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SCOM OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

SCOM is the #1 ranked solution in our list of top Event Monitoring tools. It is most often compared to Zabbix: SCOM vs Zabbix

What is SCOM?
System Center Operations Manager provides infrastructure monitoring that is flexible and cost-effective, helps ensure the predictable performance and availability of vital applications, and offers comprehensive monitoring for your datacenter and cloud, both private and public.

SCOM is also known as System Center Operations Manager, SCOM 2012.

SCOM Buyer's Guide

Download the SCOM Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021

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Archived SCOM Reviews (more than two years old)

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MM
IT SEC at a government with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Simplifies the monitoring process but it would be improved if it was entirely cloud-based

Pros and Cons

  • "SCOM has improved our organization by simplifying the monitoring process. The system tells you what the bi-weekly or monthly usage was and that enables us to report this information to the manager. It shows if there was a connectivity issue that needs to be fixed and it's easier to concentrate on what needs to get fixed. System errors, therefore, get fixed faster."
  • "Then there is also an issue with capacity and limited space. That is something that needs to be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We mainly use SCOM for monitoring and reporting purposes. The system enables me to monitor the usage of the system and to change the target or number of logs. 

How has it helped my organization?

SCOM has improved our organization by simplifying the monitoring process. The system tells you what the bi-weekly or monthly usage was and that enables us to report this information to the manager. It shows if there was a connectivity issue that needs to be fixed and it's easier to concentrate on what needs to get fixed. System errors, therefore, get fixed faster.

What is most valuable?

At the moment the monitoring feature is the most valuable. It allows me to monitor the usage as well as the format of the system. Whatever the system owners want to know from our side, I am able to help with.

What needs improvement?

I don't really think anything needs to be improved. We will soon be trying to use it with Microsoft to log analytics and that will be cloud-based. 

I would like to have the ability to schedule my reports via email or through SMS. 

Then there is also an issue with capacity and limited space. That is something that needs to be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

Our company has been using this solution for a few years now, but I've only been using it for the past two years since I joined the company.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The nice thing about this solution is that you tell it what you want and then it will give you what you want. I love this about SCOM.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Our company currently has 280 employees working on this solution and we don't have any problems. We will soon be upgrading to the newer version, as well as moving office. I am not currently monitoring any of the network devices but at our new office, I will be monitoring the network connectivity. There will probably be even more people working online than we have right now.

How are customer service and technical support?

The customer service and technical support was very good. There was a human error from our side. I am not sure if it was from the database or not because I was unable to restore my data for a couple of weeks. The Microsoft engineer came on site, and he assisted us with that. He sorted the issue out and explained to us why we are unable to get it sorted out ourselves. 

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

Since I started working with our company we have been using the 2016 version of SCOM. We are currently upgrading to the 2019 version.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was done with the help of a Microsoft engineer. From what I saw, it wasn't a complex setup.

What other advice do I have?

This solution makes people's lives easier. Especially that of our manager. No matter what report or information you have, sharing it with him it makes his life easier. It enables him to see if there is capacity that needs to be increased or if there are things that can be deleted. 

I would highly recommend it. I would rate it a seven out of ten. I wouldn’t rate it a ten because I would like for it to be fully cloud-based.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MZ
Head of ICT at JAROLA
Real User
Enables us to monitor the system to check that it's healthy and running well

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is scalable. If you want to monitor more you have to buy more licenses, but you can add on. We don't plan to increase usage."
  • "Of course, price is always an issue with Microsoft and could be improved."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is to monitor if the system is healthy and running well. 

What is most valuable?

The features we find most useful would be the automatic thresholds when disks are running full. If CPUs are causing high CPU load then we will be notified with triggers.

What needs improvement?

Price is always an issue with Microsoft and could be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. It's working fine.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable. If you want to monitor more you have to buy more licenses, but you can add on. We don't plan to increase usage.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't called technical support yet.

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

We had nothing essential in an enterprise managing console. This is relatively simple tooling, but we didn't have another solution on this scale.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. Deployment wasn't that long. Maybe a couple of days. We needed half a day for the installation and then three to four days for implementing and configuring all the monitoring agents. Deployment is not a big job, so you just need one person and then after that, you just need someone for an hour a day on the system.

What about the implementation team?

Initial setup was done with a bit of additional support and then we added more and more services.

What other advice do I have?

It's a Microsoft product so if you are using a lot of other vendors, other operating systems, then it's less compatible. For us, we're 99% Microsoft so it's not an issue. On this solution, the things we monitor are fine and perhaps other users will want more, but for our purpose and what we use it for, it's enough.

Once it's completed, you only get triggered by emails and you can respond to those emails so when the system does its thing it's not that complex. It's very simple.

I would rate this solution eight out of 10.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about SCOM. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2021.
540,984 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Pieter Van Blommestein
Manager, Principle Systems Engineer and team lead at BCX
Real User
Best all-around, multi-features single interface, cross-platform monitoring solution for complex environment groupings

Pros and Cons

  • "This is a product that does more generally than any of the competing solutions."
  • "It lacks certain details that other products do better, like granular access and better application monitoring."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is to monitor the extensive system of services that we operate for clients.

How has it helped my organization?

SCOM (System Center Operations Manager) has helped improve our organization through reporting capabilities. The reporting is very good. We're an outsourcing company, so we provide services and manage service and as a service. We have a multi-service environment, so it is complicated to monitor and maintain. 

The alerting with SCOM is incredible. The product works well with multiple environment integration, and if there is an issue, the system forwards alerts to different service desk systems so that the issues are handled appropriately. There are actually numerous things the solution does for our company to automate processes, and, to top it off, it's a stable application.

I'm the operational manager for Business Connections Monitoring Toolsets. We do installations of this product. We do the configuration. We take care of changes in threshold if needed, and supply additional expertise for critical projects as needed. We monitor everything to be sure things continue to work optimally and do things like monitor hard drive space, etc.

The integration with Power BI from the SCOM database offers incredible possibilities for enhancing user experience. That integration is added value to our services because of what it can do and what we can make it do for clients.

People don't have to log on to the console to see what's going on. They get all the data through the integration between Power BI (Business Intelligence) and SCOM. It is extremely flexible and can be adjusted to meet specific operating criteria. 

If I compare the SCOM solution with the CA UIM (CA Technologies Unified Infrastructure Management) products, the CA products are horrendous in comparison. It's not stable in the way that they do their aggregation and their roll-ups. Really the methodology doesn't make sense. SCOM handles these things without a problem.

What is most valuable?

Many of the features in the SCOM product have been valuable to us as an organization. Basically most of the main features like the alerting, the reporting, the discovery, the automation, the auto-discovery of products installed on a server and the grouping that it does automatically have all simplified the way we work. The automation in SCOM is incredible, and because I have some exposure now to other, similar products, I can make a good comparison between them. 

The CA products — which is in direct competition with SCOM — is not as good at all. I also have exposure to SolarWinds and a local product here called Syntelligence. None of those products can touch SCOM as far as general versatility. It is just a far superior application for general monitoring.

You can expand on the SCOM automation. But its power is more than just in the segment of automating things. If services stop, you can run recovery tasks and you can use disaster recovery scripts. That is just an example. There are numerous things that you can do with this product.

There are so many features in SCOM it has possibilities that are essentially longer than your arms can reach. You can monitor third-party applications, you can monitor services, you can collect events and you can trigger reports and send alerts based on those events. It's integration capabilities are very good. For me, it is the ultimate unified solution. It is a very nice product and I love it because of the capabilities it provides. The unification of services makes it easier to deploy and maintain.

What needs improvement?

Even though I think there are ways that this product is superior to most other solutions on the market, there are quite a few things that it does not do alone. This is where the product can be improved. One of the facets is in network monitoring. In fact, it can use quite a lot of improvement in that area. That's where products — like CA Technologies Performance Manager — are much better. You can do a lot with it that you can not with the reporting in SCOM. However overall that CA product is not as well rounded and complete.

The Scrum files that you set up can be made better. For example, you may want accounts that have access to the SCOM console to have more granular access. For example, you may have a situation where you prefer that only certain engineers will be able to add agents to the server — and only the server. But you can't set up the permissions that are this granular. Likewise, it may be that you want to assign someone the right to do threshold changes or to the environment of certain places of certain management groups. It is not part of the standard solution.

With other monitoring tools, you have the ability to set the permissions granularly, which SCOM actually doesn't do. So I hope that they would add that feature and support granularity. There are other ways in which to do it, but if you can do it in the monitoring tool itself and in the administration, then it'll make things much easier and make it a far more complete, unified solution.

One more thing would be better application monitoring. Products like AppDynamics do that very well and exceed the capabilities of SCOM. What I think I would like to see is for SCOM to be more of a complete end-to-end solution so there is no need to look to other solutions or work outside of the singular product. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with it since 2006 with different clients in different versions.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

SCOM is stable. We have never had a problem with system stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think that SCOM is a very scalable solution. It depends on what hardware or virtual environment you're running on, but the scalability of SCOM is practically endless, I think. You can certainly go very far with it. 

I know of a client in a banking institution that's working on 12,000 servers and their SCOM system is humming along without fail. So scalability on the environment of SCOM itself is very good, or at least it has proven to be scalable in that instance. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support from Microsoft for SCOM is always excellent. 

By comparison, I've been fighting with CA Technologies and how they do things. It is not the same kind of experience. If you log requests for technical support to tell them what the problem is, they ask a few questions in the investigation. You supply them with the information and from there on you do not know the response time. Depending on the severity of the issue you report on the call, it will be handled more quickly. If it's urgent, then they react very quickly. If it is not urgent, it is not quick even if the answer is simple.

What I like about the SCOM technical support is that they tell you what causes the issue when they find the resolution. They give you a report, they tell you what caused it and what the solution is. That helps make the solution make sense and maybe can help avoid other issues in the future.

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

We actually have not switched to this solution from another as we are evaluating and using several at the same time. We have used SolarWinds and then there's a new product called eSight that we have to use. The latter product is from Huawei and it is their monitoring tool for their network equipment. We basically were forced to start to support it because of client need. So there are four products that we supporting in our server for various reasons. 

But if I have to choose any one product for server monitoring to take care of all aspects of monitoring out of the box, SCOM is number one. That is it can do application monitoring, like SQL Server Stack Exchange, Active Directory, SharePoint, third party stats, VMware or VLAN — you name it. It's really an excellent product.

So that is why my number one choice is SCOM. Put simply, it is the most complete.

How was the initial setup?

The installation of the product was the easiest thing about using it. If you just follow the instructions and do exactly what it tells you, you don't have to be a trained network surgeon to do it. You can teach a seven-year-old to do the installation. If you can read, you can do the installation. It's really that easy. 

Managing the system depends on the size of the environment for the most part, but I think it depends on the environment and the client as well. When their needs are more demanding or specialized the work will be harder. We've got a client that's got nearly 2,000 servers and they have only one engineer working on the entire thing. There is no need for additional personnel.

What about the implementation team?

We work on our own systems and installations.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We, as a company, are using four products for monitoring, one of which is SCOM. We use multiple products because we are an outsourcing company and not everyone needs or wants the same thing. The other products are from CA Technologies. That is Performance Management, NFA, and UIM Unified Integration Management. These products just enhance the options we have to service our clients.

What other advice do I have?

As far as meeting our needs for a solution, I give it a nine out of ten. But it is interesting to rate the tool. My rating doesn't really have a context. It is mostly engineers that are using the product. In a sense, it doesn't matter what monitoring tool you use, the success of a monitoring tool is dependent on the engineers using it. The engineer has to make it work.

I'm really not aware of the total number of users that we service and with SCOM I don't really need to know. I don't know much about the actual numbers except that we've got 28 clients. Each of the 28 clients has a different number of employees and different engineers that are working on different environments to solve different issues. If I had to guess, I'd say there are really only 100 to 120 only. I wish it was more, and I think we can easily scale to meet additional demand. But the point is that we are responsible for monitoring and identifying issues in a variety of environments, and that is exactly what SCOM helps us do, with efficiency.

