may need to be restarted’. This is always a recommendation when you configure APM for your application and if you are working in a production environment, you will need to plan for this IIS restart after hours to ensure that your monitor works.
This completes the creation of your .NET Application Performance Monitor and you should be able to see your new monitor listed under the Management Pack Templates\.NET Application Performance Monitoring view.
For Part 3 of this series, I will discuss Client-Side Monitoring and explain how to test your new APM monitor and review the alerts generated.