Creating Useful Custom Reports in OpsMgr: Gathering Custom Performance Counters

This is the first blog post in a six part series which is designed to show the steps required throughout the process – from gathering your own performance counters, to designing simple custom reports to making them available in an environment. I decided to write this process up in detail with examples to show that it as not as difficult as it may seem. When I first started working with reports the idea of creating my own counters and reports for scheduled delivery seemed complex and non-intuitive. But after spending some time with it now it makes a lot more sense to me so hopefully this will help others to more fully embrace the reporting system within OpsMgr!

Part 1 – Gathering Custom Performance Counters in OpsMgr

Part 2 – How to create a free disk space report

Part 3 – How to create a processor utilization report for a group of servers

Part 4 – How to create a custom performance counters report for a group of servers

Part 5 – How to make my custom report publicly available

Part 6 – How to schedule my custom report for delivery

 

Part 1 – Gathering your own performance counters for later use in Operations Manager reporting.

How to gather my own custom performance counters for use in reports

1. In the Operations Manager console / Authoring / Management Pack Objects / Rules section, create a rule of type Collection Rules / Performance Based / Windows Performance and store it in the appropriate management pack (not the default management pack).

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2. Provide a rule name and description which will be easy to locate and include the company name such as “Odyssey Web Counter” (preferably include something about what type of a web counter such as “Odyssey Web Counter for Request Execution Time”. Set the rule category to “Performance Collection”. Set the rule target to “Windows Server Operating System” and disable the rule.

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3. Browse to the remote computer and identify the appropriate performance counter, object and instance. Set the appropriate interval to sample the counter (15 minutes is the default).

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4. Choose the appropriate optimization for your rule (for details on what optimization is see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff730695.aspx) and create the rule.

5. Create an override to enable the rule for the group which require I (to find the rule, type in the name of the rule or the name of the management pack that your stored the rule in within the “look for” field).

6. In the Operations Manager console / Monitoring / Windows Computers. Find a computer from the group right-click and open the performance view.

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7. Use the “Items by text search” option and search on the performance counter name (initially nothing should appear).

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8. Wait until you can find the performance counter from the computer which it was created on (this may take a little while depending upon when the override was created to enable the rule and how frequently the rule was configured to sample the performance counter – in my environment I set it to sample every 5 minutes and it appeared as a counter in about 10 minutes).

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9. Check the option to show the performance counter and soon after the next sample interval it should begin displaying data. Verify the performance is being retrieved over time (which is slightly more fun than watching paint dry – but that may vary depending upon how much ventilation you have in the area when painting).

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This same process can be repeated multiple times to gather multiple performance counters which are used in later custom reports. In the next blog article we will revisit a topic I wrote on a while back: How to create a simple free disk space report – which I will post as a version revised for OpsMgr R2.

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