We basically use everything we can that is included in the package and have found a real use for every module that's available. That said, we don't do a lot of network monitoring. Server monitoring, absolutely. That we use extensively. Reporting, we use a lot, event collections we use quite extensively. But we bring to the clients what they need most.

We have confidence in the solution and we are going to put all or most of the clients on to Scrum 2019 if they are willing to accept the upgrade path. We are busy working on that in a project to upgrade it to 2019. It all depends on how well test upgrades go and the willingness of clients to enhance their services. We need to test it in the development area first, and then, depending on the type of environment that is running, we have to plan the upgrade in the proper sequence. Say the environment is a 2012 version, the upgrade path is to 2016, from 2016 to 1801, from 1801 to 1807 and then you must make sure that you're on the correct sequel version for 2019. But to do it at all depends on the license agreement that the particular clients have with Microsoft. Right now we are busy taking the environment up to 1807 and then we going to upgrade the sequel version, and then from there, we can go to 2019.

So we are busy the whole time trying to better service our clients. We do our UI updates quite often. We are quite busy with our upgrade paths and testing to make sure everything goes smoothly for the clients in the implementation. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
Amit Ben-Horin
Monitoring Systems Administrator at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Reduces the effort required to start monitoring a new server

Pros and Cons

  • "This solution saves us a lot of work because it reduces the effort that is required in order to start monitoring."
  • "All of the areas of reporting are very bad and need to be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We are using this solution for monitoring our Microsoft servers.

In the beginning, we used this solution to monitor our Exchange servers. After we started using it, we went on to SharePoint, and then all of the Microsoft servers.

How has it helped my organization?

I am a member of the monitoring team. This solution saves us a lot of work, mainly in creating monitoring packages for Microsoft products, since those packages, created by the product team in Microsoft, can be downloaded directly from the console.   

What needs improvement?

All of the areas of reporting are very bad and need to be improved. It is not simple to get a report. Even the monitoring people, who are supposed to be familiar with the system, are having difficulty generating specific reports. Also, the information in the reports is not user-friendly.

The console is very slow, and not user-friendly. Even the browser for the web console is not very friendly, and I would not consider it useful compared to other ones that I have worked with.

I would like to see the inclusion of more monitoring templates, where I would just have to enter variables and nothing more. If there were a template then it would save time, rather than have to create it again.

The monitoring of Linux servers needs to be improved because it is hard compared to other products.

For how long have I used the solution?

Between seven and eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a very stable solution, and we have not had major issues within the past few years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We started in a really big environment, and it did not grow, so I cannot really comment on the scalability. I don't expect our usage of this solution to increase because we are already at the maximum number of servers.

How are customer service and technical support?

We only had one problem that we needed Microsoft support for. They helped us with the problem but it took time. It is difficult to rate their support given that we have only opened a single ticket in the past.

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

Prior to this solution, we monitored our Windows servers using HP Operations Manager, which is now owned by Micro Focus. The switch was made because we already had SCOM integrated within the company. We were already paying for it as we were monitoring the Exchange environment, and we didn't want to pay double. It was a simple business decision. It was not based on a technical comparison between products.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution is very simple. It is not complex to establish the environment.

While the setup is easy, we have a large environment, so it took some time to complete. In total, the deployment took between two weeks and one month.

What about the implementation team?

We used a field engineer from Microsoft to assist us at the beginning. They also helped us out from time to time to upgrade the system, although I took care of the last installation of patches myself.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have a lot of servers in the company and we needed some kind of monitoring solution. Eight years ago we started using Microsoft Exchange, and we asked Microsoft how we should go about monitoring the Exchange environment. They suggested this solution and we adopted it.

What other advice do I have?

This is a good solution, especially if your company is based on Microsoft products. For example, there is a new version of Active Directory and they contacted us to let us know that the monitoring is supported. On the other hand, the interface needs improvement, and there should be better support for monitoring Linux servers.

If the user interface, reporting, and support for other operating systems are all improved, then this would be a perfect product.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Morne' O'Kennedy
Lead specialist at OKCIUS (Pty) Ltd
Real User
Good reporting and flexible customization, but application monitoring needs improvement

Pros and Cons

  • "This solution helps our application teams by allowing them to drill further into issues and perform a root cause analysis."
  • "The end-user components, including the dashboards, the administration console, and the web console, need to be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for infrastructure monitoring and application monitoring. Predominantly, it is for infrastructure monitoring in the Microsoft space.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution helps our application teams by allowing them to drill further into issues and perform a root cause analysis. This is possible because we first built out the monitoring platform and made sure that all of the components were being monitored. Then, we created a distributed application view, which is a drawing of all of the components being monitored for each application. This is what we then provide to the application teams. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the reporting, and the customization is quite flexible.

What needs improvement?

The end-user components, including the dashboards, the administration console, and the web console, need to be improved.

I would like to see more focus on application monitoring in the next release of this solution.

For how long have I used the solution?

Approximately seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is pretty good, although it depends on the infrastructure. We normally end up having issues with hypervisors and SQL servers, but it comes down to how those platforms are being administered, as well. From an application point of view, this solution is pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is scalable and very good in terms of availability and performance capability. It is very flexible, but you need to have your training properly done beforehand. If so, then it will benefit you a lot. If you need to expand at a later stage then you can do that as well.

We currently have more than three thousand users that vary from managers to developers and engineers.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never had to contact technical support.

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

Personally, I have used an in-house solution and I have used SolarWinds before. It was not a case of switching because these were with different companies.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup depends on the size of the environment, but on average, it will be more complex than straightforward.

The complexity comes from understanding the various components that contribute to monitoring a specific item on the server. First, you have to understand the Management Pack. Then, you move on to the workflows, and this leads to understanding the rules and monitors. There are bits and pieces that you need to understand in order to make it work properly in your particular environment. This will further depend on things like whether you have restrictions in place, or whether the networking is good or bad. All of these things play a role.

While the deployment time varies depending on the environment, on average, deployment takes about five months.

What about the implementation team?

All of the companies that I have worked for have handled it internally.

One person is suitable for deployment, although this again depends on the company and the environment. If one person is in charge of the SQL environment and the hypervisors then they can do it alone. Obviously, if other departments are in charge of these things then they will need to be relied upon, but generally, it can be done with one person.

With respect to maintaining the solution, a team of three people, with two juniors and one senior, might be ideal.

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

If you have a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement, then this is part of the agreement.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to anybody looking to implement this product is to plan properly.

Overall, this is a good solution, but there is room for improvement in application monitoring and the dashboard.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
EN
Senior IT System Owner and System Management Specialist at MOL Plc
Real User
As our main monitoring system, the reporting and analytics are helpful

What is our primary use case?

This is the main monitoring system for our company. We use it for monitoring, reporting, and analytics.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features for us are the monitoring, the health explorer, and the console.

What needs improvement?

The console feature is very poor, and it would be very good for us if this were improved. The application monitoring feature is also poor. I would also like to see better training materials. What we currently have is very light. The ability to connect to cloud-based solutions would be very good.

For how long have I used the solution?

Fifteen years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have approximately fifty users at this time. The IT operations team uses this solution, and there…

What is our primary use case?

This is the main monitoring system for our company. We use it for monitoring, reporting, and analytics.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features for us are the monitoring, the health explorer, and the console.

What needs improvement?

The console feature is very poor, and it would be very good for us if this were improved. The application monitoring feature is also poor.

I would also like to see better training materials. What we currently have is very light.

The ability to connect to cloud-based solutions would be very good.

For how long have I used the solution?

Fifteen years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have approximately fifty users at this time. The IT operations team uses this solution, and there is a manager who uses the reporting functions as well. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I like the service that we receive from the Hungarian technical support team. It is very useful and has good coverage. 

How was the initial setup?

This is an easy solution to install.

What other advice do I have?

I like SCOM and have used it for many years.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
EP
Snr Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Provides us with valuable reports and insight into our infrastructure across the entire data center

Pros and Cons

  • "It takes a lot of the headache out of managing your data centers and software in other places."
  • "On-prem network monitoring is something that could be improved drastically."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is to perform server monitoring in the Windows environment.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution has improved our organization from an insight point of view. We have gained valuable insight from a holistic level to inform us what's happening with infrastructure, across our data center, servers, and client environments as well. It also integrates into our service desk systems, so it is a vital part of the organization.

What is most valuable?

The reporting capabilities of this solution are amazing.

We also make use of APM, Application Performance Monitoring, and this gives us valuable insight into our application level, where we could experience problems.

The ability to integrate into Azure services, as well as the old OMS that now forms part of Azure Monitor, is a good feature that we might make use of.

What needs improvement?

On-prem network monitoring is something that could be improved drastically. In fact, it should have better end-to-end monitoring from the physical layer up to the software.

For how long have I used the solution?

Since 2005, when it was called MOM (Microsoft Operations Manager).

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of this solution is great.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Obviously, monitoring more devices requires upgrading your SQL backing and adding new gateways.

I have worked with many monitoring solutions including CA Unicenter and SolarWinds, and the scalability of SCOM is really great. Especially compared to CA UIM, from a scalability point, Microsoft has done very well.

Given that SCOM 2019 is the last iteration of on-prem SCOM solutions, we are looking to expand into Azure with Azure monitor.

How are customer service and technical support?

The vendor support from Microsoft is fantastic. I've dealt with many consultants from Microsoft before and I would rate my experience a ten out of ten.

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

I have worked with several products including CA Unicenter and SolarWinds, and we currently make use of more than one solution. From a network monitoring point of view, we have found that other solutions perform this task better than SCOM.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of SCOM is very easy. It is packaged in a great fashion and it is a very simple process. I have done it many times over the years, and the installation process has been made very, very easy.

There is some preliminary work that needs to be done in terms of an envisioning phase and technical design. After this, all of the hardware needs to be provisioned, the service accounts and the required access for these all need to be in place. Once we completed all of this, implementing the solution took us about two days.

Beyond the setup, we have a team of seven administrators that look after the monitoring role. In addition, we have between twenty and thirty operators. There is a command center that looks at that part of the business, which purely consumes the SCOM control. We provide the monitoring service for them and they've got the operators.

What about the implementation team?

I handled the design and implementation of this solution for the company.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have always had SCOM, and it is one of our preferred Windows monitoring solutions. However, from a network point of view, we are making use of other products.

What other advice do I have?

I really know this product quite well, and I would highly recommend it. It is highly customizable and the automation is great. It takes a lot of the headache out of managing your data centers and software in other places. It's a fantastic product.

If the network monitoring were improved then this product would be a ten out of ten.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
RD
IT Infrastructure Engineer at a manufacturing company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Has all of the tools we need for managing Windows, but lags in support for Unix-based systems

Pros and Cons

  • "This solution satisfies all of the requirements that we need for our Windows-based systems, so if you are using the Windows platform then this is an easy solution."
  • "I would like to see better support for monitoring Unix-based systems."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use for this solution is to monitor our Windows Platform.

What is most valuable?

We are using all of the management parts that are related to Windows.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better support for monitoring Unix-based systems. The Unix management functionality is not yet truly mature.

The reporting capability needs improvement.

This solution would be improved if the management functionality were expanded to include other products, such as WebSphere MQ. 

For how long have I used the solution?

Ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable solution, compared to other products.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is quite easy to add more users to the platform.

There are ten people on our team who use this solution. We are responsible for administrating different projects and we use this solution on a daily basis.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support is fine with Microsoft. I don't have any issue with that. Compared to companies like HP and Micro Focus, the support from Microsoft is awesome.

What other advice do I have?

