Monitor Solution 6.0 SP4 Release Notes

Article:DOC1161  |  Created: 2006-07-19  |  Updated: 2006-07-24  |  Article URL
Article Type


What has changed in the 6.0 SP4 release of Monitor Solution?


Release Notes

for Monitor Solution 6.0 SP4

This document provides the What’s New and Known Issues information for Altiris Monitor Solution products, including:

  • Monitor Solution core components
  • Monitor Solution for Servers, including monitor packs to support Windows, UNIX, and Linux
  • Monitor Solution for Altiris Infrastructure

Installation and Upgrade

Altiris products use their installation wizards to perform upgrades. If you are upgrading, run the latest version of the solution's installation wizard.

Installation and licensing information is provided the Readme—Quick Install .PDF file (included in the solution ZIP file downloaded from the Altiris Web Site), in the Altiris Getting Started Guide, and in the Altiris Notification Server Product Guide.


Where to Download the Software


You can download the latest version of the software from to install for the first time or upgrade from previous versions. 


Upgrade Issues


If you have been using Monitor Solution 5.6, you can upgrade to Monitor Solution 6.0. The upgrade will upgrade rules, metrics, reports, and data.

Important: Before uninstalling Monitor Solution 5.6 and Notification Server 5.5, you MUST run the Altiris_MonitorHotfix1.exe and Altiris_MonitorHotfix4.exe hot fixes for Monitor Solution 5.6. If you do not, Monitor Solution might not upgrade properly and your monitor packs will be deleted when Monitor Solution 5.6 is uninstalled.


Upgrade Steps


If you are running an earlier version of Monitor Solution 6.x (for example, Monitor Solution 6.0) and want to upgrade to a newer version of Monitor Solution 6.x (for example, Monitor Solution 6.0 SP1), do the following:


  1. In the Altiris Console, click the Configuration tab.
  2. In the right pane, click Configuration > Upgrade/Install Additional Software.
  3. In the content pane, click the Available Solutions tab. If you use the Currently Installed tab instead, the reports associated with the solution will not be automatically installed.
  4. Click the Solutions button.
  5. Find the Monitor Solution you want to update in the list, and click the solution name. The table indicates the current version of each solution available and the version of the solution installed on the Notification Server, where applicable.
  6. Follow the steps in the console to install the update.
  7. In the right pane, do one of the following: For Windows, click Configuration > Solution Settings > Monitoring > Monitor Solution > Windows > Windows Monitor Agent Rollout > Windows Monitor Agent Upgrade. For Linux, click Configuration > Solution Settings > Monitoring > Monitor Solution > UNIX/Linux > Linux Monitor Agent Rollout > Linux Monitor Agent Upgrade.
  8. In the content pane, select the Enable check box if it is not already selected. This policy allows any upgrades to the Monitor Agent to be installed on the monitored computer.


If you are upgrading from 6.0, 6.0 SP1, or 6.0 SP2, the new agent will use the configuration settings from the previous agent and not the default settings for the new agent.


If you want to use the new agent default settings, do the following to create a new agent configuration policy with the new default settings:


  1. In the Altiris Console, click the Configuration tab.
  2. In the right pane, click Configuration > Solution Settings > Monitoring > Monitor Solution > operating system > operating system Agent Configuration.
  3. Right-click operating system Agent Configuration, and click New > Agent Settings.


This creates a new configuration policy that uses the default settings. You will need to enable this policy and disable the old policy.


In 6.0 SP2, some default Agent Settings (Data Collection tab) were changed to use less space in the Notification Database. Record metric values every was changed from 60 to 120 seconds, Record process values every was changed from 60 to 120 seconds. Close logs every was changed from 15 to 60 minutes. 

New Features in this Release

Improvements for this release include the following new features.

Monitor Solution Core Components

 Feature Description

1.      Monitor Agent’s memory usage streamlined.
In previous releases, memory usage would grow on Windows servers whenever the Monitor Agent was processing large volumes of Windows events. This no longer occurs. 

2.      New ability to create collection-specific dashboards.
Now you can create a dashboard specifically for a collection by cloning the existing dashboard and applying it to a different collection.

