ISA 2006 MP Problem with ISA SP1

This came up in the newsgroups that the latest ISA 2006 MP (version 6.0.6351.0 – 14th July 08) does not seem to work with ISA 2006 SP1. Basically the MP says they are not monitored but it works fine on ISA 2006 without SP1. The “solution” appears to be to use the previous ISA MP (6.0.5000.0 13th Sept 07) which according to one guy does work OK with ISA 2006 SP1. Luckily the previous MP is still in the catalog. A Microsoft response on the thread was:-

This is known issue with the ISA MP. A bug has been filed for it and was briefly investigated. The next re-release for the ISA MP will unfortunately not be any time soon — it is planned for around Q1 FY10 — but I will keep updating if plans change for this MP.

This brings up a whole load of questions about why we have to wait for almost a year. FY usually means Microsoft’s Financial Year which runs from July to June. This is a bad habit that Microsoft employees pick up to use FY instead of using “normal” years which are Jan to Dec. Not everyone knows Microsoft’s financial setup. So Q1 FY10 would mean July to September 2009!

The Microsoft Product Groups are supposed to ensure that the MPs match the updates and SPs that they release. It was all part of the Common Engineering Criteria announced by the VPs in 2005 and updated each year.

Common Engineering Criteria –

Specifically for 2008 (bold by me)

New Health Model to improve Troubleshooting

IT often have to perform an “information treasure hunt” when presented with events and trying to troubleshoot them. The documentation of events is often inconsistent between product documentation, the Windows Event Viewer, and documents on the Web.

To solve this problem, all server products must create and maintain a health model based on the standard Service Modeling Language (SML) including relevant operational events and performance counters, in addition to identifying potential failures and define diagnose and recovery information.

Improved Management Pack(s)

The new version of the Management Pack specification released as part of System Center Operations Manager 2007 offers significant improvement in system monitoring, availability, and health through centralized and proactive management. In order to ensure that IT can continue to support existing products in addition to implementing new products by taking advantage of the new Health Model and Management Packs, all server products will continue to also ship Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 Management Packs.

And from the original 2005 criteria

MOM 2005 Management Pack Support at Launch

To help businesses reduce the cost of managing infrastructure, all server products will have a MOM Management Pack available at launch. The management pack will be serviced on the same schedule as the core product. MOM packs will provide:

  • Event and performance processing alerts.
  • Basic views that graphically map performance and event trending information.
  • State Monitoring view (green/yellow/red) state for managed entities.
  • Tasks.

MPs in 2007 have the version no’s and are sealed. Therefore it should be easy to update the MP and put it out with these small but important fixes. Or even as an override MP that fixes the problem. If Microsoft balks at the testing then they should release them as beta MPs and it would be up to each organisation to decide on whether to use them or not

This is not just directed at the ISA MP but all the Microsoft MPs where bugs are discovered but they all get put into a pot and wait until a big release. This is unacceptable in the Web 2.0 Internet era. I remember years ago the MOM team talking about releasing rule updates when KB articles were released so you could download MP fixes and updates like you would download WSUS patches. After all, if there is a bug in a product we would have a KB article and a hotfix. Why not the same for MPs?


1 Comment

  1. Alex Larkin

    Hi Ian,

    Would you happen to have a spreadsheet of event ID’s sent to the windows application log? If you have any pointers that would also be great?

    Alex Larkin

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