Not Faulty – Just Documented

Pontus points out the the CPU utilisation is not enabled in the SP1 Windows Server management pack.

It is not really a fault with SP1 as it is a management pack. And although the MPs have been revved to go with the SP1 version I am not sure what has changed to give them a new number. Not much I suspect but I would like to know if anything has changed, what and why.

It is not really a fault of the MP as it is clearly documented in the MP guide that the CPU discovery is switched off and how to switch it on. So you can not call it a bug. Even although there is also a KB for it which was done in January and the document was done in October last year.  You may be surprised that it is not switched on by default but as long as it is clearly documented then it is a choice for each installation. I have found that with 2005 it was useful to read the MP guides but with 2007 it is essential.

Be careful with where you get the documentation. I checked if there was a later copy at the main list of documents to download at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=d826b836-59e5-4628-939e-2b852ed79859&DisplayLang=en but the Windows Server MP Guide document there was March 2007 but I have one dated October 2007 which was included as part of the updated MP download. That was the silly one where they just updated the document and wrapped it up in the MP MSI download even although the MP had not changed. The trouble with this page is that it just gives a list of documents, their file sizes and a download button. There is no date or version number in the table. In fact the documents don’t include a version number any more.  I liked it when they did. For example I knew I had the latest MOM 2005 Security Guide as it was v1.3.  Another example is the Key Concepts paper which was released in Nov but there is a second version and that has a date of 14th Nov. Confusing of you don’t have both. A version number would have helped.

In the Microsoft Download area choosing Microsoft System Center Operations Manager as my product in the advanced search I can see the last update of the Windows Server MP was 17 Jan 2008.

Management Pack Release History:
Initial Release 3/23/2007 Version 6.0.5000.0
9/28/2007 – Updated release Version 6.0.5000.25
10/23/2007 – Updated MP Guide – Software Version still 6.0.5000.25
11/8/2007 – Updated MP Guide – Software version still 6.0.5000.25
1/15/2008 – Updated Guide – same version

Download the MSI yields up the Oct 2007 guide even though the list says the guide was updated in October, November and January if you are to believe the history. But why is that not reflected in the list of docs to download?

By the way this management pack install must have the most frightening dialogue box ever.

Windows MP MSI install

If you go to the Product Documentation page (my favourite page) at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/opsmgr/bb498235.aspx you get a list of the docs and guides with a release date and the ability to read some online.

Unfortunately this page confuses you even more. Take the Key Concepts paper. It is listed as 4th Nov (so the first one and not the 14th update). Follow the link and the download page says it was published on the 10th December and it is version 1.0 but you get the right doc when you download.

The Windows Server MP guide says 27th March and it is. Not the October update. What a mess the site is. You can not guarantee that you are working with the latest document and there isn’t even a list to say what all the documents are and the latest update so that you can check.

Suggestions for Microsoft

  1. Ensure that all docs have a version number as well as a date
  2. Ensure that the list of docs at the above link have a date and version number beside them
  3. Update the dates and links on the Product Documentation page
  4. Don’t wrap a doc in an MSI with an MP if that is the only change
  5. If a document changes make sure that all links refer to the updated document and not an old document
  6. Create a page with a list of all documents done and the latest version and keep that page up to date.

It is hard enough keeping up to date without having to work out where to find the latest document.

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1 Comment

  1. If you read the http://support.microsoft.com/kb/KB944443 list of fixes in SP1 you find this http://support.microsoft.com/kb/938991/.
    Which also is a SQL MP monitor disabled by default. So Microsoft treat some disabled monitors as something to fix in a SP. I agree that a disabled discovery is not a bug BUT the monitors that are enabled and depends on the default disabled discoveries are BUGs. I have found some more, the discovery of physical disks are default disabled but the monitor “Average Disk Seconds Per Transfer” is targeted to the disabled Physical disks. Same for both Windows 2000 and WIndows 2003 MPs. If a discovery is disabled then the monitors depending on the discovery should be disabled as well. There must be consistency.

    I strongly agree with you that documentation is really messed up. This week Microsoft Download publish a SQL MP released in December with a version lower than the one in the SP1 package…..

    Toady a had to download .NET 1.1 to my x64 box just to get out the files from the Vista client MP. The Vista client MP is not with the SP1 files but the xp and windows 2000 client MPs are. Ok VISTA files was not on the RTM CD but I think that the newest client OS shuld be a part of the product CD. Vista is already SP1 too.

    //Pontus

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