System Center Desktop Error Monitoring (DEM)

Posted: June 11, 2009 in Windows

This is the second component of MDOP I want to talk about.

Application and OS crashes are inevitable. If not properly identified and controlled this can lead to serious productivity loss. The effect is amplified in a networked environment. By default when crashes happen Windows asks you whether you want to send a report to Microsoft or not. If the reports are sent to Microsoft they’ll be used it to identify the reasons and solve them if things are under the control of MS. But in a networked environment it is important to have visibility into the various application/OS crashes happening in various computers. This will help system administrators better manage their networked PCs. The Desktop Error Monitoring (DEM) tools is an agent-less solution to collect error reports from Windows computers, analyze them, generate reports and optionally send the error information to Microsoft.

Here is the top level architecture of DEM

image

DEM uses Microsoft SQL Server for error management and generate reports. But the error data is reported to either a file share(2000/XP) or a web location(Vista) depending the version of OS.

If there are no agents required how would the clients know about the presence of DEM server. Simple, group policy settings are available to redirect client side errors to DEM server instead of Microsoft’s servers.

Examples of reports that can be generated using DEM; Top ‘N” errors in the network, top ‘N” applications causing errors in the network etc..

Note that DEM is a subset of features offered by System Center Operations Manager (SCOM)

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