ltstudiooo - Fotolia

Troubleshoot System Center Orchestrator RunBook issues

By referencing various log files, like the Real-Time Log and the Historic Log, and checking the Orchestrator Runbook Audit History page, you can more easily locate the point of failure.

Repeated tasks are the bane of IT pros' existence. System Center Orchestrator alleviates some of that burden by automating several key runbook management and troubleshooting activities while preserving event history for review as needed. 

System Center Orchestrator consolidates runbook tasks into a single task, then executes against a target using System Center Orchestrator RunBook. You can add instructions to control the sequence of activities in a runbook. You can also create unlimited runbooks and execute one or all of them at the same time. When it comes to troubleshooting System Center Orchestrator RunBook issues, reference the log files where runbook-related activities are recorded. You can view log files to learn the status of each runbook, collect real-time log events for runbooks that are executing and also check runbook audit history. In Runbook Designer, you can view real-time log events, historic events and runbook auditing history.

Real-Time Log: The Real-Time Log shows activities related to running instances of runbooks and the time a runbook was started.

Historic Log: The Historic Log includes start and end times of a runbook. You might want to check whether a runbook executed all the activities or not. If a runbook terminates unexpectedly, you won't see the end time. If you want to see which activity failed, double click on the runbook to see details about the activity.

Runbook Audit History: If a runbook ran successfully previously but failed to execute recently, it makes sense to check the Runbook Audit History page. The Runbook Designer keeps track of changes to each activity in the runbook and the user who made the changes, including the date and time when the changes were made. Runbook Audit History also includes previous values, so it's easy to revert back to them.

When troubleshooting runbook failures, enable the Activity-specific Published Data option for each activity. By default, published data isn't included for each activity. You need to enable published data for runbooks from the logging property of the runbook as shown in Figure A:

Runbook logging property options
Figure A. Enable published data for runbooks from the logging property

While System Center Orchestrator RunBook logs might help you troubleshoot issues, a freeware utility called Orchestrator Health Checker helps you understand active runbooks and performs other runbook-related actions.

Dig Deeper on Virtual machine monitoring, troubleshooting and alerting