System Events Test

This test reports the statistical information about the system events generated by the target system.

Target of the test : An IIS web server

Agent deploying the test : An internal agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for the filter configured.

Configurable parameters for the test
  1. Test period - How often should the test be executed
  2. Host - The host for which the test is to be configured
  3. Port – Refers to the port used by the EventLog Service.  Here it is null.
  4. logtype – Refers to the type of event logs to be monitored. The default value is application.
  5. policy based filter - Using this page, administrators can configure the event sources, event IDs, and event descriptions to be monitored by this test. In order to enable administrators to easily and accurately provide this specification, this page provides the following options:

    • Manually specify the event sources, IDs, and descriptions in the FILTER text area, or,
    • Select a specification from the predefined filter policies listed in the FILTER box

    For explicit, manual specification of the filter conditions, select the NO option against the POLICY BASED FILTER field. This is the default selection. To choose from the list of pre-configured filter policies, or to create a new filter policy and then associate the same with the test, select the YES option against the POLICY BASED FILTER field.

  6. filter - If the POLICY BASED FILTER flag is set to NO, then a FILTER text area will appear, wherein you will have to specify the event sources, event IDs, and event descriptions to be monitored. This specification should be of the following format: {Displayname}:{event_sources_to_be_included}:{event_sources_to_be_excluded}:{event_IDs_to_be_included}:{event_IDs_to_be_excluded}:{event_descriptions_to_be_included}:{event_descriptions_to_be_excluded}. For example, assume that the FILTER text area takes the value, OS_events:all:Browse,Print:all:none:all:none. Here:

    • OS_events is the display name that will appear as a descriptor of the test in the monitor UI;
    • all indicates that all the event sources need to be considered while monitoring. To monitor specific event sources, provide the source names as a comma-separated list. To ensure that none of the event sources are monitored, specify none.
    • Next, to ensure that specific event sources are excluded from monitoring, provide a comma-separated list of source names. Accordingly, in our example, Browse and Print have been excluded from monitoring. Alternatively, you can use all to indicate that all the event sources have to be excluded from monitoring, or none to denote that none of the event sources need be excluded.
    • In the same manner, you can provide a comma-separated list of event IDs that require monitoring. The all in our example represents that all the event IDs need to be considered while monitoring.
    • Similarly, the none (following all in our example) is indicative of the fact that none of the event IDs need to be excluded from monitoring. On the other hand, if you want to instruct the eG Enterprise system to ignore a few event IDs during monitoring, then provide the IDs as a comma-separated list. Likewise, specifying all makes sure that all the event IDs are excluded from monitoring.
    • The all which follows implies that all events, regardless of description, need to be included for monitoring. To exclude all events, use none. On the other hand, if you provide a comma-separated list of event descriptions, then the events with the specified descriptions will alone be monitored. Event descriptions can be of any of the following forms - desc*, or desc, or *desc*,or desc*, or desc1*desc2, etc. desc here refers to any string that forms part of the description. A leading '*' signifies any number of leading characters, while a trailing '*' signifies any number of trailing characters.
    • In the same way, you can also provide a comma-separated list of event descriptions to be excluded from monitoring. Here again, the specification can be of any of the following forms: desc*, or desc, or *desc*,or desc*, or desc1*desc2, etc. desc here refers to any string that forms part of the description. A leading '*' signifies any number of leading characters, while a trailing '*' signifies any number of trailing characters. In our example however, none is specified, indicating that no event descriptions are to be excluded from monitoring. If you use all instead, it would mean that all event descriptions are to be excluded from monitoring.

    By default, the filter parameter contains the value: all:all:none:all:none:all:none. Multiple filters are to be separated by semi-colons  (;).

    Note:

    The event sources and event IDs specified here should be exactly the same as that which appears in the Event Viewer window.  

    On the other hand, if the POLICY BASED FILTER flag is set to YES, then a FILTER list box will appear, displaying the filter policies that pre-exist in the eG Enterprise system. A filter policy typically comprises of a specific set of event sources, event IDs, and event descriptions to be monitored. This specification is built into the policy in the following format:

    {Policyname}:{event_sources_to_be_included}:{event_sources_to_be_excluded}:{event_IDs_to_be_included}:{event_IDs_to_be_excluded}:{event_descriptions_to_be_included}:{event_descriptions_to_be_excluded}

    To monitor a specific combination of event sources, event IDs, and event descriptions, you can choose the corresponding filter policy from the FILTER list box. Multiple filter policies can be so selected. Alternatively, you can modify any of the existing policies to suit your needs, or create a new filter policy. To facilitate this, a Click here link appears just above the test configuration section, once the YES option is chosen against POLICY BASED FILTER. Clicking on the Click here link leads you to a page where you can modify the existing policies or create a new one (refer to page To add a new policy, do the following:). The changed policy or the new policy can then be associated with the test by selecting the policy name from the FILTER list box in this page.

