System Center Open Source Software Management Packs Walkthrough Part 1: Apache HTTP Server

At Microsoft Ignite we announced the public availability of preview OSS Management Packs for System Center 2016 Technical Preview 2 – Operations Manager. The OSS Management Packs brings performance and health monitoring to open source favorites, Apache HTTP Server and MySQL Server. This blog post is the first of two OSS management walkthroughs that brings you one step closer to managing open source software with System Center Operations Manager. This walkthrough details a step by step guide for managing Apache HTTP Server.

The following is a quick glimpse into the feature set of the Apache HTTP Server management pack. (A full list of available metrics can be found in the Apache HTTP Server management pack guide’s appendix):

– Percentage of workers that are busy and idle

– Information on Apache HTTP Server CPU and memory consumption

– Virtual Host statistics (Requests and Errors per minute)

– SSL certificate expiration alerting

Requirements for Open Source Software management pack monitoring can be found in the respective management pack guide at the linked download page above.

Basic Setup

For this walkthrough my pre-existing environment consists of the following

  1. System Center 2016 Technical Preview 2 Operations Manager
  2. System Center 2016 Technical Preview 2 Management Packs for Open Source Software
  3. Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS with Apache HTTP Server 2.4 installed
    1. Important: This Linux server is not already managed by System Center Technical Preview 2 Operations Manager

Managing the Ubuntu Server with System Center 2016 Technical Preview 2 Operations Manager

Managing a Linux server with System Center 2016 Technical Preview 2 Operations Manager maintains the same process used from previous version of System Center Operations Manager. For a more detailed look on how to discover Linux Servers with Operations Manager refer to the following blog post http://blogs.technet.com/b/kevinholman/archive/2012/03/18/deploying-unix-linux-agents-using-opsmgr-2012.aspx

Behind the scenes, the new Linux agents included in the Linux management packs for System Center 2016 Technical Preview 2 Operations Manager contain a new version of the included CIMOM Server, Open Management Infrastructure (OMI) 1.0.8 instead of 1.0.6.5. OMI 1.0.8 brings a variety of performance enhancements, most notably the support for multiple thread execution. Additionally the new Linux agents include separate OSS agents bundled inside for Apache HTTP Server and MySQL Server. These OSS agents are installed by default when a supported installation of Apache HTTP Server or MySQL Server are identified by the Linux agent.

If you would like to add OSS management to an already managed Linux server refer to instructions inside the management pack guide on extracting the OSS agents and installation.

  1. Import Apache HTTP Server Library Management Pack and OSS Library Management Pack. The OSS management packs are both 7.6.1042.0

  2. Run through the “Discovery Wizard” with the Linux server that has Apache HTTP Server pre-installed.
  1. Also a great opportunity to try out a new feature in System Center 2016 TP2 Operations Manager — using Run As credentials to discover a Linux Server


Enabling Apache HTTP Server monitoring

Apache HTTP Server monitoring consists of two parts, an Apache module and an Apache OMI CIM provider. The Apache module registers with Apache HTTP Server as an apache module, and leverages the Apache “APR” to gather near real-time data and high fidelity performance metrics. The Apache OMI CIM provider implements a CIM model for the Apache HTTP Server and communicates to the Apache module through a shared memory channel. A short architecture overview can be seen below.

In the previous steps the Apache OMI CIM provider was installed automatically with the Linux agent, but the Apache module requires a manual install*. In order to manually install the Apache module you can run a management pack task, or run a command locally on the Linux server with the Apache OSS agent installed. This blog uses the management pack task to deploy the Apache module.

*When an Apache module is installed the Apache HTTP Server is restarted. Plan the module deployment in accordance with your enterprise requirements.

  1. Navigate to the Monitoring Pane > Apache HTTP Server > Apache HTTP Server Summary page. When Apache HTTP Server installation discovery runs, an instance of the Apache HTTP Server that is unmanaged appears. By default Apache HTTP Server installation discovery runs every four hours.
  2. Select the Apache HTTP Server you wish to deploy the Apache module to and select the management pack task “Load Monitoring Module”
  3. Ensure  a “success” status is returned along with a proper restart of the Apache HTTP Server.
  4. Optional: Run the “Update Discovered Properties” management pack task to expedite monitoring. Otherwise, wait until the next instance of Apache HTTP Server discovery runs, which by default is every four hours. After a few minutes the “IsManaged?” property changes to “true”, and the Health state appears for the Apache HTTP Server instance.

Congratulations!! You have successfully set up Apache HTTP Server monitoring with System Center 2016 TP2 Operations Manager. After a couple minutes Apache HTTP Server Virtual Hosts appear and Apache HTTP Server performance metrics beginning to populate.

We look forward to any feedback you may have and stay tuned for the next walkthrough for monitoring MySQL Server with System Center 2016 TP2 Operations Manager.