Part 5: Use VSAE fragments to create a performance collection rule


This is Part 5 five in a series of posts described here:


In our next example fragment – we will create a rule to collect Windows Performance data.


Step 1:  Download and extract the sample MP fragments.  These are available here:

I will update these often as I enhance and add new ones, so check back often for new versions.


Step 2:  Open your newly created MP solution, and open Solution Explorer.  This solution was created in Part 1, and the class was created in Part 2.


Step 3:  Create a folder and add the fragment to it.

Create a folder called “Rules” in your MP, if you don’t already have this folder.



Right click Rules, and Add > Existing item.

Find the fragment named “Generic.Rule.Performance.Collection.Perfmon.Fragment.mpx” and add it.

Select Generic.Rule.Performance.Collection.Perfmon.Fragment.mpx in solution explorer to display the XML.


Step 4:  Find and Replace

Replace ##CompanyID## with our company ID which is “Fab

Replace ##AppName## with our App ID, which is “DemoApp

Replace ##ClassID## with the custom class we created in Step 2.  This was “Fab.DemoApp.Class” from our previous class fragment.

Replace ##ObjectName## with a valid perfmon object.  I will use “Print Queue

Replace ##CounterName## with a valid perfmon counter.  I will use “Total Jobs Printed

Replace ##CounterNameWithoutSpaces## with the same as above, but remove any spaces.  I will use “TotalJobsPrinted

Replace ##InstanceName## with a valid perfmon instance.  I will use “_Total


(Note:  If your counter doesn’t have instances – you can just remove this in the XML so it looks like <InstanceName></InstanceName> )


That took all of 2 minutes.  Take another few minutes to review the XML we have in this fragment.  It is a simple rule definition, that collect windows performance counters.




Step 5:  Build the MP.   BUILD > Build Solution.



Uh Oh!

Error    80    Cannot resolve identifier Perf!System.Performance.OptimizedDataProvider in the context of management pack Fab.DemoApp. Unknown alias: Perf    C:\Program Files (x86)\MSBuild\Microsoft\VSAC\Microsoft.SystemCenter.OperationsManager.targets    255    6    Fab.DemoApp


This is simple.  We simply are calling on a module in our XML – but we haven’t added the MP that contains this module in our references.  Lets do that now.

In Solution Explorer – add a reference by right clicking “References” and choose “Add Reference”



VSAE came with a bunch of common reference files – so browse to C:\Users\<username>\Documents\Visual Studio 2013\References\ folder.  Pick the version of SCOM you want to be able to import this into, and select the “”.

Highlight this MP in Solution Explorer under References, and in the properties window you will see the default Alias used, which you can change if necessary.  I used the default VSAE reference aliases in all my fragments.




Ok, lets try again.  Save All, then Build.


Error    80    Cannot resolve identifier MSDL!Microsoft.SystemCenter.DataWarehouse.PublishPerformanceData in the context of management pack Fab.DemoApp. Unknown alias: MSDL    C:\Program Files (x86)\MSBuild\Microsoft\VSAC\Microsoft.SystemCenter.OperationsManager.targets    255    6    Fab.DemoApp


Same issue – because we need a reference for the data warehouse library in order to save performance data to the warehouse.  So lets add another reference, for




Save All, then Build.




This was a little painful given how easy MP fragments are, because we got some errors.  However, it is a good exercise in understand how Visual Studio tells us what is wrong, and some simple ways to go and fix them.  Once we add references to our project, it will only need to be done once, so we wont have to go thought this again each time we add a performance rule.  The hard part is over.

Take a break and get a coffee if you need to, but I recommend importing it first in the next step…. it takes a while after import before we can test our rule.  Smile




Step 6:  Import or Deploy the management pack.




Step 7:  Test the MP.

We need to wait for the agent to get the new MP version.  You can watch for this in the agents OperationsManager event log.

We will see a 1200, 1201, then 1210 event sequence:



Once you get the 1210 – you can normally test the MP.

However, for performance collection, we need to wait about 10 minutes after the agent gets a copy of the MP and makes it active, because performance data takes a little longer to show up in the console.

After 10 minutes or so – find the instance of your class in Discovered Inventory, right click it, and choose Open > Performance View




This will show all performance data associated with our custom class.  Our default interval was every 5 minutes, so you need to wait considerable time before you will see lines in the chart.  In order to test this one – you can actually print some notepad jobs to the “Microsoft XPS Document Writer” to change the counter values seen in perfmon.







Comments (1)

  1. Excellent Article Kelvin. Thank you.

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