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Setup and Configuration of System Monitoring 

This wiki page describes the setup of System Monitoring with Solution Manager 7.1 SP12. There might be slight differences for other support packages. If there are significant differences it is mentioned in the corresponding section. 

Prerequisites

Before you start the System Monitoring configuration please make sure that the steps "System Preparation" and "Basic Configuration" of your SAP Solution Manager are performed. During these steps important configuration is performed which is a prerequisite for a successful configuration and operation of System Monitoring.

 

You also have to run the managed system setup for Solution Manager itself.

Remark: In case the SAP Solution Manager system is not set as “Diagnostics Relevant” parts of the Monitoring & Alerting Infrastructure will not work. For some metrics (e.g. the Host Network Availability) it is important that the System Monitoring for Solution Manager itself is activated first.

Before you can activate the System Monitoring for a managed system you also have to run the managed system setup for the system you want to monitor.

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The System Monitoring Setup Procedure

The setup of System Monitoring is performed via a guided procedure that can be accessed via the transaction SOLMAN_SETUP. In this guided procedure you find all steps necessary to configure technical monitoring and reporting. Each step of the guided procedure contains documentation, that will provide information as to what has to be done in the step and how it is done. 

To access the System Monitoring setup call transaction SOLMAN_SETUP. Select Technical Monitoring in the navigation area on the left side.

 

On the right side you now see the guided procedure that will take you through the monitoring setup. This wiki will explain the single steps of the guided procedure along with some additional information.

On the Overview screen you can see the status of the infrastructure configuration. If the status is grey, yellow or red, please rerun step 2 and it's sub steps to address configuration issues. If the status is green you can jump directly to step 4.

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Configure Infrastructure

If you run the System Monitoring setup for the very first time, you will have to perform some configuration for the monitoring infrastructure. This is one-time configuration. There might be some delta configuration after a support package, the status of the infrastructure in the Overview step will alert you if this is the case.

Check Prerequisites 

In this first step a check is run to make sure the prerequisites are met. In the first activity the basic configuration of Solution Manager is checked. The second activity checks the status of the Solution Manager BW, to make sure the technical content is activated and the necessary InfoCubes are available.

To perform this step click the "Execute All" button.

If you get errors or warnings in this step check the log area below in the column "Details" and address the issues, e.g. by running the missing steps in the basic configuration or rerunning the BW activation.

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Configure Manual

In the next step there are some optional manual steps. By default the activities 1-3 and 5 don't have to be performed, as they change expert settings in the infrastructure. See the activity documentation for details.

Activity 4 on the other hand is an activity you might want to perform. In this activity you can customize the content of the analysis report, the notification email, the Service Desk incident and the SMS. By default custom descriptions for metrics or alerts are not included in the report, email etc.. However, if you add a custom description to an alert (e.g. a link to a company internal wiki) or create custom metrics and alerts, you would want to include this information in the analysis report, email etc.. To customize the content click on "Start Web Dynpro" in the Navigation column.

To include custom descriptions you have to check the corresponding checkbox in the content customization. Select what part you want to maintain the content for and select the content you want to include on the left hand side. In the right panel you can see a preview for the report, email etc..

Don't forget to save your changes.

After you have performed an activity in this step please set the execution status to "Performed".

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Default Settings

The settings for notifications (emails/SMS), incidents and third-party components (e.g. SNMP traps) are changeable in three configuration levels.

In the step "Default Settings" you can set up global setting regarding notifications, incidents and third party components. There is one tab per type. The "Summary" tab gives you an overview over the current settings.

With SP10 and SP12 there were several enhancements regarding the notification and incident creation. So is it now possible to create alert consumer variants to be reused for an easier and faster configuration. You can also decide if you want to create notifications/incidents only for red alerts or for yellow or both. Further settings will be explained in the following.

Alert Consumer Variants

As of SP12 you can create alert consumer variants for notifications, incidents or third party components. An alert consumer variant stores settings and can be reused on each configuration level. This way you could define e.g. the incident creation for the basis team without having to maintain the transaction type, support component etc. every single time you want to create an incident for the basis team. This is especially useful if you maintain the notification/incident settings on alert or template level.

