Ping is great but Ping does not tell you when your server is not doing what is supposed to be doing. You must monitor the applications that run on the server as well. In this process automation tutorial, we will walk through setting up a workflow that will monitor an application on the server and report back when a component is not functioning properly.
To be able to implement this tutorial, you will need access to the full version of Goverlan Reach and its Process Automation framework. If you don’t currently own a valid license you can download a free version of our remote access software on our website. The 30-day trial is free and no credit card is required.
If you have never created a Scope Action before, please refer to the below video and the Scope Action Creation Basics article for more information.
IT Process Automation Objectives
Monitoring a Windows application running on a server comes down to a few key areas.
- Monitoring a running process
- Monitoring a service state
- Verifying communication between different component servers (ie: can the Exchange Hub Transport Server communicate with the Client Access Server or internet DNS servers)
With a Goverlan Scope Action, we can create an action module for each of these areas.
To demonstrate this we will use the example of monitoring an Exchange Server Setup. For the purposes of this, we will simplify the topology a bit. Add or remove components as needed. Also, this method can apply to any application server or line of business application on Windows.
In this topology, we would like to monitor some processes, services and internet access.
Steps to Build the Worfklow
We will need two scope actions. One for each server being monitored. We need this because each server will have different processes and services to monitor. If you have several servers that have the same criteria, feel free to add them to the same scope action.
The number of action modules will depend on the how you wish to monitor the objects. For example, if you add all the processes or services to the same action module, Goverlan will alert you if any one of them is no longer running. If you create an action module for each process or service then you can be notified of the specific process or service that has failed.
For this tutorial, we will go with the latter. Each Process and Service will have its own action module. This method will provide the most granularity for monitoring your server.
The Scope Module is fairly simple. Create one module with a list of servers that will have the same monitoring criteria. For example, all of the Exchange mailbox servers or all of the SQL servers.
The Action module should look like the following for our example. Remember you can replace any of these modules for specific criteria you wish to monitor.
Action Module Construction
All the action modules follow the same format.
First add the email action. This can be found under Add \ Remove –> Execute Computer Action –> Logged in User –> Send Email. NOTE: The email action does not require any user to be logged in to the server or anywhere.
Here is how the arguments should be set for the email action.
The fields are self explanatory except for the Subject. We use a Dynamic Value Definition for the subject line to include the name of the server being processed.
The second part of the action module is the condition. This is where we define what we wish to monitor. You can enter a condition in the section labeled “Only if the following is true.”
In this example, we choose Add \ Remove –> Set Computer Condition –> Processes –> Name.
We set the condition to NOT=. This means, if the process does not exists, proceed with the action, in this case Send Email.
The desired value is the Process name we are monitoring.
The first condition is Add \ Remove –> Set Computer Condition –> Services –> Software Services –> Name
Set the condition to = and the desired value is the service name. This is the actual service name, not the “friendly” name.
The second condition is Add \ Remove –> Set Computer Condition –> Services –> Software Services –> State
Set the condition to NOT= and the desired value is Started
Testing Connectivity for the Client Access Server
The final action module will be for the Client Access Server. In this scenario, we want to make sure that the server can ping some outside resource. In this case, it will be an internet DNS server.
We can utilize the WMI class Win32_PingStatus. I love this method because we can see connectivity between two remote machines.
Please see the following tutorial on how to create the Win32_PingStatus report action module.
Group the monitoring Scope Action into a single Master Scope Action
Using the technique in the following KBA, you can take all of your monitoring Scope Actions and group them into a single master scope action. Schedule the master scope action for simple, easy to administer monitoring solution.