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How to Collect IntelliTrace Historical Profiling Traces from System Center 2012 SP1

Updated: November 1, 2013

Applies To: System Center 2012 SP1 - Operations Manager

The information in this topic applies only to System Center 2012 SP1.

In System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1), you can use Operations Manager to capture historical snapshots (traces) directly from the Operations Manager console and to receive IntelliTrace snapshots from .NET Application Performance Monitoring (APM) exception events. These snapshots can help developers investigate problems. They provide visibility to application execution history without needing to access the servers where the problems occurred. Developers can use Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate to open collected snapshots. For information about IntelliTrace for developers, see Debug Your App by Recording Code Execution with IntelliTrace

Snapshots can be accessed from a network file share or from Team Foundation Server (TFS) work item attachments if TFS synchronization is enabled. For more information, see How to Configure Integration with IntelliTrace Historical Profiling in System Center 2012 SP1.

ImportantImportant
After you import and configure the IntelliTrace Profiling management pack, the IntelliTrace tasks are not available until you restart the Operations Manager console.

Collecting IntelliTrace Historical Profiling Snapshots

To collect IntelliTrace snapshots for an existing APM exception alert

  1. You can perform this procedure when you want to keep collected snapshots and attach an IntelliTrace snapshot to an exception alert. When TFS synchronization is enabled, the collected snapshots are attached or linked to associated work items in TFS.

  2. In the Operations Manager console, click Monitoring, open an alert view, and then click the alert that you want to investigate.

  3. In the Tasks pane, expand IntelliTrace Tasks, and then click Start IntelliTrace Collection.

  4. On the Run Task – Start IntelliTrace page, in the Run the task on these targets section, select the servers from which you want to collect snapshots. The list shows all servers on which the application is configured for monitoring by the APM template in the environment where the alert occurred.

  5. In the Task credentials section, select Use the predefined Run As Account if the Default Action Account has administrative privileges on the application Internet Information Services (IIS) pool. Otherwise, select Other to specify credentials that have administrative privileges for this IIS pool.

  6. If you want to customize collection parameters, click Override.

  7. Click Run, wait for the task to be completed successfully, and then click Close.

    ImportantImportant
    When you click Run, the application IIS pool automatically recycles on all of the servers that you selected in the Run the task on these targets section. APM turns off for all applications that are running in the same application pool.

  8. Reproduce the application problem that resulted in the APM exception alert.

  9. Select the same alert on which you started IntelliTrace. In the Tasks pane, click Collect IntelliTrace Snapshot.

  10. On the Run Task – Collect IntelliTrace Snapshot page, select the same servers and same Task credentials that you previously selected when you started IntelliTrace collection.

  11. Click Run, wait for the task to be completed successfully, and then click Close. The task output indicates whether any problems occurred while running the IntelliTrace collector tasks.

  12. To collect multiple snapshots, repeat the previous four steps. All snapshots that you collect are attached to the same APM exception alert.

  13. To stop IntelliTrace collection, select the same alert on which you started IntelliTrace. In the Tasks pane, click Stop IntelliTrace Collection.

    ImportantImportant
    Be sure to stop IntelliTrace collection. If you do not stop IntelliTrace collection, IntelliTrace will continue to run. This will impact application performance, and APM will remain off so that you will not receive new alerts from this application. To stop IntelliTrace when the alert is already closed and no longer shows in the Operations Manager console, complete the step from the subsequent procedure that stops IntelliTrace: To collect IntelliTrace snapshots when there are no APM exception alerts

  14. To see the IntelliTrace snapshots that are attached to an alert, select the alert. In the Tasks pane, click Open Snapshot Location.

  15. If TFS synchronization is turned on, you can assign an alert to engineering. To do so, set the alert resolution state to Assigned to Engineering. This creates a new work item in TFS, with the snapshot attached or linked. For more information, see How to Configure Integration with TFS in System Center 2012 SP1.

To collect IntelliTrace snapshots when there are no APM exception alerts

  1. You can perform this procedure when you are investigating problems with application logic or when APM is not enabled for an application. The subject application in this procedure must be discovered by the IIS management packs.

  2. In the Operations Manager console, click Monitoring, expand Application Monitoring, and then expand .NET Monitoring.

  3. If your application is running on Windows Server 2008 R2, click IIS 7.0 ASP .NET Web Application Inventory. If your application is running on Windows Server 2012, click IIS 8.0 ASP .NET Web Application Inventory.

  4. Select the application pool on which you want to run IntelliTrace profiling.

  5. In the Tasks pane, expand IntelliTrace Tasks, and then click Start IntelliTrace Collection.

  6. On the Run Task – Start IntelliTrace page, in the Run the task on these targets section, select the application pool in which you want to collect snapshots.

  7. In the Task credentials section, select Use the predefined Run As Account if the Default Action Account has administrative privileges on the application IIS pool. Otherwise, select Other to specify alternative credentials that have administrative privileges for this IIS pool.

  8. If you want to customize collection parameters, click Override.

  9. Click Run, wait for the task to be completed successfully, and then click Close.

    ImportantImportant
    When you click Run, the application IIS pool automatically recycles on all of the servers that you selected in the Run the task on these targets section. APM turns off for all applications that are running in the same application pool.

  10. Run your application and reproduce the behavior that you want to investigate.

  11. Select the same application pool on which you started IntelliTrace. In the Tasks pane, click Collect IntelliTrace Snapshot.

  12. On the Run Task – Collect IntelliTrace Snapshot page, select the same target and same Task credentials that you previously selected when you started IntelliTrace collection.

  13. Click Run, wait for the task to be completed successfully, and then click Close. The task output indicates whether any problems occurred while running the IntelliTrace collector tasks.

  14. To collect multiple snapshots, repeat the previous four steps. For each snapshot that you collected, you will receive a new informational alert when the snapshot is uploaded to the network file share.

  15. To stop IntelliTrace collection, select the same application pool on which you started IntelliTrace. In the Tasks pane, click Stop IntelliTrace Collection.

    ImportantImportant
    Be sure to stop IntelliTrace collection. If you do not stop IntelliTrace collection, IntelliTrace will continue to run. This will impact application performance and APM will remain off so that you will not receive new alerts from this application.

  16. To see the IntelliTrace snapshots, in the Operations Manager console, click Monitoring, expand IntelliTrace Profiling, and then click New Alerts. The New Traces pane shows an alert for each snapshot that you have collected.

  17. In the Tasks pane, expand Alert Attachment Tasks, and then click Open Attachment Location.

  18. If TFS synchronization is turned on, you can assign an alert to engineering. To do so, set the alert resolution state to Assigned to Engineering. This creates a new work item in TFS with the snapshot attached or linked. For more information, see How to Configure Integration with TFS in System Center 2012 SP1.

To access IntelliTrace snapshots that are generated from APM exception data

  1. You can perform this procedure when you want to investigate an existing APM exception event that is based solely on historical data without having to run IntelliTrace Profiling on your application. Only .NET exception events generate IntelliTrace snapshots.

  2. In the Operations Manager console, click Monitoring, open an alert view, and then click the alert that you want to investigate.

  3. In the Tasks pane, expand Alert Attachment Tasks, and then click Open Attachment Location. Windows Explorer opens the location of the files that are attached to the alert you have selected.

  4. To see the IntelliTrace snapshot for this alert, in Windows Explorer, open the APMException folder.

  5. If TFS synchronization is turned on, you can assign this alert to engineering. To do so, set the alert resolution state to Assigned to Engineering. This creates a new work item in TFS, with the snapshot attached or linked. For more information, see How to Configure Integration with TFS in System Center 2012 SP1.

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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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