AVIcode Acquired by #Microsoft

I know it’s a bit late, but Interesting: http://blog.avicode.com/post/2010/10/06/From-the-CEO-AVIcode-Acquired-by-Microsoft.aspx

… It is with great pleasure that I announce AVIcode, Inc. has today been acquired by Microsoft. Both AVIcode and Microsoft share a common vision about the evolution of application performance management and monitoring and the ever- growing need for organizations to gain 360-degree visibility into both application behavior and user experience.

As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Microsoft, AVIcode will continue to support our worldwide base of users. AVIcode will fulfill its commitments to these customers and assist them in the transition to Microsoft’s systems and processes. Moving forward, our customers and the larger application performance management (APM) market will benefit greatly from the strength of the pairing of Operations Manager with AVIcode’s technology. Critical datacenter applications and services will be more reliable and more available than ever before, driving business success and user satisfaction.



AVIcode is the leading provider of application monitoring solutions for the Microsoft .NET Framework. With its award-winning technology and innovative products, AVIcode delivers the industry’s most complete suite of application monitoring solutions used throughout the full application lifecycle.

AVIcode’s products are designed to protect software investments by simplifying maintenance and troubleshooting, dramatically reducing defect resolution time. Its flagship product, Intercept Studio, detects crashes, critical exceptions (both handled and unhandled) and performance degradations of production applications. These runtime event details and associated root cause information are collected immediately and presented to the personnel responsible for the health and management of production applications.

System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 Documentation

Documentation updated to 1.0 (Date Published: 6/25/2009)

Source: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=19bd0eb5-7ca0-41be-8c0f-2d95fe7ec636#tm

The Operations Manager 2007 R2 technical documentation helps you plan, deploy, operate, and maintain Operations Manager 2007 R2. For information about the specific guides available in the library, see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/opsmgr/bb498235.aspx.

  • Linked.Reporting.MP.xml [8 KB]
  • OM2007_AuthGuideXplat.exe [117 KB]
  • OM2007_ReportAuthoringGuide.docx [238 KB]
  • OM2007R2_CrossPlatformMPAuthoringGuide.docx [107 KB]
  • OM2007R2_DeploymentGuide.docx [398 KB]
  • OM2007R2_DesignGuide.docx [104 KB]
  • OM2007R2_MPAuthoringGuide.docx [1004 KB]
  • OM2007R2_MPModuleReference.docx [263 KB]
  • OM2007R2_OperationsAdministratorsGuide.docx [243 KB]
  • OM2007R2_OperationsUsersGuide.docx [307 KB]
  • OM2007R2_SecurityGuide.docx [173 KB]
  • OM2007R2_UpgradeGuide.docx [135 KB]

Service Level Dashboard 2.0 for System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2

Sweet ..

Source: http://blogs.technet.com/momteam/archive/2009/05/26/service-level-dashboard-2-0-for-system-center-operations-manager-2007-r2-released.aspx

The Service Level Dashboard Management Pack 2.0 for System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 assists you in tracking, managing, and reporting on your line-of-business (LOB) application service levels. It displays a list of applications and their performance and availability against service level goals

Microsoft Network Monitor 3.3

Source: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=983b941d-06cb-4658-b7f6-3088333d062f

Version: 3.3 1641
Date Published: 4/21/2009

Network Monitor 3.3 is a protocol analyzer. It allows you to capture network traffic, view and analyze it. Version 3.3 is an update and replaces Network Monitor 3.2. Network Monitor 3.x is a complete overhaul of the previous Network Monitor 2.x version.

Get-AllQueuesGUI.ps1 v1.5 [24 October 2008]

A while back I posted this , but to have something more “in your face” I put a GUI around it, and this is the latest version.

The script enumerates all messaging queue and displays it in a GUI. The GUI then refreshes every 10 seconds.
THE GUI has four tabs:

  1. Queue
    Display the current queue
  2. Message
    Displays messages in the queue
  3. Top 5 Q’s
    This displays a “progress bar” of how big the queue actually is
  4. About
    Information about the script and options to change the refresh time, logging and output a graph to PowerGadgets

Queue Tab
This tab list all of the current message queues.  It uses Get-TransportServer | get-queue  | Sort MessageCount -descending

