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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Outsmarting "Smart Defaults" in the Essentials Network Device Monitoring MP

Because SCE 2007 is designed with the overworked "IT Generalist" in mind, you have to keep an eye out for what is NOT enabled out of the box. In the Network Device MP, I think these smart defaults missed the mark for me. I was dismayed to find some fairly important performance metrics are disabled out of the box. For example, the monitors for Inbound and Outbound Utilization % are disabled by default, as are the threshold alerts that go with them.

I can appreciate the thought behind this, because alerting per network interface can be noisy and performance data cause substantial database growth, this is probably a safe bet for minimizing support calls..... But for visibility from a performance perspective, you may find you need to enable many performance threshold monitors and rules to collect and measure and relevant performance data, as well as to alert on interface threshold breaches - at least for your critical network devices, like core switches and Internet routers.

This can be a bit of work, but I'm going to show you how to make this task a bit less tedious, by filtering down to only the Network Device MP rules and monitors, as well as determining which rules are not enabled by default.

1. Start by navigating to the Authoring space in the Operations Console.

2. In the Navigation pane, browse to and select Management Pack Objects.

3. At the top of the Results pane, click Change Scope.

4. In the pop-up provided, select only the Network Device Group and any target beginning with SNMP. This will filter the rules and monitors down to only those relevant to our configuration objectives.


Figure 1 - Filtered View of Network-relevant Monitors and Rules


5. In the Navigation pane, select the Monitors node. You should only the lists of SNMP-enabled device monitors as depicted in figure 4.

6. To determine which rules are NOT enabled by default (and will thus need to be enabled via overrides), expand each of the rule groups, and view the monitor names and descriptions, which are for the most part self-explanatory.

You can make this easier by dragging and dropping the ‘Enabled by Default’ column to the left, as depicted in figure 1 below.  It's way off to the right by default, about 5 columns over.


Figure 2 - Viewing 'Enabled by Default' Status of Monitors and Rules


1. For monitors not enabled by default, right click the monitor and select Overrides --> Override the Monitor for --> <object or group of objects you wish to monitor / measure>.

2. Repeat this process for each group of monitors, and repeat for each group of rules as well. The end

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