Overview of System Center 2012 Operations Manager
System Center Operations Manager ConsultantsSystem Center Operations manager (SCOM or OpsMgr) is a central component of Microsoft's System Center suite of datacenter management products and offers a mature, unified platform for monitoring and reporting on the availability and performance of critical network resources that span local, service provider, and cloud-based infrastructure. A key feature of SCOM 2012 is its ability to draw on a vast and continually expanding knowledge base to alert designated IT managers when potential problems first appear and to suggest or implement automatically remediation procedures to prevent these issues from growing into major network disruptions.

Enhancements to SCOM 2012 include seamless integration with Microsoft Azure for consolidated monitoring of hybrid local/cloud environments, improved support for third-party platforms such as various UNIX and Linux distributions, the ability to monitor Windows Services based on Microsoft's .NET Framework, and integration with System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) for detecting and monitoring network fabric such as routers and switches along with their associated interfaces and VLANs. SCOM 2012 also introduces Resource Pools for higher availability and faster performance.

Progent's Microsoft Gold-certified team of veteran consultants has over a decade of experience working with System Center Operations Manager and its precedents and can provide online and on premises expertise to help organizations of any size to design, pilot, deploy, update, tune, and troubleshoot a datacenter management solution built around SCOM 2012. Progent's consulting team includes certified experts in all of the technologies that can be monitored by SCOM 2012 including Windows servers and applications, VMware, Cisco networking products, all major distributions of Linux, and the cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) features of Microsoft Azure. (Learn about Progent's Microsoft Azure planning and cloud integration consulting services.) Progent can also help you integrate SCOM 2012 with other System Center 2012 R2 components such as SCVMM, System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), and System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) to ensure that you get maximum business value from investment in System Center 2012. In addition, Progent offers System Center 2016 Operations Manager migration consulting to help you plan and carry out an efficient migration from SCOM 2012 to SCOM 2016 in order to take advantage of improved hybrid cloud integration and Windows Server 2016 support.

Components of System Center 2012 Operations Manager
System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager uses services called agents, defined in specialized management packs, to monitor the availability and performance of Windows, UNIX, and Linux computers on which agents have been installed. Objects you can target for SCOM to monitor can include server hardware, operating systems, services, virtual machine hypervisors, and applications. The basic functional unit of an SCOM 2012 deployment is the management group, which can include some or all of these major components:

  • Management Server This essential component of a management group handles SCOM 2012 administrative tasks and communicates with the Operations Manager Database. You can have one or multiple management servers in a management group, and you can have multiple management groups in an SCOM 2012 environment.
  • Operations Console This connects to the primary management server of a management group and provides a consolidated view of the availability and performance of the infrastructure resources you have configured SCOM 2012 to monitor.
  • Operations Manager Database This essential component of SCOM 012 is a SQL Server database that contains the configuration settings of management groups and temporarily stores performance, event, and alert data collected by SCOM agents.
  • Operations Manager Data Warehouse This essential component of SCOM 2012 is a SQL Server database that handles long-term data collected by SCOM for use by the reporting server to create reports on trends and forecasts.
  • Operations Manager Web Console This is an optional browser-based version of the SCOM Operations Console for monitoring a management group remotely from any computer.
  • Operations Manager Reporting Server This server hosts SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) to generate reports that can be accessed from the SCOM Operations console. Built-in reports can give insights into areas such as alert logging latency, availability, configuration changes, event analysis, and operational data.
  • Operations Manager Gateway Server This optional server role eliminates the administrative hassle of managing X.509 certificates in environments where SCOM 2012 management servers need to communicate with agents that are not located within the same trust boundary. Gateway servers operate in the same trust boundary as the monitored computers and meet SCOM's requirement for secure mutual authentication by allowing the agents to use the conventional Kerberos V5 protocol for Active Directory to authenticate with the gateway server, which in turn use the same protocol to authenticate with the management server.
System Center Operations Manager Gateway Server Consultants

Gateway Servers simplify certificate management when SCOM 2012 monitors computers in untrusted domains

Progent's extensive experience with System Center Operations Manager can help you save time and money designing an SCOM 2012 topology that aligns with you current needs and scales easily to accommodate your planned growth. Progent can help you configure SCOM 2012 components for high availability and show you how to benefit from self service monitoring and reporting to keep you administrative costs under control. Progent can also help you select, deploy and tune SCOM management packs to allow you to monitor business-critical workloads from Microsoft or third-party vendors whether your monitored resources are hosted locally, on private or public clouds, or in a hybrid environment. If you are migrating from an earlier release of SCOM, Progent can help you identify potential compatibility issues and avoid common pitfalls by following leading practices for solution design, testing, and implementation. Progent can also show you how to take advantage of SCOM 2012's new features to accelerate the return on investment from your SCOM 2012 migration.

