This is the first of a three part blog series highlighting the integration available between System Center Operations Manager 2012 and SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor. This topic was initially mentioned around the timeframe of the Microsoft Management Summit this year – information is available at: http://myitforum.com/myitforumwp/2013/04/09/monitor-the-monitor-alert-on-operations-manager-health/.

I’ve been working with the folks at SolarWinds to provide a win/win between these two products – focusing on the “Monitor the Monitor” question. In many client engagements, the question is raised – “Who is monitoring the monitor solution?” For environments which have both of these products, each product can answer this for the other product. In this three part series I will start off with information on steps involved and what to expect when integrating the SolarWinds management pack for Operations Manager 2012. After that I will discuss the “Monitor the Monitor” solutions available in each of these products to monitor the other product.

 

This blog post will focus on steps required to integrate the SolarWinds management pack and what is available within Operations Manager once these are integrated.  The SolarWinds management pack for Operations Manager 2012 is available for download at https://customerportal.solarwinds.com/Home (you will need a customer ID and password from SolarWinds to download the management pack )

 

Integrating the SolarWinds management pack for Operations Manager 2012

Installation requires your customer number and information or indication that it is an evaluation version of the software. After installation is complete, there is a management pack configuration wizard shown below.

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After this page is an error which is shown below:

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However, after the installation is complete the URL views appear to be working correctly.
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Next we add nodes which will providing information to Operations Manager. For my testing, I chose systems which were not currently monitored by Operations Manager and network devices monitored by SolarWinds in the environment.

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Next you choose the application nodes to monitor…

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And specify the data collection frequency, database changes and change frequency. For my environment set to 5 minutes and Yes to update in OpsMgr 2012 (default as shown below).

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Click finish to complete the configuration.

 

What do we see in Operations Manager after adding the SolarWinds management pack to Operations Manager 2012?

Here’s what we get in the Operations Manager console:

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Management packs:

Four additional management packs appear, each starting with “SolarWinds” which makes them easy to locate.

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Classes added:

Eleven additional classes appear within the management packs (found by searching on SolarWinds since each management pack starts what the naming convention).

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Tasks included:

There are three tasks available within the management pack. The Launch Configuration Wizard task starts the configuration wizard (shown at the start of this blog post):

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There are also tasks to to see interface and node details within the SolarWinds user interface:

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Alerts are shown in the alerts view shown below:

Note: The source of the alerts is the SolarWinds server and indicate conditions such as a component goes to an unhealthy state:
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Distributed Application and Objects available are shown below:

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The SolarWinds entity has the Server Database and the Server Web console:

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These objects are tied together into a sample distributed application below:

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Additionally, objects exist for application such as the Active Directory 2008 R2 – 2012 Services shown below:

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The applications monitored by SolarWinds are available in the Applications view shown below:

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Groups & Reports:

There appear to be no groups added with these management packs, and there are no reports included within this management pack (except the web page view which points to the existing reports in SolarWinds – which is helpful). The management pack does generate alerts and has health state information as shown in the Data Volume by Management Pack report.  Additionally, a significant number of Performance Counters are gathered as shown below: (behind the SQL Server 2008 Monitoring and System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager Reports management packs in my environment)

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Or in the view below which shows performance counters for the LDAP Client Sessions for the two domain controllers that SolarWinds is monitoring and configured to route information into the Operations Manager environment.
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One challenge with this management pack appears to be tracking which performance counters are tied to a system. In the example below, the server name is Cloud-DC04 but the target and path do not include the server name.

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Summary: The installation of the SolarWinds management pack was pretty straightforward and it appears to do a good job integrating information from SolarWinds to Operations Manager. In the next blog post of this series I will look into how SolarWinds can monitor Operations Manager 2012 to assist with answering the “Monitor the Monitor” question.

 

Update from SolarWinds personnel: