Once the Management Pack is activated, it is possible to monitor the health of your .NET applications via Microsoft’s System Center Operations Manager 2007. Not only can users can view the current health status of all monitored applications, but they will be alerted to any exceptions or performance degradations from the monitored applications. The following sections detail how to view a monitored application’s health, view the alerts related to an application’s health, and how to view the underlying performance and exception events that comprise an alert.

Each time a monitored .NET application encounters an exception or performance degradation it sends an exception or performance 'event' to System Center Operations Manager 2007. These events provide the basis by which to gauge the overall health (state) of an application as well as alert users to potential .NET application problems.

Viewing the Current Application State

Application 'State' refers to the real-time health of a monitored application. This health can be ascertained by navigating to the 'Distributed Applications' folder under the "Monitoring View" of Operations Manager. The folder lists each monitored .NET application along with an indication of the application’s current state: healthy, warning, or error.

Management Pack Application States

State Description Color
Healthy The application is currently experiencing fewer exceptions and/or performance degradations than the 'warning threshold' specified during monitoring activation. Green
Warning The current number of exceptions and/or performance degradations is exceeding the 'warning threshold' specified during monitoring activation configuration. Yellow
Error The current number of exceptions is exceeding the 'error threshold' specified during monitoring activation configuration. Red

Viewing the Application State Summary

The Application State Summary provides users with an overview of an application's health. From this screen users can drill down to view additional details in order to change application/ transaction SLA’s based on baselines, troubleshoot computer/ application health state, and facilitate the alert resolution process.

Viewing Application Alerts

The Management Pack not only monitors overall application health, but also monitors at the business transaction level. So, in addition to monitoring things like the overall volume of activity on an applications,  you may have, for example, 5 or 10 top business transactions that you would like to monitor.  In this case you would define your own monitoring rules to see the volume of traffic on those transactions or the average overall application response time, and you want to have the ability to define monitors and health rules for those 5 or 10 critical transactions. For each transaction, we can expose the same performance counters as were exposed for the overall application, like average response time or number of events.

'Alerts' warn Operations Manager users of potential issues that occurred within monitored .NET applications. When the Management Pack encounters a new exception or performance degradation an alert is generated. These alerts can be viewed by navigating to the 'Active Alert' folder under the "Monitoring View" of Operations Manager. Alternatively, you can open the 'Alerts View' menu by right-clicking any application in the 'Distributed Applications' view. The folder lists all unresolved alerts along with valuable information related to each issue.

Important Alert Attributes

Attribute Description Values
Path For ASP.NET applications, path = computer name + virtual directory. For executables and windows services,  path = computer name + executable application name  
Source The display name of the application in Operations Manager  
Resolution State Indicates whether the alert has been resolved New or Closed


Created The date/time when the issue first occurred  
Age Time the alert has remained unresolved  

You may view additional information about each alert (including how many events comprise the alert) by right clicking the alert and selecting 'Properties.'

Viewing an Alert's Underlying Performance and Exception Events

Management Pack 'alerts' are comprised of related performance or exception 'events'. When the Management Pack encounters an exception or performance degradation in a monitored .NET application, an event is generated. The event is logged along with detailed information relating to the event’s origin. When grouped together by origin, events are the basis for alerts.

Users can diagnose the cause of an alert by drilling into the Alert’s underlying events. This can be done by navigating to the 'Active Alert' folder under the "Monitoring View" of Operations Manager, right clicking the alert you wish to investigate, and selecting 'Open -> Event View' from the popup window. This will open the 'Event View' window for the alert you are investigating. Another way to view the event details of an alert is to right click the alert, select properties, and then select the 'Alert Context' tab.

The 'Event View' window lists all events related to a particular alert and their corresponding attributes, including:

Important Event Attributes

Attribute Description Values
Level The severity of the event Error or Warning 
Date and Time The date and time of the event  
Resolution State Indicates whether the alert has been resolved New or Closed


Log Name    

In addition to the general event information provided in the Event View listing, the Management Pack also provides a detailed snapshot of the effected machine (taken at the time the event occurred) in the event’s corresponding 'Detail' pane. In the case of an exception event, the 'Detail' pane provides a snapshot of the effected machine’s call stack. In the case of a performance event, the 'Detail' pane provides a top-level snapshot of the performance degradation including all related resource groups and their corresponding execution times. These snapshots provide invaluable clues as to the origins of events and their underlying root causes.

Drilling Further into Performance and Exception Event Details

It is possible to drill further into event details and see actual run-time values and database queries with the Management Pack. It allows you to:

See the chapter 'Operations Event Details' later in this document for more information.

Last update: Monday, November 29, 2010 05:45:54 PM