System Center Operations Manager (aka OpsMgr, aka SCOM). It doesn’t have its’ own product page. It used to have one some years ago, but not any more. Nowadays it is just a component of System Center family. One of many. The product page has only one paragraph about this great piece of software, but I’m not upset. Probably, as a SCOM lover, I should be, but I’m really not. Looking back into 2010, when Opalis (now Orchestrator) had been announced, I can say that I was waiting for that and I’m glad that it has happened.
As I was making my career turn, I had many conversations with many people. Some of them are MP developers, so I was asking why do they do that? Why do they spend time for management pack development? Of course, it’s a business. Some sell MPs, others sell working hours. But that is just one side of the coin, on the other side there is something that should be valuable for customers and end users. Answers were different:
- Bring visibility of infrastructure. Good answer.
- Enable effective management of infrastructure. Even better.
Unfortunately nobody gave me the answer that would satisfy me, so I had to engender it myself. Considering one of the todays [marketing] mantras about “flat or shrinking IT budgets”, that was an easy task. So, my personal vision is: SCOM is not a monitoring tool. It is Operations Management tool. That is clearly stated in its’ name and that is why all management packs should not be designed for providing decent monitoring capabilities only. All MPs should enable cost-saving through simplifying operations and slashing down operational costs, increasing the density and minimizing the amount of hardware resources being unused. In other words: today it’s all about money. Even more than it was yesterday. This business ask implies that features like flexible monitoring configuration, analytical monitors, intelligent reports, capacity planning, simplified user experience, assisted troubleshooting and configuration advisory become a must.
There is one more thing. Take a look at the MOF circle. As you can see the “Operate” sector is (or at least should be) an integral part of the IT lifecycle. “Integral” here means that it should commit to other parts and vice versa it should accept commitments. SCOM collects and stores tons of operational data which are often overlooked. Not considering that data for planning means breaking a holistic approach. Bringing that back to the end-user, unlocking that data and smoothing an uneven user experience will yield in restoring the broken ecosystem and making many processes work symbiotically. The same story with accepting planned and delivered desirable hardware/software/process/etc. configuration as an input for “Operate” process. Circle should stay a circle.
That’s my vision. That’s what I stand for.