Monitoring service level objectives by using Operations Manager

Important

This version of Operations Manager has reached the end of support, we recommend you to upgrade to Operations Manager 2019.

To ensure that resources, such as applications and systems, are available and performing at acceptable levels, companies set goals for their service availability and response times. System Center Operations Manager provides the capability to monitor these service goals by tracking service level objectives.

Service level objectives are measurements to ensure that you are meeting defined service level commitments. In Operations Manager, you define a service level objective - the set of monitors that you need to track (such as performance or availability) - and then run reports against that service level objective to ensure that you are meeting your goals.

Using the information from these reports, you can identify any shortfalls between your service level objectives and your actual performance. This means that you are not only aware of problems, but also can track the relative business effect of these problems.

For example, if you have a group of servers running instances of Microsoft Exchange Server, which are critical to your internal e-mail network, you can define a service level objective that states that 95% of the servers must be available at all times. Then, you can generate a report that compares the actual availability of those servers against the service level objective.

You can also create dashboard views to track service level objectives.

Define a service level objective for an application

You can define a service level objective (SLO) to establish the availability and performance goals for an application. In the following procedure, you create a service level objective against a distributed application, define a monitor SLO that is based on availability (99.9% up-time), and define a collection rule SLO that is based on a performance rule (80% average processor time).

  1. Open the Operations console with an account that is a member of the Operations Manager Administrators user role.

  2. Click Authoring.

  3. In the navigation pane, expand Management Pack Objects, and then click Service Level Tracking.

  4. In the Tasks pane, click Create.

  5. In the Service Level Tracking dialog box, type a name for the service level that you are defining. For example, type LOB Application 1. Optionally, you can provide a description. Click Next.

  6. On the Objects to Track page, under Targeted class, click Select.

  7. In the Select a Target Class dialog box, select a class for the service level, such as Distributed Application, from the list in the text box. You can search for a class by typing its name into the Look For text box. Click OK to close the Select a Target dialog box.

  8. You can use the Scope option to specify the scope for the service level. The default selection is to use all objects of the targeted class.

  9. Select the management pack that this service level will be saved in. You can use an existing management pack or create a new one.

  10. Click Next.

  11. On the Service Level Objectives page, click Add, and then click Monitor state SLO to create a new monitor. This monitor will track the availability of the application.

  12. Define the state monitor as follows:

    1. In the Service level objective name text box, type a name for the service level objective. For this scenario, type Availability.

    2. From the Monitor drop-down list, choose the specific monitor that you want to use to measure the objective. For this scenario, choose Availability.

    3. Using the Service level objective goal (%) spin box, provide the numerical measure for your objective. For example, select 99.990 to indicate that your goal is 99.99% availability.

    4. You can refine what the monitor tracks to determine availability by selecting or clearing any of the following state criteria:

      • Unplanned maintenance

      • Unmonitored

      • Monitoring unavailable

      • Monitor disabled

      • Planned maintenance

      • Warning

  13. Click OK.

  14. On the Service Level Objectives page, click Add, and then click Collection rule SLO to create a new collection rule. This rule will track the performance of the application

  15. Define the performance collection rule as follows:

    1. In the Service level objective name: text box, type a name for the service level objective. For this scenario, type Performance.

    2. Under Targeted class, click Select to open the Select a Target Class dialog box. Specify the target class for the rule from the list of targets in the text box. Note that this class must be contained in the distributed application. For this scenario, select the specific class the rule is targeted to, such as Windows Server 2008 Operating System.

    3. Under Performance collection rule, click Select to open the Select a Rule dialog box. Specify the performance collection rule to use. For this scenario, choose Collect Processor\ % Processor Time performance counter, and then click OK.

    4. Using one of the Aggregation method options, choose one of the following:

      • Average

      • Min

      • Max

    5. Use the Service level objective goal drop-down list to specify either Less than or More than, and enter a value in the adjacent text box. For this scenario, choose Less Than and 80. This indicates that the performance goal is to never exceed 80% processor time.

    6. Click OK.

  16. On the Service Level Objectives page, click Next.

  17. On the Summary page, review the settings, and then click Finish.

  18. When the Completion page appears, click Close.

Defining a service level objective against a group

You can configure a service level objective (SLO) against a group of computers to ensure their availability. In the following scenario, you create a service level that consists of a group of servers (Exchange Servers) and then define a service level objective of 99.99% availability.

  1. Open the Operations console with an account that is a member of the Operations Manager Administrators user role.

  2. Click Authoring.

  3. In the navigation pane, expand Management Pack Objects, and then click Service Level Tracking.

  4. In the Tasks pane, click Create.

  5. In the Service Level Tracking dialog box, type a name for the service level that you are defining. For example, type Exchange Servers. Optionally, you can provide a description. Click Next.

  6. On the Objects to Track page, under Targeted class, click Select.

  7. In the Select a Target Class dialog box, select a class for the service level, such as Operations Management Group, from the list in the text box. You can search for a class by typing its name into the Look for text box. Click OK to close the Select a Target dialog box.

  8. You can use the Scope options to specify the scope of the service level. The default selection is to use all objects of the targeted class.

  9. Select the management pack that this service level will be saved in. You can use an existing management pack or create a new one.

  10. Click Next.

  11. On the Service Level Objectives page, click Add, and then click Monitor state SLO to create a new monitor. This monitor will track the availability of the application.

  12. Define the state monitor as follows:

    1. In the Service level objective name text box, type a name for the service level objective. For this scenario, type Availability.

    2. From the Monitor drop-down list, choose the specific monitor that you want to use to measure the objective. For this scenario, choose Availability.

    3. For the Service level objective goal, provide the numerical measure for your objective. For example, select 99.990 to indicate that your goal is 99.99% availability.

    4. You can refine what the monitor tracks to determine availability by selecting or clearing any of the following state criteria:

      • Unplanned maintenance

      • Unmonitored

      • Monitoring unavailable

      • Monitor disabled

      • Planned maintenance

      • Warning

    5. Click OK to close the Service Level Tracking dialog box.

  13. On the Service Level Objectives page, click Next.

  14. On the Summary page, review the settings, and then click Finish.

  15. When the Completion page appears, click Close.

After you create a service level objective, you can monitor it by using a Service Level Tracking dashboard view and the Service Level Tracking Report.

Next steps