Introduction to System Center 2016 Operations Manager
System Center 2016 Operations Manager (SCOM 2016) helps to ensure optimum performance and maximum availability of critical workloads by providing centralized, multi-platform monitoring of physical and virtual infrastructure across on-premises datacenters, private clouds and public clouds. SCOM 2016 lets you track the health, availability, performance and utilization of computers, devices, services and applications for a variety of network deployment models and software platforms including Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, Office 365, Windows, Linux and UNIX. An extensive and continually expanding library of Management Packs allow you to monitor, troubleshoot, tune and create reports for specific resources overseen by Operations Manager. Management Packs are offered by Microsoft as well as by third parties and you can also build your own Management Packs or customize existing ones.
System Center 2016 Operations Manager includes improvements in the areas of alert management, cloud integration, scale, analytics, and support for heterogeneous operating system environments. Integration with Microsoft's cloud-based service Operations Management Suite (OMS) enhances SCOM's reporting capabilities with advanced log analytics, correlation and machine learning to help visualize and troubleshoot a hybrid environment Combined with other components of the System Center 2016 product family including Configuration Manager (SCCM 2016), Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM 2016), and Data Protection Manager (SCDPM 2016), SCOM 2016 delivers a comprehensive IT infrastructure and application management solution for modern hybrid networks that include physical datacenters and cloud-based resources and services. SCOM 2016 can also be extended to work with other enterprise monitoring platforms such as Nagios, IBM Netcool or BMC Remedy to meet virtually any business requirements.
Progent's Microsoft-certified consulting team has worked with Operations Manager's underlying monitoring technology for nearly two decades and offers online and onsite expertise to help organizations of any size to plan, implement, tune, expand, or troubleshoot an SCOM 2016 solution that delivers maximum business value. Progent can help you migrate efficiently from earlier versions of Operations Manager and can integrate SCOM 2016 with all other components of System Center 2016. Progent offers advanced expertise for Windows Server to host SCOM 2016 and for Microsoft SQL to run SCOM 2016's databases.
In addition, Progent can provide the services of subject matter experts (SBEs) to support a broad array of technologies that constitute the IT ecosystem monitored by SCOM 2016. Examples of Progent SBEs include a VMware VCDX-certified virtualization architect, a Cisco CCIE-certified network infrastructure engineer, a NetApp NCIE-certified SAN storage implementation consultant, Linux experts for all major distributions, Apple technology consultants, Microsoft Azure integration consultants, Amazon AWS consultants and Google Cloud integration experts. This broad range of skills allows Progent to be a single point of contact for any SCOM 2016 consulting task ranging from occasional guidance to full project management outsourcing or co-sourcing.
System Center 2016 Operations Manager Architecture
Operations Manager 2016 allows you to monitor the health, performance and availability of computers, devices, services, and applications across your enterprise from a centralized Operations Console. When SCOM detects a problem with a monitored object, it generates an alert and provides details about the problem and suggestions for a remedy. Information such as configuration settings, object discovery, default performance thresholds and remediation advice for the specific applications and services being monitored is imported via various Management Packs.
The core architectural unit of SCOM is the management group, which includes one or more management servers, the operational database, the data warehouse database, and the reporting server. An optional Audit Collection Service (ACS) database can be used to consolidate security logs collected according to an audit security policy. An SCOM agent is a service installed on a computer that collects information for analysis and reporting, measures the health of the monitored object, and runs tasks either on-demand or triggered automatically based on a detected issue. For SCOM agents separated from a management server by a firewall and for agents occupying a different, untrusted domain, a gateway server can act as a proxy between the agents and the management server. To monitor the performance and availability of a computer that does not have an agent installed, SCOM allows agentless monitoring via a proxy agent installed on another computer.
