Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Agentless monitoring in System Center 2012 Operations Manager


In System Center 2012 Operations Manager, an operations manager agent monitors the managed computer. A managed computer is any computer that has an operations manager agent installed on it. To install an agent is not possible every time. For some monitoring object you cannot install an agent. For example, you cannot install an agent for NLB VIP or server Cluster VIP because they are not physical or virtual servers.

In this article, we are going to monitor virtual ip of Windows nlb. For more information on installing System Center 2012 Operations manager.

Installing System Center 2012 Operations manager Part-I
Installing SQL 2008 R2 for System Center 2012 Operations manager Part-II
Installing System Center 2012 Operations manager Part-III

Configuring SCOM 2012 Proxy Agent

Open the System Center 2012 Operations console and click on Administration workspace. Right click any place under Administration > Device Management and select Discover Wizard.

Discover Wizard

 The discovery wizard will give you three options to select under "Choose the type of computers or devices of discover and manage".
  1. Windows computers
  2. UNIX/Linux computers
  3. Network devices
Select the Windows computers and click next to continue. In this article, we are monitoring a server that has Windows 2008 R2 operating system installed.

Choose computer or device type

On the next page, select Advanced Discovery, under "Choose automatic or advanced discovery". The first option of automatic discovery searches entire directory "WT" and returns a list of computers available in the domain for monitoring. But if you want to monitor specific computers, select advanced discovery option. Also there is option to choose the object for discovery.
  1. Servers and Clients         -returns both server and client objects.
  2. Servers only                      -returns only server objects.
  3. Clients only                       -returns only client objects.           
And you can select a specific management server if you have more than one installed in a management group to monitor the discovered servers or clients or both.

Select advanced discovery option

There are two methods to discover the computers - use active directory query and browse or type computer names to discover.
We want to discover a specific server hence select "Browse for or type-in computer names". Then type-in the computer names and click next to continue.

Type-in the computer names

Once discovered, the System Center 2012 Operations manager will install agent on the target computer object. The discovery process is done using management server action account. However, to install the agent it needs local administrator privileges. Under Administrator Account, select other user account option and type-in the credentials for built-in domain administrator account and click Discover.

Type in credential for built-in administrator

After a few minutes, SCOM 2012 discovers the computer object and shows under "Discovery Results".
We do not want to install an agent on this server, but we want to monitor this server object using proxy agent. In other words, we will monitor this server using agent that is installed on a different computer. Under management mode, select Agentless and  notice that the management server option changed to Proxy Agent. Select the server that you will act as proxy agent by clicking Change. Click next to continue.

Select management mode as Agentless

To start installing agent and managing computers, click Finish.

Click Finish to complete the discovery

Note: There is no agent installation in this type of discovery.

Make another managed computer as proxy agent

To configure a managed computer as a proxy agent so that you could configure it later using Discovery wizard. Click Managed computer under Administration workspace and select the specific managed computer object.

Right click the computer object and click Properties.

Enable Agent proxy option under Security tab

Select the Security tab and check the option "Allow this server to act as a proxy and discover managed objects on other computers" and Apply and OK.


Managing computer using proxy agent is similar to installing an agent and monitoring the managed computer. In the case of proxy agent, the agent is installed on a different computer which means there must be good network link between the proxy agent and agentless managed computer.

Since the agent on proxy agent computer has more task of monitoring another computer make sure that we have enough resources such as memory, etc for good performance.

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