If you are looking at Opalis and wondering how it sits within the greater System Center family, then you are not alone.  In this post I will explain where Opalis fits, and how it can be used to work within the existing System Center solutions.

System Center is (currently) made up of 4 5 products (excluding options like SCE):

  • Configuration Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Virtual Machine Manager
  • Data Protection Manager
  • Service Manager (edit: Service Manager has now RTM'd!!)

With the release of Service Manager and the acquisition of Opalis, we have filled out the”Dynamic Datacenter” solution set and we can really begin to deliver on the promise of managing the Datacenter as a whole.

To differentiate between Service  Manager and Opalis, I think of it this way:

  • Service Manager is a service desk toolset that is aligned to ITIL/MOF, and is designed to provide consistency and efficiency to tasks and workflows at the “human” level.
  • Opalis is a IT Process automation tool, connecting and interacting with a wide range of technology systems, orchestrating tasks at the “technology” level.

In my words, Opalis works “below the water line” inside the Datacenter, whilst Service Manager is “above the water line” with service desk staff and end-users.

To me, Opalis in an incredibly powerful tool that you can call on to do the heavy lifting of actually doing something – the execution layer if you will.  Opalis in turn may call on other products in the System Center family, like instructing DPM to snapshot a machine then get VMM to live migrate a running VM, deploying an application in Configuration Manager or updating an incident in Service Manager.  And it may listen out waiting for something to happen in Operations Manager, and then react in a pre-defined way.

Are you using Opalis today?  I’d love to hear from you, drop me a message using the e-mail link at the top of the page.