SCOM Review

​If you have a somewhat small environment then I would recommend to look for alternatives. If you are an existing Microsoft Enterprise CAL customer, SCOM is worth the evaluation.​


Valuable Features

Mature product, strong brand, many customers, Gartner awards

Excellent Microsoft server/application monitoring capabilities

Fast and consistent UX for system admins

Extensive dashboarding capabilities

REST API available

Excellent technical support, rich user community

Designed for on-premise installations

Improvements to My Organization

After reviewing alternatives based on our existing needs, we decided against SCOM for the time being.

Room for Improvement

Lacks common network monitoring features found in alternatives.

Poor support for non-Microsoft systems at this time.

User dashboards require posting to Microsoft SharePoint Server.

Very high administrative burden, requires constant maintenance.

Application transaction monitoring only available in .NET applications on IIS.

Limited analytics capabilities (you must build your own in SSRS)

Full monitoring capabilities requires integration with the rest of the Microsoft System Center suite

Use of Solution

2 years

Deployment Issues

Yes, many. Official documentation fails to list all required TCP/UDP ports necessary for installing the base server as well as gateway servers that are members of remote domains.

We also encountered many issues with each service account used by SCOM that took several days to resolve (domain account rights can be troublesome if not set up correctly from the beginning).

Stability Issues

No. Once SCOM was up and running we never had a failure.

Scalability Issues

No. Scalability is one of the hallmarks of SCOM. It is designed for scaling up/out.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

Good.

Technical Support:

Very good. Microsoft's technical support team for SCOM is very knowledgeable and is responsive. Most of your technical support documentation/ information can be found on TechNet as well.

Initial Setup

Initial setup was extremely complex with security certificates, multiple installation options depending on the server roles in the system, multiple service accounts are needed, as well as delegation of rights for each account. It took several days of troubleshooting to resolve each issue as they were found during initial installation.

Implementation Team

Our own team installed the system in-house.

ROI

None.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

With regards to licensing, if your organization has Enterprise CALs then SCOM is typically included in the suite and may help you if you are trying to save operational costs.

Other Advice

SCOM truly demands it's own support team to manage and administer it (not to mention applying the monthly patches) and is designed for monitoring mid-to-large on-premise environments. If you have a somewhat small environment, or if you do not have the people resources to support a SCOM install then I would recommend to look for alternatives. However if you are an existing Microsoft Enterprise CAL customer SCOM is worth the evaluation.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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1 Comment
author avatarChief Financial Officer at a insurance company with 51-200 employees
Real User

Your advice about using SCOM in a small environment is spot on - Dont!

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