The Management Group is the primary functional unit of System Center 2016 Operations Manager
An SCOM management server interfaces with the Operations Console and the paired-down Web Console, communicates with the management group databases, administers the configuration of the management group, and talks to and manages SCOM 2016 agents. Multiple peered management servers improve performance, capacity and fault tolerance by forming a resource pool, which allows workloads to be distributed automatically throughout the pool and provides transparent failover in case a management server breaks. You can include gateway servers in management server resource pools or create separate resource pools for gateway servers.
The operational database is a Microsoft SQL Server database that stores a management group's operational and configuration data as well as monitoring rules. A management group has only one operational database, so clustering is recommended for high availability. You can specify the duration of data retention to keep the size of the operational database consistent, and the default retention period is one week.
The data warehouse is a SQL Server database that stores the data written to the operational database for long-term reporting. Data collection is rules-based and synchronized with the operational database. Aggregation, grooming, optimization and other maintenance processes for the data warehouse are handled automatically by SCOM. Multiple management groups can share a data warehouse for enterprise-wide reporting, and the data warehouse can be clustered for high availability.
The SCOM 2016 reporting server is responsible for the creation and presentation of trending and forecast reports based on data stored on the warehouse database. Reporting for SCOM 2016 is installed in native mode on SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) 2014 or 2016. For best performance, Operations Manager reporting services should be located on a dedicated system rather than on the on the same SQL Server that hosts the data warehouse. (For a description of Progent's SQL Server consulting services, see Microsoft SQL Server 2016 integration consulting.)
Monitoring Hybrid Cloud Environments with System Center 2016 Operations Manager
System Center 2016 Operations Manager can be used to monitor resources deployed across on-premises and remote datacenters, private clouds and public clouds including Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS, all from a single SCOM console. By integrating gateway servers and proxy servers and installing appropriate Management Packs and agents, SCOM 2016 allows you to create a comprehensive proactive monitoring solution for physical and virtual workloads throughout a hybrid cloud environment. If you run Operations Management Suite (OMS) to manage resources in Microsoft Azure, you can connect your SCOM management groups to OMS Log Analytics to analyze managed agents in the cloud. (Find out about Progent's Microsoft Azure hybrid cloud integration consulting and Amazon AWS integration expertise.)
SCOM 2016 can monitor on-premises and cloud resources for Azure, Office 365, and Amazon AWS
Progent can help you design, tune and troubleshoot a cost-effective deployment of SCOM 2016 that provides the availability, performance and security you need to monitor every element of your hybrid cloud environment proactively based on industry best practices.
Enhancements to System Center 2016 Operations Manager
System Center 2016 Operations Manager includes a range of enhancements covering various areas including performance, alert generation and management, extensibility, scale, Linux/UNIX support, integration with Windows Server 2016 Nano Server, and integration with Operations Management Server (OMS) for hybrid cloud monitoring and advanced analytics. New features include:
How Progent Can Help You with System Center 2016 Operations Manager
- Maintenance Scheduling
A new Maintenance Mode Scheduling Wizard allows you to put different types of objects into maintenance mode and to schedule future maintenance. In addition, SCOM 2016 operators have access to Maintenance Schedules via the SCOM monitoring pane, eliminating the need to ask administrators to schedule maintenance. Server administrators can set a computer to maintenance mode directly from the agent-managed computer rather than only from the SCOM Operations console. This can be accomplished using a new PowerShell cmdlet.
- Automated Management Pack Lifecycle Management
A new Updates and Recommendations feature detects new workloads deployed within your environment that have not previously been monitored by SCOM. The Updates and Recommendations node will highlight the new workload and display any Management Pack (MP) in the Microsoft catalog needed to monitor it. The Updates and Recommendations feature can open the pages on the Microsoft Download Center to download the required MP files, install the MPs for the selected workload, and download the associated Management Pack guides.
- Improved Alert Management
SCOM 2016 improves the ability to reduce alert noise by making it easier to understand the underlying causes of alerts. SCOM 2016 can identify the number of alerts generated by each MP, by a specific monitor or rule within each MP, and by various sources for a particular type of alert. You can also filter SCOM data for a specific period of time to gain a better insight into the events associated with an alert storm. This information can help you determine how to tune thresholds or decide whether to disable inconsequential alerts.