  • Server Name drop down box
    Allows you to select an individual server
  • Refresh button
    Refreshes the data
  • Resume Q Button
    While clicking on a queue, this button will issue a Resume-Queue -Identity
  • Suspend Q Button
    While clicking on a queue, this button will issue a Suspend-Queue -Identity -confirm:$False
  • Retry Q Button
    While clicking on a queue, this button will issue a Retry-Queue -Identity
  • Main Grid
    If you double click on a queue, information about the queue will appear in a popup box

Message Tab
This tab shows the messages in the queue.  If you selected a particular server on the Queue tab, it will only show the messages for that server

  • Suspend Msg Button
    While clicking on a message, this button will issue a Suspend-Message -Identity -confirm:$False
  • Resume Msg Button
    While clicking on a message, this button will issue a Resume-Message -Identity
  • Remove Msg Button
    While clicking on a message, this button will issue a Remove-Queue -Identity -withNDR $True -confirm:$False
  • Main Grid
    If you double click on a message, information about the selected message will appear in a popup box

Top 5 Q’s Tab
This tab will list up to, the top 5 queues.  It is very very basic, but a start

About Tab
The About tab details about the script and provides options for logging, changing the update interval and outputting the script using PowerGadgets.

  • Log Stats
    When checked the queue information will be logged in a csv file when the queue count is greater than 0.  If unchecked, it will not be logged.
    You can also select the log path
  • Enable Verbose Logging
    When checked $debugpreference is set to “Continue”.  When not checked it is set to “SilentlyContinue”
  • Output to PowerGadgets
    This will output the Queue Identity and Message Count to a PowerGadgets graph
  • Maximum Graph Size
    This is the scale of graph that appears on the Top 5 Q’s tab
  • Refresh Interval
    Default is every 10 seconds.  It can be changed here.  You need to click update for this to take affect

Command Line
You can also specify the options using the command line

    Disable verbose logging
  • -REFRESH  
    Refresh interval in seconds
    Maximum value for progress graph
  • -NOLOG 
    Do not log data
  • -LOGPATH  
    Log Path in quotes

Check it out and let me know what you think


Two Exchange Server Tools You Should Know About

Christophe sent me a link to this .. a couple of new tools I have not played with ;-)

Source: http://windowsitpro.com/article/articleid/100132/two-exchange-server-tools-you-should-know-about.html

One of the great things about working with Exchange Server is the wealth of available support tools. For virtually every area of administration or management, you can find tools—some commercial, and some free; some from Microsoft, some from third party vendors—that make your life easier

The first tool is the Performance Analysis of Logs (PAL) tool

The second tool .. is a set of tools and associated processes for figuring out what’s happening on an Exchange server given a set of transaction log files

Monitoring Without System Center Operations Manager

Interesting topic on Technet

Source: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc671175(EXCHG.80).aspx

This topic provides guidance about the most useful performance counters to monitor that are common among all Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 server roles. When monitoring Exchange 2007 servers, you should know which performance aspects are most important. The common counters and threshold values detailed in this topic can be used to proactively identify potential issues and help identify the root cause of issues when troubleshooting.

8th July 2008: Microsoft Messaging & Mobility User Group UK Gathering

Okay so Tuesday and a bunch of us headed to Microsoft’s office in Victoria to hear from Gordon McKenna talk about Managing and Monitoring Exchange using SCOM 2007.  Here are my notes from the event … hopefully its not to disjoined ;-)

So eight of us joined Gordon who is actually a Windows Management MVP. Check out the Windows Management User Group: http://wmug.co.uk/

So let the writing of the rambings being …

With MOM 2005, the product groups wrote the management pack. In some cases, this is true, especially for Exchange, but not for other applications. In SCOM, the MOM team are writing the management pack

Two types of Management Packs exist:
Converted: MOM management packs that are converted from MOM to SCOM
Native: Properly built from the ground up especially for that product

If you are using  MOM with the Exchange 2003 MP, make sure you have downloaded and installed the Exchange MP Config wizard.  This will enable you to take advantage of the MOM Synthetic Transactions.

The Synthetic Transactions, once configured, will allow you test mail flow between servers and storage groups.  Another test is MOM will perform MAPI logons to the exchange server, to track client logon information & latency.

The Exchange MP config wizard will also allow you monitor Exchange 2003 Front End services (OWA, OMA, Exchange Active Sync).

What is interesting, is that the MOM data warehouse actually has a whole load of data in it, that is not used by all the standard reports. … but you can access it, if you know how ;-)

Gordon mention the Windows Mobile Device Manager .. It has the ability to monitor Windows Mobile devices.

