Tuesday, November 16, 2010

SCOM vNext – Part I – The Next Generation of SCOM

Postings in the same series:
Part  II  – Holistic View of Application Health
Part III  – Network Monitoring

Part  IVTopology Simplification, Pooling and Timeline

Wow! This is something special. The Next Generation of SCOM will be hugely different compared to the current version, aka SCOM R2. In a series of blog postings I will write about it. The first posting in this series will be all about the background about how a new version of SCOM R2 comes to be and what drives Microsoft in order to develop such a new version. But before I continue I want you to know this:

Being a SCOM MVP is a real privilege, something which I do not take lightly. I have been told many things, all strictly under NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement). And I will not violate that in any kind of way. So this series of postings will not reveal anything new which hasn’t been shared by Microsoft with the public during events like Tech-Ed Berlin 2010. When I am in doubt I will first double check my posting with Microsoft before publishing it.

Another three things you should know (and enjoy as well!) are these:

First of all, the content of this posting is based on a session presented at Tech-Ed Berlin 2010: ‘MGT205: Introducing the Next Generation of System Center Operations Manager’.

As a non-Tech-Ed attendee one can view all video recordings of the Breakout Sessions presented at Tech-Ed Berlin 2010. And not just that! Also the slide decks are available. ALL FOR FREE! Buy yourself some German beers, have a Curry Wurst, start a recorded session and experience Tech-Ed Berlin 2010 as close as you can get!

For a general overview of all available sessions, go here. For the video recording of this particular session, go here.

Thirdly, know this:
Same will be for this series of postings. Which is totally understandable since OpsMgr vNext is work in progress. Depending on the input Microsoft gets from its customer base (among other things), some features will added and others will be skipped.

OK, that’s out of my system. Lets go back to the topic at hand. First of all, what name shall I use for the successor of SCOM R2? During Tech-Ed I heard Microsoft using different names for it, like:

  1. OpsMgr vNext;
  2. OpsMgr 10;
  3. OpsMgr 2012.

Since I personally think the name OpsMgr vNext has a nice ring to it, I will use this name when I refer to the next version of SCOM R2.

OK, having said this, lets start!

First of all, what drives Microsoft in order to build a new version of SCOM R2? It is not that they want to keep their employers busy, so lets start a new build. Key for a new version is input from the field, the organizations using SCOM R2 like the end-users. Also from the SCOM Community much input is delivered. Based on how many times a certain topic is mentioned, raised or rated, it will end up higher on the list of items to be added or changed in the next version of product.

Don’t think like ‘Duh! I live in Europe/Australia/Russia/Japan/China and Microsoft, where SCOM is being developed, build and tested in Redmond, US. So how do I ever get through?’. Perhaps in the old days this was viable but today it isn’t. For many products Microsoft has started a special website, the Connect Website.

Any kind of feedback or bug report which is filed there, will be sent to the teams of developers, responsible for the product. And for SCOM there is just such a website:

You only need a Windows Live ID (who hasn’t? When you use Windows Live Messenger you have such an ID). Go here, log on and let Microsoft know what you think about the product. You can also vote on feedback which is already submitted by others. And believe me when I tell you that Microsoft really cares and take feedback submitted on this website SERIOUSLY.

On top of it all, as time moves forward, so does the IT industry. So new features are required by the same industry. A good and shiny example here is the capability for monitoring Windows Azure, added with the deployment of CU#3 for SCOM R2. Of course, an additional MP is required but without CU#3 it won’t work.

So SCOM vNext will add many new features as well, covering requirements which did not exist when SCOM 2007 went RTM.

What it all comes down to is that Microsoft is putting much time, effort and energy in order to create a new version of SCOM R2 which closes the gap between what the product delivers and the requirements of the IT industry. Of course it isn’t possible to create a product which does it ALL. As time, budgets (which are huge, believe me) and resources allow, OpsMgr vNext will be ready for the future!

Next posting in this series will be about some new features of OpsMgr vNext, in conjunction with some major improvements. So stay tuned!

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