SCSM Troubleshooting

Even the best products generate problems or show strange behavior sometimes – even Service Manager! So it’s very important to know what tools and techniques are available to analyze and troubleshoot problems. In this blog post I will cover the most important things you need to know to bring your Service Manager environment back to a green state.

1. Installation

There are situations in which Service Manager can’t even get installed. I agree that this is a real bad first experience with the product. To resolve those kind of problems, Service Manager creates several log files that hold information about the installation process. The files are placed in the temp directory of the installing user.

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Two log files are very interesting here (even though the other also hold valuable information). SCSMInstall.log and SCSMSetupWizard.log. They may contain the reason why your installation failed.

2. Windows Event Log

Service Manager and Operations Manager share a common platform and therefore use the same event log called “Operations Manager”. This log holds lots of information that can be used to get detailed information about the Service Manager infrastructure.

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3. Tracing

If the event log does not provide enough information for troubleshooting things, tracing can be used for detailed analysis. With tracing you can log detailed information while reproducing a specific error. All you need for tracing is located in the Tools directory within the Service Manager installation directory.

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The trace can be started by using the startsmtracing.cmd. You can use different parameters to control the information that will be collected. In this example, I choose verbose logging and the console GUI as the thing to be monitored. To target the trace, you can choose from the different ctl files in the tools directory.

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After starting the trace, you can reproduce the problem and then stop the trace using the stopsmtracing.cmd. An etl file is generated in the directory %windir%\temp\smtrace. This file is not human readable, therefore it must be reformatted using another command called formattracing.cmd located in the Tools folder. After a few seconds the output file will also appear in the Tools folder (tmf file). It holds all information about the trace and maybe gives you the information you are looking for. Be careful: the file can contain lots of information!

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4. Workflows

If you are having troubles with your workflows you can use the workflow status view in the Service Manager console. It gives you a quick overview if workflows are running as expected or if problems occurred in the past.

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5. Data Warehouse

Using the data warehouse enables rich reporting, but only when the data flows through the different databases and gets prepared correctly. Sometimes the needed jobs to get things done can fail somehow. Using the default Service Manager Snapin for powershell can help you analyze what’s going on (or whats not going on). Make sure you use those cmdlets on the data warehouse server.

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So, with the shown tools and techniques you should be able to deeply analyze your failures and errors and fix them on your own even though it needs a lot of experience. And if this does not help you can still open a support case at Microsoft 🙂

regards
Marcel

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