To select a variant select it from the drop-down box. To maintain them click on the link "Maintain Incident Variant" (respective "Maintain Notification/Third Party Component Variant").

A new window will open where you can maintain and create alert consumer variants. You can also see where which alert consumer variant is used.

The settings for the alert consumer variants are the same as if you set it up on global, template or alert level and will be discussed in detail the following. Just be aware that you have the possibility the maintain and use these variants.

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Incidents 

On the tab Incidents you can activate and customize the automatic creation of incidents in SAP Solution Manager Incident Management.

To activate the automatic incident creation change the value of the field "Automatic Incident Creation" to Active.

Now you can enter a lot of information regarding when and with what values you want to create the incident. The values you enter here are customer specific. Important to mention is the field "Incident Confirmation Confirms Alert". When this field is checked the alert gets closed as soon as the incident is confirmed in SAP Solution Manager Incident Management.

Below the standard setting is also a tray for advanced settings. Here you can add additional settings, e.g. if you want to update open incidents if a new alert for the same alert group is raised and if you want to update the incident information of the alert is closed. You can also add custom subject and message long text or execute a BAdI implementation that customizes the incident even further.

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Notifications

On the tab "Notifications" you can set up the automated email functions. To  activate notifications select "Active" from the "Automatic Notification" drop-down field.

Now you can maintain the sender and recipient information and also when and how you want to notify the recipients. You can add recipients or recipient lists. In general it is recommendable to use recipient lists even if you only want to add a few recipients. That's because if you use single recipients every change in the recipients requires a re-application and re-activation of all affected systems. If you use a recipient list instead you can change this list without having the reactivate the monitoring to make the changes take effect.

Via the link "My notification settings" you can change the notification settings for your own user, e.g. on-duty and off-duty times and substitutes.

As of SP12 you can also use Business Partner Functions in notifications. This way you can send an email depending on the managed object for with the alert is created. But as of now this only works on Technical  System level. The business partner is maintained in the LMDB for the technical system.

In the notification settings you than can choose the business partner function you want to use and SAP Solution Manager will automatically use the maintained business partner information (transaction BP), like email and phone number for the notification.

As already for incidents also for notification you have advanced settings. Here you can decide if you want to send notifications for closed alerts, send notifications only after the alert is open for a certain time or send additional notifications if the alert is still open a specific amount s of minutes after the first notification. You also can add custom subject and notification texts or use a BAdI to customize the notification even further.

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Third Party Components

Under the tab "Third Party Components" you set up the forwarding of alerts to third party components. This could e.g. be SNMP traps to a third party incident management tool. The third party communication is based on a BAdI implementation. More details can be found on the wiki page Alert Consumer BAdI Interface.

Once the BAdI implementation is active it can be added as alert reaction here.

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Automatic Alert Confirmation

The option automatic alert confirmation allows you to confirm alerts automatically if they switch back to green. Confirmed alerts are not displayed in the alert inbox. So this way you only have alerts with a current rating of yellow or red in the alert inbox.  

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Reporting Settings

In this step the monitoring specific BI content gets activated.

The BI based Reporting Health Checks needs to have a green status before the BI content activation can be started. The health checks run automatically when you enter the step. You can see the health check results once the check has finished.

In case of an BI health check error the result tree is automatically opened and shows the errors. The Long text info button opens a detailed error description and a procedure how to solve the problem. Once the problem is solved the related check needs to be re-executed to get a green health check status. Otherwise the BI Content activation cannot be started.

If everything finishes green click on the "Start" button to schedule the job CCMS_BI_SETUP to activate the content. Please note that only one CCMS_BI_SETUP job can run system-wide at one point in time. If the scheduling fails check if there is another CCMS_BI_SETUP job already running.

Once the setup finished successfully the BI content activation status will change to green.

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Housekeeping

In the step "Housekeeping" you make settings for the BI and the Monitoring and Alerting Infrastructure related housekeeping. It is recommended to leave the default settings und just save in this step. Please be sure you really know what you are doing when you change settings here, as these settings have an influence on the data growth in Solution Manager and hence changes here can lead to huge data growth if not considered carefully.

