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Text Logs

Updated: November 1, 2013

Applies To: System Center 2012 - Operations Manager, System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager, System Center 2012 SP1 - Operations Manager

A text log is a text file that an application uses to log event information. In order to use a text log data source in a management pack, each entry in the log must be on a single line. If the log file does not fit this requirement, then a Script Monitors and Rules has to be created to read the log.

Applications that use log files frequently create a new file each day or when one file reaches a certain size. To support this functionality, monitors and rules specify a Directory and a Pattern for the text logs being monitored. Directory is the path of the directory where the text logs will be located. This must be an absolute path without wildcard characters. A $Target variable could also be used if the path to the log files is stored in a property of the target class. Pattern is the name of the log file including wildcard characters as appropriate.

For example, an application might create a log file each day with the date included in the name as in log20100316.txt. A pattern for such a log might be log*.txt which would apply to any log file following the application’s naming scheme.

A text log can be defined as either a Generic Text Log or Generic CSV Text Log. CSV refers to Comma Separated Values, although you can specify any character as the delimiter. The two kinds of files are also referred as a Simple Text Log and a Delimited Text Log. With a simple text log, each line is considered a single entry. With a delimited text log, a single character is used to separate different fields of data, and each field can be analyzed separately.

Text Log Wizards

The table below lists the wizards that are available for both simple and delimited text files.

 

Management Pack Object Wizards Available

Monitors

Simple Event Detection using each of the standard Event Monitor Reset methods

Repeated Event Detection using each of the standard Event Monitor Reset methods

Rules

Alert Generating rule

Event collection rule

Text Log Wizard Options

When you run a text log wizard, you will need to provide values for options in the following tables. Each table represents a single page in the wizard.

General

The General page includes general settings for the rule or wizard including its name, category, target, and the management pack file to store it in.

 

Option Description

Name

The name used for the rule or monitor. For a rule, the name appears in the Rules view in the Authoring pane. When you create a view or report, you can select this name to use the data collected by it. For a monitor, the name appears in the Health Explorer of any target objects.

Description

Optional description of the rule or monitor.

Management Pack

Management pack to store the rule.

For more information on management packs, see Selecting a Management Pack File.

Rule Category (Rules only)

The category for the rule. For a collection rule, this should be Event Collection. For an alerting rule, this should be Alert.

Parent Monitor (Monitors only)

The aggregate monitor that the monitor will be positioned under in the Health Explorer. For more information, see Aggregate Monitors.

Target

The class to use for the target of the rule or monitor. The rule or monitor will be run on any agent that has at least one instance of this class. For more information on targets, see Understanding Classes and Objects.

Rule is enabled

Monitor is enabled

Specifies whether the rule or monitor is enabled.

Application Log Data Source

There will be a single application log data source page for a collection or alerting rule and for a monitor using manual or timer reset. For a monitor using event reset, you will have to define the log for both the error condition and for the healthy condition. You will typically specify the same log for both conditions, but a different log could be used for each.

The following table lists the settings that must be provided for an application log data source:

 

Property Name Description

Directory

Directory that the log file is located in. This must be a single directory with no wildcards

Pattern

Name of the log file. This can include wildcards if the name of the log file will change. Use the ? wildcard to represent a single character. Use the * wildcard to represent multiple characters.

Separator (Delimited Logs only)

The character that is used to separate the

UTF8

Event Expression

There will be a single expression page for a collection or alerting rule and for a monitor using manual or timer reset. For a monitor using event reset, you will have to define an expression for both the error condition and for the healthy condition.

The expression for a text log rule or monitor will include criteria that matches text in the log entry. For a Generic Text Log this includes a search of the whole log entry treated as a single line. For a delimited log file, this will include a search of one or more of the included fields. The contents of a text log are included in the parameters of the event. For a generic text log, this is referenced by the parameter Params/Param[1]. A delimited log uses the same variable by using the index number of the required parameter. The first field would be referenced with Params/Param[1], the second field would be referenced with Params/Param[2], and so on.

The following table lists the common properties available from text log monitors and rules:

 

Property Name Description

Directory

Directory that the log file is located in.

Pattern

Name of the log file that the event was taken from.

Param[1]

Complete entry in a generic text log.

Param[#]

Specific parameter in a generic CSV text log. # represents the number of the field.

For more information about expressions, see Expressions.

Auto Reset Timer

The Auto Reset Timer page is only available for timer reset monitors. It allows you to set the time that must pass after the alert is created before the alert is automatically resolved.

Configure Health

The Configure Health page is only available for monitors. It allows you to specify the health state that will be set for each of the events. For a manual reset monitor, the Manual Reset condition will be Healthy, and you can specify whether the Event Raised condition will set the monitor to a Warning or a Critical state. For a Timer Reset or an Event Reset, you can specify the health state set by each event. The first event will typically set the monitor to Warning or Critical while the second event or the timer will set the monitor to Healthy.

Configure Alerts

The Configure Alerts page is only available for monitors and alerting rules. Its options are explained in Alerts.

Creating Text Log Rules and Monitors

Use the following procedure to create a text log alerting rule in Operations Manager with the following details:

  • Runs on all agents with a particular service installed.

  • Looks for a comma delimited log file with the naming pattern MyApp*.log in the c:\logs directory.

  • Generates an alert if the word “error” appears in the log message.

  • Includes the error message in the alert description.

  • The format of each line of the text file is as follows: Date,Time,Message

To create a delimited text log alert rule

  1. If you don’t have a management pack for the application that you are monitoring, create one using the process in Selecting a Management Pack File.

  2. Create a new target using the process in To create a Windows Service template. You can use any service installed on a test agent for this template.

  3. In the Operations console, select the Authoring workspace, and then select Rules.

  4. Right-click Rules and select Create a new rule.

  5. On the Rule Type page, do the following:

    1. Expand Alert Generating Rules, expand Event Based, and then click Generic CSV Text Log (Alert).

    2. Select the management pack from step 1.

    3. Click Next.

  6. On the General page, do the following:

    1. In the Rule Name box, type MyApplication Delimited Log Error.

    2. In the Rule Category box, select Alert.

    3. Next to Rule Target click Select and then select the name of the target that you created in step 2.

    4. Leave Rule is enabled selected.

    5. Click Next.

  7. On the Application Log Data Source page, do the following:

    1. In the Directory box, type c:\logs.

    2. In the Pattern box, type MyApp*.log.

    3. In the Separator box, type a COMMA.

    4. Click Next.

  8. On the Build Event Expression page, do the following:

    1. Click Insert.

    2. In the Parameter Name box type Params/Param[3].

    3. In the Operator box select Contains.

    4. In the Value box type error.

    5. Click Next.

  9. On the Configure Alerts page, do the following:

    1. In the Alert name box, type Error found in MyApplication delimited text log..

    2. Click the ellipse button to the right side of the Alert description box.

    3. Clear the text in the Value box.

    4. Select Data, then Params, then Param.

    5. Replace the text <<INT>> with 1.

    6. Move to the end of the line and press the SPACE bar.

    7. Select Data, then Params, then Param.

    8. Replace the text <<INT>> with 2.

    9. Move to the end of the line and press the ENTER key.

    10. Select Data, then Params, then Param.

    11. Replace the text <<INT>> with 3.

    12. Click OK.

  10. Click Finish.

See Also

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For additional resources, see Information and Support for System Center 2012.

Tip: Use this query to find online documentation in the TechNet Library for System Center 2012. For instructions and examples, see Search the System Center 2012 Documentation Library.
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