- Windows Server monitoring
- SQL Server monitoring
- Integration with Operation Management Suite
- Linux monitoring could be better
- Possibility for agentless monitoring could be helpful in some cases, but it has a lot of limitation in SCOM
- The Health Explorer within SCOM is one of the more impressive features. How a system framework is monitored and when something goes wrong, it rolls up to the top level object and alerts the user. If there is a critical issue or warning, it rolls up to the system as a whole and the system will appear critical. You can use the Health Explorer to drill down and find the particular monitor that is in the critical state. From there you can see the details and where the problem lies. Whether it's from the event logs on the server or a performance threshold that has been triggered, you get all the information you need to troubleshoot quickly. When the issue is fixed, the overall system shows as healthy, again.
- When troubleshooting issues found through SCOM, you can add details to your company knowledge base within SCOM and tie that knowledge article to a particular monitor, which in turn adds the knowledge article to the alert that monitor eventually triggers. So, not only do you get some great, built-in troubleshooting information from the product you're monitoring, you also can build an additional company KB and that information will be right in the alert the next time that particular issue occurs. This makes troubleshooting infinitely quicker.
- The Management Packs that are applied to SCOM are what got us interested in using SCOM in the first place. We have a TFS Management Pack and a SQL Server management pack that we use. You can build custom Management Packs from scratch with SCOM, but having the framework in place for the systems we want to monitor out of the box, is a huge plus! Any customizations we want to do can be done on top of the Management Pack designed for the target system.
- One of the biggest drawbacks to SCOM is the sheer scope and complexity of the system. This can be a pro and a con. The system is very customizable, what you put into it is what you'll get out of it. That said, the learning curve is fairly steep. An organization needs to be committed to putting time and resources into SCOM to get the most out of it. I've heard stories from colleagues of several different companies that invested in SCOM and then abandoned it due to the excessive time and care required.
- SCOM is expensive. Not only is the enterprise licensing costly, SCOM requires it's own servers, operational and warehouse databases to be maintained.
- The OOB SCOM reports are a bit clunky and feel outdated.
- SCOM does excellent work in monitoring Microsoft Operating Systems and back-end solutions like Exchange and SQL Server. The information gathered is useful and the (free) management packs add in-depth counters and monitoring data.
- Agent deployment and updating, that with other solutions can be a complex task, is usually easy to perform. Also for endpoints that are in an external network or DMZ, a certificate based approach allows to get the result without requiring too high of a configuration effort.
- The product is also able to manage non-Microsoft platform and devices. The list of Management Packs is really long and covers many of the main players in the IT industry.
- SCOM requires a lot of fine tuning to be really usable, especially from an alerting point of view. The default thresholds are meant to be good for a generic scenario, but each IT department has to spend time in calibrating them on their specific needs.
- The most recent rollup updates have improved SCOM from all the points of view. Using it some time ago was not easy, due to a series of limitations and flaws (often I have seen agents going in "unknown state" with no motivation, just for example). I think that some companies have now a negative perception of Operations Manager due to this not so brilliant past.
- From a security point of view, SCOM requires some specific configurations. The required rules and permissions on firewalls, specifically, are something that usually requires some conversation and clarification with the network and security managers.
SCOM Review: "For Large Windows Enterprises with Resources there is No Better Asset Management Tool"
- SCOM can manage Windows OS systems from desktops to servers very well.
- SCOM is platform agnostic in that we manage physical and virtual machines with no differentiation.
- SCOM can quickly deploy emergency security patches and the best part is it can provide detailed results of success and failure rate of patch deployment.
- SCOM to increase performance and more robust high availability.
- Simplify dependent components (supporting servers and database).
- Better management interface and more robust roles setup for multiple IT support groups with detailed auditing enabled.
We use SCOM to monitor our servers and network devices. It is used mainly by the technical IT staff. Other than the hardware, we also use it to monitor services and certain event log messages. We also use SA Vision Live Maps to visually represent our environment. There are several flat screen TVs in strategic areas (including our 24 hour help desk), that display the SA Vision Live Maps view. When a monitor goes red it is reflected in the Live Maps view and the appropriate team is notified.
For the network monitoring component we use Jalasoft Xian Network Manager which also works in conjunction with SCOM. We do not use the native SCOM network monitoring feature as Jalasoft does a better job of monitoring the network objects.
- SCOM in conjunction with SA Vision Live Maps makes it easy to create a visual dashboard of you environment. You can create hierarchical maps to represent your entire environment to a geographical scale and drill down when a problem arises.
