Troubleshooting Blank Reports in System Center Operations Manager

Applies to: Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2Microsoft System Center 2012 Operations Manager


Blank reports can be a common issue with System Center Operations Manager. These are caused by many different reasons, and for the focus of this article we will discuss the following:

1. The wrong type of entity was selected as the report target.

2. The corresponding performance collection rule or the script that generates the performance data is not enabled for the report target.

3. There is a functional problem with the Health Service on the agent.

4. Management servers are unable to insert data into the OperationsManagerDW database.

5. Data is stuck in the staging tables in the OperationsManagerDW database.

There are other reasons why reports may return blank but they are outside of the scope of this article. For those issues it is recommended that you open a support case with Microsoft product support and get assistance with troubleshooting the root cause.


Problem 1: The wrong type of entity was selected as the report target

For this problem and the later issues we are going to focus on performance reports. These are the most common to return blank and the same steps typically apply for the other reports as well. The first step is to identify the entity and the performance counter that generates the report data. The easiest way to get this information is to find the corresponding performance view in Monitoring. The legend in the performance view will list the name of the entity, performance counter and performance collection rule.

For example, if you are troubleshooting the Exchange Information Store Usage report from the Exchange 2003 Management Pack, go to Monitoring and open the IS Performance Data view. The path for this view is Microsoft Exchange Server/Exchange 2003/Components/IS Performance Data. In the performance view, the legend will show you the target, counter and collection rule for the performance data. In the IS Performance Data view, the Target is always "Information Store" and the Path is always the name of a server that runs the IS service. If you check the box for any row in the legend, the performance data for that counter on that Information Store is displayed in the chart. If a line appears in the chart, the data is being collected.

In this example, the Target is always Information Store. This means that you must select Information Store entities only when you run the Exchange Information Store Usage report. Any other entity besides Information Store will return no data. Therefore, if you select an Exchange 2003 Role object, you will generate an empty report. To select an Information Store entity as the report target, click Add Object, type "Information Store" for the search string and click Search. A list of every Information Store will appear. The Path value in the search results will give you the server name that hosts the Information Store.

The same principles apply for most other reports. To troubleshoot the Exchange SMTP Usage report, go to Monitoring and open the SMTP Performance Data view under Microsoft Exchange Server/Exchange 2003/SMTP. You will see that Target is always "SMTP". To troubleshoot the "SQL Database space report" from the SQL Server 2005 MP, go to Monitoring and open the Database Free Space performance view under Microsoft SQL Server/Performance. You will see that Target is always the database name. And remember that Target in the legend will be the search string and the target you must use when configuring the report parameters.

Problem 2: The corresponding performance collection rule or the script that generates the performance data is not enabled for the report target

Again, you will rely on the performance view in Monitoring. If the performance data is not being collected, you will see one of two symptoms in the performance view: 1) The expected entity is not listed in the legend or 2) The entity is listed in the legend, but no data is displayed when you check its box.

If the expected entity is missing from the performance view legend, this may mean that the entity has not been discovered. For example, you may have an Information Store or a SQL 2005 Database Engine running on an agent that doesn't appear in the list. To check for this, open My Workspace, create a new state view and configure the state view to show data related to that type of entity. If the expected entity does not appear in the view, it hasn't been discovered. You then would troubleshoot this as a discovery problem instead of as a reporting problem.

If the expected entity is missing from the performance view legend, this could also mean that the performance collection rule for that counter is not enabled for that target. This can happen if the rule is disabled. Some management packs contain performance collection rules that are disabled by default and require overrides to enable them. This is usually documented in the management pack guide. For example, when using the Exchange 2003 MP, you must create overrides to enable the performance collection rules for message tracking. If you don't do this, no data is collected for the SMTP Out and SMTP In reports. Refer to the management pack guide for information about which performance collection rules are enabled and for any manual configuration steps, if applicable.

If you don't find the answer in the MP guide, find the performance collection rule in Authoring and verify that it is enabled for the targeted entity. The easiest way to find the rule is to identify the rule name in the performance view legend and then use the Search tool in Authoring to find the rule. For example, you discover that you cannot get data consistently for the Exchange Disk Usage report in the Exchange 2003 MP. You go to Monitoring and open the PhysicalDisk performance view under Microsoft Exchange Server/Exchange 2003/Server Performance. You notice that some of the Exchange servers are not listed in the legend, but others are there. The following rule names are listed in the legend:

Average Disk Queue Length (All Disks)
Current Disk Queue Length (All Disks)
Disk Reads /second (All disks)
Disk Writes / second (All disks)

You open Authoring and use the Search command to find the rule named "Average Disk Queue Length (All Disks)." You open the rule properties and discover that this rule is disabled, and there is an override to enable the rule only for a select group of Exchange servers. This explains why some Exchange servers aren't generating data for this report. You have to adjust the rule configuration to target all Exchange servers instead of the custom group.

