Operations Manager and SolarWinds: Integrating the SolarWinds management pack for Operations Manager 2012 (#SCOM, #SolarWinds)

This is the first of a three part blog series highlighting the integration available between System Center Operations Manager 2012 and SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor. This topic was initially mentioned around the timeframe of the Microsoft Management Summit this year – information is available at: http://myitforum.com/myitforumwp/2013/04/09/monitor-the-monitor-alert-on-operations-manager-health/.

I’ve been working with the folks at SolarWinds to provide a win/win between these two products – focusing on the “Monitor the Monitor” question. In many client engagements, the question is raised – “Who is monitoring the monitor solution?” For environments which have both of these products, each product can answer this for the other product. In this three part series I will start off with information on steps involved and what to expect when integrating the SolarWinds management pack for Operations Manager 2012. After that I will discuss the “Monitor the Monitor” solutions available in each of these products to monitor the other product.

 

This blog post will focus on steps required to integrate the SolarWinds management pack and what is available within Operations Manager once these are integrated.  The SolarWinds management pack for Operations Manager 2012 is available for download at https://customerportal.solarwinds.com/Home (you will need a customer ID and password from SolarWinds to download the management pack )

 

Integrating the SolarWinds management pack for Operations Manager 2012

Installation requires your customer number and information or indication that it is an evaluation version of the software. After installation is complete, there is a management pack configuration wizard shown below.

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After this page is an error which is shown below:

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However, after the installation is complete the URL views appear to be working correctly.
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Next we add nodes which will providing information to Operations Manager. For my testing, I chose systems which were not currently monitored by Operations Manager and network devices monitored by SolarWinds in the environment.

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Next you choose the application nodes to monitor…

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And specify the data collection frequency, database changes and change frequency. For my environment set to 5 minutes and Yes to update in OpsMgr 2012 (default as shown below).

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Click finish to complete the configuration.

What do we see in Operations Manager after adding the SolarWinds management pack to Operations Manager 2012?

Here’s what we get in the Operations Manager console:

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Management packs:

Four additional management packs appear, each starting with “SolarWinds” which makes them easy to locate.

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Classes added:

Eleven additional classes appear within the management packs (found by searching on SolarWinds since each management pack starts what the naming convention).

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Tasks included:

There are three tasks available within the management pack. The Launch Configuration Wizard task starts the configuration wizard (shown at the start of this blog post):

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There are also tasks to to see interface and node details within the SolarWinds user interface:

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Alerts are shown in the alerts view shown below:

Note: The source of the alerts is the SolarWinds server and indicate conditions such as a component goes to an unhealthy state:
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Distributed Application and Objects available are shown below:

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The SolarWinds entity has the Server Database and the Server Web console:

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These objects are tied together into a sample distributed application below:

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Additionally, objects exist for application such as the Active Directory 2008 R2 – 2012 Services shown below:

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The applications monitored by SolarWinds are available in the Applications view shown below:

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Groups & Reports:

There appear to be no groups added with these management packs, and there are no reports included within this management pack (except the web page view which points to the existing reports in SolarWinds – which is helpful). The management pack does generate alerts and has health state information as shown in the Data Volume by Management Pack report.  Additionally, a significant number of Performance Counters are gathered as shown below: (behind the SQL Server 2008 Monitoring and System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager Reports management packs in my environment)

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Or in the view below which shows performance counters for the LDAP Client Sessions for the two domain controllers that SolarWinds is monitoring and configured to route information into the Operations Manager environment.
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One challenge with this management pack appears to be tracking which performance counters are tied to a system. In the example below, the server name is Cloud-DC04 but the target and path do not include the server name.

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Summary: The installation of the SolarWinds management pack was pretty straightforward and it appears to do a good job integrating information from SolarWinds to Operations Manager. In the next blog post of this series I will look into how SolarWinds can monitor Operations Manager 2012 to assist with answering the “Monitor the Monitor” question.

Update from SolarWinds personnel:

15 thoughts on “Operations Manager and SolarWinds: Integrating the SolarWinds management pack for Operations Manager 2012 (#SCOM, #SolarWinds)

  1. Wilson W.

    So, this MP allows SCOM to monitor the health state of the SolarWinds infrastructure…..I had originally thought that this MP allowed SolarWinds to forward alerts for network devices into SCOM.  Is that a different MP or module that I am thinking of?

     

    Ideally I would love to see an MP that allowed for the forwarding of network device alerts from SolarWinds…..as well as allow SolarWinds-monitored network devices to be modeled in SCOM Distributed Applications.  That would eliminate the need to have SCOM doing duplicate monitoring of devices that are already being monitored by Solarwind.

