Difference Between SharePoint Health Analyzer And SCOM Alerts For SharePoint

I often used to have a hard time trying to understand the difference between SharePoint Central Administration Health Analyzer alerts and the SCOM alerts for SharePoint and after doing some research on the internet, I got to know what these two mean in detail and how they differ from each other.

Thus, in this post, we will be discussing about what is a SCOM alert and a SharePoint Health analyzer alert. It will also enable you to understand what’s the difference between them and why/when we need to rely upon them. Let’s get started.

What’s a SCOM alert?

SCOM (System Center Operations Manager) is an enterprise monitoring tool, which is capable of monitoring Windows Server/Server products like (SharePoint, Exchange, Lync Server & SQL Server etc.) and Unix based hosts. How SCOM works is, with every product that Microsoft releases such as Exchange /SharePoint, the product team also releases an appropriate SCOM management pack, which will take care of monitoring. Listed below are the steps that are required to configure SCOM monitoring for the Application Servers.

  1. Install/Configure SCOM on a Windows Server.
  2. Once done, please install the appropriate management packs on the SCOM server ( Ex : Exchange management pack, SharePoint Server management pack )
  3. In the respective Application Servers, install the SCOM agent ( Ex : SCOM agent for Exchange on Exchange Server and SCOM agent for SharePoint on SharePoint Server )
  4. The agent, installed on all Servers, is used to gather the performance information and logs.
  5. Whenever the agent becomes unreachable by the SCOM Server, an appropriate alert will be triggered on the SCOM console.
  6. These alerts can also be sent as Emails to a DL or a person.

What’s a SharePoint Health Analyzer alert?

SharePoint Health Analyzer is a feature in Microsoft SharePoint, that enables SharePoint farm administrators to schedule regular, automatic checks for the potential configuration, performance and usage problems in the Server farm. It monitors the farm by applying a set of health rules. The complete list of health rules can be found in this article.

These Health rules are executable codes. Each rule is a concrete subclass, that inherits from either of the two abstract classes:

In both the cases, the code that detects and reports a potential problem is in the Check method. Repairable health rules also have a Repair () method, that fixes a problem, found by the Check method.

The complete list of SharePoint Health analyzer rules can be found in the link.

Difference between SCOM alerts for SharePoint and SharePoint health analyzer alerts

The SCOM Management packs are more complex, than what is offered by the Health Analyzer. The Health Analyzer has a simple set of Application rules. Please note that, these rules are limited only to the current farm and can only notify the administrators provided, if an outgoing Email is enabled (and working) in the SharePoint farm. By default, they are not set to Email out and only to display to the users within Central Administration. If the Server crashes, the Heath Analyzer will not alert anyone.

SCOM monitors certain things that the Health Analyzer doesn’t. Remember, it's not only monitoring the SharePoint MP. There are Windows MPs and if you have other Applications on the Server, other than SharePoint (let's say SQL Server) it can monitor them as well (provided that the MP’s for SQL are also installed). The Heath Analyzer won't scan the event logs for errors and  Email the team. The Health Analyzer cannot send an alert if one of the hard disks fails. The Health Analyzer won't tell you how many times an issue has happened in the past, packaged in a nice report with a graph.

On the other hand, SCOM integrates closely with SharePoint and provides the most comprehensive and flexible solution for monitoring the health of SharePoint farms. With SCOM, the level of reporting and alerting is more granular and easily managed than SharePoint’s standard health monitoring.

  • SharePoint 2010/2013 ships a management pack for System Center Ops Manager
  • The management packs are of two different types 1. MP for SharePoint Server 2. MP for SharePoint Foundation.
  • Improved Knowledge Articles.
  • More relevant events and monitors.
  • Surfaces SharePoint Health Analyzer (SPHA) rules
  • Integrate with Unified Logging System (ULS)

The conclusion is, both SCOM MP for SharePoint Server and SharePoint Health Analyzer are capable enough of monitoring the health of the SharePoint farm. However, SCOM MP’s are more granular and can monitor certain things that can’t be monitored by SharePoint Health Analyzer. Moreover, the alerts that you get on SharePoint Health Analyzer contain mostly irrelevant information (meaning, you don’t need to pay much attention to those alerts, as they aren’t really scary for the most part and can be safely ignored). Please read my previous article about this.