Monday, September 30, 2013

SCOM 2012 R2: Hello MMA (Microsoft Monitoring Agent), Goodbye SCOM Agent

Since SCOM 2007 came to be, SCOM used the SCOM agent in order to monitor Windows based servers. This approach remained the same up to SCOM 2012 SP1, even though the name of the related Windows service changed. None the less, the SCOM Agent remained the means for SCOM to monitor Windows based systems.

Of course, with every update the SCOM Agent got better and better. Creating a smaller footprint and becoming more intelligent as well. For me the SCOM Agent is a sophisticated piece of software.

Without a SCOM Management Group this SCOM Agent serves no purpose. This however has changed significantly with SCOM 2012 R2 which will be released on the same date as Windows Server 2012 R2, which is scheduled for the 18th of October.

For SCOM 2012 R2 the SCOM Agent is rebranded to MMA, which stands for Microsoft Monitoring Agent and is capable to operate STANDALONE!

When it operates stand alone it publishes the captured data as a Visual Studio IntelliTrace file which can be opened by Visual Studio 2013 Ultimate Release Candidate. So MMA can be downloaded as a separate tool and enabled with PowerShell.

In order to highlight all the differences the MMA has compared to the SCOM 2012 SP1 Agent (and previous versions for that matter), I have made this table. All items which are different for MMA are in red so with a single glance you can see a lot has changed:
(Click on the picture to enlarge).

For readers of this blog who want to get more information about MMA and it’s new functionalities here are some useful links:


Jonathan said...

Whatever happened to +1|-1 version support? A lot of great features packed into the MMA, but very disappointed in what seems to be no options for phased rollout.

Marnix Wolf said...

Hi Jonathan.

Can you give more details on this comment?


Jonathan said...

Based on the (very limited) reading I've done on the subject, if MMA replaces the agent, and the 2012 SP1 agent will not work with a 2012 R2 MG, then it seems to me that upgrading is a one shot deal for the entire MG (including agents). This deviates from what MSFT typically provides for an upgrade path, which is a +1 or -1 version of the agent, allowing for a phased upgrade approach.

Those with large deployments will need to more carefully plan for this particular upgrade, and then will need to execute the entire plan at once (if they don't want extended monitoring outages).

I haven't seen an official upgrade path, and admittedly haven't learned much about 2012 R2 yet, so I'll look forward to hearing more about this as we close in on RTM and when customers begin deploying.

SCREAMER said...

U have an mistake in picture, at the left bottom, there must be APM, not the ACS

Marnix Wolf said...

Hi Screamer.

Thanks! You have a keen eye. Will correct it ASAP.


Andres P said...

According to MS TN ( it is comaptible with SCOM 2012 only during upgrade or multihoming via another 2102 R2.
Or do i understand something wrong?

Anonymous said...

I think there is another issue in the picture. The Display Name of the HealthService.exe in OpsMGr 2012 SP1 should be "System Center Management", not Operations Manager Agent.

Marnix Wolf said...

Hello christianheitkamp,

I think that I got the name correct? Can you tell me what column you're looking at?

Thanks in advance.


cvillalobosm said...

One question, does this work to analyze Winform applications? All documentation I had read said and guide me to do it through an application pool through IIS.
But mine is not a web application neither a web server.