The upper tray contains the settings for the BW housekeeping. Per default minutely data is kept for 19 days and then aggregated to hourly data which is then kept for 31 days and so on. The lower tray contains the housekeeping settings for the monitoring and alerting infrastructure. The alert store housekeeping settings determine when an open alert is confirmed automatically and when a confirmed alert is deleted.

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Workmode Settings

In the step "Workmode Settings" you can change the global settings for the handling of the alerting if work modes are configured for a system. The monitoring can be paused depending on the work mode a system is in and you can even have different thresholds depending on the work mode. This way you avoid getting alerts if you system is in a planned downtime. Work modes can be scheduled in the Technical Administration Workcenter under Work Mode Management.

As the alert consumer settings for notifications and incidents etc. also the work mode settings have the three hierarchy levels "Global", "Template" and "Metric/Alert". Global settings are overwritten by template settings and template settings are overwritten by metric/alert specific settings.

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Update Content

In the last step of the infrastructure configuration you update the monitoring content. The monitoring content contains all templates that are delivered by SAP for System Monitoring and all other scenarios like e.g. PI Monitoring, as well as data collector templates. The content needs to be updated after every support package implementation. It is recommended to implement the latest version. If you monitoring is running fine, there is no need to update the content independent of the support package implementation. If you have problems with a metric and the troubleshooting reveals that it has an error in der definition in the content, a content update might help. Also SAP might asks you to update the content in an OSS ticket.

As of SP12 the Monitoring and Alerting Content is shipped via Rapid Content Delivery, to unify the delivery of content for Guided Procedures, MAI and other Solution Manager scenarios. This required additional setup. Information how to set up RCD can be found in the wiki Rapid Content Delivery. In the Solution Manager Basic Configuration -> Configure Manually you can schedule a weekly job that checks the Service Market Place for new content. The content is part of the package ST-CONT. If new content is found it s automatically downloaded to Solution Manager. However the application specific content has to be applied specifically for each application. In the case of MAI this would be in this step.

If new content is found then you will see it in this step indicated by a "Yes" for New Content Available and also the "Update" button will be activated.

The tray "Advanced Settings" you could upload content manually. However this is not recommended and should be used with high caution. You can also compare different content versions and it would tell you in which templates there were changes.

Remark: Please be aware that even when the rapid content delivery doesn't work, the status might show green and that no new content is available. The only thing that tips you off that something is wrong, is a warning message on top of the screen and that the content seems old (e.g. more than 2 month old). The reason for this is that the content is encapsulated in the rapid content delivery and if this doesn't work, then there is from MAIs point of view indeed no new content available.

To check if your content delivery works "in general" you can go to the "SAP Solution Manager Administration" Workcenter -> Infrastructure -> Content -> Rapid Content Delivery. Here you see the ST-CONT package that are downloaded in your Solution Manager system.

You can compare this against the content available in SAP Service Market Place (SAP Technology Components -> SAP SOLUTION MANAGER -> SAP SOLUTION MANAGER 7.1 -> Entry by Component -> Additional Content -> ST-CONT 100) and try to run report RCSU_AUTO_NOTIFY_AND_DWLD to trigger the update. If this is not helping please check that RCD is set up correctly as per the before mentioned wiki Rapid Content Delivery and in the worst case open a ticket under SV-SMG-UMP.  

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Standard Users

In the step "Standard Users" you can create users in SAP Solution Manager that have the exact right amount of authorizations to perform System Monitoring. The step is optional, you don't need to create the users to run System Monitoring. However it might be useful to take the information provided here as template to build an authorization concept for your Solution Manager.

You can create two different levels of users. The L2 (Level 2) user is the more powerful user. Please check the documentation in the column "Documentation" for the users for more information. To create all users with the default names select the "Create all Users" button. Or create the users one by one.

