A central component of the Microsoft System Center suite, Operations Manager (SCOM) 2007 is a third-generation product, formerly dubbed Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM). SCOM is used to monitor the health and performance of everything from servers to individual applications in Microsoft Windows environments.
Like Configuration Manager, Microsoft designed SCOM 2007 to help administrators gain better control over their IT environments through different management services working simultaneously for maximum system efficiency.
The company incorporated significant features with SCOM 2007 in order to meet customer needs. For instance, visibility has become one of the defining features of the product in the form of end-to-end service monitoring. To that effect, it allows administrators to screen the state of services known as distributed applications. End-to-end service monitoring also presents mock transactions to give administrators an understanding of the service from the viewpoint of an end user for more proficient troubleshooting.
With SCOM 2007 management packs, administrators can extend Operations Manager capabilities to a wide variety of technologies, including operating systems and applications. In fact, numerous management packs are available for more than 60 Microsoft and third-party products, such as Windows Vista, SQL Server and Exchange Server.
Moreover, SCOM 2007 uses role-based security or custom user roles to allow access to Operations Manager beyond operators and administrators. It also links to Active Directory for simpler deployments and access management controlled by custom user roles.
"What this feature does is allow us to fully automate agent deployment for Operations Manager-based environments," said Pete Zerger, a Microsoft MVP and co-owner of AKOS Technology Services. "As the agent is started up, it will actually query its local Active Directory domain to see if configuration information has been published for an Operations Manager management group."
Each of these features carries over to System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2, released in the spring of 2009 and outfitted with advanced functionality. Upgrading is simple for administrators already working with Operations Manager 2007 SP1.
Those who do decide to upgrade will notice improvements in everything from the user interface to the core product itself, including extended cloud support.
- Cross-platform monitoring – Operations Manager 2007 R2 features enhanced interoperability through Unix and Linux support via a single Windows-based interface. Several management packs have also been developed to extend support.
- Management pack companion – R2's Management Pack Wizard provides an inside look at all there is to know about SCOM 2007 MPs, including package updates and the management pack catalog. Administrators can also download and deploy management packs straight from the wizard and keep up with the newest releases.
- Service-level monitoring – The service tracking functionality allows administrators to customize service-level objectives, such as distributed applications. Custom settings include when the applications are accessible and when and how they perform.
- Ops Manager 2007 feature allows for automated agent deployments
Microsoft MVP Pete Zerger takes a closer look at the integration of Active Directory with System Center Operations Manager 2007 and how it might simplify administrative tasks.
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