A few months ago we started investigating if Microsoft’s free Server Performance Advisor, SPA, could be used as an adequate server monitoring architecture. After much fiddling around with permissions and the like in a multiple server setup – it actually worked – for a while.
First, the permissions issue: In a multiple server setup where one server acts as the reporting agent and the others all send data to it, the reporting server has a “transfer” directory where all the data servers drop info. So a network share is created at that point. The problem is that the reporting server deletes all directories in “transfer” when it processes the data AND when the new directories are created again, they do not inherit the security settings on the parent. The solution is to add all the machines dropping data to the SPA Users group which does get propagated.
Then all seems to work fine except when the reporting server is set to notice the data and run the report automatically, it doesn’t alway find the data. And it does not appear to be possible to modify the rule set to include rules of your own. You can only receive notification on the rules already there – not good enough for a hosted enviroment.