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What is System Center Operations Manager?

Microsoft's System Center Operations Manager is an IT monitoring device designed to keep administrators in tune with the health of their environments.

Intro | Configuration Manager | Operations Manager | Data Protection Manager | Virtual Machine Manager | Essentials | Service Manager |
Mobile Device Manager

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.

Microsoft Systems Center Operations Manager new features

  • 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.

Featured Content

  • Automated agent deployments in Ops Manager 2007
    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.
  • Linux and Unix support incorporated in Microsoft server manager
    This may be the end of cross-platform criticisms as Microsoft leaps outside the company bubble and adds Unix and Linux support to its System Center Operations Manager product.
  • Get DFS Namespaces alerts in Windows Server 2008 R2.
    Admins can track the health of their machines with an updated management pack that works with System Center Operations Manager to create a centralized monitoring hub.

MORE PIECES OF THE SYSTEM CENTER PUZZLE
Intro | Configuration Manager | Operations Manager | Data Protection Manager | Virtual Machine Manager | Essentials | Service Manager |
Mobile Device Manager

Next Steps

An overview of Microsoft System Center 2012
Learn the roles of key System Center Operations Manager files, databases
A closer look at System Center Operations Manager 2012

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