System Center Operations Manager 2007
Management Pack Lifecycle Management
Matthew J. Goedtel
• Review stages of the Management Pack (MP) Lifecycle
• Vendor Management Packs (overrides)
• Custom Developed Management Packs
• Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
processes as they relate to the Lifecycle (Change,
Configuration & Release Management)
• Authoring Tools
• Version Control
MP Development Lifecycle
Methodology & Framework
Where to start?
• Identify ownership for development, review,
management, testing, and implementation
of Management Packs.
• Identify roles and responsibilities.
• Develop the process, build the
infrastructure (Dev & QA), documentation,
• Identify tools to help support the process.
Roles and Responsibilities
• Service Owner and Subject Matter Expert –
develop & evaluate technical accuracy and
quality of a MP.
• MP Development Team – Two or more
individuals tasked with managing, developing,
testing, and review of Management Packs.
• Engineering Team – Members who are
responsible for the Operations Manager
• Operations Team – Involved so they have
awareness of new monitoring requirements.
Relationship Between Roles & Phases
Ownership of process
• Consider a central team within the
Engineering team to be responsible for the
• In the enterprise scenario, this has been a
• Effective when IT is structured like silo for each
• Ensures you coordinate with them to identify
monitoring scope (functional spec) and as they
develop, you manage it as a project.
• Author the Management Pack or tune
vendor provided MP with custom MP
(includes the overrides).
• Test the MP in a lab environment and tune
appropriately. Export when complete.
• Import into production and monitor closely.
Fine-tune as necessary.
Vendor Management Packs
• Will be released sealed so you will not be
able to modify directly.
• Requires storing overrides in a custom
• Best practice is not store your overrides in
the “Default Management Pack” that is
installed with Operations Manager 2007.
• Performed directly in the
• Two approaches to
• Create a custom
Management Pack that has
a direct relationship with the
Management Pack you are
overriding. Use a logical
name that maps to the
vendor MP. Example:
Custom – Windows
Server 2003 Operating
• Approaches (cont):
• Another strategy is to
group according to
internal application or
• When complete you
can export your custom
MP from the
• Must match the sealed
overrides are made
• Advantages of creating
custom override MP
directly related to the MP
you are overriding:
• Can be
separately or all at once
• Each uniquely
• Important - do not use the
“Disable” command in the
Working with Overrides
• Development of Management Pack
depends on requirements. Typically they
• 1) Basic MP: making use of event and
performance rules, but no custom classes.
• 2) Advanced MP: evaluating health state,
running scripts, and provides tasks.
• 3) Sophisticated MP: making use of all
capabilities provided with Operations Manager
Management Pack Authoring
• Author may utilize:
• Operations Console
• Authoring Console
• XML editing
• Programmatic authoring
• 3rd Party Authoring Product
• Personal preference of the MP Author
based on requirement complexity.
Authoring Guide and Tools
• Operations Manager 2007 Management Pack
• Brian Wren -
• OpsMgr Product Team Blog -
• Marius Sutara - http://blogs.msdn.com/mariussutara/
• Sam Patton -
Authoring Guide and Tools
• Part of main product
• Authoring tools
MP Diff (MOM 2005 Reskit tool)
Resultant Set of Rules (OpsMgr Reskit tool)
Authoring Console (includes Verify and BPA)
3rd Party Authoring tools
Silect Software MP Studio
Authoring Management Packs
• Develop your test plan with input from the
• Globalization (such as different languages)
• Versions of different Management Packs
• Signed & un-signed MP’s
• Perform testing against the test plan and
document the results.
• Schedule meetings with team to review
results and prioritize remediation plan.
Testing the Management Pack
• The MP should be tested in a Dev/QA
environment before implementation in your
production Management Group.
• Ensures you identify issues, accuracy, and
are addressed without impacting
production (i.e. alert noise, overhead from
perf data, etc.)
• Work with the SME and SO to verify during
the test phase.
Testing the Management Pack
• Once the core monitoring objectives are
solidified & validated, seal the MP.
• Work with business owner to match SLA
requirements against the core MP in a
custom MP (overrides).
• Package both in preparation for import into
the production Management Group.
Sealing the Management Pack
• Converts XML to a binary file.
• Ensures that predefined settings cannot be
modified directly and is tightly controlled
• Overrides would have to be saved in a
custom Management Pack.
• Unsealed management packs cannot be
referenced by another Management Pack.
• Strong identity
• Valid certificate required in order to seal the
Management Pack using MPSeal.exe.
This can be found in the SupportTools
folder on the Operations Manager 2007
• Create the certificate using Visual Studio
2005/2008 Strong Name Utility (SN.EXE)
Sealing a Management Pack
• These actions ensure that the alerts effectively and
accurately monitor for a given service.
• Each rule should be evaluated according to the following
• Actionability: An alert is actionable if it tells you what
went wrong and how to fix it. i.e. accurate alert text
• Validity: An alert is valid if the issue that generated the
alert can be confirmed & it actually occurred at the
moment the alert was generated.
• Suppression: There should be one and only one alert
generated stating the issue occurred by the one rule.
• Plan the pilot scope and don’t target the
Management Pack to all applicable systems from
• How do I do this?
• Dual-home agents in production to the test
• Monitor alert noise using the Most Common
Alerts built-in report.
• Document pilot results and evaluate to remediate
ITIL Service Management
Processes for MP Lifecycle
• Important to ensure consistent, repeatable,
and structured approach.
• Change Management should be utilized to
control changes being performed to
production Management Group:
• Importing Management Packs
• Implementing overrides to a sealed MP.
• Release Management should be followed
for development, testing, and release of
• Definitive Software Library (DSL) should be
established to store each version of the MP
developed and approved for
implementation in production.
• Maintain configuration items in the CMDB
(documents, change requests, etc.)
• Change Request
• Change Classification
• Change Authorization
• Change Initiation Review (CIR)
• Change Development
• Change Release
• Change Review
• Release Planning
• Release Building
• Acceptance Testing
• Release Readiness Review
• Rollout Planning
• Rollout Preparation
Change, Config, & Release Relationship
Change Management Configuration
Change Request Management
Begin New Change
Release Date 100% saturation
Release Cycle Request Cut-off
RFC created for Non-urgent RFCs Release Package Deployment Release RFC
Release created as normal Built and Tested to all closed along
with implementation associated with all
schedule based on components associated
Release Cycle, Unit RFCs
Testing, etc. to follow
• A Deployment Guide outlining the
configuration and functionality for the
Operations/Admin team to follow.
• A Release Plan & Policy to ensure the
process is predictable & repeatable
• Override changes in custom MP should be
documented as well.
Override Change Log
• Document all overrides
implemented in your
Pack. Use MPViewer,
Override Explorer utilities
or Command Shell Get-
• Provides an audit trail and
avoids confusion in the
• Spreadsheet format a good
starting point, but
SharePoint is also good
• Version Control (aka Revision Control aka
Source Control) lets you track your files
• Why do you care? So when a mistake is made,
you can easily revert back to a previous
• Version number format – Major.Minor.Build.
• Important when an MP references other
MP’s that are dependencies.
• Versions are enforced by Operations
Manager where an older version cannot
overwrite newer version of the same MP.
• It is not possible to run different versions of
the MP side-by-side.
• Apply the version control model to both the
internal developed Management Pack and
the custom Management Pack that stores
• Silect MP Studio/MP Studio Lite –
• Alert Tuning Solution Accelerator -
• Templates to support this process –
• Boris Yanushpolsky MP Tools -
• OpsMan Jam Site – http://www.opsmanjam.com