  7. usewmi - The eG agent can either use WMI to extract event log statistics or directly parse the event logs using event log APIs. If the USEWMI flag is YES, then WMI is used. If not, the event log APIs are used. This option is provided because on some Windows 2000 systems (especially ones with service pack 3 or lower), the use of WMI access to event logs can cause the CPU usage of the WinMgmt process to shoot up. On such systems, set the USEWMI parameter value to NO.
  8. stateless alerts - Typically, the eG manager generates email alerts only when the state of a specific measurement changes. A state change typically occurs only when the threshold of a measure is violated a configured number of times within a specified time window. While this ensured that the eG manager raised alarms only when the problem was severe enough, in some cases, it may cause one/more problems to go unnoticed, just because they did not result in a state change. For example, take the case of the EventLog test. When this test captures an error event for the very first time, the eG manager will send out a critical email alert with the details of the error event to configured recipients. Now, the next time the test runs, if a different error event is captured, the eG manager will keep the state of the measure as critical, but will not send out the details of this error event to the user; thus, the second issue will remain hidden from the user. To make sure that administrators do not miss/overlook critical issues, the eG Enterprise monitoring solution provides the stateless alerting capability. To enable this capability for this test, set the stateless alerts flag to Yes. This will ensure that email alerts are generated for this test, regardless of whether or not the state of the measures reported by this test changes.
  9. events during restart - By default, the EVENTS DURING RESTART flag is set to Yes. This ensures that whenever the agent is stopped and later started, the events that might have occurred during the period of non-availability of the agent are included in the number of events reported by the agent. Setting the flag to No ensures that the agent, when restarted, ignores the events that occurred during the time it was not available.
  10. ddforinformation – eG Enterprise also provides you with options to restrict the amount of storage required for event log tests. Towards this end, the DDFORINFORMATION and DDFORWARNING flags have been made available in this page. By default, both these flags are set to Yes, indicating that by default, the test generates detailed diagnostic measures for information events and warning events. If you do not want the test to generate and store detailed measures for information events, set the DDFORINFORMATION flag to No.
  11. ddforwarning – To ensure that the test does not generate and store detailed measures for warning events, set the DDFORWARNING flag to No.
  12. DD Frequency - Refers to the frequency with which detailed diagnosis measures are to be generated for this test. The default is 1:1. This indicates that, by default, detailed measures will be generated every time this test runs, and also every time the test detects a problem. You can modify this frequency, if you so desire. Also, if you intend to disable the detailed diagnosis capability for this test, you can do so by specifying none against DD Frequency.
  13. To make diagnosis more efficient and accurate, the eG Enterprise suite embeds an optional detailed diagnostic capability. With this capability, the eG agents can be configured to run detailed, more elaborate tests as and when specific problems are detected. To enable the detailed diagnosis capability of this test for a particular server, choose the On option. To disable the capability, click on the Off option.

    The option to selectively enable/disable the detailed diagnosis capability will be available only if the following conditions are fulfilled:

    • The eG manager license should allow the detailed diagnosis capability
    • Both the normal and abnormal frequencies configured for the detailed diagnosis measures should not be 0.
Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

System errors:

This refers to the number of system error events generated during the last execution of the test.

Number

A very low value (zero) indicates that the system is in healthy state and all Windows services and low level drivers are running without any potential problems.

An increasing trend or a high value indicates the existence of problems such as loss of functionality or data in one or more Windows services and low level drivers.

Please check the Application Logs in the Event Log Viewer for more details.

System information messages:

This refers to the number of service-related and driver-related information events that were generated during the test's last execution.

Number

A change in value of this measure may indicate infrequent but successful operations performed by one or more applications.

Please check the Application Logs in the Event Log Viewer for more details.

System warnings:

This refers to the number of service-related and driver-related warnings generated in the during the test's last execution.

Number

A high value of this measure indicates problems that may not have an immediate impact, but may cause future problems in one or more Windows servers and low level drivers.

Please check the Application Logs in the Event Log Viewer for more details.

Note:

The stateless alerting capability is currently available for the following tests alone, by default:

  • EventLog test
  • ApplicationEventLog test
  • SystemEventLog test
  • ApplicationEvents test
  • SystemEvents test
  • SecurityLog test

If need be, you can enable the stateless alerting capability for other tests. To achieve this, follow the steps given below:

  • Login to the eG manager host.
  • Edit the eg_specs.ini file in the <eg_install_dir>\manager\config directory.
  • Locate the test for which the Stateless Alarms flag has to be enabled.
  • Insert the entry, -statelessAlerts yes, into the test specification as depicted below:

    EventLogTest::$hostName:$portNo=$hostName, -auto, -host $hostName -port $portNo -eventhost $hostIp -eventsrc all -excludedSrc none -useWmi yes -statelessAlerts yes -ddFreq 1:1 -rptName $hostName, 300

  • Finally, save the file.
  • If need be, you can change the status of the statelessAlerts flag by reconfiguring the test in the eG administrative interface.

Once the stateless alerting capability is enabled for a test (as discussed above), you will find that everytime the test reports a problem, the eG manager does the following:

  • Closes the alarm that pre-exists for that problem;
  • Sends out a normal alert indicating the closure of the old problem;
  • Opens a new alarm and assigns a new alarm ID to it;
  • Sends out a fresh email alert to the configured users, intimating them of the new issue.

In a redundant manager setup, the secondary manager automatically downloads the updated eg_specs.ini file from the primary manager, and determines whether the stateless alerting capability has been enabled for any of the tests reporting metrics to it.  If so, everytime a threshold violation is detected by such a test, the secondary manager will perform the tasks discussed above for the problem reported by that test. Similarly, the primary manager will check whether the stateless alert flag has been switched on for any of the tests reporting to it, and if so, will automatically perform the above-mentioned tasks whenever those tests report a deviation from the norm.

Note:

  • Since alerts will be closed after every measurement period, alarm escalation will no longer be relevant for tests that have statelessAlerts set to yes.
  • For tests with statelessAlerts set to yes, statelessAlerts will apply for all measurements of that test (i.e., it will not be possible to only have one of the measurements with stateless alerts and others without).
  • If statelessAlerts is set to yes for a test, an alarm will be opened during one measurement period (if a threshold violation happens) and will be closed prior to the next measurement period. This way, if a threshold violation happens in successive measurement periods, there will be one alarm per measurement period. This will reflect in all the corresponding places in the eG Enterprise system. For example, multiple alerts in successive measurement periods will result in multiple trouble tickets being opened (one for each measurement period). Likewise, the alarm history will also show alarms being opened during a measurement period and closed during the next measurement period.