by July 5, 2007 0 comments

System Center Operations Manager 2007(SCOM 2007) was recently released by
Microsoft, which is a new version of Microsoft Operations Manager 2005(MoM). It
is the end – to – end service monitoring solution that lets you monitor clients,
events, services, applications, network devices rather than just servers. It
provides integration with Active Directory for user authentication and agent
discovery. Now, when a new device is added to Organizational Unit(OU),
Operations Manager 2007 can be configured to automatically detect the new device
and install agents on it. Another useful feature in Operations Manager 2007 is
‘Audit Collection Services. Three components of Audit Collection Services are
Audit Collector, Audit Forwarder and Audit Database. Audit Forwarder is a part
of SCOM agent; when enabled it sends events from the security log to Audit
Collector immediately after they are written. Audit Collector is a component of
management server, which has a one – to – one connection with the audit

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To ensure compliance and performance, the audit database is isolated
from operations database, and only one collector can access one audit database. SCOM also lets you generate various audit reports such as Account management,
Access violation, Policy changes, and System integrity.

SCOM now comes with a web console that can be used to perform all operations
remotely. It can also be accessed through mobile devices such as Blackberry and
Windows mobile. Another thing new in SCOM is ‘Client Monitoring Architecture’
that consists of Agentless Exception Monitoring, Customer Experience Improvement
Program and Management Packs for Windows-based workstations. In AEM (Agentless
Exception Monitoring) you can monitor Operating Systems and applications for
errors, without installing agents on the clients. A group policy is configured
on these clients to forward error reports to SCOM management server, instead of
sending them to Microsoft. This provides you trends of errors and failures
across the whole enterprise and helps you determine how frequently an OS or an
application gives an error. As a part of the MS Customer Experience Improvement
Program these reports can be shared with MS.

SCOM’s main console alerts you immediately
in case there’s a failure or a critical machine being monitored

Major components of SCOM are Management Packs, which are XML files containing
monitoring settings. These packs also contain recovery and diagnostics settings
that execute automatically in case of a failure. There are several Management
Packs available for Exchange 2003, SharePoint, System Center ASP.NET 2.0, SQL
Server, Active Directory, IIS and Terminal services, which can be downloaded
from Microsoft’s website. You can also import Management Packs of MOM2005 and
customize available management packs.

What’s new in SCOM?

  •  Active Directory Integration
  •  Service Oriented Monitoring
  •  Audit Collection
  •  Agentless Exception Monitoring
  •  Enhanced Management Packs
  •  SNMP enabled devices anNon
    windows computers monitoring
  • Enhanced Reporting
  •  Health Explorer
  •  Self-Tuning Threshold
  • Monitors

For running System Center Operations Manager 2007, you require Windows 2003
with atleast 1 GB of RAM, and 20 GB free hard disk space. You
will also require SQL Server 2005 with Service Pack 1, .NET Framework 2.0 and
3.0, Microsoft Core XML Services (MSXML) 6.0, SQL Reporting Services with
Service Pack 1 and Internet Information Services 6.0. However, requirements may
differ according to the components you choose to install.

Creating monitors
On the administration page, select ‘Configure computers and devices’ option
from the Actions pane, this will launch a wizard. The wizard will ask you to
choose automatic or advanced discovery option for discovering devices. The
automatic option will search the domain only for Windows based computers, while
in advanced option, you can choose between servers, clients and network devices.

To monitor a Windows service, open Add monitoring wizard. In the next step,
wizard will ask you to choose the monitoring type. Here select Windows Services
option. In the next step, provide which service you want to monitor, and you can
also give description of the monitoring criterions here. Now select the
management pack in which you want to save the monitor settings. It’s better to
create a new management pack and then saving everything in default management
pack. Now, the wizard will ask you to specify which computers you want to
monitor for this service. Just click on Browse button and select the computers
you want to monitor for the chosen service. Next in the Service name step, click
‘Create’ button. Similarly, you can monitor network devices, applications,
servers using available management packs.

In System Center Operations Manager 2007, you can also create rule to collect
data from managed objects. To create a new rule, go to ‘Authoring workspace’
option and expand Management Pack objects. Now, right click on the ‘Rules’
option and select ‘New rule.’ This will open ‘Create Rule’ wizard, which will
ask you to choose the rule type. Let’s create a sample rule for Windows
performance. To do this you expand ‘Collection rules’ option, and from the
Performance based menu select Windows performance option. In next step, wizard
will ask you to select the management pack in which you want to save the rule.
Now, wizard will ask you to select the target computers on which you want to
enable the rule, and select performance counter for it.

SCOM lets you monitor performance of a
client for various parameters such as processing, disk space, etc

In Performance counter page, select the object such as processor for which
you want to collect performance counter data. Once the rule is created it
immediately starts operating. You can also create alerts to inform you, in case
of a failure. SCOM 2007can effectively monitor IT infrastructure of your
organization and helps you in reducing downtime.

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