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This chapter is from the book

Windows Services

Computers running OpsMgr components also host particular Windows services in specific configurations depending on their function(s). The presence of the OpsMgr Health service is universal to all Windows computers participating in an Operations Manager 2007 management group. The next sections describe the Health service as well as the other four services that exist in a management group with Audit Collection Services deployed.

OpsMgr Health Service

The Health service provides a general execution environment for monitoring modules. Such modules form different workflows, enabling end-to-end monitoring scenarios.

Health Service Implementations

There are actually two flavors of the Health service:

  • The first implementation, the Agent Health service, runs on monitored Windows computers. The service executes tasks, collects performance data, and performs other functions on the managed computer. The Agent Health service continues to run, collecting data and performing tasks, even when disconnected from a management server. Data and events accumulate in a disk-based queue, and they are reported when the connection to the management server is restored.
  • The other implementation of the Health service runs on a management server. The functionality of the Health service running on a management server varies depending on the setup of the management group and the management packs installed.

Installing new or additional management packs extends the Health service running on both types of computers (agent-managed computers and management servers). Another important feature of the Health service is that it provides credential management services to other OpsMgr processes, supporting execution of modules running as different users.

Security

A public/private key pair, used for secure communications, is created on each instance of the Health service (RMS, Management Server, Gateway Server, and agent). This key pair can be regenerated at any time. The public key is published at the following times:

  • During startup
  • When the key expires
  • During a failure to decrypt a message
  • Upon request by the SDK (discussed in the next section) to republish the key

If the key is not successfully published, the SDK may post errors. The agent key may also drop "key mismatch" events. Because OpsMgr is self-healing, the agent republishes the key or the SDK re-requests the key if there is a problem. When the key is close to expiring, the Health service restarts itself, regenerating the key. If you think the key has been compromised, remove it and restart the Health service to generate a new key.

OpsMgr SDK Service

The OpsMgr SDK service is found in the services list of all management servers. However, the service is disabled unless the server is also the RMS. This service and the OpsMgr Config service, described next, are both found only on management servers. All data flowing to and from the Operations database is transported via the OpsMgr SDK service running on the RMS.

The SDK service is responsible for providing access for the OpsMgr console to the Operations database, viewing the current state of a monitored object, importing management packs to the database, storing management packs in the database, and storing management group configuration information in the database. The SDK service also handles the following functions:

  • Writing event data to the database
  • Writing state-change data to the database
  • Writing performance counter data to the database

In addition, the SDK service owns a symmetric encryption key for the management group that accesses the Run As Account information, which is stored in the Operations database. We introduced Run As Accounts in Chapter 2, "What's New."

The encryption key information is stored in the Registry. If you lose this key, you will have to clear out and reset the Run-as accounts. The management group key is also required if you are promoting a management server to become your new RMS and want to keep your Run As Accounts. You can back up and restore this key using a Microsoft-provided key backup tool. This process is further discussed in Chapter 10.

OpsMgr Config Service

Similar to the OpsMgr SDK service described earlier, the OpsMgr Config service will also be found installed on all management servers, but disabled unless the server is also the RMS. The OpsMgr Config service manages the relationships and the topology of the OpsMgr 2007 environment.

The OpsMgr Config service is responsible for providing the monitoring configuration to each agent's Health service, which may include sensitive information. The service acts as an intermediary for delivering sensitive information in an encrypted format from the Operations database to the target Health service on a monitored agent.

OpsMgr Audit Forwarding Service

This service sends events to an ACS collector server for storage in a SQL Server database. The Audit Forwarding service is found on each Windows computer in an OpsMgr management group. By default, the service needed for an agent to be an ACS forwarder is installed but not enabled when the OpsMgr agent is installed. After you install the ACS collector and database, you can then remotely enable this service on multiple agents through the Operations console by running the Enable Audit Collection task.

OpsMgr Audit Collection Service

The Audit Collection service is responsible for receiving audit events over the network and writing them to the Audit database. This service is found running on management servers that also have the ACS Audit Collector Service Component Installed. The service and the Audit database are created during setup of the ACS service on the selected management server(s).

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