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Monitor Linux devices through Operations Manager

Most IT admins use System Center to monitor Windows devices, but through scripting and management packs, it can also monitor and triage Linux servers.

LAS VEGAS — Most admins use System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager to monitor Windows devices, but not necessarily to keep track of Linux and other devices.

Systems Center Operations Manager (SCOM) has many controls, and can report system health data, such as disk usage, power failure and more, said Dieter Wijckmans, a technology consultant during a session at the IT/Dev Connections 2014 Conference.

Linux monitoring in System Center can bridge the gap in a heterogeneous infrastructure.


To start, admins must identify what assets they want to monitor and choose what tools to use to assist with the configuration. Because there are many Linux distributions, there are also different approaches to gathering and installing the SCOM agent on the operating system.

So it's important to loop in Linux admins within the enterprise early in the process, Wijckmans said, since no one knows Linux better than they do.


To install the agent, it first checks for the correct FQDN certificate on the Linux machine on an SSH connection. The package is copied to the Linux machine for install. The Linux machine then signs the final certificate back to the management server.

From there, administrators should be able to collect data from Linux servers. Microsoft has detailed instructions on getting SCOM to play well with Linux.

PowerShell can help create scripts to transition from performance collection (graphing the data over time) to monitoring and mitigation (alerting administrators to potential server issues).

Wijckmans demonstrated how administrators can use SCOM for home automation as well by controlling the temperature on a Nest thermostat and turning off a light when it used too much power.

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