System Center Advisor Released – Proactive Server Configuration Management

System Center Advisor Released – Proactive Server Configuration Management

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Today, Microsoft announced the general availability of System Center Advisor (formerly Microsoft codename ‘Atlanta’) enabling IT Professionals to proactively avoid server configuration problems by assessing static, runtime and operational data to identify potential issues that cause outages or poor performance.

System Center Operations Manager is great at alerting you to server issues as they happen, enabling you to quickly respond - but what if you could actually prevent server configuration problems before they ever impact your server’s performance or availability?

System Center Advisor is a cloud service hosted on Windows Azure that regularly analyzes your servers’ configuration, drawing on the wisdom and experience of Microsoft support staff and its countless interactions with IT professionals to automatically highlight server configuration problems and their solutions for Windows Server and SQL Server. You check for any recommendations by logging into the Advisor portal. You also have the option of email alerts and recommendations delivered directly to your inbox.

If you do need to speak with Microsoft Customer Support, you can choose to allow Microsoft Support Staff access to current and historical configuration data through Advisor to help them resolve your support calls faster.

During the Advisor beta program 6,000 customers registered for the service and Advisor sent 80,000 alerts. Customers are monitoring anything from a single server to over 120 servers within their organizations.

Advisor builds on the architecture of System Center Operations Manager agents, but you don’t have to have Operations Manager installed. This means we can easily ship support for additional servers through the management pack architecture as we bring more ‘wisdom’ into the cloud. Initially, Advisor provides support for Windows Server and SQL Server workloads, and we plan to extend support to additional server products in the near future.

System Center Advisor is a new benefit of Software Assurance for SQL Server or Windows Server, currently available in 26 countries. You can evaluate System Center Advisor now through the 60 day free trial. If your organization is already covered by Software Assurance on either SQL Server or Windows Server you can activate the full Advisor service immediately. To find out more about Software Assurance, go to the Software Assurance website.

Further information is also available on the System Center Advisor web page.

Thanks for reading!

John Allwright

System Center Product Management

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  • Congrats guys!

  • Perhaps I missed this, but i had a few questions.

    What is the difference between Advisor and SCOM 2007 R2?

    Can I have Advisor and SCOM running in the same enterprise?

    Can they monitor the same servers?

    What happens if I install the agent on my SCOM server?

    What happens if I install the agent on servers already monitored by SCOM?

    Also, are there plans for adding Windows Server 2003? I have a handful of 2003 servers that I'm unable to upgrade for some time.

  • Q: Perhaps I missed this, but i had a few questions.

    What is the difference between Advisor and SCOM 2007 R2?

    Can I have Advisor and SCOM running in the same enterprise?

    Can they monitor the same servers?

    What happens if I install the agent on my SCOM server?

    What happens if I install the agent on servers already monitored by SCOM?

    Also, are there plans for adding Windows Server 2003? I have a handful of 2003 servers that I'm unable to upgrade for some time.

    A: System Center Operations Manager is deployed on-premise and delivers near real-time monitoring of the health and performance of customers’ SQL Server and Windows Server deployments – amongst other workloads – and that provides alerts on incidents along with knowledge to rapidly mitigate and resolve any service interruption.  This is a reactive service enabling IT Pros to minimize Mean-Time-To-Recover (MTTR) by recognizing, diagnosing and rectifying issues after they have happened.

    In Contrast, System Center Advisor is an Azure cloud service (off-premise) that assesses the configuration of customers’ server deployments by scanning those workloads at periodic intervals, and proactively alerts IT Professionals of configuration-related issues that could lead to a future service interruption. Mean-Time-Between-Failures (MTBF) is therefore increased as potential issues are resolved before they cause server downtime.

    For customers already using System Center Operations Manager, System Center Advisor utilizes the already installed Operations Manager agent to transfer configuration data from the same monitored servers, minimizing impact to performance and administrative overhead.

    Advisor currently provides configuration guidance for Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2.

    John Allwright, Microsoft