Problem 3: There is a functional problem with the Health Service on the agent

In some cases, the expected entity may be listed in the performance view legend, but no data is displayed when you check its box. This could indicate performance or functional problems on the agent. For example, the Health Service on the agent may not be running or the agent may not be able to connect to its management server. Try increasing the time range for the performance view to go back a few days. This may help you pinpoint when the performance data stopped being collected. Also, check the Operations Manager event log on the corresponding agent and look for Health Service and Health Service Module errors. In particular, look for events that indicate missing performance counters. Also, check for Health Service Script 6026 or 6024 events. These events are logged when the Health Service exceeds thresholds for private bytes or handle count and is restarted. When this happens, there may be gaps in performance data collection.

Problem 4: Management servers are unable to insert data into the OperationsManagerDW database

If one or more management servers is unable to write to the OperationsManagerDW database, symptoms are varied and unpredictable. You may have reporting data for agents that use one management server, but not for agents using another. Reporting may be spotty in all cases.

The first step in identifying these problems is checking the Operations Manager event log on all management servers. HealthService 2115 events are a common symptom of database access problems. These events are logged by the Health Service on a management server when the server collects data that it cannot insert in the database. This can occur with operations data and with reporting data. Generally, the workflow ID that is listed in the event description will indicate what type of data was collected. A workflow with "DataWarehouse" in the ID is related to reporting data. Troubleshoot this type of problem as a database connectivity or database performance issue. One known cause of this error is documented in the following KB article:

KB945946 - Event ID 2115 is logged, and a management server generates an "unable to write data to the Data Warehouse" alert in System Center Operations Manager 2007

If you don't see 2115 events, configure a filter on the event log to show Warning and Error events from source "Health Service Modules" and category "Data Warehouse." These are logged when any Data Warehouse workflow fails on a management server. The description for these events will often include the SQL error that was returned and the workflow name. The workflow name may provide some context on what task was affected. The workflow named Microsoft.SystemCenter.DataWarehouse.CollectPerformanceData collects performance data for reporting and inserts the data into the database.

Problem 5: . Data is stuck in the staging tables in the OperationsManagerDW database

First check the Operations Manager event log on the RMS for event ID 31552 with the following workflow name listed in the event description:


StandardDataSetMaintenance is the workflow (AKA rule) that grooms, optimizes and aggregates data in the Data Warehouse. If this workflow fails, data may become stuck in the staging tables. This rule runs a stored procedure in the OperationsManagerDW database named StandardDatasetMaintenance, which calls other stored procedures to process staging, aggregate, optimize and groom the standard data sets. All of the stored procedure names begin with "StandardDataset." By default, the rule runs every 60 seconds. If you see 31553 or other Error events, this could indicate an issue with the data set listed in the event. Continue reading for more information on this and steps to troubleshoot.

Management servers insert raw reporting data into the staging tables in the OperationsManagerDW database. Another set of workflows then are run to move the data from the staging tables to the hourly and daily tables. These are the tables used for the reports. Therefore, if performance data is stuck in the staging tables, reports will fail to return data. To check for performance data that is stuck in the staging table, run the following query against the OperationsManagerDW database:

Use OperationsManagerDW
Select DateTime
From Perf.PerformanceStage
Order By DateTime

Records in this table that date back more than a day or two may indicate that the data is not being moved to the daily and hourly tables as expected. Now, before we move forward, let’s talk a little bit about maintenance in the database. Maintenance is separated into what is called “Data Sets”. When we run maintenance we run it for each data set in the database. To see this better, run the following query:

Use OperationsManagerDW;
With AggregationInfo As (Select AggregationType = Case
When AggregationTypeId = 0 Then 'Raw'
When AggregationTypeId = 20 Then 'Hourly'
When AggregationTypeId = 30 Then 'Daily'
,MIN(AggregationDateTime) As 'TimeUTC_NextToAggregate'
,SUM(Cast (DirtyInd As Int)) As 'Count_OutstandingAggregations'
From StandardDatasetAggregationHistory
Where LastAggregationDurationSeconds Is Not NULL
Group By DatasetId, AggregationTypeId)
From StandardDataSet As SDS WITH(NOLOCK)
Join AggregationInfo As AI WITH(NOLOCK) On SDS.DatasetId = AI.DatasetId
Join dbo.StandardDatasetAggregation As SDA WITH(NOLOCK) On SDA.DatasetId = SDS.DatasetId And SDA.AggregationTypeID = AI.AggregationTypeID
Order By SchemaName Desc

