Home » Operations Manager 2012 » Manage new monitoring by self-service (light MP authoring with a pinch of Orchestrator magic)


Welcome to contoso.se! My name is Anders Bengtsson and this is my blog about Azure infrastructure and system management. I am a senior engineer in the FastTrack for Azure team, part of Azure Engineering, at Microsoft.  Contoso.se has two main purposes, first as a platform to share information with the community and the second as a notebook for myself.

Everything you read here is my own personal opinion and any code is provided "AS-IS" with no warranties.

Anders Bengtsson

MVP awarded 2007,2008,2009,2010

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Service Manager Unleashed
Service Manager Unleashed
Orchestrator Unleashed
Orchestrator 2012 Unleashed
Inside the Microsoft Operations Management Suite

Manage new monitoring by self-service (light MP authoring with a pinch of Orchestrator magic)

A common scenario I often see is that everyone in the IT organisation knows that Operations Manager can monitor everything and fulfill all requirements, but it is to complicated for different expert/administration teams to do anything in Operations Manager. For example if the Exchange team wants to monitor a event they need to ask the Operations Manager team to create the rule. Of course the Operations Manager team don’t have time to do that the same day, instead there is a delay and once the rule is created the Exchange team have already solve it in some other way. The result is that Operations Manager is not used as much as it should be used.

In previous posts I showed how to handle overwrites and groups in Operations Manager with self-service in Service Manager and a bit Orchestrator. In this post I want to share a idea how to handle new monitoring, for example creating new rules from the Service Manager self-service portal.

My example starts with a service request in the Service Manager portal. A engineer goes in a request a new Windows event rule in Operations Manager. The engineer fills in event ID, rule name, which Windows Log, service/system and also alert name. A service request is created and in the service request there is a runbook activity.

The runbook activity trigger a “master runbook”. The runbook first invoke a runbook that will find a suitable management pack, then invoke a runbook to create a new monitor or rule (I have only included the rule part so far), then it invokes a runbook to import the management pack into Operations Manager and finally it invokes a runbook to update the service request.

The 60.3 Find MP runbook will find and return the management pack to use. It use the service parameter from the service request to select management pack. All management packs that are in products are stored in a “production” folder. The “Check if MP exists” activity checks if there is a management pack in that folder for the selected service. If there is, it makes a copy of it to a “archive” folder and returns the file path. If there is not a management pack it will write a new management pack file and return the path of that file. The “Write new MP file” activity will write all the needed XML code to a new XML file, it includes a number of input parameters.


The 60.2 Create Rule runbook will first translate targeting between the service parameter and the target parameter needed in the management pack. In my example I only have one target there, that is Windows 2008 Computer. The runbook then finds the <Rules>,<DisplayStrings> and the <StringResources> sections of the management pack and then adds the new rule. We use “Find” to know where in the management pack, on which line, to insert the new configuration. Each “Add Rule -” activity use input parameters when writing the new rule.


The 60.5 Import MP runs a Powershell script to import the management pack into Operations Manager. The last runbook, 60.4 Update Service Request, will update the service request with some information about the new management pack.

This example shows a way to use the self-service portal in Service Manager to order a new event rule in Operations Manager. Orchestrator builds the new rule in a management pack and import it into Operations Manager. A engineer that don’t know much about Operations Manager can still “author” a new rule and import it into Operations Manager. You could include approval step in the process and you can also include a check on the Orchestrator side to make sure the management pack and the new rule is according to best practices.

You can download my example runbooks here, 60 Create OM Rule , please note that this is provided “as is” with no warranties at all. This is not a production ready management pack or solution for your production environment, just a idea and an example.

vNext of this example could include version handling in each MP, should be easy to build with a couple of counters. Also information about the service request requesting the new management pack version could be included in the management pack description, shown in the Operations Manager console.

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