In this weeks episode of my review of System Center Essentials 2010 (SCE) I want to review the business of customising SCE to monitor the parts of the infrastructure that you are interested in, which is known as authoring. 

Many IT departments these days provide service level agreements to the business areas they support and in order to make this meaningful you need to have an end to end view of the service you are providing.  This might be a web site and application, or something at a lower level like network speed or database access. SCE’s authoring tools allow you to describe these services so that you can monitor them and decide what makes up and error or warning. Authoring builds on the management packs in SCE and the components of these are then exposed for you to customise, much as you can do in System Center Operations Manager (SCOM), and as I have mentioned before SCE actually uses the same management packs. I mention this because you’ll find better documentation on the advanced features of authoring , like modelling distributed Applications in the SCOM books on line (like this).

In my demo video this week I wanted to keep an eye on the reporting services database performance using the provided OLE DB monitoring template..

 

Things to note from this are:

  • You can monitor any OLEdb connection e.g. to Oracle Postgres etc. provided the drivers are installed on the watchers (nominated servers and clients that you nominate to do the monitoring) you nominate in the wizard.
  • Nominating watchers mimics the real world performance your users will see, so you can see what they see and not just the database performance on the server.
  • I created a new management pack of my own called SCE Sunday and I’ll put more stuff in there in my next demo. Many supplied management packs are sealed (locked) so you can’t add content to them and so creating your own pack is a good idea.

Next week I’ll look at more authoring features.

In the meantime, If you want to try SCE yourself it’s included in  the TechNet Subscriptions  here or you can get a time bombed trial version here.