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Windows-based organizations are increasingly turning to public cloud services for a variety of business tasks, but managing public cloud services such as Microsoft Azure requires careful monitoring. Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2012 is a data center management platform that operates at the operating system and hypervisor level. It displays status, health and performance details of monitored computer systems.
System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) also reports on the availability, configuration and security of monitored systems. All of this is accomplished through a single interface.
As with most management platforms, SCOM is extensible through the use of management packs (MPs) that allow the tool to function beyond basic default capabilities and adapt to new and changing infrastructures. Administrators can install and download new MPs to monitor countless new services including SQL Server, SharePoint, VMware, Apache and others. Microsoft creates MPs for many products, and third-party products also have their own MPs available. In addition, SCOM users can write custom MPs to monitor special systems and services that existing MPs don't cover.
SCOM is typically intended to monitor internal systems and services within a data center. However, the rapid emergence of public cloud services, such as Microsoft Azure, has driven the need to monitor outside cloud instance performance, availability and other metrics. Microsoft released Windows Azure Pack, a management pack that allows IT administrators to retool Azure instances so that SCOM can monitor and report on the availability and performance of Azure deployments.
Once SCOM agents are installed in Azure VMs, the Azure MP can discover components of Azure services like infrastructure as a service and platform as a service. It can also integrate with Azure to send management data from Azure's cloud to the SCOM platform. SCOM then provides IT managers with insights from inside and outside of the data center.
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