This solution satisfies all of the requirements that we need for our Windows-based systems, so if you are using the Windows platform then this is an easy solution. When it comes to managing Unix-based systems, however, you will need to do more research.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Vinicius Ribeiro
Head of IT South America at Compass Minerals
Real User
Reliable for network monitoring but it is not an easy product to use

Pros and Cons

  • "This solution allows us to standardize all of the reports for monitoring the network, so it helps a lot for auditing purposes."
  • "I would like to see more standard libraries for the market solutions, out of the box, that you don't need to do a lot of work on."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for this solution is to monitor hardware and network devices.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution allows us to standardize all of the reports for monitoring the network. It helps a lot for auditing purposes.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the extension of the libraries that they have for other solutions, such as monitoring ASP, Office 365 and others.

What needs improvement?

This product is not easy to use.

I would like to see more standard libraries for the market solutions, out of the box, that you don't need to do a lot of work on.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very good, very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is not too scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good. We had some problems post-implementation. There are not many people who really know this software, so there are not many experts on the market.

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

We did not use a solution prior to this. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup for this solution is complex in terms of the configuration. The standard product is very simple to set up, but if you go for different solutions then it takes a lot of effort to set it up.

What about the implementation team?

We use a full-service Microsoft partner in Brazil. 

What was our ROI?

We have not considered ROI for this solution. The most important part for us is monitoring the environment and also reports for auditing.

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

Our licensing fees are approximately $30 per user, per month.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We use a lot of solutions from Microsoft and we consider them to be reliable, so we did not evaluate other solutions.

What other advice do I have?

This product is both stable and reliable, but it is not easy to use and there are not a lot of experts on the market to provide help. You have to do a lot of it by yourself.

I do recommend this product, but I would suggest that somebody who really knows the product is in place before implementation.

I would rate this solution a six out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
paul zuber
Operating Partner at Thoma Bravo LLC with 11-50 employees
Real User
It has good graphs of what is going on within the operating system

Pros and Cons

  • "It can send messages to our ticketing system."
  • "It has good graphs of what is going on within the operating system.​"
  • "We are able to do problem determination on runaway processes."
  • "​I would like to better be able to monitor Oracle processes.​"

What is our primary use case?

We use it to monitor Linux systems. It has performed well.

How has it helped my organization?

We are able to do problem determination on runaway processes. 

What is most valuable?

Graphing processes. It can send messages to our ticketing system. It has good graphs of what is going on within the operating system.

What needs improvement?

I would like to better be able to monitor Oracle processes.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not used technical support.

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

We did not previously use a different solution, so I asked my manager to look into it.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Zabbix.

What other advice do I have?

If you are using Linux, do not discount SCOM just because it is a Windows or Microsoft product.

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: 

  1. Features
  2. Price.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user617970
Senior System Engineer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
It’s complex and powerful giving the ability to monitor websites better

Pros and Cons

  • "It works better than other products I’ve used – namely SolarWinds, which is cumbersome and error prone for web app monitoring. SCOM is not."
  • "Non Windows monitoring is fairly weak. Network device monitoring is not reliable."

What is most valuable?

Monitoring specific to Microsoft Windows and apps: native monitoring. It works better than other products I’ve used – namely SolarWinds, which is cumbersome and error prone for web app monitoring. SCOM is not.

How has it helped my organization?

It has streamlined alerting and gave us the ability to monitor websites better.

What needs improvement?

Non Windows monitoring is fairly weak. Network device monitoring is not reliable.

For how long have I used the solution?

Five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No.

How are customer service and technical support?

Support was mediocre when I had called once or twice. I drove the call ultimately.

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

I used SCOM 2007 prior to 2012.

How was the initial setup?

It’s complex and somewhat painful to get all the accounts created (SQL configured). Overall, it’s not bad though.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No, we were already licensed for System Center. We just hadn’t started using it. Others have used WhatsUp though.

What other advice do I have?

None really. Read a book or take a class on it. It’s complex and powerful.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user539793
IT Solutions Architect at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
SCOM vs WhatsUp Gold

Pros and Cons

  • "The product has helped our organization with in-depth monitoring."
  • "It could use some system enhancements, such as better dashboards."

What is most valuable?

Both SCOM and WhatsUp Gold afford us in-depth troubleshooting capabilities.

How has it helped my organization?

SCOM: The product has helped our organization with in-depth monitoring.

WhatsUp Gold: The product has helped our organization with VM monitoring.

What needs improvement?

Both SCOM and WhatsUp Gold could use some system enhancements, such as better dashboards.

For how long have I used the solution?

SCOM: I have used SCOM for about eighteen months.

WhatsUp Gold: I have used WhatsUp Gold for nine years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did not encounter any stability issues with either product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did not encounter any scalability issues with either product.

How are customer service and technical support?

For both products, I would give technical support a rating of 6/10.

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

We previously used open-source solutions before switching to SCOM and WhatsUp Gold.

How was the initial setup?

SCOM: The initial setup was complex.

WhatsUp Gold: The initial setup was easy.

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

For both products, the pricing and licensing are fair.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing these products, we evaluated Symantec.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: SCOM: We do have a business relationship other than being a customer. WhatsUp Gold: We are just a customer.
ITCS user
Solution Architect at a cloud provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
.NET monitoring capabilities are crucial for our organization. I would like to see true multi-tenancy support.

Valuable Features:

Extensible dashboards allow us to create customized service-level dashboards for business owners.

.NET monitoring capabilities are crucial for our organization to monitor the availability and performance of our IIS-based .NET applications.

Network monitoring also completes the monitoring story by providing visibility over the network layer. All backend routers and switches are monitored by SCOM and also we consume some third-party network management packs to extend the capability.

Improvements to My Organization:

SCOM provided end-to-end monitoring for all aspects of the infrastructure, including web sites, network devices, databases and applications. Now, c-level management can easily see overall service-level dashboards and SLAs for mission-critical services.

Room for Improvement:

I would like to see true multi-tenancy support. When it comes to service provider type of customers, it's quite difficult to have a complete monitoring view for different tenants. The System Center suite is not designed for true multi-tenancy overall. But SCOM is also lacking some multi-tenant environment requirements.

Use of Solution:

I have used it for nine years.

Deployment Issues:

High-available deployment with SQL always on requires detailed planning and testing before production implementation. We needed different internal teams involved in the planning phase including the network team for bandwidth utilization, the database team for SQL and application owners. We also encountered some problems while implementing SQL always on on a multi-site SCOM deployment. We resolved problems by contacting Microsoft support.

Initial Setup:

Single-server deployment was quite straightforward. We deployed it for a POC and pre-prod environment. Online TechNet articles cover most of the steps. But when it comes to HA design for multiple datacenters, it gets complicated.

Also, we had to use PowerShell for some settings to reduce the deployment time. SCOM shell commands are not enough to achieve most of the tasks so we used SDK instead of PowerShell, which was an oddly difficult experience.

Implementation Team:

I have done both types of implementations in the past. See below.

Other Advice:

The planning phase is crucial. Also note that SCOM admin can not plan the whole infrastructure. All application owners should be involved in planning phase. Also, post-configuration tasks should be taken care of by application owners, such as custom monitors, tunings for alerts, etc.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My current company, AWS, is a Gold Certified member of the Microsoft Partner Network.
it_user402498
Director at a tech company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
We see how IT teams are able to exert control and adapt quickly with it. Most of the time, a third-party tool is required for presentation.

Valuable Features:

Asset monitoring and auto alerts are the most valuable features of this product to me.

Improvements to My Organization:

We are a service provider of these solutions to our clients. And we can see the change, how the IT team were able to have control and adapt quickly with SCOM.

Room for Improvement:

The dashboard is still not so great and, most of the time, a third-party tool is required for presentation. There is a lot of room for improvement here.

Other Advice:

Thorough analysis of the current environment and the goals that need to be achieved should be defined (from an end-results point of view) before rolling out SCOM. If the groundwork is not properly done, SCOM implementation can cost the organization.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are SMB partner for MS for these implementations.
ITCS user
Chief of Monitoring Service at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Integrating it with our service desk software significantly improved the SLA of our IT services.

What is most valuable?

First of all, this product is designed to monitor Microsoft products and does that very well. It covers monitoring SQL, Exchange, SharePoint, Active Directory, and the Operation System (2003-2012 R2 version).

How has it helped my organization?

IT management experienced a big improvement after implementation of this product. We use very tight integration with service desk software. SLA of IT services increased significantly.

What needs improvement?

At this point, only monitoring a network device is not good enough. But in the new version (it is a release candidate now), this function will be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

Our company have been using SCOM since it appeared (more than nine years).

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have been using this product for a long time, so we had some problems in the past, but it was a long time ago. The product is now very stable, and it has a lot of articles, documentation, internet community, internet resources and so on.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good if you have an agreement with MS.

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

At the beginning of this monitoring system project, we tested a few options. We tried IBM’s monitoring system, but we did not find a good specialist in our country and it is difficult to use a very complex, new product without good support. So we chose SCOM.

How was the initial setup?

Nowadays, the initial setup is quite simple and straightforward. It is very well-documented. The installation process checks a lot of parameters and provides tips about what we should do.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented our solution a very long time ago, and have had a few upgrades. Now, I think it is quite easy to implement this product without a vendor team.

What was our ROI?

The licensing is simple. The price is very low in comparison with other products with same functionality.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Federico Maximiliano Ostrit
Windows Administrator at a government with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
I use the Detailed Dashboard list to monitor many websites and network devices.

Valuable Features:

  • Network monitoring feature
  • Web application availability monitoring
  • Web application transaction monitoring
  • .NET app monitoring

These monitors are the most used in my infrastructure, because I have many websites and network devices to monitor and these features provide me different views such as the Detailed Dashboard list.

Improvements to My Organization:

This product allows me to measure the level of availability of services and detect errors in them.

Room for Improvement:

The console is a point to improve, because it is very heavy and a web console should be in HTML5.

Use of Solution:

I have been using it for five years.

Deployment Issues:

I haven't seen any errors in my clean deployment.

Other Solutions Considered:

The PRTG solution is easy to deploy and manage.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user404895
IT analyst - NOC at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Ticket Automation has taken a considerable load from the NOC. Cross-platform support would make it an enterprise-wide monitoring solution.

Valuable Features

  • Monitoring with No Downtime
  • Integration with System Center Products/OEM/SolarWinds
  • Live Dashboards

Improvements to My Organization

Ticket Automation has taken a considerable load from the NOC.

Custom Tasks allows NOC to perform all basic troubleshooting from the SCOM console itself.

Room for Improvement

I’d like to see cross-platform support that would make SCOM a single enterprise monitoring application.

I’d also like to see support for direct monitoring of Oracle databases, DB2, etc.

Use of Solution

I have been using this solution for seven years.

Deployment Issues

I have not encountered any major deployment, stability or scalability issues.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Technical support is good.

Implementation Team

Implementation was done in-house.

Design well in advance and the planning plays the most vital role. Implementation is simple.

Other Solutions Considered

We evaluated other products, and we chose this product because of its licensing and cost efficiency.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user337107
Manager: Monitoring, Performance, and Availability at a hospitality company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It allows you to go from firefighting mode to a more proactive stance. SCOM agents have a heavy footprint.

Valuable Features

  • Ease of deployment capability
  • Role-based automatic monitoring threshold deployment via MP

Improvements to My Organization

We used SCOM as our centralized pane of glass. We had other tools that were also directed to SCOM. Our NOC analysts were able to quickly see alerts and resolve. SCOM was able to monitor our Windows environment very well.

SCOM will allow you to go from firefighting mode to a more proactive stance when finding issues.

Room for Improvement

SCOM agents have a heavy footprint. Would like a lighter, more-efficient footprint. It takes a developer’s mindset to fully utilize SCOM’s potential. I would like easier deployment of MP and custom monitors.

Use of Solution

I have used this solution for five years.

Deployment Issues

We had no issue during deployment and SCOM was pretty stable. We did run into a database limitation that brought us down every day for a week until Microsoft isolated the issue. Once they sent us a hot fix, we were up and running with no issues.

Customer Service and Technical Support

I rate technical support 7/10.

Initial Setup

Setup was straightforward, not hard at all.

Implementation Team

We installed SCOM with an in-house team. If you have a good relationship with Microsoft, they will have chalk talk conversations with you and tell what their best practice would be. After we had these talks, we installed and deployed ourselves.

