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Monitor S2D with Operations Manager 2016

Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) is the Microsoft Software-Defined Storage solution. Thanks to S2D, we can deploy hyperconverged infrastructure based on Microsoft technologies such as Hyper-V. This feature is included in Windows Server 2016 Datacenter edition. You can find a lot of blog posts about S2D on this website. In this topic, I’ll talk about how to monitor S2D.

S2D is a storage solution and so it is a critical component. The S2D availability can also affect the virtual machines and applications. Therefore, we have to monitor S2D to ensure availability but also performance. When you enable Storage Spaces Direct, a new cluster role is also enabled: the Health Service. This cluster role gathers metrics and alerts of all cluster nodes and provide them from a single pane of glass (an API). This API is accessible from PowerShell, .Net and so on. Even if Health Service is a good idea, it is not usable for day-to-day administration because health service provides real time metrics and no historical. Moreover there is no GUI with health service.

Microsoft has written a management pack for Operations Manager which get information from health service API on a regular basis. In this way, we are able to make chart based on these information. Moreover, SCOM is able to raise alerts regarding S2D state. If you are using SCOM and S2D in your IT, I suggest you to install the Storage Spaces Direct management pack 🙂

Requirements

The below requirements come from the management pack documentation. To install the Storage Spaces Direct management pack you need:

  • System Center Operations Manager 2016
  • A S2D cluster based on Windows Server 2016 Datacenter with KB3216755 (Nano Server not supported)
  • Enable agent proxy settings on all S2D nodes
  • A working S2D cluster (hyperconverged or disaggregated)

You can download the management pack from this link.

Management pack installation

After you have downloaded and installed the management pack, you get the following files

File

Description

Storage Spaces Direct 2016

Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Storage Spaces Direct Management Pack.

Storage Spaces Direct 2016 Presentation

This Management Pack adds views and dashboards for the management pack.

Microsoft System Center Operations Manager Storage Visualization Library

This Management Pack contains basic visual components required for the management pack dashboards.

Microsoft Storage Library

A set of common classes for Microsoft Storage management packs.

Then, open an Operations Manager console and navigate in Administration. Right click on Management Packs and select import Management Packs. Then select Add from disk.

If you have Internet on your server, you can select Yes in the following pop-up to resolve dependencies with the online catalog.

In the next Window, Click on Add and select the Storage Spaces Direct management pack files. Then click on Install.

In monitoring pane, you should get a Storage Spaces Direct 2016 “folder” as below. You should also get the following error. It is because the management pack is not yet fully initialized and you have to wait a few minutes.

Operations Manager configuration

First, be sure that on agent proxy is enabled for each S2D nodes. Navigate in Administration | Agent Managed. Then right click on the node and select properties. In Security, be sure that Allow this agent to act as a proxy and discover managed objects on other computers is enabled.

Now I need to create a group for S2D nodes. I’d like this group is dynamic to not populate it manually. To create a group, navigate in Authoring. Right click on groups and select Create a new Group.

Provide a name for this group then select a destination management pack. I have created a dedicated management pack for overrides. I have called this management pack Storage Spaces Direct – Custom.

In the next window, I just click next because I don’t want to provide explicit group members.

Next I create a query for dynamic inclusion. The rule is simple: each server which has an Active Directory DN containing the word Hyper-V is added to the group.

As you can see in the below screen, my S2D nodes are added in a specific OU called Hyper-V. Each time I’ll add a node, the node is moved to this OU, and so my Operations Manager group is populated.

In the next screen of the group wizard, I just click on next.

Then I click again on next because I don’t want to exclude objects from this group.

Then your group is added and should be populated with S2D nodes. Now navigate to Monitoring | Storage | Storage Spaces Direct 2016 | Storage Spaces Direct 2016. Click on the “hamburger” menu on the right and select Add Group.

Then select the group you have just created.

From this point, the configuration is finished. Now you have to wait a long time (I’ve been waiting for 2 or 3 hours) before getting all information.

Monitor S2D

After a few hours, you should get information as below. You can get information about storage sub system, volume, nodes and file shares for disaggregated infrastructure. You can click on each square to get more information.

On the below screenshot, you can get information about volume. They are really valuable because you have the state, the total capacity, IOPS, throughput and so on. Active alerts on volume are also displayed.

Below screenshot shows information about Storage Sub System:

Conclusion

If you are already using Operations Manager 2016 and Storage Spaces Direct, you can easily monitor your storage solution. The management pack is free so I really suggest you to install it. If you are not using Operations Manager, you should find a solution to monitor S2D because the storage layer is a critical component.

About Romain Serre

Romain Serre works in Lyon as a Senior Consultant. He is focused on Microsoft Technology, especially on Hyper-V, System Center, Storage, networking and Cloud OS technology as Microsoft Azure or Azure Stack.

He is a MVP and he is certified Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (MCSE Server Infrastructure & Private Cloud), on Hyper-V and on Microsoft Azure (Implementing a Microsoft Azure Solution).

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