I wanted to write about something that I haven’t used much, and therefore force myself to learn it better, especially since it is on the MCSE Private Cloud re-certification exam that I need to write.

So, let’s discuss and learn together about the System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) Synthetic Transactions.

According to this TechNet article (Monitoring By Using Synthetic Transactions): “synthetic transactions are actions, run in real time, that are performed on monitored objects. You can use synthetic transactions to measure the performance of a monitored object and to see how Operations Manager reacts when synthetic stress is placed on your monitoring settings.” The most common example is with monitoring websites, but could also include databases, and TCP monitoring.

Start by launching the SCOM console, and navigate to the Authoring workspace, From there, expand Management Pack Templates and find Web Application Transaction Monitoring.

Authoring - Web App Transaction Monitoring

Right-click on the Web Application Transaction Monitoring, and choose Add Web Monitoring.

Web App Transaction Monitoring - Add Monitor Wizard

In the Add Monitoring Wizard, select ‘Web Application Transaction Monitoring’, and then click Next.

Add Monitoring Wizard - Monitoring Type

In the General Properties section, provide a name for the synthetic transaction, and select a Management Pack to store it in, then click Next.

Add Monitoring Wizard - General Properties

On the Web Address section, enter the URL you want to monitor, and click Test.

Add Monitoring Wizard - Web Address

The URL will be tested from the SCOM Management server.

Testing URL

Once the test has been completed successfully, click Next.

Add Monitoring Wizard - Web Address (Test Complete)

On the Watcher Node section, select the server that will be used to run the synthetic transaction, and also configure the frequency that the transaction will be run, then click Next.

Add Monitoring Wizard - Watcher Node

On the Summary section, select the checkbox labelled ‘Configure Advanced Monitoring or Record a browser session’, then click Create.

Add Monitoring Wizard - Summary

This will then launch the Web Application Editor. Through this editor, you can change details around HTTP status codes, response times, both for an Error state and an  Warning state. Once you have made any changes you require, click the Verify button, and then Apply. Once the changes have been applied, close the Web Application Editor window.

Web App Editor

To view the state of this monitor, navigate to the Monitoring workspace, and expand the Web Application Transaction Monitoring > Web Application State. You will see the web application that was configured.

Monitorig - Web Application State

If the monitoring identifies an issue (as per the configured Web Application settings), then an Alert will be generated.

Monitorig - Web Application State - Critical

Now that the Web Application monitoring has been tested successfully, you can add this monitor to a Distributed Application, create a Subscription to send an email, even link this Alert into an Orchestrator Runbook for automated actions.