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SCOM Review
It improved vision of core problems of the IT environment for the technical support team, helped locate causes faster and consolidated monitoring functions in fewer hands.


Valuable Features

It is easy to deploy and configure, has rich out of the box monitoring capabilities for windows environments, and can be easily extended with base XML and scripting knowledge.

Improvements to My Organization

As any helpful monitoring tool, SCOM improved vision of core problems of the IT environment for the technical support team, helped locate causes faster and consolidated monitoring functions in fewer hands. With some reporting and dashboarding additions, SCOM helped the IT department show its value for business users.

Room for Improvement

As I see in the SC 2016 roadmap, the product development team understands that main improvements for product should be: cross-platform and network monitoring features including stability and extensibility, wider support of dashboarding and cool widgets, the web console should be greatly improved, along with more handy development tools including custom widget development.

Use of Solution

I have been working with SCOM and projects on it since 2007.

Deployment Issues

There were some deployment and configuration problems with the gateway server and overall this feature works a bit sloppy with other monitoring. Many problems occurred with configuration updates due to many MPs and failing DB maintenance tasks. Unix resource pool server heartbeat failures is another pain, as well.

Customer Service and Technical Support

General support is not helpful enough but Premier support engineers work good and fast. Mostly there is enough information to solve problems on TechNet and other web and community resources.

Previous Solutions

Previously, we - as well as our main SCOM customer - used HP OMW (and also free open source tools like WhatsUp, Nagios), SCOM was chosen for it's simplicity in deployment, out-of-box packs and easy administration. Other customers have SCOM for Windows monitoring purposes co-existing with other monitoring tools.

Initial Setup

Initial setup is very clear and straightforward, especially when taking into account the MVPs' blog posts and advice.

Implementation Team

We implemented SCOM by ourselves and the main advice is as simple as that: Follow the instructions, pay attention to details, be generous with SQL Server resources (disk) which looks like the main bottleneck of all product.

ROI

To get enough ROI and full advantage of licensing, one should use the datacenter type of enterprise licences and use as many of Microsoft System Center products as possible.

Other Advice

SCOM should be a good choice for fresh IT environments based on Windows servers or switching from open-source monitoring tools. By adding e.g. SCCM and SCOrch, you get a fast-to-deploy and easy-to-manage bundle of enterprise-class tools.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are Microsoft Gold partners.

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