QuickTricks: Creating really easy multiple server performance reports & how to create a report for multiple objects when you don’t know what object(s) to choose

I was in a conversation today where there was a question asked for how to generate a performance report for several servers. In this series we discussed steps to generate reports which span servers. For this situation, there is a good pre-existing report “Operating System Performance” which provides a good basic report. It’s not as difficult now to track down the specific objects as some reports are pre-filtered to only show entities which have data with using the filtering options (shown below). If you click on search it shows you the objects which have data for the report.

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However, what if you have a report and it doesn’t have the filter option and you want to still pass over the correct entity? Looking at the report below it states that the data type is “Windows Operating System” and contains “Server 2008”.

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To match this criteria, we can use the monitoring pane / Discovered Inventory. We set the target to the name shown in the report “Windows Operating System” and we can also filter based upon the search object which is specified (in this case “Server 2003″ which is the same report as shown above but for the server 2003 systems).

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I can now highlight the server (only one unfortunately on the Discovered Inventory screen) and run the “Operating System Performance” report which now passes the appropriate parameter to the report.

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Ok, that’s pretty cool. Now I can easily run this report on whatever server I decide that I want and I can also save it out and work with it (sharing it, scheduling it for email delivery etc). However this view only allows me to select one server to run the report for. What about if I want to create the report for multiple servers? I can create a new view which shows these entities as shown below:

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From this I can select multiple servers (as long as they are all the same OS – 2000, 2003 or 2003) and run the report passing it multiple servers (up to 10 in total but it looks like this can be overridden via  registry key – see http://blogs.technet.com/b/operationsmgr/archive/2008/11/11/opsmgr-2007-registry-keys-to-control-the-refresh-of-the-admin-console.aspx in the section labeled Registry Key to control the number of objects to fetch Tasks/Reports). To make sure these are the same OS, sort by the name field and select Operating Systems which are the same.

 The result is a performance report which has a separate page for each of the different servers that I selected!

How about an example of a report which does not have the filtering option available? Let’s take a look at the Active Directory Server Common Library / AD Machine Account Authentication Failures report.

 

The target shown here is “Active Directory Domain Controller Computer Role” which I can cut and paste out of the text in the report. (Hey, it’s even mentioned in the report that you can create a state view or event view with the right type – I guess I should read the text here more often…)

I can paste in the name into my target field (be sure to check View all targets), and see what objects are listed. And once I highlight one of the entities I can now run the report passing the correct parameters to it.

The same concept would work with selecting multiple servers if I create a state view which shows the Active Directory Domain Controller Computer Role (cut and paste works like a champ here as well both to name the state view and to set what data to show).

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Summary: Looking for a quick way to create a performance report which shows a group of servers with one server graph per page? Try using the Operating System Performance report with a view defined to show the “Windows Server Operating System” target. Looking for a quick way to create reports which do not have a filtering option? Try this approach to create a state view for the appropriate entities and then run the report!

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