Monitoring RDS 2012 with System Center Operations Manager 2012 (Part 1)

by [Published on 22 Jan. 2013 / Last Updated on 22 Jan. 2013]

In this article, the author discusses the possibilities of the new management pack for System Center Operations Manager and will guide you through the basic setup of this pack.

If you would like to be notified of when Freek Berson releases the next part in this article series please sign up to our VirtualizationAdmin.com Real-Time Article Update newsletter.

Introduction

Recently, the 2012 version of Operations Manager, part of the System Center Suite, has been released. As you would probably know, System Center Operations Manager 2012 is used to proactively monitor environments and works specifically well in monitoring Microsoft products like SQL Server, Exchange Server, etc. A new management pack has recently been released for System Center Operations Manager 2012. This management pack is to monitor Remote Desktop Servers based on Windows Server 2012. This article will discuss the possibilities of that specific management pack and will guide you through the basic setup.

Monitored RDS roles

System Center Operations Manager 2012 (SCOM 2012) basically monitors all the roles Remote Desktop Services (RDS) holds in Windows Server 2012. This means that the following six roles can be monitored.

  • RD Session Host
  • RD Virtualization Host
  • RD Connection Broker
  • RD Gateway
  • RD Web Access
  • RD Licensing

Within SCOM 2012 separate classes are defined for every RDS role.

  • Microsoft.Windows.Server.2012.RDSessionHost
  • Microsoft.Windows.Server.2012.RDVirtualizationHost
  • Microsoft.Windows.Server.2012.RDConnectionBrokerRole
  • Microsoft.Windows.Server.2012.RDGateway
  • Microsoft.Windows.Server.2012.RDWebAccess
  • Microsoft.Windows.Server.2012.RDLicensing

Obviously, these classes contain computers that run the corresponding roles. Besides these classes per role, two other classes are defined. RemoteDesktopServicesRole.Service holds all computers that run at least one RDS role and RemoteDesktopServicesRole holds all computers running Remote Desktop Services.

Remote Desktop Services Hierarchy

System Center Operations Manager monitors the Remote Desktop roles as a hierarchy. This means that the health of a certain level within the hierarchy depends on the health of all the levels beneath that level. Basically, the hierarchy contains two levels, level one is called Remote Desktop Services and below that a level per monitored role (as discussed in the previous paragraph).

Monitoring descriptions

Per RDS role several corresponding values are measured by SCOM 2012. In this paragraph we’ll quickly discuss the different values that are measured per RDS role.

RD Session Host
For the RD Session Host role four values are being measured. First, an alert can be generated when the number of active RDS sessions reaches a defined number of sessions. Second, an alert can be generated when the number of inactive RDS sessions reaches a defined number of sessions. Third, an alert can be generated when the value of CPU processing for all users added together grows beyond 80 percent of the CPU’s total capacity for 15 minutes in a row. And forth, the Remote Desktop Services Service can be monitored to make sure it’s running and connecting to the RD Connection Broker and RD licensing server is measured.

RD Connection Broker
For the RD Connection Broker the SCOM 2012 can monitor if the Connection Broker Service is running and available. The RD Web Access role is monitored to ensure that Remote Apps and Desktops are available through RD Web Access and the Web Feed URL.

RD Gateway
SCOM monitors if the Remote Desktop Gateway Service is running and monitors the connection to the RD Session Host Servers. Also, the number of sessions that run through the RD Gateway are monitored.

RD Web Access
For the RD Web Access role SCOM monitors if the RD Web Access Service is running.

RD Licensing
SCOM monitors if the RD Licensing Service is running and checks if Remote Desktop Client Access Licenses (RDS CAL’s) are properly installed and if they’re available.

Setting up basic monitoring

So, let’s take a look at the steps to set up SCOM 2012 to use the Remote Desktop Server 2012 management pack to get some basic monitoring results. Note that the primary goal of this paragraph is not to set up an operational SCOM 2012 environment. The goal is to show you some of the options with regards to the RDS 2012 management pack and show you some of the possible results.

We’re assuming that SCOM 2012 is already running and that the server we want to monitor (the servers that run the RDS roles) are already discovered by SCOM. The first step would be to make sure that all of the servers in our lab running RDS roles are added to our SCOM 2012 instance. Next, we will be launching the Monitoring pack for Remote Desktop Services (RDS) 2012.msi.


Figure 1: Installation of the RDS 2012 Management pack

The installation creates two files inside the following folder C:\Program Files (x86)\System Center Management Packs\Monitoring pack for Remote Desktop Services (RDS) 2012


Figure 2: Folders inside the Management pack

When all servers are added, we can start installing the RDS 2012 management pack. The download is available here: Monitoring pack for Remote Desktop Services (RDS) 2012.msi

The file that gets extracted is called Microsoft.Windows.Server.RemoteDesktopServices.2012.mp. We install the Management Pack by choosing the option “Import management packs” from the action menu inside the Administration section of the SCOM 2012 console.


Figure 3: Import Management Packs

Note the two prerequisites for the RDS 2012 management pack:

  • Microsoft.Windows.Server.Library
  • Microsoft.Windows.Server.RemoteDesktopServices.Library


Figure 4: Management Pack prerequisites

The import would look like the image below.


Figure 5: All required Management Packs

After importing the management pack we can confirm the installation inside the management packs section.


Figure 6: Verification of installation

Let looks at some of the ways we can interact with the RDS platform using SCOM.

We can perform several tasks on the servers running the RD Session Host role like i.e. querying the amount of active sessions or users.


Figure 7: Interacting with the Management Pack

It does seem that, although Microsoft’s guides describe this, the RDS 2012 management does not deliver the Views in SCOM 2012 yet. This is at this point either a bug, or will probably be added in an upcoming update of the Management Pack. Therefore, only the RDS Windows Server 2008 R2 views are available out of the box.


Figure 8: Default views created

However, when searching for one of the servers, all the measures and values are there and can be viewed.


Figure 9: Windows Server 2012 RDS counters

Conclusion

At this point, it is possible to import the RDS 2012 Management Pack in an SCOM 2012 environment and all values can be viewed. However, not all views get installed by default. Setting up your own views requires some more work in SCOM 2012 of course. I will dedicate a part 2 upon the next update of this Management Pack to go into more detail on these views and the way those can be used.

If you would like to be notified of when Freek Berson releases the next part in this article series please sign up to our VirtualizationAdmin.com Real-Time Article Update newsletter.

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