     

     

     

     

  2. Cameron Fuller Post author

    Hey Wilson, you are correct that this MP does allow OpsMgr to monitor the health state of SolarWinds infrastructure – but that’s stealing from an upcoming blog post so I’ll stop there on that question. This management pack does provide information on the network devices and application health from SolarWinds. SolarWinds network devices do appear within Operations Manager and from looking at the distributed application designer it appears that those network devices are available as objects in the DA – so it should be viable to add network objects from SolarWinds as part of a distributed application. Check back next week for the next blog post on integrating SolarWinds and Operations Manager!

  3. Wilson W.

    That is great news!  If SolarWinds devices can be added to Distributed Applications through this MP, then that eliminates the need to have both SCOM and Solarwinds monitoring the same device.  I am interested in seeing what kind of performance data for those network devices gets populated to SCOM as well.  Looking forward to your additional blog posts on this!

  4. Pingback: Advantages of Solarwinds System Center Management Pack | Anoop's

  5. Jayson

    Question, I’ve installed the SolarWinds MP and seems to be working with no issues. However, my other SCOM 2012 MS server is getting hit repeatedly with Event ID 4508 and 1103. The 4508 Event states:

     

    Loading managed module type in assembly “SolarWinds.Orion.SCOM.DataSources, Culture=””, PublicKeyToken=”e3753070c0e63e97″, Version=”2.1.0.0″” with type name “SolarWinds.Orion.SCOM.DataSources.OrionDataEmitter” failed with error “The module assembly “SolarWinds.Orion.SCOM.DataSources, Culture=””, PublicKeyToken=”e3753070c0e63e97″, Version=”2.1.0.0″” could not be loaded.  The exception was: \nCould not load file or assembly ‘SolarWinds.Orion.SCOM.DataSources, Version=2.1.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=e3753070c0e63e97’ or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified..”.

     

     

    Any ideas why this is only happening on the MS server that the MP wasn’t installed on???

  6. AJones

    I’m getting those same reoccurring events Jayson, but mine happened after I added a new management server to our environment. Solarwinds integration had already been established. I’m only getting those alerts on the new MS too.

    Any luck with it yet?

  7. Cameron Fuller Post author

    I would expect that there is something in the pack which is using a resource pool such as the all management servers resource pool. To avoid these you will likely need to install the program that comes with their pack on each of the management servers. SolarWinds wrote this MP so they would also take comments or feedback on thwack I would expect (http://thwack.solarwinds.com/).

  8. Cameron Fuller Post author

    Tommy, thanks for the heads-up on this change in support. That’s ridiculous but I’ll let my team know that clients with SolarWinds no longer have a supported solution to have their network device information monitored in Operations Manager. That may cause more folks to decide to just use Operations Manager for their network monitoring instead of having the MP in place to route over the information from SolarWinds.

    UPDATE: Per later replies on this post it appears that this IS actually a supported solution. Details on this support are included in later replies to this thread. Thank you to the folks at SolarWinds for their prompt response to this for the community!

  9. Wilson W.

    Wow, what a horrible decision by Solarwinds.

     

    I believe that any network device layer2 or below doesn’t require a SCOM license.  That being the case, that is totally opening the door for SCOM to take over monitoring of those devices from Solarwinds.

     

    As it stands, it looks like I will have SCOM perform duplicate monitoring of only those network devices that I want/need to have modeled in SCOM Distributed Applications.

  10. Pete Zerger

    I can confirm this. I recently had a customer having trouble making this work, and Solarwinds said “sorry, not supported”  and tried to sell them a Solarwinds alternative.

  11. Lawrence Garvin

    Greetings all.

    Tommy/Pete, I’d be interested in any details you can offer me, privately, regarding this conversation you had with support.

    Regarding the question, in general, I can tell you, unequivocally, that the SolarWinds Management Pack is still a fully supported product.

     

     

  12. Jeremy Morrill

    As the SolarWinds Product Manager responsible for the Orion SCOM Management Pack, as well as several other SolarWinds products, I can definitively state the the Orion SCOM Management Pack remains fully supported.

    At no time has our Orion SCOM Management Pack been “unsupported”, though older versions have been deprecated over the years. Version 2.1 is the latest release, which includes the same 24x7x365 telephone, email, and online community support as all other SolarWinds products.

    If for any reason you have in the past, or at any time in the future are told by a SolarWinds support engineer that the Orion SCOM Management Pack is unsupported, please post the full details of your experience, including your case number to the Orion SCOM Management Pack Forum on Thwack. I will follow up with the Support Engineer personally and make them aware of the appropriate escalation path.

    In addition, as a result of this confusion I will be following up with Support Management to ensure each and every SolarWinds Support Engineer is fully aware of the support status of the Orion SCOM Management Pack.

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

     

     

     

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