While mapping out a distributed application a dependency upon specific file share on a file server was identified as a critical piece of the design. I was aware of two options for this:
1) Using the community “File System Management Pack” available on System Center Central at: http://www.systemcentercentral.com/PackCatalog/PackCatalogDetails/tabid/145/IndexID/13064/Default.aspx. In this case it was a single server and file share which we wanted to monitor so we were looking to avoid integrating an additional management pack if we could. However, this option is still the most comprehensive solution available that I am aware of.
2) Monitoring the server itself as part of the distributed application. The problem with this approach is that while it integrates the health of the file server it also monitors pieces which would not be relevant to the distributed application and it doesn’t specifically monitor that the required share is functional.
During a follow-up conversation a third option was presented which I had not considered:
Using a TCP Port monitor on port 135 to the file server. The application server which needed to access the file server can function as the watcher node (as long as it has an OpsMgr agent), and this can easily be added into a distributed application. Granted this would not catch if the file share itself had been deactivated but it would determine if share level connectivity to the server was not functional.
Summary: Want a quick way to monitor the availability of a file server? One option to consider is a TCP Port monitor using port 135.