Quick Look at System Center Service Provider Foundation Management Pack

Last week the SPF MP for SCOM was released so let’s look on how to install it and configure it.

First we need to install it:

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Then we need to import in SCOM

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After it is imported we need to create account/s. According to the guide you need to create two accounts in SCOM:

  • One account that have access to the SPF database and with access to your VMM;
  • Second account with access to the VMM endpoint in SPF.

As I see it you need only read access for both accounts but in my case I will use one account that have admin rights in SPF database, admin rights in VMM and member of the group that gives permissions to the VMM endpoint.

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Set it to more secure

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Next open the properties of the account in the Distribution tab add all your SPF server(s), VMM server(s) and SQL server(s) where SPF database is:

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In the SCOM console in Profiles section you will see two profiles:

  • Service Provider Foundation Database Account
  • Service Provider Foundation VMM Web Endpoint Account

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To both accounts you need to add the account you’ve just added in SCOM. Of course if you want to go more secure and have two accounts you will add them to the corresponding profile. Also remember to distribute the accounts to the right servers. In my case I am adding to both profiles the same account:

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After that in your Service Provider Foundation State view you should see your SPF servers:

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If you have any alerts for wrong credentials you can reset the monitors and close the alerts. During the import, the creation of the accounts and setting them some alerts might be generated for wrong credentials.

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SCOM APM for Orchestrator, SPF, SMA and WAP

Orchestrator, Service Provider Foundation, Service Management Automation and Windows Azure Pack are all web applications or web services or both. They are all monitored by IIS 8 Management Pack in Operations Manager but that MP can only provide monitoring to certain levels to solve these limitations in SCOM (SP1 and R2 for IIS8) we have Application Performance Monitoring (APM). This blog post does not aim to show you some advanced features in APM but rather to show you how to enable some advanced monitoring for those services. As SMA and WAP are available only in R2 I will use the R2 wave. Let’s start with enabling APM for every service:

Service Provider Foundation

Open SCOM console. Go to Authoring pane. Start Add Monitoring Wizard.

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Select .NET Application Performance Monitoring

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Give a friendly name to the application and create new management pack where the settings for this application will be saved.

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Select Add.

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Click on Search and add the two web service in SPF – VMM and Admin. Click OK.

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It is always a good practice to put Environment.

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Accept the default settings. The idea is to fine tune these settings depending on the performance of the application in your environment. If you have more than one environment (development, test, production and etc.) these settings can be different because some environments will have less resources than other and the application can perform slowly because of that. SPF is only web service and because of that does not have portal so client-side monitoring is not relevant. On summary page click Create and wait until the APM for SPF is created.

And the result is:

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From now on when you have data for a long term period you can fine-tune the APM settings. You can even set exceptions for some methods.

Orchestrator Web Service and Console

Orchestrator has Web Service and Console (Web Application).

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One Web service and Web application (portal) added,

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Orchestrator has web application but do not enable client-side monitoring for now.

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To enable client-side monitoring you need first have to check if the web application could be enabled for this client side monitoring. This is done trough a task Check Client-Side Monitoring Compatibility which is available in Monitoring Pane –> Application Monitoring –> .NET Monitoring –> IIS 8.0 ASP.NET Web Application Inventory View. Select the web application you would like to test and execute the task from the Task pane.

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I’ve enabled the client-side monitoring for the Orchestrator console but even I didn’t received any error in SCOM or on the Orchestrator portal no performance counters were shown from client-side:

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Windows Azure Pack

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You need to add all found Web Applications for Windows Azure Pack:

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I am not using WAP intensively in this environment  so I do not have so much data:

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Because I do not have even database created for WAP you can see the performance exception created for that:

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APM can very useful to public user portal like Tenant Site in WAP:

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Because of that I’ve tried to check if client-side monitoring can be enabled but unfortunately the check returned negative results:

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Service Management Automation

Service Management Automation is part of Orchestrator setup but can be connected to WAP.

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Only one web service is available so no client-side monitoring will be available:

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As a summary I hope this will help you in providing advanced monitoring for these Web Services and Application as they are of the Microsoft Cloud OS and critical for Cloud Providers. What I would like to see in the future instructions or possibility from Microsoft on how to enable client-side monitoring for at least the Tenant Site.

System Center 2012 R2 VHDs Download

Besides downloading ISO files you can also try System Center 2012 R2 by directly downloading VHDs that offer installed Windows Server 2012 R2 and instructions on how to enable System Center 2012 R2. Here is the full download list:

Note: The download requires registration.

Note: Links are now working.

Install All System Center 2012 R2 Preview Components and Windows Azure Pack Preview (Part 5 Service Provider Foundation and Service Reporting)

All Posts:

 

Next on the line is Service Provider Foundation which also part of Orchestrator.

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We have to install some prerequisites:

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We now have the option to generate self-signed certificate trough the installation:

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Usage endpoint now can be installed trough the installer:

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In SPF 2012 R2 there are a lot of more APIs for VMM.

There is another role in the Orchestrator installation media but I hadn’t resources to install it so I will just show you the first installation screens. This new role is Service Reporting which is like a Data Warehouse for hosting providers from which they can get data for billing Tenants. As far as I know it requires Windows Azure Pack to work but there might be a way to use it without it we just have to learn more about this role.

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Small improvements on the installation experience of SPF by adding Usage endpoint installation and generating self-signed certificate.