If you’ve ever had a well-planned Operations Manager tuning session end in frustration, you are not alone. With everyone in IT seemingly always short on time, scheduling a meeting with multiple teams can kick-off things with some tension, and the process of walking through overrides hasn’t even started.
There are useful resources available, depending on what pack your installing and tuning. For packs with an MP Guide, it’s an excellent place to start, and a search of your favorite blogs can turn up some suggestions or guidance too. When I was tuning the environments I managed, these did come in handy. However, the lack of consistency in available documentation and its depth was always a hurdle.
We needed a more human-friendly way to work with overrides, something a simple as a list could increase efficiency.
The more time I spend meeting with the SME, (Subject Matter Expert) the more value the team would expect from monitoring, which I’ll admit is pretty fair. In a perfect
A history lesson
After this initial vision, I set to work. Cookery based puns aside, a handful of script revisions later, that’s about what we had created. After running the script against one or more management packs you’d get an Excel file and the conversation would loosely follow the below:
- For monitoring IIS Web Server instances this is what we have available
- From the Excel file, I read the name and description of the Rule or Monitor
- Is this useful to your team?
- Which groups of servers should have it enabled?
- After answering questions, if any, I drop their answers into the Excel sheet as comma separated group names (in the enable category)
- For other parameters, most commonly interval and threshold, the following rows in Excel would let us repeat step 2
- Does running this every 5 minutes work for you?
- The default alert is where they are more than 100 units, does this work for our environment?
- Repeat for the remainder of the spreadsheet, and
The process isn’t quick and easy, or just a few clicks and you are done, but that’s not what I was going for. With very minimal delay the SME and I could go through the available monitoring in a consistent format, at a reasonable pace. There wasn’t time wasted trying to move around the console, answer questions, or get things applied.
After a few dozen of these meeting, most of which went very well, we created a second PowerShell script. The second script didn’t do much for the SMEs, but I thought it was fantastic! PowerShell accepts the *.xls file as an input, runs for a while working hard, then spits out an override management pack, success!
This was the process that I’d worked out over a couple years, and I’d wager there are a couple other great methods out there. Tweet us @team_cookdown if you’d like to share yours, we’re always looking to follow others with new ideas and suggestions, and love a good SCOM story.