It's almost a month since System Center Operations Manager Beta is available for download http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/en/us/om-vnext-beta.aspx. I'm really proud of rich application monitoring functionality it now has out of the box . Basically application monitoring there is AVIcode functionality seamlessly integrated into Operations Manager.

One of the interesting aspects of application monitoring is how IT pros and application developers can benefit from the information provided from the application monitoring functionality such that its actionable for both of these groups of people. On the one hand developers usually don't have access to staging and production environment and don’t monitor them. They live in new versions and debugging. On the other hand IT guys typically not interesting in such a detailed information AVIcode can provide.

Finding the equilibrium between informative and simple monitoring solution was the main reason to start this blog.

I'm development lead for application monitoring feature of Operations Manager and I spent almost all my professional life in implementing monitoring solutions. That's why I'll be really glad to get a feedback from you on how do you use application monitoring and how to make it even better.

Trying this feature is extremely simple for you. First of all install Operations Manager 2012 Beta. After that it's only two steps - discover your application and enable monitoring for it . Fairly speaking there is one more step - IIS restart, that required to apply monitoring configuration to your application.

So here are the steps:

  1. Import IIS management pack to discover applications.
  1. Enable monitoring for your application in wizard.
  1. Restart IIS.

That's it! Sure I didn't mention that you will wait for discovery of your application after the first step and you also will wait for monitoring enablement after the second step. But this it's a reasonable price for having a reliable centralized management.

Now you got an alerts that will show problems for you application, don't you? I assume there are no alerts. I'm pretty sure you enabled this in sandbox where all pages are pretty fast and there are no unhandled exceptions happen.

That's why I'll teach you how to get exception even for a healthy applications. It works almost for all of them.

Open any page of you web site, let's say it's http://foo/Default.aspx. In address bar add following to the name of the page: "?serg=<kanz". You'll get something like http://foo/Default.aspx?serg=<kanz. This simple request magically raises unhandled exception for a most ASP.NET applications!

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This trick works even for the official ASP.NET site: http://www.asp.net/Default.aspx?serg=<kanz

Event for this exception you can find in AppDiagnostics console that now installs together with WebConsole. Having this event you can see who requested the page (IP address is collected) and which page failed. You can even see why it's failed - because of a dangerous request (serg="<kanz"). Isn’t it amazing to have all information collected?

Try it and let me know if it's not working for your application. I plan to show more interesting cases in this blog.

Hope you like my first post. I've already prepared a couple more - so subscribe for the updates!

If you need more detailed instructions how to enable application monitoring for your application - here is the link to Quick Start Guide http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh205988.aspx which contains detailed step-by-step instructions. But who reads these manuals...