Publishing Operations Manager 2007 Web Console with ISA Server 2006 – Performance view problem


I came across this problem months ago but I didn’t post anything in this blog because I thought this isn’t a common scenario. Today I found a post on a Microsoft newsgroup with a guy searching help for this, so I decided to post an article with the solution.

If you publish an OpsMgr Web console by using a publishing rule in Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2006 using Forms-based authentication the following error may appear if you try to visit a performance view :

image

and at the same time an error will appear in the Eventlog of the server holding the Web Console Role :

Log Name:      Operations Manager
Source:        Web Console
Date:          10/10/2009 4:01:27 PM
Event ID:      10
Task Category: None
Level:         Warning
Keywords:      Classic
User:          N/A
Computer:      OpsMgr-RMS.domain.lab
Description:
Instance: heraycn1hpnzfe45a0lvit45.

View request processing error:

Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.OperationsManager.WebConsole.Utility.WebRequestArgumentException: Invalid format of the list of selected performance counters.
Parameter name: Counters —> System.FormatException: Guid should contain 32 digits with 4 dashes (xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx).
   at System.Guid..ctor(String g)
   at ViewTypePerformance.GetSelectionsFromCookie()
   at ViewTypePerformance.GetCountersList(String countersList)
   — End of inner exception stack trace —
   at ViewTypePerformance.GetCountersList(String countersList)
   at ViewTypePerformance.ProcessViewRequest()
   at ResultPaneBase.Base_Load(Object sender, EventArgs e)

It seems that the code is trying to get the list of counters to show, from a cookie an that an invalid or malformed GUID is found. The problem occurs only if you access the site through ISA so I supposed that ISA makes some modification to the request. To verify this hypothesis I captured a Network Monitor trace on the requesting client side and another one on the server side (on the server holding the Web Console Role).

The following picture contains a network packet fragment captured on the client side. In this fragment we can see a part of the cookie contained in the request :

image

The following picture contains the same network packet fragment captured on the server side. In this fragment we can see the same part of the cookie contained in the request :

image

The two frames are different, we could see that commas used to separate numbers in the color definitions are replaced in the second frame with semicolons. At this point it was clear that ISA replaced commas with semicolons in the cookie content and I thought this could be the cause of the issue.

I did a little research with google and I found the following KB that confirms my hypothesis:

Web pages do not appear as expected when you publish a Web site by using a publishing rule in Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2006

“You publish a Web site by using a publishing rule in Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2006. When a user visits the Web site, the Web pages do not appear as expected. For example, the page layout may be incorrect, or parts of a Web page may not appear.
You experience this problem if the following conditions are true:

  • You use Forms-based authentication (CookieAuth) in ISA Server 2006 to authenticate the users who visit the Web site.
  • The Web site is running a Web application that uses one or more commas as part of the cookie content.”

I executed the script contained in the article on my ISA server to change this behavior and now I’m able to access the performance view without any issue.

– Fabrizio

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

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