Management Pack for SQL Server Analysis Services 2008 and 2012 Released

I was browsing Twitter last Sunday night and a tweet from Chris Webb caught my eye:

Great! Finally, a Management Pack for SSAS! I don’t know how much people know about Systems Center Operations Manager (SCOM), so a brief introduction:  SCOM is, according to the Microsoft Marketing Executives:

“System Center 2012 – Operations Manager provides infrastructure monitoring that is flexible and cost-effective, helps ensure the predictable performance and availability of vital applications, and offers comprehensive monitoring for your datacenter and cloud, both private and public.”

This post on TechRepublic offers a decent intro on using SCOM to manage the performance of Windows Server 2012 with System Center

So it’s a monitoring tool for many of the components that make up a data centre. There’s separate monitoring packs for Windows Operating System, SQL Server, Active Directory, Windows Server File & iSCSI Services….. there’s as many monitoring packs as there are technologies. A useful resource is the System Center Operations Manager Unleashed blog, which contains “By Example” posts for specific monitoring packs.

Essentially the monitor pack will discover SSAS objects, monitor the objects at set intervals and display the info on the included dashboards, which provide information about SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services Instances, Databases and Partitions. As with other packs, certain thresholds can be configured an emails can be fired off to relevant people if these thresholds are breached.

We use SCOM at work to monitor a much of our production domain, including our SQL Servers. However apart from a few Powershell scripts I’ve written to monitor for state changes in the cube objects, we’ve not got much monitoring as this is the first management packs that have been released for Analysis Services.

You can download the Monitoring Pack Guide here:

SSAS2012MPGuide

I’ve had a read through and am posting some of the salient points and some thought on it below:

The monitoring pack can monitor the following:

  • Instance of SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services running in one of these modes:
    • Multidimensional Mode;
    • Tabular Mode;
    • PowerPivot Mode;
    • SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services Databases;
    • SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services Database Partitions.

The monitoring pack supports up to 50 Databases per SSAS Instance. That’s not cubes mind, but actual databases. Despite there being a limit for databsaes there is not a limit for partitions.There is a recommendation to disable the discovery workflow for partitions if you do exceed 50 databases. This has me slightly concerned though because a high number of databases does not necessarily mean a high number of partitions. One of our databases has 7 measure groups with over a 1000 partitions per measure group. So with a healthy respect for the “Unknown Unknowns”, and considering the scope of the discovery (every server/every database/every partition in the database),  the management pack will be installed and configured on a Friday afternoon.

The “run as” profile has to run with elevated privileges so the account needs to be an administrator on the server as well as the instance. This is not too dissimilar to the “run as” profile for SQL, although in the SQL monitoring pack if you are setting up the monitoring pack in a low privilege domain there are detailed instructions to apply the minimum permissions. This is not the case with the SSAS monitoring pack.

Towards the back of the document you can see all the monitors and rules the Monitor Pack will run to collate the information for the Dashboards. many of the rules are default so after installing the monitor pack it’s necessary to tweak the rules for your environment.

As I mentioned above, I haven’t installed it just yet, but when I do I’ll post some thoughts on it, and no doubt will revisit the subject when we’ve been running the monitor pack for some time.

Author: Richie Lee

Full time computer guy, part time runner. Full time Dad, part time blogger. Knows a thing or two about Pokémon. Knows too much about SQL Agent. Writer of fractured sentences. Maker of the best damn macaroni cheese you've ever tasted.

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