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Key Monitoring Scenarios

Updated: August 12, 2011

Applies To: Operations Manager 2007 R2

The following performance collection rules, which run every 5 minutes, collect performance data for each Windows Azure application that you discover:

  • ASP.NET Applications Requests/sec (Azure)

  • Network Interface Bytes Received/sec (Azure)

  • Network Interface Bytes Sent/sec (Azure)

  • Processor % Processor Time Total (Azure)

  • LogicalDisk Free Megabytes (Azure)

  • LogicalDisk % Free Space (Azure)

  • Memory Available Megabytes (Azure)

In this section:

Grooming Data from Windows Azure Storage Services

Windows Azure Diagnostics writes performance and event information to Azure Storage, but does not delete it. This means that the tables in the Windows Azure storage account will continue to grow unless the data is groomed. The Monitoring Pack for Windows Azure Applications provides three rules that control data grooming:

  • Windows Azure Role NT Event Log Grooming

  • Windows Azure Role Performance Counter Grooming

  • Windows Azure Role .NET Trace Grooming

By default, these grooming rules are disabled. If you want Operations Manager to periodically groom data from Windows Azure Storage Services, use overrides to enable the rules. By default, the enabled rules run every 24 hours.

You can use the event log on the root management server to track data grooming. Event 34023 is logged when grooming starts. Event 34014 is logged when grooming is completed, and the event includes the count of deleted rows and the time when grooming occurred.

Monitoring a Large Number of Role Instances

The Operations Manager Management Pack monitors memory usage of the proxy agent. If you are monitoring more than 500 Windows Azure role instances from a particular agent, you should increase the threshold for the Monitoring Host Private Bytes Threshold monitor to 350 MB or higher.

noteNote
If the version of the Operations Manager Management Pack is 6.1.7221.0 or older, the default threshold for the Monitoring Host Private Bytes Threshold monitor is only 100 MB. In that situation, if you are monitoring more than 100 Windows Azure role instances from a particular agent, you should increase the threshold for the Monitoring Host Private Bytes Threshold monitor to 150 MB.”

Creating Custom Rules and Monitors for Windows Azure Applications

After you configure the Monitoring Pack for Windows Azure Applications, you can create rules and monitors to measure availability and performance of the Windows Azure application. You must use the Authoring console to create these rules and monitors, using resources created by the Windows Azure Application template that you ran in the Operations console. You can monitor any performance counter or event that is available in Windows Azure and that is configured to publish to Windows Azure Storage Services.

noteNote
Before you create collection rules and monitors for Windows Azure, ensure that you complete the tasks listed in Configuring the Monitoring Pack for Windows Azure Applications.

Preparing the Authoring Console

Before you use the Authoring console to create rules or monitors, copy the following management packs to the installation folder for the Authoring console. The management pack for your Azure application will reference these management packs, and the Authoring console must be able to locate them. If it cannot locate these files, it will prompt you to locate them manually.

  • Microsoft.SystemCenter.Azure.mp

  • Microsoft.SystemCenter.OperationsManager.Library.mp

  • Microsoft.SystemCenter.WebApplication.Library.mp

You must configure an external editor for the Authoring console to launch when you must manually edit XML. You can specify an editor by selecting Tools, then Options, and then click Browse in the Custom Editors section. You can use notepad.exe unless you have another preferred editor.

TipTip
This guide uses display names for the components of the management pack. To have the Authoring console use display names, on the Tools menu, click Options, and then click Use display names. If you do not select this option, then the console will use actual names which will be different than the display names used here.

Management Pack for Windows Azure

As a best practice, you should create a separate management pack for each Windows Azure application. This is the management pack that you will use when running the Windows Azure Application template in the Operations console. You will load this same management pack into the Authoring console in order to create additional rules and monitors for the application.

Rule and Monitor Targets

When you create a rule or monitor, you must specify a target class for it. When you run the Windows Azure Application template for an application, it will create two classes. One represents the hosted service and is called Windows Azure Hosted Service followed by the name you gave to the application enclosed in parentheses. The other represents each role instance and is called Windows Azure Role Instance followed by the name you gave to the application enclosed in parentheses.

If you want to create a monitor or rule that will run for all Windows Azure applications that you have configured with the Windows Azure Application template, then use Windows Azure Role Instance for the target. If you want to create a monitor or rule that will run for a specific Windows Azure application that you have configured with the Windows Azure Application template, use Windows Azure Role Instance (Application) for the target.

Most monitors and rules that you create should use the role instance for the application as their target. This will cause the monitor or rule to run only for the particular application. All of the samples in this section will work without additional modification using this target

Timing Intervals

Every monitor and rule using the Monitoring Pack for Windows Azure Applications must specify two configuration settings. Interval Seconds defines how often the particular data is sampled. Timeout Seconds defines the time allowed for any data to be returned from Windows Azure.

The rule and monitor examples in the following procedures use the configuration values in the following table:

 

  Interval Seconds Timeout Seconds

Event Monitors and Rules

300

60

Performance Monitors and Rules

300

120

We recommend that you use these values for all rules and monitors that you create to monitor a Windows Azure application. Using common values enables Operations Manager to issue a single request to Windows Azure Storage Services for multiple rules and monitors, instead of each one making its own request.

Use the same interval to configure the transfer of Windows Azure Diagnostics as you use for your monitors. The Operations Manager monitors that you create read data from the Windows Azure storage account. When the monitor reads multiple samples from an interval, multiple state changes can be reported with the same time reported for each state change. To identify the actual time for a state change, in Health Explorer, on the State Change Events tab, select the event and view the time sampled in the Details section.

Sample Management Pack

A sample management pack, MPAuthor.Azure.xml, is available for you to modify to monitor your Windows Azure application. This management pack provides an example of custom workflows for a Windows Azure application being monitored by the Windows Azure management pack. This management pack will not work if installed directly into a management group because its discoveries are configured to work with a specific Windows Azure account and application. You can obtain the sample management pack in the OpsManJam Library (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=223582).

See Also

 
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