Monday, August 24, 2009

SCOM: Monitor vs. Rule

When you want to monitor specific occurences there are two options in SCOM. You can use a monitor or a rule.

In this blog post i'll will explain why you should use a monitor for a specific occasion and not a rule and vice versa.


Rules Collect data from sources like EventLog, Text or Log Files and Perfmon. That data is stored
In the Operations Manager database. If you have installed a Data Warehouse database this data is replicated to this database for Reporting purposes.
Rules always target classes. You should not target rules to groups. See the Authoring Guide from Microsoft for best practices. Targeting groups results in targeting the Root Management Server, as this is the host of all groups.


Monitors are used to determine the health state of an application component. A monitor is programmed with the intelligence to determine whether a component is healthy.

Monitors exist in two flavours, Two-state and Tree-State. Thus, a monitor can either be in one of two states (green or red) or in one of three states (green, yellow, red).
The state changes when the monitor responses to the monitoring information the monitor is using.

Monitors come in three different types: Unit Monitor, Aggregate Rollup Monitor and Dependency Rollup Monitor

Unit Monitor
A unit monitor is the fundamental monitoring component. Used to monitor specific counters, events, scripts and services. This monitor can generate an alert.

Aggregate Rollup Monitor
An aggregate rollup monitor reflects the state of unit, dependency rollup, or other aggregate rollup monitors. Use an aggregate rollup monitor to group multiple
Monitors intro one monitor. This monitor then is used to set the health state and optionally generate an alert. Each object has at least 4 of this rollup monitors: Availability, Configuration, Performance and Security.

Dependency Rollup Monitor
A depency rollup monitor rolls up health states from objects linked by either a hosting or a containment relationship. Use this monitor type to make the health state of a particular object dependent on the health state of components that are either hosted or contained. For example, the SQL Server 2005 object has an dependency rollup monitor that is related to a health monitor of a SQL Server 2005 Database object. When an application database is offline is doesn't mean the health state of SQL 2005 is critical, but when the master database has problems this has a direct impact on the SQL Server 2005 object.


Monitor and rules both collect monitoring data, but the collected data is used very differently. Rules collect data that goes into the Operations Manager database and Operations Manager Data Warehouse.
Monitors evaluate data from various sources and only store the state changes and alerts in the Operations Manager database.
Monitor-collected data is never stored in the Operations Manager database and Data Warehouse and thus is not usable for Reporting.

You want to monitor disk usage on a file server and generate an alert when used disk space exceeds 85%. You also want to have the disk usage information available for reporting.
How to implement this?

  • Create a collection rule to collect disk usage information for reporting
  • Collection rules do not generate alerts, so you'll need to create a unit monitor for monitoring the disk usage health. This monitor will generate a health state change and an alert after the disk usage exceeds the threshold of 85%.

Source: SCOM Authoring Guide

1 reacties:

The Sperm said...

Thank you for explaining this so clearly... I've been trying to understand emails from our SCOM Admin and I finally get it. Cheers!

P.S. Please ignore my google account name... I write a blog on my wife and I trying to have kids.

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