This help page is for version 3.4. The latest available help is for version 5.1.
The Settings dialog lets you configure global aspects of the monitoring service. Each setting will be discussed separately:
Startup Wait Time - When the monitoring service starts, you can instruct it to wait a number of seconds before active monitoring begins. This places less load on the system while it is starting, and also reduces false alarms that occur from the system not being completely started.
Ignore First Actions - To further reduce false alarms, the monitor service can ignore problems found on the very first run of each monitor. After the first run, all monitors will run normally.
Logon As User - This is a very important setting. Windows protects system resources (local and remote) by comparing the access rights of the requesting user against the rights allowed to that resource. This setting lets you control which user account is used to run the monitoring service (this is the same setting you can set on each service in the Administrative Tools Services applet). The default Local System user can access all local resources, but can't access any remote Windows resources (it can however access non-Windows remote resources such as ping, web pages, etc). If you will be monitoring remote systems, set this to a domain account or to a local account which has the same user name and password as an account on the remote system (see Remote Monitoring Hints). Another alternative is to right-click the computer in the monitoring Console and select "Set Login Credentials" for server-specific credentials.
CPU Throttling - The monitoring service has advanced CPU throttling built in which works to keep the average CPU usage at or around the value you set. Note that during report creation, the CPU usage will sometimes go above the throttle level, but it won't stay there for long.
Database Directory - Many monitors record data in databases for reporting and trend analysis. The location of the databases can be controlled by this setting. It is highly recommended that you store the database files on a local NTFS formatted drive. The amount of space needed depends completely on the number of monitors, and the settings of the monitors that you configure. A few hundred megabytes of free space is a good minimum requirement.
In addition to the location of the database files, you can choose whether to allow write-caching to the database files. This significantly improves monitor performance and cuts down on disk I/O, but if there is a system failure or power failure, the database files might become corrupted.
Reports Directory - The monitoring service contains an HTTP server for serving up web-based reports. The Console and monitoring service also communicate some data via HTTP. The port that the Console and monitoring service use for HTTP communication is configurable. This web server is completely safe--it can only serve files out of the specified directory and no where else. Generated report files will be placed in the specified directory and cleaned up automatically (you can control how long old report files will left around).
Status Report Settings - This will open a simple dialog to let you specify how often server summary reports are generated, and what detail level should be show in the overall summary report.
Log Files - The monitoring service writes diagnostic log files as it runs. You can control the maximum size for the log file. When the maximum is reached, a portion of the beginning of the log file is removed and then new information continues to get written to the end of the file. Debug logging writes a very large volume of data to the log in a short time--it shouldn't normally be enabled unless needed by Power Admin Support to diagnose an issue.
System Alerts - Some alerts are sent to you from the monitoring system itself, and not in response to particular monitors. These alerts might be license issues, internal problems, unaccessible computer warnings, etc. You can control which of these internal alerts are enabled, and which notification method each one should use.