SCOM first impressions

That Was Easy
That Was Easy

So my colleague has installed Microsoft SCOM 2007 R2 and now I get to play with it! I helped a bit during the installation, but can’t say one way or the other how the total experience was.

First impressions are very good. I know that there are a lot of tools available to do what I need to do, and many are open source. I’m split on that because despite my love of open source tools it is a Windows world in my organization. So putting that aside, I have to say that I’m pleased so far.

Agent deployment is seamless and doesn’t require a reboot (Thank You!). Only minutes into my first run at the console I find it very familiar. That being said, I’ve also been a Microsoft CRM admin for two years and the UI is pretty much in line with the other Microsoft “framework” technologies.

The first thing I noticed of course is that there are a plethora of Microsoft native Management Packs so there is little work to be done for our Exchange and SQL environments. The integration with the Best Practices Analyzer is nifty. Right away I get nagged about the things that I always promised myself I would do when I got a chance. Now the daily nag will be a great reminder to get those things done.

The default is verbose. Not much more to say. It is both good and bad because to the right team it is like a nagging spouse reminding you to take the trash out, or in this case to set the /3GB switch in the boot config. The downside is that there may be a tendency to immediately “quiet” it down by either lowering the log levels or by dropping the thresholds.

The Application monitoring is intriguing. I set up my first application which was a standalone IIS app with a local MS SQL instance. The diagram feature is very handy. I’m guilty of not effectively or regularly updating application documentation so this is a great way to do it. Simply set up the app environment for monitoring and then export to Visio. I know…it’s another Microsoft product. But I remind you again that this is the environment so it is not a detractor in any way.

Licensing. This is where some may get frightened by it. The cold truth is that this is not an inexpensive product. Again I remind you that I’m in a nearly 100 percent Windows environment so the payoff is there.

I’ll be setting up monitors for my Ruby on Rails and Apache instances soon so I hope to have an update soon on that.

So far so good!

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