Operations Manager

SCOM Virtualization host CPU spikes

A lot of the core functionality SCOM 2016 has today was released with SCOM 2007. SCOM 2007 was released (as the name states) in 2007, at the very, very early stages of virtualization. 2007 Was also the start of my professional IT career and I remember only the most assertive companies with most capital was thinking about or using SAN and virtualization. I am talking about oil companies, large architectural firms etc. but still they had the environments in-house, making the virtualization environments small.

In 2018 most companies have much larger environments in-house or have moved everything to a service provider or a public cloud, and now, old SCOM 2007 implementations beginning to play a part.

Virtualization hosts

I work for a service provider in Norway, and we have around 4000 vm’s running on VMWare ESX. The environment is monitored in different ways, but visualization is using Grafana and Influx DB – providing very good insight to analyze the environment. See how you can create your own solution following Rudi Martinsens blog series on VMWare performance data.

This chart shows around 3000 VM’s CPU Ready spike every 15 minutes. Previously we had these spikes at 5 and 15. More on that later.

 

Collect Distributed Workflow Test Event

Collect Distributed Workflow Test Event is the rule that logs event id 6022 on all agent managed computers. It is used to “test event collection”.

Here’s a quote from the rule’s KB

This rule runs for each System Center Management Health Service and logs an event. This event is collected and used to verify that the end-to-end workflow to collect events properly is functioning as expected. If you alter the interval for this rule, it can cause the corresponding monitors to change state or generate an alert. The corresponding monitors are “No End to End Event for 45 Minutes (Critical Level)” and “No End to End Event for 30 Minutes (Warning Level)

 

The rule refers to two monitors using this event to check that “end-to-end” workflow is working. By default these two monitors are disabled, so what is the purpose of this rule? I already know from investigation that this rule indeed causes the CPU spikes every 15 minutes, that it has not implemented “spread initialization” which would be the prefered method. Instead it has a sync time forcing the same start interval for all agents. Even though it doesn’t create a noticeable overhead it self, multiply by X VMs on a host and you will see the impact.

I was not sure if the event logged by the rule was used to something else, so I reached out to Microsoft Premier Support. After a few phone calls and emails referring to my uservoice idea explaining the issue we got the following reply.

[…]

To summarize, if you did not enable the two monitors and if you have disabled the collection rule, logging the event is quite useless. There is no point in logging an event that no one checks afterwards. From this perspective, you could disable the rule logging the event and the collection rule as well, if this is not already disabled.

That confirmed my suspicions. This rule has no value (to our environment) and I can disable the whole thing.

Collect agent processor utilization

I have written about this rule exactly a year ago and I was not the first. It is the worst of the two and runs a script every five minutes to collect agent performance data. If you don’t use this data. Disable the rule.

Fun fact: Kevin Holman was the one suggested to run this rule every 321 seconds as he was tired of every workflow was running every 300 seconds by default.

 

Summary

Every SCOM environment differs from the other, but I strongly belive you are impacted by these two rules. “Collect Distributed Workflow Test Event” and “Collect agent processor utilization” both run on a fixed interval with a sync time instead of using Spread Initialization.

Depending on the size of your environment, , but if you don’t use the data generated by these rules I recommend you disable them. Here is a graph showing our two largest clusters hosting around 1000 VM’s.
Just before 11 I disabled “Collect Distributed Workflow Test Event” and you can clearly see the difference.

 

Let me know if you have experienced similar issues or have comments to this post.

 

Martin Ehrnst
Technical Lead for Azure at Intility
IT Pro with a passion for monitoring. Working with System Center, OMS, Azure and related software and cloud services.

Direct customer experience from previously being a Technical Account Manager.

Community supporter where I try to contribute via blogging and social media.

3 COMMENTS
  • System Center Mart 2018 Bülten – Sertaç Topal
    Reply

    […] SCOM Virtualization host CPU spikes […]

  • igorpuhalo
    Reply

    Good article. When it comes to Microsoft there is always some things that are useless or deprecated. I am fighting for 3 days with connecting centos7 to scom 1801. I am asking myself is it problem in my Microsoft knowledge or lack of Linux knowledge 😁

    1. Martin Ehrnst
      Reply

      I feel you. By the way, have you tested any of the new Linux features in 1801?

      This particular problem won’t necessary formalize before youre environment is at certain size, but that doesn’t mean you’re not impacted 🙂 SCOM is a very powerful tool, but we see some limitations then and now…

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