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How to install and configure SCOM for Azure monitoring

Setting up SCOM 2012 for Azure monitoring is an easy process that can be completed in just a few steps. We walk you through the installation and configuration.

Installing Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2012 for Azure monitoring requires a few simple steps. First,...

enterprises need SCOM 2012 SP1 or later. They'll also need a valid subscription to Microsoft Azure as well as some VMs, storage instances or services that are already provisioned and running in Azure.

Download the System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) management pack (MP) for Azure and then install the Microsoft installer file (.msi). You'll need to use the Certificates console in Windows Server 2012 to create and upload a X.509 v3-compliant management certificate. This certificate authenticates SCOM agents and allows secure data exchanges between Azure and SCOM.

Next, add your Azure 25-character subscription GUID to SCOM; if the organization has multiple subscriptions, repeat this for each one. Then go to the Operations Manager console, click Administration in the lower left menu, select Windows Azure from the upper left menu and then choose to add a new subscription.

In the Add Subscription dialog, enter the name of the subscription as it appears in the Azure Web portal, including the management certificate, password and any management or proxy server details. When you finish, the subscription will appear in the Windows Azure Overview dialog under Operations Manager.

The next step is to import the Azure MP into SCOM. With the Operations Manager console running, click Administration from the lower left menu, right click on the Management Packs entry from the upper left menu and then select Import Management Packs. When the Import Management Packs dialog opens, select Add, and then opt to Add from disk and allow online searches, if necessary.

Find the folder where you extracted the Azure MP .msi file, select any management pack bundle components, and click Open. Now click Install to finish setting up the Azure MP, and then close the import dialog when the installation is finished. At this point, you can set up SCOM for Azure monitoring.

Configure SCOM for Azure monitoring

Open the Operations Manager console, click Authoring from the lower left menu, right click the Management Pack Templates entry in the upper left menu and then select Add Monitoring Wizard. Select Windows Azure Monitoring from the list of monitoring types and click Next. Then enter a name and description for the monitoring and click New. Enter details to create a new management pack -- creating a duplicate pack to use for monitoring. Finally, click Next and enter the Azure subscription ID with the resources you plan to monitor.

At this point, the Add Monitoring Wizard will allow you to include the desired Azure services, such as load balancing, as well as VMs and storage instances that you want to monitor. Eventually, the wizard will summarize all Azure resources you selected. Step back through the wizard to add, remove or modify any selections, or click Create to finalize Azure monitoring and display the monitor in the Operations Manager console.

Right click on the Azure monitor to select and configure a suitable view. IT administrators can select from a variety of views including alert, event, state, performance, diagram, status, webpage or dashboard views. Which view you choose depends on the type of monitoring you need to perform. For example, an alert view will report on problems that meet specific criteria like severity, while a diagram view can show the logical relationship of managed items. You can choose some (or all) resources to be displayed in the selected view.

The setup process can be a bit convoluted and time-consuming, but once configured it need only be edited or adjusted as needed.

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