3.      Computer name included in SNMP traps generated from the Monitor Agent.
Now SNMP traps contain the name and IP address of the computer from where the rule generating the trap triggered.

4.      Support for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer ActiveX fix.
This version supports Microsoft’s fix to the ActiveX controls for Internet Explorer 6 on Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 and on Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1. For more information about this fix, go to and review knowledge-base article 912945.

5.      Cross-server reporting.
You may now choose multiple servers to appear in any single report.

Monitor Solution for Servers

 Feature Description

Automatic OMSA detection when installing the Monitor Agent for UNIX and Linux
Now the Monitor Agent for UNIX and Linux detects whether or not Dell OpenManage Server Administrator (OMSA) is installed.



Known Issues

The following are unresolved issues and workaround instructions for issues in this release:

 Known Issue

 Article ID

1.      Performance data from Monitor Solution 5.6 displays with incorrect time.
Performance data collected using Monitor Solution 5.6 and imported into Monitor Solution 6.0 displays with the incorrect time in Performance Monitor. The problem is due to the 5.6 Monitor Agent storing data in local computer time and the 6.0 Performance Monitor expecting UNC time.


2.      Uninstalling Monitor Solution from Notification Server 6.
Uninstalling Monitor Solution 6.0 or 6.0 SP1 through the Solution Center is not supported with Notification Server 6.0; it is supported with Notification Server 6.0 SP1.


3.      Computer name filtering in reports.
With the Monitor Solution reports in the "Monitor Agents", "Monitor Rules and Metrics", "Monitor Alerts" groups, if you set any filtering using the Collection and Domain filters, any computer with the Monitor Agent installed is still listed in the Computer Name field; no filtering of the names occurs.


  1. Retrieval and processing of binary data by the SQL metric is not supported.
    The Monitor Agent can only retrieve text or numeric data. If you attempt to retrieve binary data (example: columns with data types Binary, Varbinary, TimeStamp, and Image) for the "value column" field in the user interface, the actual data is replaced by the plain string value “[Binary Data]” by the agent. If the "instance column" field in the interface specifies a column that returns binary data, the instance name can be shown as unintelligible data in Performance Monitor.


  1. Log metric can miss log entries that appear while the MetricProvider service is stopped.
    The log event metric can miss entries in a log that appear in the log when the MetricProvider service is stopped. This is due to a race condition that takes place during Monitor Solution startup, which causes some metric data to be lost.


  1. "Disk Write Kb per Second" and "Disk Read Kb per Second" metrics do not work on some Linux systems.
    The “iostat” utility from the sysstat package version 4.0.1 does not provide read kB/s or write kB/s data, so the "Disk Read Kb Per Second Linux" and "Disk Write Kb Per Second Linux" metrics do not work. To resolve the problem, install sysstat package version 4.0.3 or later.


  1. No resource available for selection when starting Performance Monitor.
    On the Launch Performance Monitor page, if you click the “Click to select” link and no resources are listed, you need to install the core set of Monitor Solution reports (Altiris_ReportCoreMonitor_6_0.exe). This only occurs if you are manually upgrading to Monitor Solution 6.0 SP2 and have not installed the core set of reports. Reports are installed automatically when you upgrade via the Solution Center within Altiris Console.


  1. Metric not listed in the Performance Monitor and Resource Manager retry table
    If a metric is unable to read the specified data, the metric might not be listed in the registered metrics list for Performance Monitor and also not listed in the Resource Manager list as a metric in retry state (but it should be).


This problem occurs with command metrics. Metrics are set to retry state based on the execution result of its command line, but sometimes a command is executed properly but the metric is unable to get all needed data from the command. There are metrics that execute the same command but just use different data from the command output, so the command can execute properly and its output can be correct for all metrics that use it, except one that requires some additional data (for example, data from an additional output column that is available only on specific systems or with newer version of the executed application). In this case, this metric will not be set to retry state (because its command worked properly) but won't be shown in Performance Monitor (because it was not able to retrieve the needed data).


