.NET AVIcode APM Monitoring in SCOM 2012 RC: Quick Look

This is a little “unboxing” post about .NET AVIcode APM features in SCOM 2012 RC. The RC came out with limited applications support and the backwards-compatible management packs for supporting AVIcode 5.7 templates. This post is about the RC overview and enabling 5.7 support in SCOM upgraded to 2012 RC.

November, 2011 Microsoft announced and released RC of new SCOM 2012. You may try it here:
http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=27974
It comes with a new .NET APM monitoring feature (known previously as AVIcode) integrated into. There were quite a few discussions within the company, so I decided to share my thoughts on .NET APM with you.
SCOM 2012 RC Installation
This is well covered all over the Internet, so I will not spend too much time on this. There is a pretty good description of setup experience in Stephan Koell’s blog on code4ward.net.
SCOM 2012 is very easy to deploy, especially if you had previous experience with SCOM 2007 (I am talking about single-server deployment of course). The good news is that now you can install optional SCOM components, such as Reporting or Audit, using a common wizard. As you remember in 2007 that was done through separate wizard steps.  It’s a trifle, but still is a good improvement; though I assume that’s matter of a habit 😉
.NET AVIcode APM Component
After installing SCOM 2012 RC you can see a familiar templates for .NET AVIcode monitoring configuration on the “Authoring” pane. Nice, right there out of the box. However if you go ahead and try creating an AVIcode MP just as you used to do, you will get no applications discovered.
Well, turns out you still need to get some work done:

  • Import the most recent Microsoft.Windows.InternetInformationServices.2008.mp and Microsoft.Windows.InternetInformationServices.CommonLibrary.mp from the shipment available by the following link:
    http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=9815
  • Import the most recent Microsoft.Windows.Server.2008.Discovery.mp and Microsoft.Windows.Server.Library.mp from the package downloaded by this link:
    http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=9296
  • Import Microsoft.SystemCenter.Apm.Web.IIS7.mp (actually .NET AVIcode APM Component itself) from SCOM 2012 installation path (by default this is: “C:Program FilesSystem Center Operations Manager 2012Server”).
  • Enable and start System Center Management APM service (by default it’s disabled).
  • Restart System Center Management service to initialize discovery and wait a bit. Here it is: now you’ll get your apps discovered.

Note: the .NET AVIcode APM Component is being installed during SCOM Server or SCOM Agent deployment, but is not enabled out-of-box.
After you are done with MP import, you are hopefully able to discover the IIS7 apps and  configure the monitoring. The monitoring configuration did not change much in general. There are some differences under the hood – but this is whole another  story for a different post. Unfortunately we will have to hold it off until official Microsoft docs come out.
What is really noticeable is that SCOM 2012 RC provides only capabilities for IIS7 Web Applications and Web Services monitoring. As you remember AVIcode 5.7 for 2007 R2 could do all that plus IIS6, Windows Services and Executable Applications. Not even to mention the AVIcode-powered management packs, such as Reporting Services, SharePoint, BizTalk… Are they all gone?
I would assume this is only a beta limitation and we will be hoping to see a broader applications support to come with RTM.
SCOM 2012 RC works with AVIcode 5.7
Good news is that Microsoft did not burn all the bridges and maintains the backward compatibility with AVIcode 5.7 in 2012. Therefore if you are not satisfied with the beta capabilities you still have an option to go on with using AVIcode 5.7 with SCOM 2012 just upgraded from 2007.
In the article below we are offered two options:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh543998.aspx
The first option is to migrate to APM monitoring and the second is to use AVIcode 5.7 templates in SCOM upgraded to 2012 version.
So, how is this compatibility achieved?
SCOM 2012 Server/Agent installation/upgrade checks for AVIcode Agent 5.7 on every system where it is being deployed. If Agent 5.7 is found on the server, installer does not deploy new .NET AVIcode APM feature and Health Service will keep on using existing Agent 5.7 instance instead.
Enabling AVIcode 5.7 backwards compatibility
In order to enable compatibility with 5.7 version templates after SCOM upgrade you will have to import two additional MPs from SCOM 2012 shipment (found in “C:Program FilesSystem Center Operations Manager 2012Server”) but not installed by default. These are:

  • AVIcode.DotNet.SystemCenter.Enterprise.Monitoring.mpb
  • AVIcode.DotNet.SystemCenter.Client.Monitoring.mp

The steps are below:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/operationsmgr/archive/2011/10/27/steps-to-import-avicode-5-7-templates-after-upgrading-to-system-center-2012-operations-manager.aspx
Playing with SCOM 2012 and SCOM 2007 R2
Just in case you’d like to appreciate the difference, I created two management packs – one for SCOM 2012 and another for SCOM 2007 R2. Both are using AVIcode technology, first is leveraging new .NET AVIcode APM feature and the second is using AVIcode 5.7. You can download both of them and see the difference for yourself.
Cheers!

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