Microsoft System Center Review

Has good availability, performance matrix and reporting capabilities with the ability to scale effectively

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for performance monitoring in the retail environment and our large Wintel estate. The solution provides real-time monitoring of the estate 24x7x365. 

How has it helped my organization?

It has provided the ability to identify issues before they occur and also an active monitoring system to understand what our environment looks like at any given time.

What is most valuable?

The availability monitoring, performance matrix, and the historical reporting capabilities are the solution's most valuable features.

What needs improvement?

The solution's dashboard needs improvement.

Management and corrective action capabilities are needed as part of the solution.

The solution would benefit from having a mobile app.

Improvement of the application layer monitoring as part of the default solution due to methods of applications integrations.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for many years; basically since its inception.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability and overall performance of the solution are mainly dependent on the correct hardware specification, design, and implementation as is the case with most other ESM type solutions.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is easily scalable, however, its not just the amount of hardware that needs to be taken into consideration. The throughput of the environment is also impacted depending on the number of nodes being monitored and the frequency thereof.

How are customer service and technical support?

The solution's technical support is okay, but in my opinion, it needs to be more engaging.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have almost 18 years of monitoring and Systems Management experience, so I have used a variety of products. For the Wintel estate currently SCOM is the best fit for the interim in terms of cost, feature, and function. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex. We run a large footprint in excess of 9,000 nodes, so it was complex to understand exactly what the network impact, throughput on the environment and the database sizing.

What about the implementation team?

We had a 3rd party Microsoft Business partner assist with the implementation and operations.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Evaluate tools for the best fit for your environment. In terms of setup cost and pricing of SCOM, evaluate and spec your infrastructure environment sufficiently to ensure the environment will handle the load from the number of endpoints being monitored.

What other advice do I have?

We use the on-premises deployment model.

In terms of advice I would give to other users, I'd say before implementing the solution, you have to plan for your environment appropriately, and seek advice from product experts at Microsoft or their business partners.

I would rate the solution 8.5 out of ten.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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