Operations Manager Cross-Platform Authoring: Invoke Action Monitor

When monitoring UNIX/Linux servers, command execution or script-based monitors can provide a great deal of flexibility in many health-checking applications.   The Operations Manager 2007 R2 cross-platform agent facilitates the execution of shell command lines or executable binaries and scripts with the Microsoft.Unix.WSMan.Invoke.Probe module.   In this post, I will walk through the use of this module in an example monitoring scenario:  monitoring UNIX/Linux systems for the count of defunct/zombie processes.   The management pack described in this post can be downloaded here.


The Microsoft.Unix.WSMan.Invoke.Probe is a nicely wrapped implementation of the module Microsoft.SystemCenter.WSManagement.TimedInvoker from the Microsoft.SystemCenter.WsManagement.Library management pack.  The Microsoft.Unix.WSMan.Invoke.Probe facilitates the execution of commands or processes on the agent with two Invoke Actions:  ExecuteCommand and ExecuteShellCommand.   The ExecuteCommand Invoke Action executes a script or binary executable (along with command line parameters), whereas the ExecuteShellCommand executes a command string in a shell environment.   While similar, a key functional difference between the two is that the ExecuteShellCommand Invoke Action supports command-line pipe operations while the ExecuteCommand Invoke Action does not.   So, any output filtering with awk, sed, or grep (for example) will require the use of the ExecuteShellCommand Invoke Action.  An example of using the ExecuteCommand Invoke Action in a discovery and monitor can be found in the Cross Platform MP Authoring Guide.   However, one advantage of using ‘one-liner’ commands with the ExecuteShellCommand Invoke Action in monitoring scenarios as opposed to calling local scripts with ExecuteCommand is that the need to distribute and maintain scripts to agents is eliminated and the monitoring script is thus embedded in the MP to be managed centrally. 

As for monitoring of defunct processs count, the UNIX ps command can easily be utilized to identify defunct/zombie processes.  With some output manipulation by grep and awk, the command string can be configured to return just the number of defunct processes to StdOut: ps -eo ‘s’ | grep Z | awk ‘END{print NR}’

Turning this command into a functional monitor then just requires a data source to execute the InvokeAction, a monitor type to define the condition detections and health states, and a unit monitor.

Walk Through

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