You can also assign the authorizations provided here to existing users. This way you can add monitoring specific authorizations to users that will run the monitoring later on. To do this first select the option "Provide Existing User" and execute to assign a user and then select the option "Update User Roles" and execute again.

As of SP12 you can also compare formerly created roles against the SAP delivered source role. This way you can see what changes were made to the roles and what needs to be updated in your customer roles. To access this screen select the role you want to check from the list and click the "Adjust Role" link in the upper right corner of the roles table. Please note that the link will only be active if you have authorizations to role maintenance (role SAP_SM_USER_ADMIN).

 

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Template Maintenance

The content of System Monitoring is delivered in SAP templates which contain metrics, alerts and events used to monitor managed objects. SAP delivers templates for a various kind of managed objects. The templates are groups by managed object type, which can be a host, a database, a technical system or a technical instance. As of SP13 we will also support database instances and database replication groups, mainly for SAP HANA. Templates are depending on the product version of the managed object. To check if you product version is supported please refer to the wiki page Supported Products. A template can only be assigned if the correct product version is selected during the managed system setup of the managed system.

Create a Custom Template 

You can use the SAP standard templates out of the box to get a quick start on monitoring, SAP templates contain SAP best practices and standards for monitoring. However it is best practice to create a copy of the SAP standard template in a custom template. The main reason is that you cannot change metrics, thresholds or alerts is SAP standard templates.

To create a custom template switch to edit mode and select the SAP standard template you want to copy in the left-hand navigation tree. Press the button "Create Custom Template" on top of the template tree.

Enter a name for you template and press the Save button. You will see all custom templates created for a SAP standard template as child leafs under the SAP standard template node on the template tree.

Remark: During the saving process you are asked for a package for you template. Please be aware that you cannot change the package assignment of a template later on! If you ever plan to transport the custom template please do not select "Local Object" (Package $TMP) as package for you template.

How many Custom Templates do I need?

The question how many custom templates you will need is not an easy one and has to be considered carefully. You can and should reuse the same template for several systems. The templates contain variables which are replaces during the activation like e.g. the SID, the hostname etc. to make sure they are reusable. The fewer custom templates you have the less maintenance effort it is. So the fewer the better. In the easiest case you will most likely have one custom template per product version for production systems and one for non-production systems. 

However, it is not always easy ... when it comes to real system landscapes, it gets complicated. Using the same template means to have the same thresholds for the metrics and the same notification method for the alerts. This might not be reasonable if your systems differentiate in size, user load and usage type.
Also if you need different teams to be notified for different systems, hosts or databases, as of now, this is not possible using only one template on technical instance, host or database level. On technical system level you can address this with the business partner function as described in section Notifications.

There is no general solution to this problem, it depends on your SAP landscape and your organization. You should still try to keep the number of templates to a minimum, e.g. by grouping systems that can go with the same thresholds or are operated by the same group etc..

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Template Settings

In your custom template you can change various settings. Settings on template level will influence all metrics resp. alerts in the template unless the settings are changed on metric/alert level as well. On template level you can change settings for notifications, incidents, work modes (Expert mode) and third party components (Expert mode). Template settings overwrite global settings made during the infrastructure configuration in step "Default Settings" and "Workmode Settings".

Access the respective tab to change the settings. The possible settings are the same as on global level. For more information refer to the section Default Settings in this wiki page. To switch to Expert mode click the respective button in the upper right corner.

In Expert mode you can see the tab for third party components and the work mode settings.

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Metric Settings

On the Metrics tab of the template you find all metrics that are part of this template. To see detail information for a metric select the metric in the list, the details will show up in a tab strip below. The tabs "Data Collection", "Assignment" and "Others" are only visible in Expert mode.

 

In a custom template you can change pretty much every setting for a metric. This is not recommended however. Especially the tab "Data Collection" should not be changed unless advised by SAP, as it changes the way the metric is collected and also which metric is collected.

The most common changes are threshold changes or metric activation/deactivation.

To (de)activate a metric you can just (un)check the checkbox in the Active column in the metric table. The metric will not be collected anymore.

To change a metric threshold select the metric from the list and click the "Change Settings" button.