This will show you all Data Set types and information about them. Here is a little information about the columns you see: SchemaName: This is the name of the data set (e.g. perf, state, some other custom data set, etc.). You'll note that alerts and events don't show up here and that is because those data sets don't have aggregated tablesAggregationType: Data sets can be aggregated into different levels of granularity and this query shows the results for each type of aggregation (e.g. hourly, daily)TimeUTC_NextToAggregate: This is the timestamp in UTC format, of the next time interval to be aggregated. Note: For the daily aggregation type, you can just look at the YYYY-MM-DD value and disregard the restCount_OutstandingAggregations: This is how many aggregations the data set is behind. If you see values between 1 and 3 then you're effectively caught up. If (as is the case with State above) you see bigger numbers, then you've fallen behindMaxDataAgeDays: This is the retention policy that is set for the given data set's aggregationLastGroomingDateTime: Pretty straight forwardDebugLevel: I never knew this, but apparantly you can turn up the debug levels on data sets and get something like tracing going to diagnose problems. This I will cover in a later blog post. The key takeaway here is, you only want this turned on for short periods of time and if you see a value higher than 0 on a data set you are not investigating then set it back to 0DataSetId: This is the GUID of the data set which will come in handy laterWith the above information, we can now see if any of our data sets are lagging behind. Once again we are going to use the performance data set for our example here. Let’s run the following query:

Use OperationsManagerDW
Select AggregationDateTime
, LastAggregationDurationSeconds
From StandardDatasetAggregationHistory AS AH
Inner Join StandardDataSet As DS
On AH.DatasetId = DS.DatasetId
Where DS.SchemaName = 'Perf'
Order By AggregationDateTime Desc

If you don't see records with the current date, it indicates that aggregation is not occurring. High values for LastAggregationDurationSeconds indicate that aggregation is slow. These types of problems usually indicate SQL configuration or performance issues. A check of the SQL error logs and a SQL performance analysis is a good place to start.

Alternatively, you can check for what is called DirtyInd entries. DirtyInd entries indicate a slightly different issue where data is getting aggregated but there is more data than the procedure can keep up with. By default the performance aggregation only moves 100,000 rows at a time, so if there was a flood of performance data this could get behind, resulting in blank or incomplete reports. To check for dirtyind entries, run the following query:

Declare @DataSet as uniqueidentifier
Set @DataSet = (Select DataSetId From StandardDataSet Where SchemaName = ‘Perf')
Select * From StandardDataSetAggregationHistory
Where DataSetId = @DataSet
And DirtyInd = 1

If you see more than 4-5 entries from the above query, you may want to run maintenance manually. Before you run it manually, or do the next steps, you need to turn off our default maintenance rule. To turn off the rule, go to the console, open Authoring, select Rules. Change the scope to “Standard Data Set”. Override the rule for the Perf data set (Or the data set you are troubleshooting). Now wait on the RMS to get a 1210 event confirming the new configuration was applied, and continue to the next steps.

To run maintenance manually, simply run the following:

Declare @DataSet uniqueidentifier
Set @DataSet = (Select DataSetId From StandardDataset Where SchemaName = 'Perf')
Exec StandardDataSetMaintenance @DataSet

Continue running the above until you only have 1-3 entries (this is normal, 1 entry for each aggregation type). If you see A LOT of entries (More than 100) you may want to run the below:

Declare @i int
Set @i=0
Declare @DataSet uniqueidentifier
Set @DataSet = (Select DataSetId From StandardDataset Where SchemaName = 'Perf')
Exec StandardDataSetMaintenance @DataSet
Set @i=@i+1
Waitfor Delay '00:00:05'

This will run maintenance in a loop based on the value you set for while(@i<=500). You can set this value to any value you want, but it is not recommended to go higher than 500. You can check the progress of the loop by running the dirtyind query again, which should return fewer rows as the loop progresses. Once the script completes check the dirtyind entries again, and if it is now current, test your reports. If there are still too many entries, continue running the script until aggregation is up to date.