- If you have an application that can send messages to an event log, you can easily create monitors and rules for specific errors that you care about and send those alerts as e-mails.
- SCOM is both agent and agentless so you have the option to get better monitoring by installing an agent. We have had few issues of a SCOM agent on a server.
- You need to stay on top of SCOM because you can easily bog down your performance if you are not constantly addressing problematic alerts, or a bad management pack.
- Network monitoring is there but compared to other SCOM plugins like Jalasoft, the Microsoft implementation is lacking. Jalasoft seems more straight forward and easier to implement.
- When your SCOM environment slows down you will need to open a Microsoft call and depending who you get, it can take weeks to address an issue. We currently have some issues that have been open for more than a month.
- SNMP monitoring is also not straight forward and you can't import MIBs.
While SCOM can monitor Linux OS, I would say if most of your devices are Linux and Network devices that you should look at something else.
- Windows OS Monitoring - Out of the box, System Center Operations Manager does a wonderful job of monitoring Windows Operating System health, performance and configuration. It provides detailed reports and the data required to quickly make technical decisions.
- Community - The System Center Operations Manager community is huge. It is rare that we need to purchase a third party application to use along with System Center Operations Manager. Because System Center Operations Manager has been around for quite a while, many experts in the community are available for writing and sharing advanced management packs and monitoring strategies.
- Flexibility - System Center Operations Manager provides the flexibility to perform any monitoring that has ever been requested of me. While the product is simple in its native form, it can be expanded with the authoring tool, add-ons, and visual studio authoring extensions.
- Network Monitoring - System Center Operations Manager provides network monitoring, but it is relatively new, clunky, and feature-poor. It is improving, but if you need to do advanced network monitoring, use a dedicated product.
- Consoles - System Center Operations Manager has two consoles - the web console and the desktop console. Both can be slow at times, even with a healthy back end. It has never been a huge problem, but when you are moving quickly, you can sometimes be caught up waiting a couple of seconds here or there.
1. Address Availability and Performance issues of the hardware and software components of IT infrastructure (e.g. Exchange, SharePoint, SQL Server)
2. Monitor custom services, created inside organization.
3. Detect IT services outages and quickly resolve it
SCOM is not just a tool - it's IT monitoring platform with great extensibility options and it can solve much more problems with right customization.
- Microsoft workloads monitoring: SQL Server, Windows Server, Exchange and other Microsoft products.
- Data Visualization. With the custom dashboard capabilities, available in SCOM 2012 we can create advanced UI in SCOM console. One of the best examples there - SQL Server Monitoring Management Pack.
- Extensibility. This is very important feature, which allows end-users to add their custom monitoring scenarios using Powershell.
- Network monitoring. That is definitely not the strongest area of SCOM. Major competitors already doing it much better
- Performance and resource usage. First-time users can be very confused by the latency and resource consumption by console and server components
- New features. Last years SCOM couldn't demonstrate enough new features in new releases. I wish it has more.
- Monitoring availability and performance of Windows Platform.
- Ability to set up alerts based on various and multiple conditions and situations.
- Performance trending and reporting.
- Its ability to identify what's happening within our .NET code via APM module.
- Upgrading and patching SCOM is always complicated and challenging, it can be improved.
- Console (thick client and web) performance need some attention, many of my SCOM users still won't log in and use the product because they hate the way it performs.
- 2012 R2 version is still lacking basic features like scheduled maintenance mode, although PowerShell scripts and third party tools can be used to achieve this, but I think any monitoring tool should have this ability out of the box.
- Centralised Reporting of Alerts/Warnings/Performance metrics - good when trying to provide an enterprise solution that all teams can use.
- Management packs can be installed for other products e.g. SQL Server and I believe some third party applications
- Can setup thresholds for alerts so you receive a warning before you receive a critical alert so you have time to avoid a system outage/issue
- Alerts can be sent via email or can use text service and we hook that into an automated phone system that will contact out of hours support and read the message for critical alerts.
- Can customise dashboards - we paid for consultancy to create a RAG (Red amber Green) dashboard for our 3 SQL environments (DEV/PROD/DR) for a quick one stop heads up for any issues.
- It is a monster of a system and really needs a person managing the system full time
- Options are a bit clunky especially when you need to set overrides.
- Takes a lot of time and effort to setup alerts as you want them, don't rely on the out of the box options you need to invest time into the system to get what you want out of it.
- Make sure you size the underlying database server/s correctly (Microsoft provide a tool to calculate based on number of objects you plan to collect data on), it is a datawarehouse underneath after all.
SCOM Scorecard Summary
Feature Scorecard Summary
SCOM Technical Details