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System Center Windows Azure MP Questions and Experience RRS feed

  • Question

  • Greetings fellow IT pros,

    This is my first post in the TechNet community forums so please bare with me. I was not sure if this post should be asked as a question or a discussion, but it's length considered I chose tha latter. Now, down to business.

    I'm currently working as an operations consultant for a customer that is developing a ASP.NET based application for Windows Azure. We're using the RTM version, 6.1.7724.0 of the MP. What I would like to know is if anyone has any hands-on enterprise monitoring experience with this MP? I was thinking in the lines of Best Practices, pitfalls to avoid etc. For me this MP introduces a new way of thinking monitoring, not to rely on the SCOM agent is pretty scary I must admit. Anyway, I've done some digging around, but most of the articles are based on lab experience alone. They do answer most of my questions/problems, though some remain unanswered:

    1. How is discovery of new deployments handled? We deploy frequently, but we still need to be sure that our monitoring is hooked up to the newly deployed instances. Is there a setting(s) that need to be configured accordingly?
    2. Does the Windows Azure Role grooming work well for you? In my experience performance counter grooming runs for a while and then returns with success. However according to the completion details I can conclude with this: sometimes nothing is deleted, and other times some performance counter records are deleted, but not all of them (not included in the grace period). Event logs are not deleted at all, it starts up fine, but never returns anything i.e. I never receive a 34014 event for those jobs. Maybe I have to fine tune the default settings to make it work well? Any suggestions/values I might try there? I’ve tried to override on the Azure Role Class, and on the more specific object of the Azure Role class (per application).
    3. How should I approach monitoring the IIS web server running in Azure? Following up on that: Are there any plans to include IIS monitoring and IIS log collection in future versions of the MP? What have you done in your environments to monitor IIS instances running in Azure? What about collecting and parsing IIS logs in Windows Azure?
    4. What’s your take on the event log alerting and monitoring? Is it real time enough? The design will cause a delay based on my understanding: First the event has to be written to table storage and then it has to be picked up by SCOM Data Collection. Haven’t tried it out myself, but I will soon enough. Anything I should be aware of when setting up Event Log Monitoring/Alerting?

    FYI: All optional monitoring has been overridden to enable CPU/Memory counters, and the Windows Azure log grooming capability. I want to add that I’m not an authoring expert, but I know a little about using the Authoring Console.

    That’s all for now, but I guess new questions will arise when I identify new scenarios that has to be monitored.

    Best regards
    Bjørn-Erik Løken

    Monday, October 24, 2011 1:48 PM

Answers

All replies

  • just changing this to a question thread, will get more people looking at it.
    Bob Cornelissen - BICTT (My BICTT Blog) - Microsoft Community Contributor 2011 Recipient
    Tuesday, October 25, 2011 6:45 AM
  •  

    Hi,

     

    You can specify a Windows Azure application to be monitored:

     

    A Primer on Installing SCOM 2007 R2 and Windows Azure Application Monitoring

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/walterm/archive/2011/02/14/adding-azure-application-monitoring-to-scom-2007-r2.aspx

     

    Custom Monitoring for Windows Azure Management Pack

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/mpauthor/archive/2011/06/20/custom-monitoring-for-windows-azure-management-pack.aspx

     

    To collect capture your performance collection data, please refer to:

     

    Configuring Azure Diagnostics Performance Counter Monitoring in SCOM 2007 R2

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/walterm/archive/2011/03/18/configuring-azure-diagnostics-performance-counter-monitoring-in-scom-2007-r2.aspx

     

    In addition, please also see the management pack guide:

     

    System Center Monitoring Pack for Windows Azure Applications

    http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=11324

     

    Hope this helps.

     

    Thanks.
    Nicholas Li - MSFT
    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.
    Wednesday, October 26, 2011 4:42 AM
  • Thanks for helping me out!

    I've read those articles already; apart from Brian Wren's sample MP – good stuff. Reading through these guides helped me out a lot by pushing me in the right direction. I understand that the MP delivered is very general (and I understand that it has to be); the focus is on the role operation, not the service(s) running inside of it. Especially we need to have IIS monitoring of some sort (to avoid downtime and work as pro-active as possible). Log grooming is also important, if the built in jobs fail to delete everything that they should, our developers will write a function for it. Therefore I’m asking about some experience and good practices other users may have found. Experience from real-world environments may be a bit optimistic, when considering the MPs lifetime, but if anyone have done this and are willing to share I’ll be really grateful.

     

    BR.

    Bjørn-Erik Løken

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011 1:27 PM
  • We have opened a support case with Microsoft regarding Windows Azure monitoring with SCOM. If I learn anything worth sharing I'll post back.

    Thanks for your help.

    BR.

    Bjørn-Erik Løken

    Thursday, November 3, 2011 7:24 AM
  •  

    Hi,

     

    Thank you for your update.

     

    We hope you will get satisfactory information and look forward to your sharing.

     

    In the future, if you experience any issues regarding our products or if you have any feedbacks, you are also welcome to post a new thread in our forum. It is always our pleasure to be of assistance.

     

    Have a nice day!


    Nicholas Li - MSFT
    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.
    Thursday, November 3, 2011 8:19 AM