Other Solutions Considered

We also evaluated HP OpenView, Zenoss, SolarWinds, and CA UIM.

Other Advice

SCOM works well for Windows, but if you need a broader solution and have a heterogeneous environment, SCOM is lacking.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Officer in IT management systems department with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
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.

What is most valuable?

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.

How has it helped 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.

What needs 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.

For how long have I used the solution?

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

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

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.

How are 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.

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

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.

How was the initial setup?

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

What about the 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.

What was our 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.

What other advice do I have?

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.
it_user352575
Senior IT Consultant at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
My customers use it because they can more easily integrate it with their current Microsoft IT infrastructure, and because the monitoring power of SCOM is enough for servers, services and some apps.

Valuable Features:

I’m an IT consultant. My customers are using SCOM because they can more easily integrate it with their current Microsoft IT infrastructure, and because the monitoring power of SCOM is enough for servers, services and some apps. Some of my customers are monitoring their network devices with SCOM. More specialized monitoring for network devices require other tools (most of the time) like SolarWinds and/or Fluke, etc. My customers are using SCOM to avoid business disruptions.

Room for Improvement:

Microsoft SCOM can be improved about the way it is presented. Microsoft needs to train more people about how to sell SCOM (and other System Center family products) because there are a lot of emerging technologies that are replacing Microsoft. The vendor could create better training campaigns to avoid their replacement by other emerging technologies.

Other Advice:

Think about the cloud. Try to move everything (if it is possible) to the cloud. You will save a lot of money on monitoring themes because most of the cloud services include it, so you don’t have to worry about monitoring. (Azure is an example.)

Microsoft is currently more valuable because this brand is wide used. Microsoft is also cheaper than Riverbed’s APM offering, but it is a matter of time because there are another brands conducting successful marketing / testing / training campaigns to replace Microsoft.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are Microsoft Partners (gold).
it_user146802
QA Engineer at a consumer goods company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The agent is solid and reliable. It does not require post-deployment maintenance/restarts.

What is most valuable?

The agent for both products is solid and reliable and does not require post-deployment maintenance/restarts, as required by other products I have used.

Also, the way objects are discovered by class allows for quick overrides without much rework.

How has it helped my organization?

Managing a fleet of 9000-plus servers across multiple time zones and administrative domains, the ability to alter a threshold across the entire fleet within seconds has improved how my organization functions.

It has reduced the amount of time we spend in an operational support role, allowing us to focus on designing and building custom monitoring.

What needs improvement?

It would be nice to see the old MP Designer come back as you could quickly design and build a MP without a deep understanding of the XML code behind it.

Having to use Visual Studio requires a much deeper understanding of MP coding and limits the audience base capable of building custom monitoring Management Packs.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using 2012 R2 for two years, and 2007 R2 for five years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I have not encountered any deployment, stability or scalability issues. None, whatsoever.

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

I previously used NetIQ AppManager. Another great product, taking a different approach to monitoring. But if you have Microsoft System Centre licenses at your disposal, why pay for another product on top of that.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was pretty straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it in-house. Follow the rules and it will work.

What was our ROI?

We were already paying for System Centre licensing, so rolling out SCOM only cost us in time and materials, and not in licensing.

What other advice do I have?

Having been in IT for over 20 years, with Microsoft, you know what you are getting. I have not logged a single support case for this product, whereas with other, similar products, I would log cases every month. It’s extremely well-tested and you know what you are getting: quality.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
SCOM Senior Engineer at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
I like the ability to create Management Packs to monitor different programs or devices.

What is most valuable?

Its flexibility, the ability to create Management Packs to monitor different programs or devices. No matter what it is you want to monitor or how you want to monitor, it can be done. You may have to create the code using VBScript or PowerShell, and XML, but it can be done. There are always lots of examples online that you can work from that will save you lots of time.

How has it helped my organization?

The company to which I am currently contracted is in the process of creating SNMP Management packages for our network devices. Very steep learning curve but the results are fantastic. Anything that can be accessed via SNMP commands, SCOM can retrieve via SNMP Gets. This fulfills the network monitoring need extremely well and now we are getting alerts that allow us to pre-empt problems before they become service issues. This is making our network much more stable.

What needs improvement?

There are always areas that can be improved in any product, but overall SCOM has matured very well over the years and appears to be at the point where only minor improvements need to be made. Since MS sends out updates regularly, these improvements can be made on the fly with very little interruption in service.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for 10 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I did not encounter any issues with deployment. This is one area where there is plenty of documentation. It would be nice if more companies actually retained a PME for rollouts instead of just letting their brightest take a shot at it. I have had to clean up behind a lot of best efforts that could have been avoided by just bringing a contractor in for a couple of months. It seems that the biggest mistake is putting all of the management packs available in at the same time before talking to the owners that will be getting the alerts. Off-the-shelf MPs are very verbose and need to be tuned for the environment and the way in which alerts are going to be handled.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is pretty good: very responsive, good level of understanding, rare to have to go beyond second-level support.

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

I chose it after investigating Nagios, SiteScope, and SolarWinds. Initially, the thing that sold me was the Authoring console for creating MPs. It made it very easy to get started and produce right away. Now that MS has discontinued it, I use Visual Studio. It didn’t take long to figure Visual Studio out and now I can produce MPs as quickly as I did with the console and with more flexibility and understanding of what is going on. Most of the other programs aren’t ready off-the-shelf to the extent that SCOM is, and require a lot more work to get alerts coming in. MS has created the basic packages with all the possible monitoring and collections that they think the average company will want to use. Many of these are disabled by default and up to the implementer to go through them to see if his/her company can benefit from them. In many cases, companies will decide that anything that isn’t actionable needs to be turned off. That’s not always a good idea, as many of the alerts are preemptive to help you fix an issue before it becomes a major problem.

What about the implementation team?

I am a contractor and work exclusively with SCOM, I have implemented at many different companies, including MS, so it’s pretty easy for me to come into an environment and know what needs to be done. Probably the most important part of the design that most companies forget about is the processes that need to be in place before you stand it up. What are we going to monitor? How are we going to handle requests for custom monitoring, and tuning or disabling of existing monitoring and collections? Who and where are we sending alerts? Are they aware of what is going to be coming at them? Did you sit down with each and every group that you are installing MPs for and go over the monitoring and collections to see what they want and don’t want? DBA’s, for example, don’t want to see endless alerts about SPNs, or even permissions. Get this worked out before installing the SQL package and the DBA group will be much easier to work with. How are you going to route alerts, are you going to send them to a ticketing application? If so you have to decide how to do that. Are you going to send all alerts and have the ticketing system decide what is an actionable alert, or are you going to create subscriptions in SCOM to handle it?

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

As compared to some of the others that I have been exposed to, SCOM has its good and bad points. Documentation is poor, but the community makes up for it with good blogs and lots of how-to examples.

What other advice do I have?

Get knowledgeable help, not someone off the street that says they know SCOM, but someone that can show a track record of working with it. You will save lots of time and money.

It is so flexible and easy to learn if the right processes are put into place.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Programmer Analyst at a leisure / travel company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
​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.
Edgar Parra
Senior Technical Consultant at The Instillery
Real User
It integrates with your Windows environment seamlessly and provides a lot of visibility on your Windows environment.

Valuable Features

It integrates with your Windows environment seamlessly and provides a lot of visibility on your Windows environment. If you use SCCM as well, it integrates beautifully with it.

Room for Improvement

The interface doesn't provide any graphical view of your topology, you only see a bunch of alerts, monitors, etc. Humans are visual creatures and if you can see at a glance what's going on in your infrastructure, that's added value to me.

You can create dashboards to create views of your infrastructure but I feel that this should come out of the box.

It generates a lot of false positives, probably due to misconfiguration or because it doesn't have an intuitive algorithm to pinpoint the root of the problem

You need to add a lot of management packs in order to manage different devices, instead of SCOM containing these already out of the box, I'm talking about vendors such as Citrix and VMware. Even Exchange and SQL Server monitors are not configured out of the box, it requires configuration. This should come straight away configured for you, especially as SQL Server and Exchange are Microsoft products!

Deployment Issues

We've had no issues with deployment.

Stability Issues

It's been stable for us.

Scalability Issues

It lacks capabilities to properly monitor other devices or infrastructure that is not Microsoft based, stuff like Linux, UNIX, Cisco routers, switches. I mean, since it is not the core of the product, the monitoring capabilities on these devices is very basic if I compare it with CA Spectrum which it used to be a network product that evolved into something else to cover other critical and important areas like Application and Systems performance and Servers/Systems in general.

Customer Service and Technical Support

In New Zealand, it's 4/5.

Initial Setup

Configuration of alerts and monitors is very convoluted. You need to configure four or five different places to make a monitor work.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

The price is OK, and I think the licensing works the same as any other Microsoft product.

Other Advice

I find this product very clunky and not very intuitive to use, it took me a while to find my way around and understand where I needed to go to configure or even get a report is a bit complicated.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Advanced Systems Engineer - 3 at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Real User
All our environments are automated to automatically install the SCOM agents across different domains. It needs improvement in phasing out the Silverlight based web platform.

What is most valuable?

  • Agent based monitoring
  • Agentless monitoring
  • VSAE
  • Rules
  • Monitors
  • SLA
  • Server monitoring

How has it helped my organization?

All our environments are automated to automatically install the SCOM agents across different domains which helps us to check the health of the server, to get the server details like IIS, app pools, Performance counters like CPU, Memory, Disk usage, etc.

What needs improvement?

SCOM needs improvement in phasing out the Silverlight based web platform and instead provide web access for all browsers using HTML5 probably. The API and the knowledge base needs to be improved by Microsoft.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for two years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We've had no issues with deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

SCOM server needs periodic maintenance to make sure the disk/database has enough space and a lot of alerts across a big environment might come fairly quickly. At times it needs server and service restarts.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've had no issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

5/10

Technical Support:

5/10

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

I implemented SCOM on my own. You can use SCOM C# SDK or VSAE or GUI to implement SCOM management packs.This was the first monitoring solution we used, but we have moved out the URL monitoring away from SCOM to StatusCake and VictorOps as StatusCake has an easy REST based endpoint for monitoring and VictorOps provides us on call support. We are continuing with SCOM as we need agent based monitoring for our SAAS solutions.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is fairly simple if you read the installation documents beforehand and install all the prerequisites properly, otherwise it can be a fairly long task.

What about the implementation team?

I implemented SCOM on my own. You can use SCOM C# SDK or VSAE or GUI to implement SCOM management packs.

What was our ROI?

It has a good ROI.

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

Pricing and licensing is fairly OK. If you have a MSDN license, then your dev environments can be set up for free as you can get a dev SCOM license from MSDN. You only have to pay for production SCOM server if you have a MSDN license.

What other advice do I have?

Implement a prototype management pack on the dev environment and analyze all the pros and cons before buying the product. You can get a free six months trial on this also.


Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a Microsoft Gold partner.
it_user393687
IT Technical Support at a local government with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Working with SCOM enables new hires or management trainees gain insight into the inner workings of the the business with emphasis on uptime.

Valuable Features:

The dashboard is in a class of its own, with a whole other range of competing products in management of datacenters and cloud environment. Microsoft has managed to create a user experience that builds trust in the product. The monitoring features are top notch. 

Improvements to My Organization:

It is in our starter pack for new employees joining the IT division. Working with SCOM enables new hires or management trainees gain insight into the inner workings of the the business with emphasis on uptime. 

The monitoring features are top notch. 

Room for Improvement:

The configuration, especially for alerts, are somewhat lengthy. 

Deployment Issues:

There were no issues with the deployment.

Stability Issues:

There were no issues with the stability.

Scalability Issues:

There were no issues with the scalability.

Initial Setup:

The initial implementation stage can be a bit of a challenge but once things are up and running, it's worth it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user384843
Group IT Infrastructure Manager at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
We have prevented various problems and have been able to resolve issues quickly with the informative detail raised in SCOM alerts.

