Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Exchange 2010 Management Pack for SCOM

In April 2011 Microsoft released an updated management pack for System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) and Exchange Server 2010. The new version of the management pack is designed for Exchange 2010 SP1 and should be implemented by anyone monitoring Exchange Server 2010 SP1.

The installation of the management pack is fairly well documented, but for some reason I found it difficult to pull out the information that was relevant to me. So, here is my summary of important points for implementing the Exchange Server 2010 Monitoring Management Pack (http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=692)
  • SCOM 2007 R2 should be at minimum cumulative update 1 (KB974144) . There is a different patch level for SCOM 2007 SP1 (KB971541).
  • The SCOM agent installed on the Exchange servers should be at minimum rollup update 1.
  • SCOM agents need on the Exchange servers need to have the Agent Proxy enabled on the Exchange servers will not be discovered properly.
  • The management pack is distributed as an MSI file. When you run the MSI file, it installs the correlation engine and unpacks the management pack files that need to be imported into SCOM (C:\Program Files\System Center Management Packs). This should be done on the root management server.
  • There are 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the management pack. You should use the appropriate version based on the version of Windows that you are running.
  • The documentation of the previous version of this management pack referenced preventing Exchange 2010 DAG members from being monitored as a cluster. This was not required at that time and the reference has been removed from the documentation in this version.
  • The management pack runs many TEST-* cmdlets as part of monitoring Exchange 2010. Some of these will fail if test mailboxes have not been created by running New-TestCasConnectivityUser.ps1. This should be done for each Active Directory site you want to monitor.
  • You cannot override alerts generated by this management pack. You must use the health explorer to identify the monitor that is causing the alert and override the monitor. Generally you should override only for specific servers or groups rather than disabling the monitor.
  • A new monitor is created that monitors the version of SCOM agent for all servers. This monitor identifies any server that does not have the minimum version of SCOM agent required by the management pack and generates an alert. It is preferred to update the SCOM agent on all servers to prevent this from happening. However, you can also modify the monitor to apply only to Exchange servers as per this blog posting: http://anandthearchitect.wordpress.com/2011/04/02/scom-critical-hotfixes-required-for-reliable-operation-of-the-exchange-server-2010alerts-on-wrong-servers/.
*As a note, I'm told that the product group for Operations Manager hate the acronym SCOM, but for some reason I can't help myself.

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