One of the top concerns we hear from installers is reliability in home entertainment components. A great way to ensure Media Center PC reliability is to deploy the system so that it can only be used for entertainment purposes and it isn't being used for applications, games, browsing, etc. Stick it in a closet or rack and forget about it. Updates, hardware failures or client error can still impact availability from time to time. Wouldn't it be great to have a way to remotely monitor Media Center and know about a failure (and fix it) before the client knows anything went wrong?
I've been kicking around an idea for some time about using other MS technologies to help monitor and maintain Media Center PCs. While I haven't had a chance to prove the concept just yet, Operations Manager seems like it could be a good candidate for this. Custom installation companies could use it to monitor devices in clients' residences or leverage a subscription OM based service hosted in the cloud.
Inteset just announced a hosted monitoring service called the "Inteset Heartbeat Monitoring Service" that will monitor Media Center systems and resources, as well as, provide an opportunity for an additional revenue stream for installers who use the service. Nice!
It's great to see someone in the channel starting to address this need.