Which is the best synthetic web transaction to use in Operations Manager for my requirements? (#SCOM, #SYSCTR)

Good news: Today in Operations Manager 2012 with SP1 we have a variety of web synthetic transactions which are available!

Bad news: Today in Operations Manager 2012 with SP1 we have a variety of web synthetic transactions which are available!

So how do we know which one to use and what to use it for? For starters, the list below discusses the three built-in options to perform synthetic web transactions and when they were introduced:

  • In Operations Manager 2007 we had a single type of synthetic web transaction – this existing synthetic web transaction was carried over to Operations Manager 2012 but it was renamed to “Web Application Transaction Monitoring”.
  • Operations Manager 2012 added the “Web Application Availability Monitoring” synthetic transaction.
  • With the release of System Center 2012 SP1 the “Visual Studio Web Test Monitoring” synthetic transaction was added as part of Global Service Monitoring.

Each of these three options is shown below in the authoring pane within the Management Pack Templates section of the Operations Manager console:

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Let’s start with the highlights of what each of these synthetic transactions can and cannot do. Use the matrix below to determine which of the three synthetic web transactions best meets your requirements.

  Authentication Internal Tests External Tests Multi-Step Highly Scalable

Web Application Transaction Monitoring

Yes Yes No Yes No
Web Application Availability Monitoring No Yes Yes No Yes
Visual Studio Web Test Monitoring No No Yes Yes Probably

 

Details on each of these items and what they indicate are shown below:

Authentication: Web application transaction monitoring supports using run-as accounts which can be used to authentication to websites.

Internal Tests: Indicates that web tests can be done from existing Operations Manager agents as watcher nodes.

External Tests: Indicates that web tests can be done from non-Operations Manager agents such as the Windows Azure datacenter locations.

Multi-Step: Allows multiple steps to be executed on a single test to provide more in-depth monitoring than just opening the webpage specified.

Highly scalable: The web application transaction monitoring synthetic is what was used to provide scalability numbers for URL testing in Operations Manager. It is designed to be highly scalable.

 

Example #1: I need a synthetic web transaction for a website that I secure using active directory accounts.

Recommended approach: Use the web application transaction monitoring option due to the requirement to authenticate to access the website.

 

Example #2: I need to test the availability of my publicly available website which does not require me to authenticate to access.

Recommended approach: Use the web application availability monitoring to test my site both externally and internally.

One thought on “Which is the best synthetic web transaction to use in Operations Manager for my requirements? (#SCOM, #SYSCTR)

  1. Pingback: Configuring Global Service Monitor for SCOM | Richard J Green

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