  1. Network bandwidth metrics do not work on Linux systems.
    On some Linux systems the "Network Current Bandwidth Bytes/sec" and "Network Bandwidth Utilization Linux" metrics might not work if the "ethtool" utility is missing from the system. Also, we recommend installing the latest version of the ethtool utility to support Red Hat Linux systems previous to 8.0, because the version of the ethtool utility provided with Red Hat 7.2, 7.3 and Advanced Server 2.1 is outdated and does not work with modern network cards.


  1. “Unable to connect to database” error when opening SQL query builder.
    If Notification Server is using different authentication information to access SQL Server than specified from the Monitor Solution Agent Configuration page, you will get an "Unable to connect to database..." message when you try to open the SQL builder page, which is accessed from the SQL metric configuration page. Make sure the same authentication information is used in both places.


  1. UNIX command metrics not working properly with Monitor Agent for UNIX and Linux 6.0 SP1.
    Most of the UNIX Monitor Solution command metrics have been modified in Monitor Solution 6.0 SP2 to allow them to work on non-English operating systems. These modified metrics are not compatible with the 6.0 SP1 version of the Monitor Agent for UNIX and Linux. After you install Monitor Solution Core 6.0 SP2 or SP3, most of the UNIX metrics will be unavailable until you upgrade to Monitor Agent for UNIX and Linux 6.0 SP2 or later.


  1. Numerous error messages can result from using Monitor Agent for UNIX and Linux 6.0 SP1.
    Numerous error messages can be added to the Notification Server log if you upgrade Monitor Solution to 6.0 SP2 or 6.0 SP3, but some Monitor Agents for UNIX and Linux 6.0 SP1 are still installed and sending data to the Notification Server. These agents can send date information in a format that is not recognized by the new solution and result in errors. The problem is fixed by installing the 6.0 SP2 or SP3 agent.


  1. Rules with a changed configuration are not correctly represented when triggered with the 6.0 SP1 Monitor Agent.
    If a rule was triggered by Monitor Solution 6.0 SP1 and the rule configuration was changed (example: in Monitor Solution 6.0 SP2, several predefined rules changed acknowledgement type from "Incident acknowledgement" to "self-resetting"), the acknowledgement of the rule does not remove it’s entry from the Triggered Rules page after upgrading to Monitor Solution to 6.0 SP2 or 6.0 SP3. After you upgrade the Monitor Agent and the updated rule is triggered and acknowledged, the rule will then be removed from the Triggered Rules page.


  1. Normal state rules triggered and unacknowledged in 6.0 SP1 no longer appear in the Triggered Rules page after upgrading to 6.0 SP2 or 6.0 SP3.
    If a Normal (not Warning or Critical) state rule is triggered and not acknowledged when running Monitor Solution 6.0 SP1, the rule will not appear in the Triggered Rules page after upgrading to Monitor Solution 6.0 SP2 or 6.0 SP3.


  1. Use single quote to enclose UNIX command lines that include a semicolon or pipeline.
    On UNIX platforms, if the command line contains semicolons or pipelines, the command must be enclosed within single quotes and be run as a shell command line (example: sh -c 'command line' or - bash -c 'command line'). Example: sh –c ‘ps –ef | grep bash | awk ‘{print $1}’’. If you prefer some other shell (not sh or bash), be sure that you use correct syntax to launch the command line.


  1. Acknowledgement type rules triggered in previous versions cannot be acknowledged from the Triggered Rules page.
    Acknowledgement type rules triggered in previous Monitor Solution versions are shown without a corresponding Helpdesk/Alert Manager incident number in the Triggered Rules page after upgrading Monitor Solution, since this information was not stored before 6.0 SP2. Acknowledgement from the Triggered Rules page is not available for these rules, and they should be reset through the corresponding incidents in Helpdesk/Alert Manager.


  1. “Agent error: The specified request to the Altiris Monitor Agent timed out. Verify that the agent version supports this request.”
    If you attempt to use the Reset Agent feature, available from the Monitor Solution dashboard and the Triggered Rules page, on a monitored computer that is running the Monitor Agent, which has not been upgraded to the 6.0 SP2 or 6.0 SP3 version, you will get this error: “Agent error: The specified request to the Altiris Monitor Agent timed out. Please verify that the agent version supports this request.” To use this feature, you must upgrade to the 6.0 SP2 or 6.0 SP3 Monitor Agent.