New and Enhanced Features of SCOM 2012
System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager incorporates significant improvements over previous versions of SCOM. New and enhanced features cover key areas including cloud integration, network infrastructure (fabric) monitoring, consolidated monitoring with Microsoft Azure, application performance monitoring (APM), expanded support for third-party platforms, high availability, resource pooling, and remote management. Major new features of SCOM 2012 include:

  • Monitoring Private Cloud Fabric
    You can integrate SCOM 2012 with System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM 2012) in order to track the availability and performance of virtual layers for your private clouds. SCOM 2012's Fabric Health Dashboard provides a detailed view of a private cloud infrastructure by displaying the state of hosting groups and compute resources, storage, pools, load balancers, IIS pools, physical network nodes, virtual switches, and clusters. SCOM 2012 can monitor network devices that support SNMP and offers port monitoring for MIB and MIB-II compliant devices. For details about SCVMM 2012 and to learn about Progent's SCVMM consulting services, see SCVMM 2012 consulting and troubleshooting services.
  • Integration with Microsoft Azure
    If you subscribe to Microsoft's Microsoft Azure cloud-based infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), you can monitor not only the availability and performance of your Azure applications but also the status of your Azure fabric including virtual machines, storage, and services by installing Microsoft's System Center Management Pack for Microsoft Azure. This also allows you to create distributed applications across Azure and your local resources. Alternatively, you can install the SCOM 2012 agent directly on your Azure VMs. Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you assess the relative advantages of each approach for your organization so you can gain the full benefit of monitoring your hybrid on-premise/cloud environment from a single SCOM console.
  • .NET Application Performance Monitoring
    SCOM 2012 includes advanced Application Performance Monitoring (APM) features for Microsoft IIS-hosted .NET applications and web services. .NET Application Performance Monitoring offers in-depth analysis of applications to help you isolate problems and quickly find solutions. SCOM 2012 also includes APM features for Java applications based on Tomcat servers for both Windows and Linux deployments.
  • Enhanced Cross-platform Monitoring
    SCOM 2012 expands advanced monitoring capabilities for a variety of non-Microsoft operating systems such as RHEL/SUSE Linux, Unix, Oracle Solaris, HP-UX, and IBM AIX. SCOM 2012 supports the x86 and x64 distributions of CentOS 5 and 6, Debian GNU/Linux 5 and 6 and 7, Oracle Linux 5 and 6, and Ubuntu Server 10.04 and 12.04. UNIX and Linux agents for SCOM 2012 are now based on the OMI open-source CIM Object Manager.
  • Resource Pools
    SCOM 2012 eliminates the Root Management Server (RMS) role for monitoring resources like Linux and UNIX computers, network devices or web applications, where no agent is available on the monitored computer. RMS servers could not be load balanced or easily configured for high availability. The new resource pool, which replaces the RMS role, is a collection of management servers that can automatically take over the workloads of a failed server within the pool. This increases capacity and performance as well as availability. You can restrict resource pools to specific purposes, such as an AD Assignment Resource Pool, so that as your SCOM ecosystem expands you can simply add servers to a resource pool and avoid having to reconfigure your monitoring.
  • New Web Console
    SCOM 2012 includes a new browser-based Web Console that allows an authorized user from any computer to access a subset of the workspaces (i.e., Monitoring and My Workspace) and options available from the SCOM 2012 Operations Console.
  • IPv6 Awareness
    You can use IPv6 address with SCOM 2012's Operations Console for Network Discovery and the3 console shows IPv6 addresses in network views.
How Progent Can Help You with SCOM 2012
Progent offers remote and on-premises consulting expertise to help businesses of any size design, test, deploy, tune, and troubleshoot SCOM 2012 environments. Progent can help you upgrade to SCOM 2012 from previous releases of Operations Manager or from other monitoring platforms. Progent can help you deploy SCOM 2012 to monitor critical workloads and network resources located in onsite datacenters, hosted on private or public clouds including Microsoft Azure, or deployed in a hybrid ecosystem that spans local and cloud-based environments. Progent offers as-needed support to help you resolve specific issues you may encounter with SCOM 2012 or Progent can deliver comprehensive project management services following industry best practices to make sure your SCOM 2012 deployment is successfully carried out within your budget and schedule.

Progent can help you configure SCOM 2012 management packs for key workloads and tune MP parameters to minimize administrative overhead while maximizing the performance and availability of monitored resources. Progent has expertise in the entire range of current and legacy platforms from Microsoft such as Windows Server, Hyper-V, Exchange, SharePoint, SQL Server, and Office 365, and Progent's team of application experts can provide advanced consulting for a broad range of third-party operating systems and applications that SCOM 2012 can monitor.

Progent can show you how to combine SCOM 2012 with other tools included in the System Center 2012 R2 management suite to add consolidated monitoring and reporting across Configuration Manager (SCCM) for change management, Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) for backup and recovery, and Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) for creating and managing private clouds. Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants offer expertise for designing, implementing and troubleshooting a secure, resilient and high-performance infrastructure to support your onsite and cloud-based resources. In addition, Progent's certified security consultants can help you design and validate an enterprise-wide security strategy that meets both your in-house security goals and complies with industry and regulatory requirements.

To find out more about Progent's consulting services for System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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