What is most valuable?

Real time monitoring/alerts. Pro-active response to warning alerts are invaluable and have saved disasters quite a few times.

How has it helped my organization?

We heavily rely on SCOM as our pro-active monitoring tool. We have prevented various problems and have been able to resolve issues quickly with the informative detail raised in SCOM alerts, it assists our department in being pro-active in regards to resolving issues with servers/services rather the reactive. The level of monitoring from overview health to granular object monitoring is excellent.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for four years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I wasn't involved in the deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've had no issues with the stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have needed to increase the VM resources as we’ve added more servers and increased monitoring packs, but that’s to be expected.

How are customer service and technical support?

Microsoft support is generally excellent, we’ve never raised a call for SCOM though.

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

We have some in house monitoring that’s looked after by our NOC team, however, this is basic SNMP monitoring, so nothing in comparison.

How was the initial setup?

It's not straightforward, SCOM is relatively “noisy” out of the box, so time is required to tailor the alerting, adjusting threshold triggers and over-riding alerts that are not required to ensure alerts captured are relevant and require action.

What about the implementation team?

It was done in-house.

What was our ROI?

Very difficult to gauge. Using most or all of the Security Centre Suite ensures that the license cost is very reasonable considering what’s in the suite. To just use SCOM would be a very expensive license per server in my opinion, best to use multiple products in this suite.

What other advice do I have?

Ensure you have plenty of resources to throw at the environment, space for data warehouse and SQL as it will be resource hungry for SCOM (server estate size relevant of course). Be prepared for some initial time investment and ensure regular updates and management packs are applied to make the product as useful as possible.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a Microsoft Platinum partner.
it_user382557
IT Administrator & Major Incident Coordinator at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
The warnings and errors I receive such as low disk space warnings allow me to easily determine the impact it has on the server.

What is most valuable?

  • Monitoring Windows servers and services
  • Monitoring Linux servers and services
  • Monitoring disk space, performance and unexpected errors
  • Customized views
  • Ability to implement remote login and ping directly from the SCOM console

How has it helped my organization?

SCOM is a required tool in my job since I am responsible in overseeing multiple virtual and physical servers and services for a bank.

The warnings and errors I receive such as low disk space warnings allow me to easily determine the impact it has on the server and call out the required people to get the issue resolved before it's too late

What needs improvement?

Having the ability for it to be integrated with third party ticket systems or other monitoring software would make an even better tool for people like myself within administrative or monitoring positions.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've used it for one year.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There were no issues encountered during the deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Because SCOM currently runs on a Citrix session, SCOM sometimes becomes slow or crashes when there is too much going on.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no issues scaling it.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've never had to contact Microsoft for a SCOM issue.

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

We are using Centreon and Nagios monitoring software. These two are web-based and maybe if SCOM can incorporate a web console, it would become a real powerful tool.

How was the initial setup?

Since SCOM and its customized features were already set-up when I arrived, I cannot comment on this. I have not installed SCOM in the past so I also cannot comment on the installation process.

What about the implementation team?

A third party vendor set-up SCOM before I started in this position so I cannot comment.

What other advice do I have?

In order to use all the features in SCOM, one must learn the tool from the inside out and then customize it so that it fits the paricular business. This way you know the foundations and are able to build a robust tool to monitor and control a large amount of servers and services across the world

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user382458
Senior Production Analyst at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
The reports provide high-level summaries and detailed information about your systems and can be e-mailed on a specified schedule or simply exported and printed out.

What is most valuable?

One of the most important features of SCOM is the Reporting Server role which runs on the SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). It’s responsible for rendering and scheduling reports. With Operations Manager, you have extract reporting capabilities and multiple report libraries that you can select from to customize reports to your own granular requirements.

It will help you to visualize the data in your environment. The reports provide high-level summaries and detailed information about your systems and can be e-mailed on a specified schedule or simply exported and printed out. The reporting server performs queries against the Operations Manager data warehouse database and returns the results in a number of easy-to-read formats.

Another point, you can import management packs available for Microsoft products, which you can customize thresholds of several counters of each product. Also, you can create your management pack and define your customizations.

How has it helped my organization?

This tool could be improved especially for tasks for our Capacity Planning Team and Monitoring Team. The Capacity Planning Team collect data through the reports from the Operations Manager for the memory, CPU and disks during the month. The use this to make dashboards to show their customers about their environment. With this, it’s possible to show environment of each customer.

For the Monitoring Team, it helps monitor a simple and complex environment in IT sending determinate alerts. For example, if your team receives a determined kind of alert, they will work on the solution before that problem occurs. Through the Operations Console, the Monitoring Team can see critical and warning alerts and if necessary, dispatch for a responsible team is the Database Team, Operating System Team or Exchange Team, etc. It’s clear that it's also possible to send alerts creating split groups for Database Team, Operation System Team, and send alerts for the respective products to the team responsible. It depends on each organization.

What needs improvement?

I think that it should be made possible to monitor private systems, which are developed in each company. In my opinion, this option already exists in SCOM 2012, however we have a lack of resources to develop this.

For how long have I used the solution?

In this company, SCOM has been in place since 2006, starting with MOM in 2005 and after that, it was upgrade to SCOM 2007.

I've used it to monitor several Microsoft Servers, which I've customized thresholds to support in Exchange, File Servers, SQL Servers, Clusters and others products.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I had issues with SCOM 2007 and MOM 2005, regarding the view of alerts in the Console Operations. It delayed showing critical alerts to the monitoring Team, because they could not see alerts in the Operations Console. For this kind of issue, I had issues with database maintenance as well.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have a contact at Microsoft Premier, and I find it necessary to us them to open a case with Microsoft, if they think that it's possible to fix the issue.

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

In another company, I’ve had experience with BMC Patrol, Tivolli and SiteScope as NETQoS products, but this tool I’ve worked with administration.

How was the initial setup?

There were no issues with setting up SCOM.

What other advice do I have?

Follow the best practices and there should be no issues.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
It is a monitoring tool that looks after the vast majority of your private and even public cloud.

What is most valuable?

SCOM is a monitoring tool that looks after the vast majority of your private and even public cloud. In my experience having a good insight into specific product monitoring surrounding the Microsoft suite such as Exchange, Active Directory, Lync, SQL and the System Center suite is something that all my clients seek. For me the addition of Microsoft knowledge base articles that point to the cause, explanation and resolution to a product specific issue is invaluable and the ability to add your own knowledge base articles that specifically relate your environment is awesome!

How has it helped my organization?

Having a round the clock watchmen offers great peace of mind. Typically my organization uses it for monitoring our virtualisation environments specifically Hyper-V and VMware as well as all the services we run from it. We've had outages at two am and three am that was automatically resolved by SCOM saving us time and money. The saving came from not having to rely on highly priced out of hours staff to resolve any potential issues.

What needs improvement?

In the world that is monitoring, sometimes the decision makers want to see and hear all the issues that may occur during business hours (as well as out of hours) and (rightly or wrongly) SCOM gives you exactly that! Its revered to as an "Alert Storm". SCOM uses something called "Management Packs" and that is where the alerts come from, but, managing these can be a little convoluted to say the least, I'd like to see these made a little simpler but still keep the same functionality, basically these management packs need to become a little more user friendly. Almost always, these alert storms can put IT managers and operators off the product and give the impression that everything is broken or not working properly, so making them easier to work with will help SCOM administrators (especially if they are new to SCOM) manage and understand what the product is showing them.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it since 2007.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There were no issues with the deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

From a stability point of view, personally I've rarely seen SCOM fall over because of SCOM, I've seen SCOM fall over and die due to hardware issues, visualization issues or resource issues. But the good news is if you've setup SCOM correctly, the product will tell you why it fell over! This means that you can put the preventative measures in place to stop it happening again.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

SCOM is "highly available" out of the box (those are Microsoft words not mine) but it really is true, so scaling your SCOM set-up is easy, just install more SCOM servers!

How are customer service and technical support?

I've had such a mix of technical support scenarios with SCOM it’s a difficult one to answer. Microsoft support of the product is pretty good, with regular updates and good internal knowledge and relatively fast response times. However, other vendors have created software the plugs into SCOM and support for these add-ons can differ wildly! But overall its pretty good.

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

Personally no, I stared in IT in 2007 and it's all I've ever used. However some of my clients have made the jump from other products to SCOM. Depending on their requirements, SCOM can offer a wide range of monitoring solutions and more often than not, it’s been a successful transition.

How was the initial setup?

It never use to be, but since the 2012 release the deployment side of SCOM was simplified greatly. This was obviously great news for I.T pro's like myself as the client conversation became a little more straight forward. However, installing SCOM was the easy part, making it work after the install is where the fun begins, this side of the setup however remains a little more challenging.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
System Engineer at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
It can be set up to alert when an issue occurs and it is often easy to link to a ticketing system so a ticket will be generated automatically when issues occur.

Valuable Features

SCOM's greatest attribute is that you can customize every monitor to specifically match the intended system. For example, you can monitor two servers for high CPU usage and customize it so one alerts if it goes above 95% and the other only alerts over 98%.

Improvements to My Organization

If SCOM is implemented correctly, it can take away the need for administrators to constantly monitor things or perform health checks. SCOM can be set up to alert when an issue occurs and SCOM is often easy to link to a ticketing system so a ticket will be generated automatically when issues occur. SCOM can even be set up to send emails/SMS when a problem occurs in your environment.

Room for Improvement

The System Centre Operations Manager (SCOM) is great at alerting you when something breaks. It's not so great at reporting. For all of the information that SCOM collects and stores it has no good way to put this information into a useful reporting format. For example, it would be fantastic to be able to have a historic view of the memory usage on a server to assist with pinpointing the root cause to the issue.

Also, SCOM comes with many built-in monitors. Anything that isn't already there can often be add by installing a management pack. These management packs include a heap of monitors for a specific item (EG exchange). The main issue is that by default most items alerts are enabled. This means when you install SCOM or add a management pack you will need to tweak all of the sensors or you will be over run with alerts. It's a turn off what you don't want situation rather than, the more sensible, turn on what you do want.

Deployment Issues

There were no issues deploying it.

Stability Issues

There have been no stability issues.

Scalability Issues

There have been no issues with the scalability.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Microsoft offers many partnerships to businesses. These partnership agreements can get you some great discounts on software/support. To become a Microsoft partner you often only need to have staff with Microsoft certifications. The more certificates you have the better your partnership. Microsoft are great to call for support as they have a wealth of knowledge. They may not always be the most helpful, but by logging a ticket to Microsoft you will often get your management temporarily off your back.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user379620
IT Infrastructure Engineer at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Once it was in place and tweaked, we were able to prioritize issues as they came up. I’d love to see a quick and simple way to enable common critical monitoring and alerts by default.

What is most valuable?

SCOM is capable of so much that it can actually be somewhat overwhelming. But if you know how to use it effectively, one of the great things about it is that you can really tailor it to your specific environment and get as much (or as little) alerting as you need.

SCOM also provides for administrative roles and selective alerting, so if you have a team that only monitors a specific subset of servers or a specific application, you can create designated roles for them and give them limited console access for just those resources that they are responsible for.

How has it helped my organization?

In my previous position, there was basically no true infrastructure monitoring at all – they were relying on alerts configured per system or device, and consequently there was a lot of firefighting and working reactively to problems that occurred.

My first priority when I started was to implement enterprise monitoring and alerting, and SCOM was approved. Once it was in place and tweaked to that environment, we experienced a lot less firefighting and were able to prioritize issues as they came up. Less late nights, too.

What needs improvement?

In some ways, SCOM is a double-edged sword. It can do so much, even by default -- monitoring and alerting of everything from Windows servers and applications, to Linux machines, to network devices including routers and switches. However, because of this, you can get overwhelmed fairly quickly, and if left unchecked, you’ll get too many alerts for too many objects. When that happens, your team starts ignoring alerts because they simply can’t get to them all, and that is just as bad as not having any alerting at all.

