@Squared_up brings new life to #SCOM


I know, I’m getting old. I first started implementing Operations Manager back in year 2001 when it was called Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM), and before that I used NetIQ AppManager and what was NetIQ/MissionCritical OM. I still strongly believe Operations Manager is a great monitoring platform that gets where other platforms don’t. Every new customer we won constantly gives the same feedback: the consoles sucks, it’s slow, it’s hard to develop new monitoring rules, but the monitoring depth and breadth is unparalleled.
In a few weeks System Center Operations Manager 2016 will be RTMed and when coupled with the log analysis capabilities of OMS Log Analytics, it will add even more value. Alas the consoles still sucks. The design is 10 years old, the full console, even if improved in 2016, just lacks the speed, ease of customization and flexibility it should have. Indeed in OpsMgr 2016 there will be a new html5 web console, this is a last minute addition I haven’t had the time to try yet, but by the way it mimics the full console, the fact that it just appeared after TP5, I’m expecting nothing more than an average experience. Don’t get me wrong this is a long overdue and truly welcome addition.
These console faults put the platform at risk of being less compelling especially in competitive deals.
The good news is today we can have both the OpsMgr depth and breadth and a great user experience with:

  • easy application mapping and monitoring
  • dashboards and perspective views ready to use
  • an easy way to create your own dashboards and perspectives
  • full access on every device

it’s no surprise this solution is from SquaredUp. It’s at least 3 years that our OpsMgr proposition is always paired with SquaredUp, so why blogging today? Because yesterday (Sep 21st, 2016) SquaredUp released a new version (3.0) of their solution that I strongly believe will give new life to OpsMgr. Before going any further: no I don’t own any Squaredup stock or personal interest and I’m not being paid for this post.

SquaredUp 3.0

There are several breakthrough in this major release the most important of them is for sure VADA (Visual Application Discovery and Analysis). What is it? Take a look:

sqv3-vadadisco

And, tada here is your at a glance monitor

sqv3-vadamon

VADA lets you cut monitoring development time for vertical applications. It creates for you an OpsMgr Distributed Application diagram based on live data collected from your systems and adds user perspectives basic monitors. Really in matter of minutes you can map your top applications and from there start building a complete new user experience. It’s just a matter of typing in a seed server and let SquaredUp find all the dependencies.

Another cool topic that will cut in half the time to triage an alert is the concept of perspective, basically every type (OpsMgr class) of resource can have its own custom view, so if you get an alert from a domain controller and drill down to the detail you can have a point in time dashboard with all the data you need to better understand what’s going on. See this example for IIS:

sqv3iis

you can even build exception perspectives for specific artifacts (OpsMgr instances). If only the alert view will evolve to include Alert Tasks (not class tasks) and Alert search capabilities SquaredUp 3 would completely substitute the standard Operations Console for our support people.

There’s no upgrade path from the old version, but you can port all your dashboards to the new format, they moved from xml to json, with this tool

This new SquaredUp release is really going to give new life to OpsMgr and now it is more true than ever that “…It is a must-have for every Operations Manager deployment”. Git is a try, downloading the trial from the SquaredUp web site, it installs in a few minutes.

-Daniele
This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights

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