- Extensible Network Monitoring
SCOM 2016 facilitates extended network monitoring by introducing the Network Monitoring Management Pack generator tool, which allows you to build customized Management Packs for monitoring SNMP-enabled devices. Previously, SCOM included only rudimentary network monitoring such as availability and port/interface. For more advanced monitoring you had to work with Microsoft to have your devices supported in SCOM, and this extended monitoring was restricted to processor and memory components. The Network Monitoring MP allows you to add new devices yourself and also supports additional device components including power supplies, temperature and voltage sensors and fans.
- Windows Server 2016 Nano Server Support
System Center 2016 Operations Manager can monitor Nano Server, the operating system installation option introduced for Windows Server 2016. Nano Server is an ultra-lightweight server OS optimized for private cloud and datacenter environments. (For a description of Nano Server, see Progent's Windows Server 2016 consulting services.) The Windows Server Operating System Management Pack includes an SCOM agent that allows you to monitor basic Nano Server operations plus critical workloads including Windows Failover Cluster, Domain Name System (DNS) server, and Internet Information Services (IIS).
- Expanded Scale and Feature Sets for Linux/UNIX Monitoring
Each management server in SCOM 2016 can monitor double the number of Linux/UNIX agents compared to previous releases of Operations Manager. Also, new providers offer MPs for monitoring Apache HTTP Server and MySQL/MariaDB database server. New Linux/UNIX Script templates have been added for 2-state and 3-state monitors, agent tasks, plus rules for collecting performance data and for generating alerts. In addition, new recovery and diagnostic task templates allow you to use shell commands and scripts to create Linux/UNIX recovery and diagnostic tasks.
- Integration with Operations Management Suite (OMS) for Hybrid Cloud Analytics
Operations Management Suite (OMS) is a set of management services hosted in Microsoft Azure. You can connect SCOM 2016 management groups to OMS Log Analytics to collect data from all existing SCOM agents for centralized visualization and control of data and applications across on-premises, hosted and cloud environments. Capabilities of SCOM integrated with OMS Services include advanced analytics, configuration assessment, alert management and capacity planning.
SCOM 2016 integrates with Microsoft OMS for advanced analytics in a hybrid cloud environment
Progent's consulting team has almost two decades of experience delivering advanced online and onsite consulting expertise to help businesses of all sizes to design, implement, tune, update and troubleshoot Operations Manager deployments. Progent can assist you to migrate to SCOM 2016 from earlier releases of Operations Manager or from other IT infrastructure monitoring platforms, or integrate SCOM 2016 with multiple third-party to create a cohesive, centralized IT management solution. Progent can also show you how to extend your SCOM monitoring environment to include private and public clouds including Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS.
Progent's Microsoft-certified consulting team can help you plan and configure SCOM 2016 management groups and resource pools, select and customize Management Packs, set up operational and warehouse databases, and create high-availability topologies for fault tolerance and disaster recovery. Progent offers comprehensive System Center 2016 consulting to help integrate Operations Manager 2016 with other components of the System Center 2016 suite including Configuration Manager, Virtual Machine Manager, and Data Protection Manager. Progent can also assist you to configure and tune SCOM alerts to reduce noise and create actionable reports to help you track and maintain the health of your entire IT infrastructure.
Progent can provide timely expertise with all Microsoft applications that can be monitored by SCOM 2016 including Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, Lync or Skype for Business, Office 365 and SharePoint. Progent also offers support from consultants who have earned the highest levels of certifications from vendors including VMware for virtualization, NetApp for SAN storage, and Cisco for network infrastructure. Progent's breadth and depth of expertise makes it possible to resolve complex issues quickly and to support cross-platform environments.
For more information about Progent's consulting services for System Center 2016 Operations Manager, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.
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