As soon as you change something on a metric it is marked as "Modified" in the table above. So you can easily see which metrics were changed. If you want to reset a metric to the SAP standard value press the button "Restore Settings".

In Expert mode you can also adjust the threshold depending on the work mode a system is in.

Some metrics are grouped together in metric groups. This concept is used for metric like e.g. file system size, i.e. metric which have more than one instance (several file systems) but all instances use exactly the same data collector, parameters and data collection period. Single metrics in metric groups are identified by so called variants. If you change thresholds you can do so on variant level. However, usually variants use wildcards, because at design time it is not known how many instances will be found at runtime (e.g. the mounted file systems vary from customer to customer and there also from host to host).

Metric groups can be identified by the little triangle inform of the metric group name. The metric group variants are maintained on the "Data Collection" tab. If you have more than one variant they will show up as sub tree under the metric group name in the metric table.

You can adjust variants if necessary, e.g. if you want to exclude certain file systems from monitoring. See also the wiki Setup Examples for System Monitoring for information how to do this.

If the metric provided by SAP are not sufficient and you need to add more metrics you can do so in Expert mode. Please see the wikis Create Custom Metrics and Alerts and How-to Guides for Advanced Configuration for more information.

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Alert Settings 

On the tab Alerts you find all alerts that belong to a template. One alert can group several metrics. So usually you will find less alerts than metrics in a template. The grouping concept was introduced to avoid multiple alerts for the same or very related problems.

For alerts you can change settings for the notification, incident, third party components (Expert mode) and work mode settings (Expert mode). On alert level you also have auto reactions (Expert mode). Auto reactions are a reaction to an alert that happens without user interaction but automatically. Auto reactions have to be implemented using the same BAdI as third party components. Find more information in the wiki Alert Consumer BAdI Interface.

Settings on alert level overwrite the settings on template level.

To change the settings select the alert in the list, click the "Change Settings" button and go to the respective tab or change the value in the alerts table (you will still have to provide additional information on the respective tab). The possible settings are the same as on global level. Please refer to section Default Settings in this wiki for details.

You can also activate and deactivate alerts. To (de)activate an alert (un)check the checkbox in the Active column next to the alert in the alert table.

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Updating the Monitoring Content

A typical question is how custom templates are influenced by monitoring content updates. The answer to this depends on whether the content of the custom template was changed or not. In general all content in the template, metrics and alerts, is created as pointer to the original metric in the SAP standard template. Only when the metric or alert is changed by the customer this object is copied for real.

In case of a content update all metrics, alerts and events that were never changed in the custom template are also updated automatically. The changed metrics, alerts or events on the other hand are not updated and have to be checked manually. If a metric or alert was changed is indicated by the flag "Modified" in the metric/alert table.

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Transporting Templates 

Monitoring templates are transportable from one Solution Manager to another using the ABAP transport system.

If you create a custom template in an own package a transport request will be created automatically for this template. All changes in the template and the template itself will be stored in the transport request and can be transported whenever you are finished with the template maintenance.

You can also create a transport request explicitly by clicking on the "Generate Request" button.

 

A new window opens and you can select which templates you want to transport. Please note that templates created in the $TMP package (Local Objects) cannot be transported. Also if there is already an unreleased transport request open for a template it cannot be added to another one.

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Change Default Assignment of Templates

In step 6 on the System Monitoring setup default templates will be assigned to the system selected in step 5, if you are in edit mode. This default assignment speed the setup up quite a bit especially when you handle a lot of systems or systems with a lot of instances. Initially the SAP standard templates are assigned as default. To make sure your custom templates are assigned as default templates you have to change this setting.

To change the default assignment select the managed object type (e.g. Technical Instance) in the left-hand navigation tree. On the right you find the tab "Default Assignment". On this tab you can now select the default template you want to assign in the column "Default template: custom-defined".

Save you changes.

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Further functionality
Compare Templates

You can compare you custom templates against each other or against the SAP standard template. This is especially useful when you want to check what needs to be updated after a content update. The application tells you which metrics, alerts or events were changed and which part of the content was changed (e.g. threshold, data collection etc.).