For SCOM to be really great, I’d love to see Microsoft come up with a quick and simple way to enable common critical monitoring and alerts by default. Then, as you get more familiar with SCOM, you can gradually tweak and enable the more customized and intricate stuff.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Operations Manager for almost three years. I set up and deployed it (with assistance from a consultant) at my last job, and it was already in limited use at my current position, where I currently administer it.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

SCOM can be somewhat tricky to implement.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been no issues with the stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

With SCOM 2012 R2, a single management pool deployment can handle up to 150,000 objects - according to Microsoft.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support and customer service depends on your relationship(s) with Microsoft, but Microsoft support, whether you like it or not, is pretty consistent across the board. If you've dealt with it previously, at least you know what to expect.

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

I have used and evaluated other enterprise solutions. I will say that, while Microsoft sometimes does things that seem oddly questionable, SCOM truly makes sense once you get familiar with how it works. SCOM uses management packs, which are basically pre-packaged building blocks of rules and monitors, to allow configuration and tweaking of monitoring for each service or application

How was the initial setup?

SCOM can be somewhat tricky to implement, and if you’re implementing more than one System Center module, you definitely need to be careful about the order you deploy them in. However, there is good documentation online from Microsoft and other sources, so take your time and read the documentation completely to avoid having to start all over. I have worked in mainly small to mid-size environments, but scalability, from my understanding, is generally not an issue for SCOM.

What about the implementation team?

In both cases I was involved in, we had a consultant work with the internal team to deploy and configure SCOM. As I mentioned before, implementation can be tricky, and it’s mainly because there are a lot of smaller details to pay attention to (specific user & group creations, proper installation order, etc.). So I would advise bringing in a consultant to do initial deployment if you don’t have the experience in-house.

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

I don’t know specifics about pricing and licensing, but if you’re familiar with Microsoft, you can get very good deals buying a certain level of licensing and getting System Center thrown in.

What other advice do I have?

SCOM is capable of providing full-featured infrastructure monitoring, alerting and reporting, especially for Windows-centric production environments.

I have heard a lot of people say that to do SCOM right, you really should create a full-time position, or at least a full-time System Center admin who works only on System Center stuff. Because you’re only going to get out of it what you put into it. If you don’t put any time into it, it’s not going to work well for you.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
SCOM Specialist at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The flexibility which Operations Manager (SCOM) gives to monitor anything in any way is the main valuable feature to me.

What is most valuable?

The flexibility which Operations Manager (SCOM) gives to monitor anything in any way is the main valuable feature to me. A big second would be the amount of management packs for Microsoft and other products which can be plugged in and give you a fast start to your monitoring.

How has it helped my organization?

In every case so far we managed to move from a slow reactive type of non-monitoring toward a proactive monitoring for different layers within the organization and real insights into their IT environment from different angles. Including helpdesk, system admins, IT management, company management, departmental staff and managers. Creating good dashboards makes the monitoring come more alive as well and move it over and above a long list of mixed alerts.

What needs improvement?

Areas for improvement in my opinion are the resource footprint of the SCOM infrastructure side, the web console (drop Silverlight please!) and a few of the management packs.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using MOM and SCOM since the year 2002.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

During the years we did see deployment issues. Often related to people not reading the documentation and not installing the prerequisites correctly (for instance SQL). In some cases it was related to in-place upgrades between major versions, which we have been warning against for years in the community. And one of the previous versions had some bugs in the command-based setup version in not accepting one of the setup parameters correctly (which the setup wizard did do correctly).

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the product is fine as long as the scaling is done right according to the types and amounts of monitored objects. There are calculation models for it, but experience in designing SCOM implementations helps a lot with that.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did encounter scalability issues when monitoring a large amount of network devices which turned out to have more monitored objects than expected (for instance a switch stack which is seen as one switch but turns out to have a few more ports and interfaces than a simple switch). In such cases a scale out or a second management group might provide what is needed.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

SCOM is part of the System Center Suite and part of the datacenter management solutions provided by Microsoft. The amount of customer service depends on the amount of licenses and software assurance for instance you aquire.

Technical Support:

Technical suport is given by Microsoft for their products through the usual channels. Next to that there are the Technet Forums where also a lot of community members answer questions. There are a lot of blogs run by community members and community leaders and MVP's which provide a lot of information.

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

Yes we used several products and also customers we are new to have existing solutions. Often a whole lot of them. The reason for switching is always to try to get as much as possible monitoring and dashboarding and reporting and alerting and therefore insights into as few products as possible. This is one of the reasons we standardize to SCOM.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very simple if you follow the documentation, best practices setup guides and use the sizing calculation models. Install the prerequisites right the first time and the rest flows from there.

What about the implementation team?

We are a consultancy for the System Center products and I specialize in SCOM. I usually work with one or more people at a customer to get the basics done and installed and next work with the rest of the organization to make it friendly and accessible for all.

What was our ROI?

I think this depends on the organization and their wishes. In general a lot of organizations of a certain size already have the System Center licenses. The ROI comes from reacting more proactively to upcoming disruptions, current disruptions (and being able to inform users calling helpdesk) and being in control.

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

SCOM comes as part of the System Center stack. So if you buy one product you will have them all. Some organizations already have the licenses needed. Some have special pricing (education organizations for instance).

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes other products are in evaluation. There are several big monitoring products which have been around for years and years. And there are niche players for monitoring specific parts of the infrastructure. With those last you may get deeper insights into one aspect, but lose the ability to add it all together.

What other advice do I have?

I do like this product a lot and have followed its advances since the MOM2000 version and continue to do so toward the 2016 version and beyond. One thing to notice lately is there are more possibilities when combined with Microsofts OMS solution in a hybrid scenario to get even more value out of both products.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a consultancy working with Microsoft products for years. I myself was awarded Microsoft MVP status 5 years ago for my contributions to the community through answering questions in forums, blog posts, writing books, working on courses and exams, presenting and public speaking and running a user group to name a few.
ITCS user
Senior Technical Consultant at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Deep integration with Windows provides in-depth monitoring and the management packs model ensures that products in the environment are supported or will be supported.

What is most valuable?

Deep integration with Windows provides in-depth monitoring and the management packs model ensures that products in the environment are supported or will be supported.

How has it helped my organization?

Proactive monitoring has helped us prepare and mitigate potential issues before they even happen. This comes in the monitoring of general server health and custom alerts for event log entries that are known indicators of potential issues.

What needs improvement?

GUI performance is the one aspect where I can see that improvement on it will make customers happy.

3rd Party Plugins for SCOM are also great, but some of them are quite expensive to implement due to the depth of function they provide. Maybe Microsoft should integrate the basic functionalities of some of them.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for two years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

The deployment of SCOM is pretty straightforward. You just need to make sure that the pre-requisites have been installed correctly and then SCOM itself should be a breeze to install.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is subjective and based from experience. It is directly affected by the server hardware where SCOM is installed.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No. SCOM is scalable as you can add Management Servers as needed. You can also add more resources to the host server and it will not cause issues in SCOM.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

For enterprise customers, Microsoft is one of the best providers of customer service. The system in place for the customer service ensures that customers will get the value they have paid for.

Technical Support:

As with the Customer Service, the technical support of Microsoft is very good since they are the ones who develop the product itself. It follows a process where you will be first served by level 1 support but they will escalate to the product team as need to ensure the issue is resolved.

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

Free tools found online are good but require a lot of knowledge in scripting. The SCOM Management Packs takes in the lead in this space.

How was the initial setup?

It was straightforward. You just follow the setup guide provided but just need to make sure the pre-requisites are installed properly.

What about the implementation team?

I have experienced both as part of in-house team and also as part of the vendor team. The vendor was experienced in the deployment and management of SCOM and have been since the early versions of it.

What was our ROI?

We did not calculate the ROI as our SLA is internal only. However, the fact that we can proactively monitor issues that may cause downtime is a statement of the benefit of SCOM.

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

Please contact your Microsoft Account Manager regarding this. It is different for each customer and for each country. The System Center licensing has different criteria and you should get the most applicable for your environment.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have evaluated some of the "free" monitoring solutions. Some are easy to use while others are a bit complicated. We implemented SCOM because not only it was included in our System Center License, its usage was also straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

SCOM can monitor a whole lot of products, not just generic server components. Make sure that you contact the product vendor and ask if they have Management Packs for SCOM.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: I have both been a user and a Systems Integrator for the System Center products.
ITCS user
BI Analyst at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Consultant
It can be implemented in an environment which hosts critical information.

Valuable Features:

We used SCOM for monitoring the health of the servers. The SCOM agent was very reliable in our environment and used to trigger alerts immediately, which helped us to take care of the servers without any critical impact to the client.

Improvements to My Organization:

SCOM has helped us to reduce the time taken to address the issue and identify the false alerts triggered in an efficient manner. It's a reliable tool when it comes to monitoring and can be implemented in an environment which hosts critical information and has high revenue for the organization.

Room for Improvement:

I feel that the stability of the tool has room for improvement and I would like to see that in the next version.

Deployment Issues:

We've had no issues with deployment.

Stability Issues:

There have been issues with instability.

Scalability Issues:

It has scaled for our needs.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Consultant at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
The Management Packs available provide monitoring of various Microsoft products such as Windows Server OS, Hyper-V, SCCM, SharePoint, Exchange, etc. It needs to provide more on Cloud, Big Data, etc.

What is most valuable?

SCOM is one of the most commonly used monitoring software used for large scale enterprise level. Being a Microsoft product, the Management Packs available are very useful for extensive monitoring of various Microsoft products such as Windows Server OS, Hyper-V, SCCM, SharePoint, Exchange, etc.

How has it helped my organization?

It has always helped to streamline our monitoring in various areas and helped to provide good reports to various in-house teams as well as provide alerting for the whole of our data center.

What needs improvement?

SCOM can move on to provide more on Cloud, Big Data, container and docks monitoring. Also, APM monitoring is really lacking in SCOM and they really need to look into this to keep up their strength in the IT market.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for four years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

A few glitches since the SCOM installation requires a good requirement analysis first before deployment. Eg : Creating service accounts in Active Directory and permissions as well sizing up how many Management Servers you will need and other factors like resource pooling.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

SCOM is always known to be very unstable when it comes to SCOM Agents which are installed locally on all the servers.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

SCOM is well known for scalability so I've never faced any issue in this portion. You can add any Management Server to the existing SCOM infrastructure anytime with little down time though.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

I would give MS customer service 8/10.

I just had two experience making call to the MS customer service for raising issue to the Support Team.

Technical Support:

I would give MS SCOM Support: 8/10

The level of technical support really varies from person to person. In one of my issues I did receive a very technically strong support engineer, in other case it was totally opposite.

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

I had a deployment with Solarwinds SAM which is very cheap product compared to SCOM, and almost gets the work done as SCOM if you are looking for basic monitoring and not much of customization and production environment is from small to medium.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not very straightforward and requires good preparation work to be done before you can install and make SCOM up and running.

What about the implementation team?

It was an in-house implementation. If we do go through vendor it sholud not take more than 5 days to make SCOM up and running well with the baseline from Microsoft.

What was our ROI?

ROI turned out to be pretty good since we had good centralized monitoring for our whole data center and all the outages were quickly escalated from the Command center to the relevant Team.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

BMC BPPM, HP OVO , IBM Tivoli.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Infrastructure Consultant, specialist SCCM, SCOM, VMware, Hyper-V at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
The fact that you can create you own MP to monitor customs apps, servers, networking connections, etc. is very valuable.

What is most valuable?

The fact that you can create you own MP to monitor customs apps, servers, networking connections, etc. is very valuable. It can be integrate with ticket systems.

How has it helped my organization?

After a proper setup and MP fine tuning it offers a very fast view of your entire environment or just a special app, etc.

What needs improvement?

