Friday, March 20, 2009

Savision Live Maps

Normally I do not post about 3rd party products related to SCOM. Simply because I am running a blog and not a site with advertisements. But sometimes I do make an exception when there is a product which really has more than just an ‘added value’ for SCOM. Savision Live Maps is one of those products which brings SCOM to a higher level.

Why? Well, we all know the saying: ‘One picture says more than a thousand words.’ And that is exactly what this product does. Instead of having the SCOM Operators looking at a list of servers in a green/yellow or red state, they look at a map, AD Site, topology, dashboard or the layout of a datacenter.

Savision Live Maps visualizes the state of the monitored objects in SCOM. On top of that, one can work with nested maps, or layers.

For instance, one has a map of the Netherlands, where multiple geographical locations are being displayed. Per geographical location a datacenter is being monitored:

Whenever a problem arises with a monitored object, the location where this object resides will show up on the map:

Since it is a nested map, one can click on it and the floorplan of the datacenter located in Rotterdam will be shown with the serverrack where the problematic object is located:

When one clicks on the rackspace (4.10) on the floorplan, the rack is being displayed:

In this rack the server with the problem is being displayed. Clicking on it starts the Health Explorer, giving detailed information about the problem:

Of course, one doesn’t need to go through all these maps since on the first map (main map) a part of the screen shows the problem already:

But imagine the situation when one needs to tell the maintenance staff onsite to perform certain tasks. It is very easy to find out directly where the problematic object resides. And not just its geographical location, but right to the place in the serverrack where the monitored object resides! This is a real timesaver for environments with a diversity of locations and objects.

The software itself is straightforward in its installation and usage. As it’s software Savision believes in visualization. So ofcourse there is a good and solid online helpmanual to be found, but even better, there are instructionvideo’s as well. And these video’s are of good quality. Having these video’s watched and understood, one comes to an easy understanding of the product and is capable of making good maps on his/her own.

Free version. Let’s play!
The nicest thing is, there is a free version now to be downloaded. With this version one can create a maximum of three maps and this version is valid for a year. So it is a good opportunity to get aquinted with this software. This version can be downloaded here.

To be frankly I cannot think of any customer for whom this product doesn’t have an added value since it brings SCOM to a new level of usage. Better said, easiness of usage.

Of course there is a price-tag attached to it, but that is the case with every product. However, the pricing is reasonable and when one decides to start using it for the most important monitored objects, the investment is more than justifiable.

However there is one drawback: when one is used to it, one wants only more maps in SCOM and no more lists… :)

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