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The Formula One Car of Systems Management.

The Formula One Car of Systems Management.

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Gordon McKenna
MVP – MOM
Ancoris Ltd.

I have always been a great believer that all the information you need to effectively manage a Windows Server is contained within the system itself, the biggest problem that you are faced with is extracting the right information from the right place at the right time and making something legible out of it.

Let me give you an example, your business critical application grinds to a halt and throws all of your users off, you log onto the server, the first place you go to is the Windows Event log, you trawl through the mountain of data in the Application and System logs, finally finding the event that relates to your application failing, you then spend the next hour hunting through Tech Net articles, browsing through the Microsoft Support Knowledge Base, putting in search engine queries only to have to dive back into the system to set up some performance counters or to pull some application logs.

Well luckily, those days are now gone because the answers you need now come out of the box from Microsoft in the form of Microsoft Operations Manager 2005.

MOM 2005 is the complete solution to all of your current and future systems management needs, it not only provides an agent based mechanism for sifting through the mountains of data that are contained on the average production Windows based server, but it provides a host of other troubleshooting and diagnostic based tools to help you get to the bottom of any issues, fast.

I can only compare MOM 2005 to the computer on a Formula One racing car, with sensors situated in every tiny part of the engine, constantly feeding data on the health of the system back to the Engineer in the Pit lane allowing him to tell the driver to take corrective action making sure that the vehicle is always performing in an optimal state, in MOM’s case the sensors come in the form of scripts, WMI queries, performance counters, log providers and .Net code responses, combined with a state of the art console that puts critical warnings, alerts and crucial troubleshooting information right at the fingertips of the MOM operator, making sure that the monitored Windows server gives the maximum amount of performance with the minimum amount of fuss.

Not only does MOM make a great all round monitoring solution but it also comes with a data warehousing facility that allows you to collect stats on server performance over long periods of time, giving you an historical performance charting capability as well as an extremely useful capacity planning facility.
As part of the standard management packs MOM collects metrics on everything from memory, CPU and disk utilisation to application usage, capacity and failures, giving you an extremely rich set of data with which to make qualified decisions on potential issues that may arise from over use of server and application resources as well as the all important correct spending of IT budget.
As an example, you are an IT director and it is towards the end of your companies financial year, you have some budget remaining to spend on new hardware, but how do you decide where this money should be best used, well you could go out and buy yourself the very latest widescreen laptop or you could pull up the MOM 2005 reporting console and generate yourself a report showing the top 10 worse performing servers in your organisation, replacing CPU’s, memory, disk or the whole server as needed.

Another clearly advantageous element to MOM2005 is the ease at which third-party developers are able to write add-ons for the product. Microsoft provide a full SDK, a feature packed resource kit and even a specialised ISV kit for developers, and this has accounted for numerous great extensions to the platform appearing from a number of development houses. Many third-party vendors have written management packs for  MOM for the extended management of their own applications and other developers have written custom management extensions that allow MOM to manage everything from server hardware to network devices, this is proving an added bonus to most companies as it now means that these critical areas of operation can now be managed alongside the operating system  and associated applications leading to far quicker identification of issues and much quicker time to resolution whilst adding to the breadth and depth of data available for historical trending and capacity planning.

Microsoft have always proclaimed MOM as being a platform designed for partners and vendors to build upon, and whilst they so rightly provide the Knowledge needed to manage Microsoft based operating systems and application (each management pack is written by the specific product team), they have given out the capability for the subject matter experts from other areas to provide real value-add, by writing knowledge specific to their areas of management, at the end of the day, who knows better about the server hardware than the server hardware vendors or backup software than the backup software vendors.
This whole approach in my opinion makes the product an extremely valuable addition to any organisation and really sets the product out from other similar management tools in its space.

If you haven’t called on your MOM to take care of managing your infrastructure then book an appointment for her today, you wont be disappointed.

Nobody does it better than your MOM ;-)

 

 

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  • Gordon has written an article explaining why MOM 2005 is like a  Formula 1 racing car.  It's...

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