Dashboards, Dashboards, Dashboards. It will be nice to have the power of Live Maps with the built in dashboards.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than 4 years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

The suite is a monster. Without a clear strategy and fine tuning can produce a lot of noise (unnecessary noise) or miss critical aspects of your environment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Some issues with DBs growing without reason. Nothing too unusual. I think the product is very stable and mature. Has a very easy system of redundancy.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No, nothing unusual. It's very stable, more Management servers can be add later, out of box redundant, etc.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Normal for Microsoft :), tickets, a lot of money, etc. Sometimes more easy and fast is to search on dedicated forums and blogs.

Technical Support:

Is Microsoft :), you pay more better support. But the product is popular so many forums, blogs, etc., including resources in TechNet.

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

Cacti, Nagios, SolarWinds. The System Center 2012 R2 is really powerful, all products works great together. Is not so expensive any more, easy to licensees. Can cover from end to end (Networking, Hardware layer,OS , App and services, ports, etc.).

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is easy for a sysadmin, but the proper settings and MP tuning require a lot of attention. Out of box it works but not for enterprise level.

What about the implementation team?

I'm a SCOM consultant so I can tell you that proper configuration and tuning, development of custom MP (management pack) for custom needs a lot of effort and is not cheap at all :).

What was our ROI?

This is a very complex discussions. If you have a proper engineers to handle this solution, if also you use SCCM, SCOM, Orchestrator, Service manager, all together can ad more value at same cost of one.

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

Microsoft simplified a lot the licensing so only two licence Standard and Datacenter. SQL and management servers are free.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Cacti, Nagios, SolarWinds. Are many on the market. Because is Microsoft large corporate received very good prices so over all is not to expensive like SolarWinds.

What other advice do I have?

So if you want to implement this software initial installation is easy. But a high level of understanding of your own business needs is required. You need clear process to setup MP.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
NOC Senior Technical Shift Leader at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
It monitors each node and advises you that a particular node is unreachable/down in a very short time.

What is most valuable?

SCOM is a very powerful tool if deployed and eventually maintained correctly. It is an improvement over MOM 2005. It no longer monitors just a node like MOM 2005 used to do (eg: a server) but it can be made to monitor a whole service.

How has it helped my organization?

SCOM 2012 monitors each node and advises you that a particular node is unreachable/down in a very short time. This time a.k.a as the polling time is dependent upon number of nodes, network traffic and the speed of the scom servers and network equipment. Having a short time helps to meet the SLA target.

What needs improvement?

Unfortunately, when you need to monitor member servers which are not joined to the same domain as the SCOM servers, you need to go through the certificate route (so that you can have the required trust through the certificate). This is very time consuming and very prone to error.

For how long have I used the solution?

3years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

SCOM requires that all servers are from 2008server upwards. Does not work with Server 2003 or lower. Moreover, the respective service packs need to be installed.

As regards Linux servers, a specific file must be configured so that SCOM is allowed to communicate to.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No particular issues were encountered. If it is allocated the required resources, service pack installed etc, it should have a reasonable performance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

SCOM 2012 was implemented and monitored 300+ servers and various network connections. Issues that were encountered is with respect to servers which were not on the same windows domain as the SCOM servers.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service was fine. However, a trained support team is required so that the SCOM is handled correctly and in a timely manner.

Technical Support:

Technical support from Microsoft was always given in a timely manner when required. Technical support advice was analyzed and taken on board when required.

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

MOM 2005 was used but this supports up to 2003 Server. Having upgraded all servers to Server 2008 upwards necessitated this switch. Finally it proved to be a good choice.

How was the initial setup?

MOM experience helped a lot since the basics are the same. You have to open the required TCP ports and allocate the required resources so that setup succeeds.

What about the implementation team?

It was implemented in-house. A group of engineers designed, planned and implemented SCOM 2012. Their level of expertise was very high and they were MCSE engineers.

What was our ROI?

The ROI is in the form that the Service Level Agreement (SLA) is met and downtime minimized as possible. This reduced the penalties incurred to us from customers.

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

Cannot comment on this. I was on the technical aspect of SCOM. However this was given "for free" as part with the SCCM package.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There are various other options, like OP5 and Zabbix but being in a Microsoft environment, SCOM was the way to go.

What other advice do I have?

No comments so far. SCOM has a lot of potential and can give a helping hand in maintaining a healthy network.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior SCOM Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
MSP
It monitors systems and can have all of the alerts displayed in one single GUI.

Valuable Features:

This product features allows me to monitor other systems including Windows and Unix systems as well as monitor various Network devices. It monitors these systems and can have all of the alerts displayed in one single GUI. It also allows me to setup notifications for the alerts, which can be emailed or texted to individual users. Another good feature, is as long as you have the necessary management packs installed for specific applications/technologies, this product will discover the systems running these applications/technologies and automatically start monitoring them.

Improvements to My Organization:

My organization is used to install this product at various companies. But after installing this product at various companies, I have seen these companies improve as far as day to day problems. This product helps companies detect problems before they cause any real problems like downtime. It also helps companies to determine where a problem might exist in their current environment and helps the companies correct these problems with the knowledge base that it uses for each of the problems it detects.

Room for Improvement:

This product has room for improvement in the way that it is administered. It doesn’t give you details on Monitors/Rules as far as what is being monitored and how it’s being monitored. It also can improve on letting you know what is being monitored on each system that it monitors.

Other Advice:

This is an excellent monitoring tool, especially for Windows servers, as the technology developers are usually the ones who build the management packs for SCOM. You must plan out your environment before implementing this product in large environments and build very beefy SQL servers one for the OperationsDB and the other for the OperationsDB Ware House. As this product is very SQL intense and any slowness is usually caused by the SQL servers trying to keep up with all the requests and updates from the product. Limit the number of admins that will administer this product, as too many cooks in the kitchen can cause more harm than not enough cooks. This product gets better in time with tuning, otherwise it is a very chatty product and users will start ignoring it, if it’s not tuned correctly.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: The company that I work for is a Microsoft partner.
ITCS user
Microsoft System Center Consultant with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Distributed Applications enables you to give developers and businesses insight into their IT infrastructure.

What is most valuable?

SCOM features object-based monitoring based on classes and discoveries and it gives you a lot of power and flexibility when you design and implement monitoring. For the advanced users you have full freedom in creating your own custom monitoring solutions with Visual Studio, but there are also a lot of production ready monitoring packs from Microsoft as well as 3rd-party providers that are easy to implement.

How has it helped my organization?

I've done multiple implementations of SCOM and once you have it technically tuned, have your methodology and processes implemented it really makes a difference in how aware Operations becomes and how fast they can discover and act on incidents both pro- and reactively. Distributed Applications enables you to give developers and business valuable insight into their IT infrastructure.

What needs improvement?

Reporting could be improved, you get many reports out-of-box but they can be difficult to interpret and drill down into. You can build custom reports in report builder or Visual Studio but both alternatives are difficult to use, not well documented and requires extensive knowledge of the SCOM databases.

For how long have I used the solution?

Besides managing other System Center products SCOM has been my main focus for 9 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

SCOM is very easy to deploy and get running, most of the work is tuning management packs together with subject matter experts and in bigger organisations you have to put work into establishing methodology and processes.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Since the original version of SCOM 2007 a lot has happened in the code base, SCOM 2012 R2 is a very stable and reliable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not seen or heard of scalability issues with SCOM, the infrastructure is distributed and can be tailored to your needs at any time.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

If you have a Microsoft Premier agreement (which is my only experience) you get a lot of valuable attention from Microsoft. They help you do service checkups of your installations, give you valuable advice and are generally available when you need it.

Technical Support:

My experience with Microsoft support has been good, Microsoft has different tiers of support but they are all very professional and if something needs to be escalated it will get the necessary attention. I've had a few complicated issues in the past that I could not solve myself which got solved by the help from either entry and senior level support.

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

I've had some experience with SiteScope and other in-house monitoring tools, I've also seen but not worked with a couple of other monitoring tools so I do not have the means for comparison.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward and easy to understand, the first thing you do is size your enviornment and do all the preparations after that installing SCOM itself is very easy.

What about the implementation team?

My very first implementation of SCOM 2007 was togheter with Microsoft, other than that I've done the implementations myself.

What was our ROI?

ROI is difficult to calculate with a product like this but being able to monitor your infrastructure is essential at any rate.

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

Licensing is based on how many and what type of agents you have installed, in my experience it is difficult to calculate licensing and pricing without help from Microsoft.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Since the organisations I've implemented SCOM in have been mainly Microsoft and Windows based choosing SCOM and other products from the System Center suite has been a natural choice.

What other advice do I have?

SCOM is a great monitoring tool if you have an enterprise level infrastructure that you need to monitor and manage, it's mainly designed for Windows but it does have cross-platform and network monitoring support something which Microsoft keeps expanding. It is technically easy to implement and maintain but it requires an initial time investment for tuning and customizations.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
IT Consultant with 501-1,000 employees
MSP
Distributed applications, application performance monitoring, dashboard view, network monitoring, auditing services are the most valuable features.

What is most valuable?

Distributed applications, application performance monitoring, dashboard view, network monitoring, auditing services are the most valuable features.

How has it helped my organization?

Proactively monitoring the infrastructure servers and applications and reporting issues. Dashboards are very valuable to enable day-to-day monitoring.

What needs improvement?

Customizing management packs, fine tuning of alerts, monitors and creating new tasks reflected on the required group of servers.

For how long have I used the solution?

9 years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Yes, installing some prerequisites sometime produced issues, installing SQL on a remote server as well might produce some challenges in installing SCOM

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes, the console was not stable at the early versions of 2007 product, opening multiple consoles might cause a crash. web console might hang when opening multiple sessions as well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Usually no, you can easily scale SCOM by adding a new server to the exiting pool of servers, it was much of a challenge in the old versions of SCOM

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

The level of customer service provided is very good, you will be supported for installation issue, configuration and usage.

Technical Support:

The level of technical support provided is very good, technical support team will always provide the needed support.

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

No, it was always SCOM the primary monitoring solution used since it always fit the requirements.

How was the initial setup?

It was straightforward, with the guide documentation it is easy to deploy and configure SCOM servers and components.

What about the implementation team?

We are a service provider company and we implemented SCOM over 100 times at different customer premises, using all different versions of SCOM.

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

The license is very cheap compared to other products, and with SCOM license you get a license for all system center products.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

SCOM was the primary Monitoring solution chosen. it is always fulfilling our customers requirements.

What other advice do I have?

SCOM is a Microsoft solution designed primary to Monitor Microsoft servers and applications, capable of Monitoring Non-Microsoft OS and applications as well.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:
ITCS user
Solution Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Citrix management pack for SCOM
Yesterday a survey passed my attention regarding monitoring, Citrix requested input from partners and others regarding monitoring. I'm not that keen on filling in survey's for I have that feeling that the questions asked are not for me as a partner to answer. Question like "in what time frame will you implement a solution" are customer question and not one you ask a partner. Anyway, I think monitoring in general is the most under valued topic in IT so I decided to fill this one in. This time not about how to write on-premises but about a solution to be developed. Extend Edgesight functionality "What if Citrix were to provide an efficient way to monitor and troubleshoot your entire Citrix environment, surrounding infrastructure, and end user experience, using your existing…

Yesterday a survey passed my attention regarding monitoring, Citrix requested input from partners and others regarding monitoring. I'm not that keen on filling in survey's for I have that feeling that the questions asked are not for me as a partner to answer. Question like "in what time frame will you implement a solution" are customer question and not one you ask a partner.

Anyway, I think monitoring in general is the most under valued topic in IT so I decided to fill this one in. This time not about how to write on-premises but about a solution to be developed.

Extend Edgesight functionality

"What if Citrix were to provide an efficient way to monitor and troubleshoot your entire Citrix environment, surrounding infrastructure, and end user experience, using your existing Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (SCOM)?"


We had a lengthy discussion about the surrounding infrastructure and monitoring that Citrix would offer on twitter with Lisa, good way to get your thoughts together.

Let me first say that I would be delighted if Citrix would extend the Edgesight functionality in their product so that it really monitors all of the Citrix components. It would be so helpful for many of our customers.

