System Center Global Service Monitor: Installation Step-by-step

July 11, 2013 at 3:57 pm in Operations Manager by Christopher Keyaert

Hi Everyone,

As I’m currently rebuilding my lab with the R2 preview releases of System Center and Windows Server, I decided to write something about System Center Global Service Monitor.

What is System Center Global Service Monitor?

Global Service Monitor reports on availability, performance, and function of web applications by scheduling and executing synthetic transactions against the application from Windows Azure.
In other words, GSM (Global Server Monitor) will use Microsoft servers hosted in Azure to test the availability of your website from different part of the world. The best part is that GSM is fully integrated with System Center Operations Manager.

How to get GSM?

GSM is free only if you have subscribed to the Microsoft Software Assurance.
Now if you don’t have a SA, you could still test GSM with the 90 days Trial. For that, go on the official website of Global Service Monitor

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/system-center/global-service-monitor.aspx

On the right, you could see Sign Up for Free Trial

Once your trail activated, you need to download the Management packs :
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36422

How to install GSM on Operations Manager?

The GSM management packs have three prerequisites:

  • The installation of the Alert Attachment Management Pack
  • The installation of the Windows Identity Foundation feature
  • The Management Servers need to have internet access

Alert Attachment Management Pack

You first need to install the Alert Attachment Management pack (Microsoft.SystemCenter.AlertAttachment.mpb)
Microsoft published a great post, with some print screens, about the installation of this MP. I invite you to read it carefully :
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj899889.aspx

Windows Identity Foundation feature

On the management server that you will use to configure GSM, install the Windows Identity Foundation Features from Server Manager.
Nothing special, just a next next setup.

Management Servers need internet access

As GSM is using Windows Azure, we need to provide a management pool where the management servers have access to internet.
If all your management servers have already internet access, you could you the All Management Servers Resource Pool.

Now if you are in a more secure environment where your MS don’t have internet access, you need to create a new management pool dedicated to GSM and build one or two new MS and add them to that pool.
Of course, these new MS will need to have access to internet.

GSM Management packs installation

Once the prerequisites are ok, you need to import the Global Server Monitor management packs.

In the Administration Pane, you have now access to the Global Service Monitor menu. (Personally, I had to restart my Operations Console to get it working correctly).

There, follow the wizard to connect your Operations Management environment with your GSM subscription.
Now that everything is ready to start the monitor of your website, click on Configure Web Application Availability Tests.

Click on Next.

Name the application/website that you want to monitor, select a management pack to store it and click on Next.

Specify your application website(s), and click on Next.

By clicking on the first Add button, you could choose from which external location (country/region) you want to monitor your website(s).
You could also monitor your website(s) from server(s) that are part of you SCOM infrastructure.

You could test if everything is well configured directly from the Wizard. You also have the possibility to change the configuration, customizing some threshold values by clicking on Change Configuration.
When done, click on Next.

Review the information, and finally, click on create.

 

Now, there is two different parts in the SCOM console where you could see information about GSM.
The first one is under Monitoring > Operations Manager > Global Service Monitor. This view give you the connection state between your SCOM infrastructure and the GSM service hosted at Microsoft.

The second part is under Monitoring > Application Monitoring > Web Application Availability Monitoring.
The state view shows the availability of your website from all the locations your configured.

From the action pane on the right, you have two more views available.

The Detailed Dashboard – List, give you detailed performance information.

The second one is a map with Status and Transaction Response time of your website from each locations.

I hope this help!

Christopher