Normally I don’t blog on updated versions of management packs (the only notable exception is the By Example series which discusses how to install, configure and tune management packs). However, the updated OpsMgr management pack implements some solid enhancements which may be overlooked because they don’t stand out at first glance.

In terms of installation, the updated MP was available from the catalog and imported without issue as shown below.

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There is new functionality in this version of the management pack in the areas of new reports, monitors and performance counters.

New reports:

There is a new ODR report called “Alerts Per Day” shown below. ODR reporting is an important but commonly overlooked function within Operations Manager. One of the OpsMgr team is currently working on a blog entry which will better explain what ODR is, what it does and the benefits for activating it.

ODR Report

New ODR report

Additionally, there are new reports which are available as part of the System Center Core Monitoring. These are the Data Volume by Management pack and Data Volume by Workflow and Instance reports shown below.

New reports03

New reports01

New reports04 

New monitors:

Several new monitors were added including one that checks for the agent version (i386, amd64 as an example) and compatibility of the version for the Operating System (i386, amd64, etc) as shown below.

New Monitor01

Also, a monitor was added to provide notification if the agent version number installed is older than the expected agent version number.

New monitor02

New performance counters:

A new performance counter was added which tracks the total agent processor utilization for all OpsMgr services (health service, monitoring hosts, cscripts, powershell). This counter will help greatly to identify the total impact of the deployment of an OpsMgr agent.

There is a default view for this shown below.

Agent Performance - built in view

I also created a custom one to show just this counter (my Agent Processor Utilization numbers may be higher than in a production environment because I’m running several virtuals on a single laptop environment).

Agent Processor Counter - cleaner 

Overall, there’s some pretty cool new stuff in here! The actual management pack is available for download at: http://pinpoint.microsoft.com/en-US/PartnerDetails.aspx?PartnerId=4297702754&ProductId=12884901986&CurrentTab=1 and the guide is available here.

An excerpt from the Management Pack guide follows which details the full set of changes in this MP.

Changes in This Update

Version 6.1.7599.0 of the Operations Manager Management Pack for Operations Manager 2007 R2 includes the following changes:

Added functionality that monitors data volume by management pack, workflow, and instance. For details, see the “Monitoring data volume” scenario in Key Monitoring Scenarios.

Added monitoring of agent version and compatibility of agent and operating system. For details, see the “Monitoring agent version and architecture mismatch” scenario in Key Monitoring Scenarios.

Added monitoring of CPU use by agents and related processes . For details, see the “Monitoring CPU utilization” scenario in Key Monitoring Scenarios.

This release of the Operations Manager Management Pack also includes an updated version of the Operational Data Reports Management Pack, which is installed with Operations Manager. The Operational Data Reporting Management Pack gathers information and sends reports to Microsoft on a weekly basis (if you select to send reports). Microsoft uses these reports to improve the quality of its management packs and Operations Manager 2007. Participation in the program is strictly voluntary. For more information, see Appendix: Operational Data Reporting Management Pack.

Added or updated product knowledge, descriptions, display names, and alert details.

Changed the Critical Parameter Replacement Failure During Alert Creation rule to disabled by default because is not actionable; review the product knowledge before enabling this rule.

Updated criteria to only show active alerts in the “AD based Agent Assignment Module Alerts” view, which is part of the “AD-based Agent Assignment Module Events Dashboard” view.

Aligned monitor states with alert severity for following monitors:

  • Run As Account/Password Expiration Check
  • Alert Subscription Acknowledgement Running Slow
  • Alert Subscription Query Performance Monitor
  • Processing Backlogged Events Taking a Long Time
  • Communication Certificate Expiration Check

Enabled auto-resolution for the Run As Account/Password Expiration Check monitor.

All monitors have been made public so users can add custom diagnostics and recoveries.

Updated the Collects Opsmgr SDK Service\Client Connections rule to sample data every 900 seconds (previously was 300 seconds).

Changed the interval for Sql Broker Availability Monitor Type from 10 seconds to 3600 seconds.

Renamed the "Health Service Configuration" view folder to "Run As Configuration" to more accurately reflect the folder’s new (revised) purpose.

Disabled the following event collection rules and removed the associated views because they caused a large amount of data collection that was of limited use to customers:

  • Collect Health Service Configuration Updated Events
  • Collect Management Configuration Service Configuration Updated Events
  • Collect Run As Account Failure Events
  • Collect IIS Discovery Probe Module Events

Tuned alert suppression for following rules to reduce alert volumes:

  • Scheduler Condition Module Initialization Failure
  • Scheduler Data Source Module Initialization Failure
  • Timer Condition Module Initialization Failure

fixed bug with the Run As Account(s) Expiring Soon monitor that was preventing state changes and causing event 11903.

UPDATE: Ake has done a really good writeup on what ODR is and why it’s relevant and should be turned on in your environments. It will benefit your organization through getting feedback to the developers about how the management packs are working in the field. Ake’s post is available at: http://blogs.technet.com/momteam/archive/2010/03/15/help-us-help-you-operational-data-reporting.aspx