The little green dots we get now are nice but customers would like a bit more dashboard style, nice graphics, lines and dots that move. Dashboards that show bandwidth per user in near-time or latency between sites in near-time. Sure some of this is there already in some form or some expensive license but look at Solarwinds or eG Innovations and see the dashboards there, that's what gives customers a warm feeling.

Surroundings, how far will you go?

Let's get back to the statement, so Citrix can't and shouldn't build anything that would monitor the surroundings. As I said to Lisa last night where would you stop, you chain is not my chain. So once you released your monitoring solution with surroundings you think are useful to monitor I have a customer that has just one more and that one is critical to him or her.

I think the surroundings or dependencies as I call them are as valuable in your chain as the Citrix components itself. The reason in my opinion many monitoring solutions fail is that they can't monitor the surroundings well enough. Citrix is no end-to-end monitoring solution like eG Innovations is offering and should not enter that game. Citrix should enable monitoring their own products for customer with less budget and enable other solutions to monitor Citrix components in an end-to-end solution. There are good solutions out there no need to invent the wheel again.
Like Louis van Gaal would say: "Shoemaker stick to you leest", or in better English "Let the cobbler stick to his last" meaning do what you do best, monitor your own and let the rest be handled by others.

Microsoft SCOM

The second part of that statement came as a shock to me, are they really forcing people to use SCOM to setup monitoring a Citrix environment? Second thought is, what would Comtrade think of this.

Microsoft SCOM is a old fashion beast of a monitoring solution that offers basic monitoring out of the box and for a dime because it comes with licenses they forced on us anyway. If you just need to monitor some Microsoft servers or functionality SCOM is fine and will do, whenever you need more SCOM will be your cash cow and a big one also.

To build a decent dashboard or live map you will need to invest in a management pack from Savision for instance. This will cost you a lot and just for a functionality that should be in a monitoring product already. All other non-Microsoft related monitoring will need more management packs and more investment. Everyone out there has a chain they want to monitor that includes non-Microsoft components and everyone needs a decent dashboard. I think SCOM will work for some but not for all.

Microsoft SCOM will work for companies that invested in SCOM management packs already but then again they might have Comtrade running to monitor Citrix.
There is one more compelling reason why SCOM is not the way forward, it's hideous and overly complex. I've checked out many products for monitoring as you all might remember and all of them except SCOM where installed and configured in minutes/hours. With SCOM after hours you are still wondering where you're looking at and how to work with it.

We see SCOM a lot with local governments but that's only because they get it for almost free, SCOM that is, not the management packs. It's just like Hyper-V versus the rest, it's free as long as you don't want a complete solution. for me SCOM is use-able for some companies but not for all, it's too complext and too costly when growing to a complete solution. Smaller companies need a solution as well.

My take on Citrix monitoring

Citrix had a cool but freaky monitoring solution called Edgesight, we all hated and loved it. With the new releases Edgesight has evolved and despite my first thoughts it's pretty neat but still lacking a number of features.

It seems, referring to the survey, that Citrix is keen on getting monitoring on the road and I praise that thought, monitoring is to often forgotten. In the old days with Edgesight we had that dashboard with all the dots on it showing a service you monitored to be up or down (green, yellow, red) I'm not in favor to get that one back but a dashboard that show relevant information now available in different consoles or sections would really kick ass. Information that should be available would be;

  • License percentage used,
  • Database performance and latency,
  • Number of logons per minute,
  • Storefront performance (anything that will show if performance is degrading)
  • Delivery controller performance (anything that will show if performance is degrading)
  • Latency between sites
These are just some thoughts but a dashboard showing this would be so cool... I'dd blog about it :)
....and of course if you make a management pack for SCOM once again that would be cool too for customers using SCOM but don't just do that and force customers to have to use SCOM.
Hope I'm not too hard on my judgement about SCOM, sorry you SCOM fans out there, but this is my thought of it. Glad to have a discussion about it some day as I had yesterday with my co-workers Frans Oudendorp and Henk Hoogendoorn about this very topic. We as PQR sell SCOM to customers as well as eG Innovations. We just look at what is best for the customer and start from there.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Technical IT Manager at a engineering company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Performance data on Windows VMs is a valuable feature but perfomance management needs to be improved.

What is most valuable?

Performance data on Windows VMs Ability to have a lot of out of the box management packs with key monitors in place Ease of use

How has it helped my organization?

Ability to know when servers are offline through agent heartbeats.

What needs improvement?

Dashboarding and application performance management.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No we did not.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes we did have some, but with Microsoft's assistance (RAS) we were able to gain more insight and improve.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No we did not.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: 8/10. Technical…

What is most valuable?

  • Performance data on Windows VMs
  • Ability to have a lot of out of the box management packs with key monitors in place
  • Ease of use

How has it helped my organization?

Ability to know when servers are offline through agent heartbeats.

What needs improvement?

Dashboarding and application performance management.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No we did not.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes we did have some, but with Microsoft's assistance (RAS) we were able to gain more insight and improve.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No we did not.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

8/10.

Technical Support:

8/10.

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

Used Foglight but it was extremely difficult to learn and pick up as a monitoring solution.

What about the implementation team?

It was all done in-house.

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

Included as part of MS ELA.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes - Quest Foglight and Nimsoft

What other advice do I have?

If you are a large Microsoft shop then this product excels in monitoring Microsoft services.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user140667
Principal ICT Architect with 501-1,000 employees
MSP
Ensure you have processes and technical resources in place to address issues.

Valuable Features:

It would have to be the ability to monitor services, devices, and operations for many devices from a single console leveraging a wide variety of Management Packs available.

Improvements to My Organization:

Ability for support staff to know when there is a problem, identify where the problem is, and figure out what is causing the problem, ideally before the users of the applications encounter the problems.

Room for Improvement:

If it could have SysLog capabilities and if the Microsoft Management Packs were out of the box instead of a separate download.

Use of Solution:

Our current project is still ongoing, its been at least 7 years.

Scalability Issues:

Yes, but only if you decide to integrate ACS with OpsMgr. Then storage could become an issue depending on where the customer believes the security logs must come from.

Customer Service:

If you have Microsoft Premier Support, then all is well.

Other Advice:

Understand what is critical in your environment first and what needs to be monitored.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user79782
Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Microsoft Product monitoring is very valuable but monitoring non-Microsoft products has room for improvement

What is most valuable?

Microsoft Product monitoring and VMware monitoring using Veeam extension.

How has it helped my organization?

This product is really easy to use and has best monitoring capabilities when used to monitor Microsoft products.

What needs improvement?

Monitoring non Microsoft products and 3rd party applications.

For how long have I used the solution?

From 2007 starting with SCOM 2007.

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

I have used Big Brother monitoring software before being acquired by Quest software.

How was the initial setup?

The deployment of the server is really straightforward. You can follow step by step the installation wizard.

What about the

What is most valuable?

Microsoft Product monitoring and VMware monitoring using Veeam extension.

How has it helped my organization?

This product is really easy to use and has best monitoring capabilities when used to monitor Microsoft products.

What needs improvement?

Monitoring non Microsoft products and 3rd party applications.

For how long have I used the solution?

From 2007 starting with SCOM 2007.

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

I have used Big Brother monitoring software before being acquired by Quest software.

How was the initial setup?

The deployment of the server is really straightforward. You can follow step by step the installation wizard.

What about the implementation team?

All the implementation has been done by an in-house team.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No, due to the fact there was a global decision at higher level.

What other advice do I have?

Test it, you do not have what to loose.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user76893
Consultant at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
Valuable features include availability and dashboards but reports need to be improved

What is most valuable?

Availability, Performance and Application Monitoring, Dashboards.

How has it helped my organization?

We were supporting a bank infrastructure using SCOM, and their application availability improved a lot as we had the real time monitoring of the applications due to which application issues were fixed before the end user comes up and complains.

What needs improvement?

Too small of a scope in reports, need to improve a lot.

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

No, we have been using SCOM only as it has given satisfactory results.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is quite simple, you need to be aware of the prerequisites which are required to start the deployment. Deployment is straightforward as we have the application installer available, whenever any failure is there, resolution is shown along with the results. The sizing tool is always available whenever planing for the hardware recommendations.

What about the implementation team?

Most of the time we implement in house and reach out to experts in our organization in case any assistance is required.

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

Please go through the documentation once, which is available on the Microsoft Website- Technet to understand what SCOM actually is. It looks like a single console, but very deep and interesting to learn. You can end up becoming SCOM Admin, SCOM MP Author etc. Go for virtual labs before implementing SCOM which are available on Microsoft technet.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There were many- IBM Tivoli, CA products, but the best came out to be SCOM for a number of reasons.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
IT Administrator at a university with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
System Center Operations Manager 2012 SP1 Mini-test
I decided to do a mini-test of System Center Operations Manager 2012 SP1. We are already using Nagios for monitoring but it doesn’t hurt to look at the competitors Installation Normally I would test in a virtual environment, but this time I happened to have my trusty old bastard (Fujitsu Siemens Primergy RX200 S2) ready with a plain installation of Windows Server 2012 so I decided to use that one instead. Nothing special with the installation, just a plain installation of Windows Server 2012 as base and SCOM 2012 SP1 on top of that. I then joined the server to the domain as this is a requirement. After that I started the installation of Operations Manager. The installation program itself has a prerequisite check so every component will be…

I decided to do a mini-test of System Center Operations Manager 2012 SP1. We are already using Nagios for monitoring but it doesn’t hurt to look at the competitors :)

Installation

Normally I would test in a virtual environment, but this time I happened to have my trusty old bastard (Fujitsu Siemens Primergy RX200 S2) ready with a plain installation of Windows Server 2012 so I decided to use that one instead.

Nothing special with the installation, just a plain installation of Windows Server 2012 as base and SCOM 2012 SP1 on top of that. I then joined the server to the domain as this is a requirement. After that I started the installation of Operations Manager. The installation program itself has a prerequisite check so every component will be installed perfectly. I chose to install “everything”. There were many components missing at the check and the following was required for me:

This was only a small test, as the whole system is a bit over the top (to say the least) for our needs. Anyways, seems to be working just fine. Screenshot below.

Fig 1. System Center Operations Manager 2012 SP1

I’ve tested SCOM 2007 before so I knew what to expect. SCOM 2012 is indeed a very advanced monitoring system with all the bells and whistles. However, Nagios is our main monitoring software and it’s already set up to monitor all Linux servers, printers, switches (and more) at the Department. I’ll put my energy into configuring Nagios instead, as we don’t need all the advanced features of SCOM. We’re not monitoring hundreds of servers either. I’ve now added a script to Nagios which checks for Windows Updates. Of course there’s also standard checks like ping and so on. We don’t need anything fancier than that, at least for now. More about the Nagios script in another post.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user4851
Infrastructure Expert at a healthcare company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Good for Microsoft-centric environments.

Valuable Features:

Does a great job with Microsoft technologies. Decent with other technologies (Unix/Java).

Room for Improvement:

Very expensive now that you are forced to buy entire System Center suite, although comparable to other monitoring solutions that include basic APM. Dashboards are pretty weak.

Valuable Features:

Does a great job with Microsoft technologies. Decent with other technologies (Unix/Java).

Room for Improvement:

Very expensive now that you are forced to buy entire System Center suite, although comparable to other monitoring solutions that include basic APM. Dashboards are pretty weak.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user657
Manager of Operations at a outsourcing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Expensive, but delivers what we need

Valuable Features:

Well suited to handle MS Apps! Good community to get support from Good reporting. Lots of features in the "package"

Room for Improvement:

Need work to minimize the amount of events transferred to Incident systems. High License cost for the 2007 version. Super High cost for the 2012 version due to change to a CPU based. Need lots of HW to handle 1000 servers application operations

Other Advice:

The good reporting capabilities was one of the major functions which made us choose SCOM as the tool for handling MS application operations (only used for that, not the OS platforms).
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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