Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Why SMS-enabled devices must be attached to the RMS, explained for managers...

On many occasions customers ask me about notifications. For instance, why - when using sms - they must attach a SMS-enabled device (like a mobile telephone) to the RMS and not just any other Management Server.

Since this question pops up quite often I have decided to write a posting about it, eventhough there are many good (technical) postings already about it.

So I will stay away from the technical details and try to give a more down to earth explanation (more for IT managers..) instead of a deep dive in the techniques behind it. For the techies who want to know 'just' that, go here. It is a good startingpoint for a technical deep dive into the world of notifications.

RMS & notifications
For starters, a RMS is not just a Management Server. Without it, the underlying SCOM Management Group wouldn't exist. Therefore the RMS runs some special services. (These services are present on any other Management Server but disabled by default.)

One of these special services is the SDK Service. This service plays an important role, also in handling notifications. Whenever an Alert is raised, it is showed in the console. When a SCOM administrator makes a subscription he/she doesn't do anything more then creating a filter which 'tells' SCOM when certain Alerts have to be put into a message and send off to SMS, E-mail or IM.

This very same subscription checks the SDK service to see whether any new raised alerts matches the applied filters. When it does, the Alert is send off to SMS, E-mail or IM (as specified in the subscription).

This also explains why a SMS-enabled device must be attached to a RMS, since the RMS is the only Management Server in a Management Group with the SDK Service in a running state.

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