Application Advisor Console Overview
The Application Advisor is a web-based console that comes bundled with over 30 pre-configured reports to help you to analyze event and performance issues over specified periods of time.It gives you transparency of the alerts that are causing you the most trouble, or generating the most noise and will give you a deep insight into a specific application’s overall health. In the words of the OpsMgr APM Product Team, Application Advisor is the tool that allows you to “follow the noise” in your APM environment.
As the primary function of the Application Advisor console is to deliver reports about APM, then it goes without saying that you will need to first have the SCOM Reporting role deployed for it to work. During the Application Advisor install a prerequiste check will kick off to see if you've already installed the SCOM Reporting role and if not, it will warn you that you need to have it installed first. Of course, this also means that you must have SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) installed too as it's a prerequisite of the SCOM Reporting role.
Similar to the Application Diagnostics console, if you want to launch the Application Advisor, there are several ways to do this. The easiest way is to open up a web browser and then input the URL of the Management Server that you've deployed the Web Console role to while adding /AppAdvisor to the end of it similar to:
Another way to launch the Application Advisor console is to logon to the server that you installed the Web Console to and browse to the built-in Start Menu shortcut at All Programs > Microsoft System Center 2012 > Operations Manager > Application Advisor as shown in the screenshot below
Update Feb 2013: I've made some changes to the required user account permissions below based on an inaccuracy/typo that Microsoft's Tim McFadden (Senior PFE) spotted while reading through this yesterday. Thanks Tim!
Ensure that the user account you are logged in with has the relevant security permissions within SCOM to launch the Application Advisor console and be aware that these permissions are slightly different than what's required for the Application Diagnostics console. Your user account must be a member of the following roles:
Alternatively, if your user account is a member of the Operations Manager Administrator Role, then you will have access to Application Advisor regardless of membership of the above two groups.
Using the Application Advisor Reports
The following process will walk you through running an application report from within the Application Advisor console with some basic options being selected:
Launch the Application Advisor console using one of the methods described above
From the Navigation pane on the upper left-hand side, choose the drop-down arrow beside the All Application Groups option and select an application group to scope the report to (if you haven't configured any application groups, then you will only see the 'All' option here)
Once you've chosen the application group, from the Select Report section you can choose the type of report that you want by simply expanding the Client Side Monitoring, Problem Utilization Analysis and Resource Utilization Analysis links or by clicking on any of the other seven reports. You can hover your mouse pointer over the name of a report to get a description box explaining exactly what the report gives you back.
Once you've chosen your report, you will be presented with a number of scoping parameters to define the the report contents. These parameters are as follows:
- Start Date and End Date - allows you to pick the time range you want the report to contain data from
- Status - this option relates to alert status and it defaults to New and Reviewed but there are also two other options for Deleted and By Design to choose from
- Sources - by default, this option selects all of your monitored .NET applications but you can select a specific application to target the report to
- Computers - allows you to focus on specific computers that are hosting your application
- Problems - allows you to select All problems or just Critical problems
The screenshot below shows the output of a Problems Distribution Analysis report and in the top left-hand side, you can see that I've highlighted the Actions and Tools buttons as well as some icons just below these menus
You can easily schedule the report that you’ve just generated by hovering your mouse pointer over the six icons just below the Actions and Tools menus and clicking on the Schedule Report icon to open the Schedule Management Wizard. This wizard allows you to make some changes to your report configuration parameters if required, and will then present you with a dialog box to input your e-mail address and format preferences as shown below
Note: The e-mail option will only work here if it has been previously configured within SSRS.
Exploring the Tools Menu
You can access the Tools menu from any view or report inside Application Advisor and it contains six different tasks to help you administer your APM reporting environment. These tasks are detailed below:
|Options||Provides the following event data options: |
|Enables the creation and modification of report schedules|
|Allows you to save your favorite reports for future use without having to reconfigure them again.|
Remove Application Groups Wizard
|Helps you to delete unused application groups|
Remove Computers Wizard
|Deletes old computers|
Remove Applications Wizard
|Remove old application sources|
That concludes this short series of posts on the SCOM 2012 APM consoles. You can check out some other APM related posts of mine here:
SCOM 2012 - Configuring Application Performance Monitoring (APM)
SCOM 2012 - APM CSM vs. GSM and Web Application Monitoring....Confused?
Hopefully you've found APM interesting and learnt something new about this cool addition to SCOM!