  1. Monitor Solution Web service problem during upgrading.
    If the Monitor Solution Web service is in use during an upgrade, an Altiris Monitor Solution retry dialog will be opened. Click Retry to continue with the upgrade without problems. This situation commonly occurs if Performance Monitor is open during the upgrade. Closing Performance Monitor before upgrading minimizes this occurrence.


  1. Uninstalling Monitor Solution using the preserve collected data option.
    When you uninstall Monitor Solution, a dialog gives you the option to preserve collected data for upgrading purposes. If you choose to preserve data, the data pointing to the uninstalled Monitor Solution items remains in the Notification Database, which can cause problems with other Altiris solutions. To minimize the chance for problems, promptly reinstall Monitor Solution.


  1. List of NT Events by Computer for Last 'N' Days report.
    The "List of NT Events by Computer for Last 'N' Days" report does not show duplicate events. If several absolutely identical events were logged at the same time, only one instance of the event will be shown in a given report.



  1. Notification Server and monitored computer clocks must be in sync.
    Ensure that the Notification Server clock and the monitored computer clocks are in sync before doing a system reset. If the clocks are not in sync, this can result in triggered rules that do not change Agent status. If the monitored computer time is ahead of the Notification Server time, rules might not successfully reset.


  1. Monitor Agent for UNIX and Linux 6.0 SP3 - Standard distributions of the SUSE 8.x don't include "sysstat" package.
    The SUSE 8.x standard distributives don’t include the “sysstat” package, which contains the “sar” and “iostat” utilities. In order to obtain all metrics using Monitor Agent for UNIX and Linux, you must have the “sysstat” package installed on the same computer running the agent. This package can be installed separately as an update for SuSE 8.x, which you can download from the Internet.



  1. Monitor Agent for UNIX and Linux 6.0 SP3 – Restart agent after Apache’s log changes location.
    If Apache’s log changes location while using Monitor Agent for UNIX and Linux, Apache’s log metrics continue to report the last string of the old log file until you restart Monitor Agent for UNIX and Linux.



  1. SQL Metrics with incorrect SQL queries still attempt to retrieve data and return nulls.
    If the SQL query provided in a SQL metric’s configuration is incorrect, the metric still attempts to retrieve data and return nulls.


  1. Drilling down into Monitor Solution’s performance-metric reports on Notification Server 6.0 SP3.
    If you’re running Monitor Solution with Notification Server 6.0 SP3 and you drill down into a performance-metric report enough to open Performance Monitor in historical mode, Performance Monitor displays an “Incorrect start time” error. You can get Performance Monitor to start normally by closing it and drilling down into the report once more.


  1. Upgrading to SP3 reverts SQL-metrics connection settings to default Notification Server database settings.
    If you created any SQL metrics in Monitor Solution 6.0 SP2 and then upgrade the software to SP3, any custom credentials set for the SQL metrics are lost. Notification Server database settings are used instead. To use custom credentials, you’ll need to set them once more in both the metric’s authentication settings and in the Monitor Agent for Windows Configuration settings.


  1. Setting intervals.
    Make sure to set the "Close logs every" and “Upload logs every” intervals higher than the “Record metric values every” and “Record process values every” intervals. If you set the log intervals too low, the affected metric logs might not get stored in the Notification Server database as performance BLOBs (binary large objects).


  1. Data for cross-server reports.
    Only data stored in uncompressed performance-data tables is available to cross-server reports. You can control the amount of data stored in the uncompressed performance-data tables by modifying the Delete uncompressed performance data older than setting on the Monitor Purging Maintenance page.

    As in previous versions of the software, if only one server is selected –and if the time requested is beyond the available data in the uncompressed performance-data tables—then data is extracted from the compressed performance-data tables into the uncompressed performance-data tables.




Additional Monitor Solution Documentation

Product documentation is available in the Monitor Solution Product Guide. To view Altiris product documentation in .PDF format, use Adobe Acrobat Reader (available at:

Document History



21 July, 2006

Final version posted for release.


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