System Center Global Service Monitor: Getting Started

Dear Users!

We have just announced the first public release of System Center Global Service Monitor (GSM). GSM provides capability to monitor externally facing web sites and web services from geo-distributed locations. System Center customers can configure monitoring scenarios, such as multistep web transactions, define precise criteria for success and instruct GSM to run those transactions periodically from 16 locations around the globe.

In this blog I will explain how to sign up for GSM and describe capabilities of the service that you need to be aware of.

How to sign up for GSM

GSM is provided by Microsoft as a benefit of Software Assurance. If you have a System Center license, you can use GSM at no additional cost. Please note that you need to have System Center Operations Manager 2012 SP1, in order to use GSM.

Users can sign up for GSM directly from their SCOM consoles using any valid Microsoft Account. See the following TechNet article for more info –

Installing GSM

1. Run the GSM installer package from a machine which has System Center Operations Manager 2012 SP1: it will install GSM management packs.

2.  In order to receive full information regarding Visual Studio Web Test results, you need to import the Alert Attachment MP (available in the installation image for OpsMgr 2012 SP1) and enable file attachments for alerts.  Please follow the steps described in this article:

3. Import the installed GSM management packs into OpsMgr 2012 SP1.

4. After import of GSM MPs is completed, you will see Global Service Monitor entry in the Administration pane. Use the Start Subscription link to enter any valid Microsoft Account credentials: This will initiate your GSM subscription.

You will need to specify a management pool to be used for GSM monitoring.

5. Now you are ready to configure your GSM monitoring tests!

GSM service capabilities

GSM will allow you to configure monitoring from the following locations:

  • AU: Sydney
  • BR: Sao Paulo
  • CH: Zurich
  • FR: Paris
  • HK: Hong Kong
  • IE: Dublin
  • JP: Kawaguchi
  • NL: Amsterdam
  • RU: Moscow
  • SE: Stockholm
  • SG: Singapore
  • US: CA-San Jose, FL-Miami, IL-Chicago, TX-San Antonio, VA-Ashburn

You will be able to configure two types of tests: web availability tests and Visual Studio Web Tests (which monitor multistep web scenarios).

Please note that we have a timeout limit for both types of tests of 30 seconds. You can configure 25 tests of each type. One test is counted as a test performed from a specific location. There is also a limit of how many  tests you can configure from each location. You can configure up to 10 web availability tests from each location, and up to 3 Visual Studio Web Tests from each location. If you exceed those limits, you will be notified by alerts under Operations Manager\Global Service Monitor in the Monitoring pane. Each Visual Studio Web Test can have up to 100 steps; the size of the test file should be under 100 KB. We also have a limit on response size of 500 KB. Please refer to GSM documentation for more details:

As always, we are very interested in hearing your feedback on how we can improve the service and add more monitoring capabilities!