SCOM SP1 is really a requirement if you are thinking about installing SCOM.  SCOM provides “service/components” and not just server management of Exchange.  The Exchange 2007 Management Pack is the largest MP for SCOM.

There will be an “out of the box” connector for Remedy that is due with SCOM SP2

So, the SCOM console was kinda designed to look like outlook, which you either love or hate.  You can get the latest Exchange 2007 MP from here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=1A83E112-8677-4E03-83C3-F1B7EBFC3A4B&displaylang=en&displaylang=en. When you download this, install it and look at the OM2007_MP_EX2007.doc.  It has a wealth of knowledge in it.

In SCOM the management packs are sealed, and the only way to make changes is to use “overrides”.  Check this out it is damm good! Gordon recommended that you always create an “override” management pack, and do any customisation to this override group. That way if an MP is upgraded you wont loose (in theory) any custom changes.

Gordon recommended creating a “Closed Alerts” view as SCOM will auto close alerts if they exceed a threshold, and then go below the threshold.  This is cool, but you might want to see them, hence the need for this view.

OWA Monitoring with SCOM doesn’t work too well, but the built in Web Application recording facility in SCOM is a better way to monitor OWA in SCOM.

Some other stuff:

  • You should run the script New-TestCasConnectivityUser.ps1 in the Exchange Server 2007 to create the test mailbox for MOM/SCOM. Run it in the Scripts folder under the Exchange Server 2007 installation directory. You will need to run  this on each mailbox server you have.
  • A Monitor rule has a “Before and After” condition.  This will set an alert (go red) and have the ability to clear (go green)
  • A Rule is as simple as picking an event
  • SCOM has 3 type of notifications: SMTP, SMS text (built in GSM interface, all you need is a GSM modem to hang off the server), IM / OCS.
  • Priority: High, Medium, Low.  Can be used to monitor the same alerts for different types of servers like production and test servers, and works well with overrides
  • Create a group for production & uat servers
  • You should create a Distribute Applications View for Exchange.
  • It is now possible to put components into maintenance mode as well as a server.  To completely put a server into maintenance mode you will still get heartbeat alerts, and need to put another two components into maintenance mode too.
  • 75% of the SCOM SDK is in the UI.  So 25% is only available via Windows Powershell.
  • Availability reporting is now out of the box and you can report on application availability.  You can also select business hours!  You can drill down in the report too!
  • The size of the Data warehouse SQL database will now be 2 thirds smaller than MOM due to the way SCOM aggregates data and only collects changes in counters.
  • With MOM the data warehouse was written to once a day.  With SCOM it is written to all the time and is up to the minute!
  • Gordon helped develop a Service Level Dashboard that can report SLA information for applications. This is coming soon!

There are some bugs in the SCOM, that are resolved with the Exchange 2007 MP Version 6.0.6278.12 and these KBs: 950853, 951979, 951380.  Basically this is all to do with the way SCOM agent interfaces with some of the exchange powershell commands causes a memory link in the SCOM agent that causes the agent to fail.

This is a handy link to a post that explains how to setup Exchange 2007 MOM Monitoring

Gordon’s Tip on the first things to do when you walk into a preinstalled SCOM environment:

  • Go into SCOM, Reporting and run “Most Common Alerts”.  This will give you the most common alerts for the last 24 hours for each management pack.

Enjoy .. Any comments or bit I have wrong, please comment

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Management Pack for Systen Center Operations Manager 2007

Looks like an update over the weekend, but no details on what has been updated!

Source: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=1A83E112-8677-4E03-83C3-F1B7EBFC3A4B&displaylang=en

The Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 management pack is designed to be used for monitoring Exchange 2007 events, collecting Exchange component-specific performance counters in one central location, and for raising alerts for operator intervention as necessary. By detecting, sending alerts, and automatically responding to critical events, this management pack helps indicate, correct, and prevent possible service outages or configuration problems, allowing you to proactively manage Exchange servers and identify issues before they become critical. The management pack monitors and provides alerts for automatic notification of events indicating service outages, performance degradation, health monitoring, and centralized management.

This Management Pack requires Operations Manager 2007 Service Pack 1.

This Management Pack requires the Operations Manager 2007 updates specified in Knowledge Base articles 950853, 951979 and 951380 (see the Management Pack Guide for details).

Release History:
10/9/2007 – Initial Release, version 6.0.5000.0
6/22/2007 – Updated Release, version 6.0.6278.12