Monday, August 1, 2011

Dude, where is the multi-home option for the OM12 Agent?

First some explanations are at order here.

What is multi-homing?
Multi-homing is enabling a SCOM/OM12 Agent to report to more than one Management Group. A single SCOM/OM12 Agent can report up to four different Management Groups (MGs).

Why should any one use multi-homing?
In some situations (like enterprise environments) multi-homing is required. Suppose you’re running two different MGs. One is used by the Infra Team which is responsible for the hardware of the servers, the Virtual Infrastructure when the servers are virtualized and the installed Server Operating Systems.

Another team is responsible for all enterprise ‘applications’, like (but not limited to) SQL, Exchange, IIS, DNS, AD, UAG, Lync and the lot. In situations like these two different MGs are an excellent approach here. So one MG reports solely about the infrastructure, while the other is more targeted at the levels higher in the stack.

Two approaches to make an Agent multi-homed
In order to make an Agent multi-homed one can configure it manually on the server itself or configure it semi-automatically by ‘pushing’ the Agent from the other MG to which the SCOM Agent isn’t reporting yet. Since the Agent is already in place it won’t be installed but configured to report to another MG as well. This posting will be about how to configure the Agent manually on the server itself.

Manually multi-homing the Agent: the differences between SCOM and OM12
As we all know, there are many differences between SCOM and OM12. The way Agents are multi-homed has also been changed. And for the better :).
Manually multi-homing SCOM Agents
In SCOM one had to open the control panel, go to Add/Remove Programs (on W2K03 based servers) or Programs and Features (on W2K08 based servers), select the SCOM Agent from the list of installed software and select the option Change.

This opens the SCOM Setup Wizard of the SCOM Agent enabling one to Modify the settings of the Agent:

And finally the required screen is shown where one can add, remove or modify the MG:

Since this approach isn’t logical (one could also easily remove/repair the Agent with the same steps), the OM12 Agent has been revamped in it’s configuration for multi-homing.

Manually multi-homing OM12 Agents
The OM12 Agent has it’s own control panel applet now:

Just open the applet Operations Manager Agent and the Operations Manager Agent Properties screen is opened, containing two tabs: Management Groups and Properties.

The first tab (Management Groups) allows one to add, edit or remove a Management Group.

Hit the button Add and the screen Add a Management Group is opened. In this screen one can enter all the required information and store it:

The second tab (Properties) shows all the configuration information for that particular OM12 Agent:

As one can see, the way OM12 Agents are manually multi-homed is much more intuitive and therefore less prone to errors.

Even though manually multi-homing an Agent isn’t a routine job nor done in every MG, even this aspect is revamped AND improved in OM12. Far more simpler and foolproof.


Alex said...


is there a way that we can remove the multi-home option automatically from the managed servers?

We try a slow migration from scom 2007 to 2012 and now the agent reports to two environments. We thought about a script (group policy) to remove the registry entries, because we have over 1000 servers monitored.

Hope you read this and have a comfortable way to remove the multi-home quickly.


Best regards


Marnix Wolf said...

Hi Alex.

Read this posting from Kevin. At the end of it, it refers to the scripting options:


Donald D'souza said...

Hi Marnix

I have agents reporting to SCOM 2007 using certificates and its working fine. I have installed new scom 2012 environment in a different domain with the certificate server. In this case multi-homing will work? Is there any issue having 2 separate SCOM certificates?

Marnix Wolf said...

Hi Donald.

Thanks for asking. As far as I know there can be only one certificate. So the scenario you want to use won't work I guess.