One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from customers over the years is that other monitoring tools allow one to import MIB files, and it is really hard to author management packs for SNMP-based devices, and they were not completely wrong.
The product group listened, and when System Center 2016 was released, the PG gave us a lovely new tool, the System Center Operations Manager – Extensible Network Monitoring Management Pack Generator tool, which is a free download. And, while it is old news, really, I’ve seen a number of posts announcing it, and a bit of talk about how to use the command line utility to convert an MP, but nothing talking about how to actually use the GUI tool to import a MIB and then create an MP, and so I thought I would do a quick dive into this wonderful tool.
After installation, you can find the GUI tool (SNMP_MP_Generator) in the install directory. On first launch, you will be asked to create an MP and provide a save location.
You can also import MIB files at this time – or do that later, as you need.
You will now have a blank management pack, as well as access to the MIB browser:
While the MIB browser is a nice feature, the main purpose of this tool is to help you build MPs.
You want to start by adding a device. If you right click on Project, you can choose your device type. In this example, I am going to build a management pack for monitoring Linux servers using SNMP for those scenarios where you cannot install the agent, so I am going to choose Custom Network Device.
First, we probably want to load the MIBs for the device we want to monitor, so it is easier to find the OIDs. Click on the Down Arrow button in the ribbon to locate the MIB files you want to import.
You can select a few MIBs at the same time, if needs be.
You can now populate the device details form using the MIB browser.
- Browse the MIB tree for the device/component
- Find the OID
- Copy and Paste the OID into the device details.
Populate the other details as required and Save.
You will now be able to add performance rules for this device, or even add child components.
Build it out as much as needed
Once you are ready to test your MP in your lab, you need to generate the MP from this project.
Note: the file you created and saved using this tool is a project file, and is not ready to be imported into Operations Manager. You have to Generate the MP.
To generate the MP, choose the icon that looks like an export option.
The management pack file will be saved into the same location as the project file you created, but without the PROJ denotation in the name.
This will produce an unsealed management pack, which you may want to perform some additional edits on. The class, rule and monitor names will contain GUIDs, which you may want to replace with friendlier names, and you may want to also leverage off some more advanced functionality that you may have created using the VSAE and Kevin Holman’s fragments, for example.