During sessions that I had at the Midwest Management Summit, I mentioned a challenge related to OMS. The challenge is related to change controls and how OMS handles updates to management packs. In OMS when you add a solution, the management packs which are part of that solution are deployed into your environment. That part makes sense and should work within normal change control requirements. The challenge is that when Microsoft updates its OMS solutions that updates the existing management packs which you have in your environment. Currently this occurs without any form of notification which means that changes are being made without alerting that the change has occurred.

You do not want to be running on older management pack versions especially for OMS! This is a cloud based solution and it is expecting that the systems it is getting data from are providing that data in a consistent method regardless of where the data is coming from. The biggest challenge with this self-updating model is that there is no record of these changes. The sample management pack which I am discussing in this blog post provides a simple method to notify you when OMS based management pack versions are changed in your environment.


Notifying when Advisor MP’s update

To provide an alert for these conditions, the first step to determining how to do so is the management pack names. Currently for OMS related management packs, all management pack names include “System Center Advisor”. [CSF – add a screenshot]

To generate a sample alert, I removed the capacity solution, waited are a few minutes and then I re-added it. The event which was received is shown below (Event 1201 from the HealthService source). It’s important to note that all of the OMS management packs appear to start with “Microsoft.IntelligencePacks.” which we can use as a key word.

To alert on this event we create an event based rule based on the NT Event Log (Alert) as shown below.

The rule should be targeted to management servers as they are the systems which will log this event when it occurs.

To find this condition, we are monitoring the Operations Manager event log.

And we match the event expression shown below (Event ID = 1201, Event Source = HealthService, EventDescription contains Microsoft.IntelligencePacks). [Please note, to make this work better we would want to break the description field into parameters and match the actual parameter. See Kevin Holman’s article at http://blogs.technet.com/b/kevinholman/archive/2008/04/22/using-event-description-as-criteria-for-a-rule.aspx for details.]

Next we configure the alert with an easy to identify alert name, and setting it with a severity of Information.

To make these easy to locate, we create an alert view in the management pack which shows only alerts generated by the rule that we created.

A sample of this view is shown below.

To alert on this condition just create a subscription which sends you a notification when a new alert from this rule occurs. Now at least you are aware when OMS related management packs are changing in your environment.

If you were interested you could also add a rule for when one is removed based upon the event information below (Event 1024 from the source of HealthService which contains Microsoft.IntelligencePacks.).

Summary: This sample solution shows how you can easily leverage Operations Manager to provide a notification when management packs used by solutions are updated by Microsoft as part of OMS. This also shows the tip of the iceberg of how you can use the skills that you have learned in Operations Manager to enhance or subtlety alter behavior of OMS in your environment. This sample management pack is available for download at: https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Notification-for-changed-3c4018b3