To open the application click the "Compare" button in the upper right corner while your template is the currently selected one.

In a new window you can now select against what you want to compare your template. Click the "Compare" button to start the comparison. The result is displayed in the tab strip below.

 

Content Check

The content check checks if your template is consistent regarding metrics and assigned alerts. A template is inconsistent if you e.g. have an alert with no metrics or you have activated an event but none of the underlying metrics. These inconsistencies would cause issues during the activation of the monitoring template on the system.

To check the consistency of your template click the "Content Check" button in the upper right corner.

A new window will open with the result of the check.

Template Backup 

You can create one backup of you template if you are not sure about the changes you are about to make. It is not a real versioning, that would allow you to roll back to an older version, but it enables you to backup a template before you make changes.

To create a backup you have to be in Read Only mode. Select you template in the template tree and click the "Backup" button to create a backup.

You will be warned that existing backup versions will be overwritten.

To overwrite a current version with a backup you have to be in Edit mode. Select the button "Overwrite Current with Backup" button to load the backup version.

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Define Scope

Once you are done with the template management you can select the system for which you want to activate the monitoring in step 5 of the monitoring setup procedure.

In the step you see all managed object known in the LMDB. You have different tabs for technical systems, hosts and databases. If you select a technical system the underlying database and hosts will be selected too automatically. You can use the Ctrl button to select multiple managed systems at once.

In the table you have status columns that tell you about the configuration status of the system and the monitoring for the system. Please make sure that the column "Auto. Conf. Status" shows green. This is the column for the managed system setup status of the system.

Once you have selected all systems you want to set up, click the "Next" button. Make sure you are in Edit mode when you click Next, otherwise no default templates will be assigned to the selected systems.

In this step you can also remove monitoring from a managed object if necessary using the "Remove Monitoring" button. 

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Setup Monitoring

In step 6 you finally apply and activate the monitoring.

The first step is to check if the assigned templates are the ones you want. The column "Assigned Templates' shows which templates were assigned. If the templates are not correct you can change the assignment by clicking on the link "Assign Templates"

Once you clicked this link a tray will open in which you see a list of all products that are assigned to the managed system. For each product you can assign one product specific template. Select the template you want to use from the drop down list.

If you want to restore the default assignment of the templates you can do so by clicking the "Restore Defaults" button. This will restore the default assignment for all managed objects!

You also have the option to change settings for metrics, events and alerts for the selected managed object only. This will overwrite the settings in the template. This can be necessary if e.g. you want to use the same template for all ABAP systems but you have to change the threshold for only one metric in only one system. The MO specific settings can be changed via the corresponding link in the upper right corner. But be careful, use this option mindful. Changing the settings on MO level can lead to a great deal of confusion and maintenance. This option must not be a replacement for a good template concept.

Once you are done and the correct templates are assigned click the button "Apply and Activate" to activate the monitoring.

If you need to check the runtime values after the monitoring activation you can access the Alerting Directory Browser via the link "Directory Browser" in the upper right corner.

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Reporting

After the activation is finished you also can activate the reporting for the managed object. The reporting is necessary for metric monitoring, dash-boarding and interactive reporting.

In this step select all systems for which reporting should be activated. Java systems cannot be selected because for them the reporting is already activated during the managed system setup. Uncheck the checkbox "Keep custom settings" if it is checked and then click the "Activate" button.

 

The last step "Complete" gives you an overview over the setup steps.

Congratulation! You have activated the System Monitoring for your systems.

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Andrea,

    Thanks for this blog.

    If I use BPmon scenario in landscape, should I use maintain variant notifications/alerts for it in the sys mon config and keep them active?

    Is there any link between sys mon and BPmon alerts/notifications?

    I would appreciate your detailed answer.

    Thanks in advance

     

  2. Hi ,

    While creating a custom template for CI server and app server 7.40...which Managed object should I choose from the standard..from technical instance or technical instance?

    for DB , I can create a custom template from Oracle.

    I would appreciate your help and inputs..

    Thanks in advance