Microsoft Operations Management Suite: A first glance

May 6, 2015 at 4:03 pm in OMS, operations manager, SCOM, SCOM 2012 by Dieter Wijckmans

This blog post is part of the “Microsoft Operations Management Suite: Quickstart guide” which can be found here: http://scug.be/dieter/2015/05/08/microsoft-operations-management-suite-quickstart-guide/

It has been a while since i was been blown away by news about SCOM and monitoring in general. During the recent keynote of Ignite in Chicago however Microsoft delivered… I personally was surprised by the vast number of announcements regarding System Center in general and monitoring and management tools in particular.  One of the coolest things for me personally was the announcement of Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS).

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A little bit of history is in its place to show you this is not a product which was born overnight. The first sign that Microsoft was working on a service to monitor and aggregate data in the cloud emerged when System Center Advisor was launched. System Center Advisor was a small tool which gave you a quick overview of your compliance level of your environment and check to see how you are doing in installing and configuring System Center. With an update of once a day and not a lot of adoption this tool was not widely spread. Although it wasn’t this heavily used it actually paved the road for Opinsights preview. The Opinsights preview was leveraging the power of Azure to give you even more control on finding out how your data center was doing by using serveral free apps to make assessments based on data you’ve sent to the Azure cloud services. The integration was created in SCOM making it a usable tool and easier to configure. The service was free so I personally encouraged a lot of customers to start exploring it. The fact you could also connect machines directly without having SCOM added to the level of adoption.

So what brings OMS more than the previous versions?

Well in OMS will give even more integration to different services you will need to do to manage your datacenter, it will integrate even more into your Azure environment to become your one tool to deal with different aspects of exploring your datacenter.

The following 4 groups of tools are at this point integrated into OMS:

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Log Analytics

Log Analytics was already present in Opinsights but has been fine-tuned. You can now gather all logs of different tools and servers and see what events are actually the most common in your environment and take corrective actions accordingly. This is in my  personal opinion a very valuable addition if you would like to find out what the most common problems on your servers are. In fact in SCOM you actually need to configure what to monitor. Log Analytics however uses the power of the Azure storage to collect and keep all the events for you to easily query them and find out patterns and such.

Automation

This feature is new and will actually integrate Automation across the different components you have in your datacenter. The Automation module will integrate with  Websites, Virtual Machines, Storage, SQL Server, and other popular Azure services. The automation runbooks will be easily created through a drag and drop interface giving you basically the opportunity to create automation in seconds. Tying in to all the different components you can automate repetitive tasks across your on-prem and cloud services. This will decrease the margin for human error and like all the different automations if it’s done correctly you will actually lower downtime and increase your view on your environment.

Availability

Availability is not only keeping your applications and data online but also making sure that they stay online or can be restored after a breach in service. The availability tools will give you the power to actually synchronize data between different locations to facilitate the different dataflows between the different locations to ensure that your data will be safe. In this automation tap the different tools will be place to make sure you have all you need to keep your environment up and running and restore as quick as possible. The automation apps will actually tie in to your Azure backup services such as: azure backup, azure site recovery,…

Security

Besides getting everything online and keeping it online a lot of companies are also concerned about keeping everything safe. In the modern world it is a challenge to find a right balance between a workable system and a secure system. The security apps will give you the insights you need to actually Identify malware and missing system updates, collect security related events, perform forensic, audit and breach analysis.

So how does it work?

If you were already using the opinsights preview feature your account is automatically transferred to a free account in OMS. This frree account will give you a 7 day retention and a maximum amount of data uploaded of 500Mb. This is solely for testing purposes to get you going. The integration remains in the SCOM management group and will actually upload all the data in CAB files to the OMS cloud service. Your tools will still be there in your dashboard with the possibility to actually connect more data sources to the OMS service. For more detailed instructions make sure to check out my series on OMS found here on my blog.

Check out the following links for more info:

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