The Consolidator is part of the Business Logic layer. The Consolidator is a service that runs on a select number of computers in a configuration group. A Consolidator provides Consolidator functionality, acts as an agent on the Consolidator computer, and provides Agent Manager functionality.
The following figure illustrates the functions of a Consolidator.
Consolidators receive collected information from agents. Consolidators perform central actions specified by processing rules, such as running a script or a batch file or notifying an operator of a detected condition. Consolidators also send information to the Data Access Server (DAS).
If a change occurs to a processing rule that applies to an agent on a computer in the Managed Computers list, the Consolidator ensures that the latest processing rules reach the agent. The Consolidator sends these processing rules to agents when the agent is installed and whenever the rules change. You can configure how often Consolidators poll for rule changes.
Consolidators can forward alerts to another configuration group. For more information about alert forwarding, see Understanding Alert Forwarding.
A Consolidator acts as an agent on the computer on which it is installed. The Consolidator performs all the actions that agents perform on remote computers. Since the Consolidator provides the same services as an agent, Microsoft Operations Manager 2000 (MOM) does not install separate agents on Consolidator computers.
The Consolidator includes an associated Agent Manager. The Agent Manager is responsible for installing and configuring agents on all the computers defined in its Managed Computer rule.
You can use wildcards and regular expressions to define the Managed Computer rule. The Managed Computers list, the result of the Managed Computer rule, is a dynamic list of computers that can change as you add, remove, and change computers in your enterprise. You can create and modify the Managed Computer rule using the MOM Administrator Console.
Periodically, the Agent Manager scans for any change in the computers that match the Managed Computer rule. The Agent Manager then installs, uninstalls, and reconfigures agents on computers in the Managed Computers list as necessary. The Agent Manager can perform these functions automatically, or only after your approval. The Agent Manager will install an agent on a computer only if that computer belongs to a computer group.
Configuration groups can contain more than one Consolidator. Having more than one Consolidator in a configuration group might be necessary for the following reasons:
For more information about multiple Consolidators, see the Installation Guide.
If you want to ease the load on a Consolidator by having different sets of agents report to different Consolidators, you can install multiple Consolidators in a configuration group for scalability.
You can include a subset of the monitored computers in the configuration group in the Managed Computers list of one Consolidator, and another subset of the monitored computers in the Managed Computers list of another Consolidator. By configuring multiple Consolidators in a single configuration group, you spread the load among multiple computers.
Multiple Consolidators for scalability are also redundant.
MOM can provide Consolidator redundancy in configuration groups, which ensures that data is placed in the database even if a Consolidator is unavailable for some reason. Consolidators are redundant if they are in the same configuration group, connect to the same database, and use the same service account. If a Consolidator is unavailable, agents that typically send data through that Consolidator to the DAS can send data to a redundant Consolidator. Consolidators using different service accounts, that is, within different security partitions, are not redundant.
Multiple Consolidators for scalability are not simply inactive until another Consolidator becomes unavailable. Each Consolidator can manage its own agents and serve as a redundant Consolidator when necessary. If you configure a Consolidator and associated Agent Manager with no managed computer rules, then that Consolidator is inactive until another Consolidator becomes unavailable.
When an Agent Manager installs an agent on a computer, it identifies its associated Consolidator as the primary Consolidator for that agent.
Agents send periodic heartbeats to their primary Consolidator to report on the availability of the agent computer. In response to an agent heartbeat, the Consolidator sends the agent updated rules.
If an agent does not receive a response when it sends a heartbeat to its primary Consolidator, it connects to a redundant Consolidator. After being connected to the redundant Consolidator for 60 seconds, the agent tries its primary Consolidator. The agent keeps retrying its primary Consolidator at specified time intervals. Once the primary Consolidator computer becomes available again, the agent detects it and restores communication.
The MOM Management Pack module contains processing rules that generate alerts when a Consolidator is unavailable, and a redundant Consolidator takes over.
For more information about configuring MOM for redundancy, see the Installation Guide.
If you want a configuration group to monitor computers in different Windows 2000 domains and you do not want the domains to share a common service account, you can install multiple Consolidators for security partitions.
A Consolidator must log on to Windows 2000 using a service account with Administrator privileges on all computers in its Managed Computers list. It must have sufficient privileges to install and uninstall agents. If you want a configuration group to include agents in different Windows 2000 domains and you do not want the domains to share a common service account, you can configure a separate Consolidator for the agents in each domain. Each Consolidator will log on using a service account with Administrator privileges for the computers in one domain.
We recommend that your enterprise configuration install a separate Consolidator to monitor only the Microsoft Exchange Servers. For MOM to properly monitor the Microsoft Exchange Server, the Consolidator must log on to Windows 2000 using an Exchange Administrator account.
This separate Consolidator for Exchange servers allows the agents on the Exchange servers to log on with user accounts, which is a MAPI requirement. The rest of the agents in your enterprise can run as Local System accounts.
Security partitions provide you with greater security and flexibility when designing configuration groups. You can design a configuration group that includes agents from many different domains without having one service account with Administrator privileges in all domains.
The following figure illustrates how multiple Consolidators for security partitions work.
MOM can monitor computers outside a firewall. To monitor computers outside a firewall, you must manually install agents on the computers you want to manage that are outside your internal network. For more information about configuring MOM to monitor computers outside a firewall, see the Installation Guide.