MOM—Everything Windows Including the Kitchen Sink
Committed to a true Microsoft monitoring solution? Microsoft Operations Manager 2000 may be for you.
If you’re committed to a true Microsoft solution for monitoring your
network and its associated services, Microsoft Operations Manager 2000
(MOM) is the product our friends in Redmond have for you. Unlike the products
in the roundup, MOM relies upon agents on each monitored computer for
full functionality. Furthermore, MOM is a Microsoft-centric product, which
means that if you need to monitor Lotus Notes or Oracle databases, the
core MOM package isn’t going to do it. Fortunately, NetIQ (which originally
developed what has evolved into MOM) provides Extended Management Packs
(XMPS) that extend MOM to Unix, Linux and so on, as well as allow it to
interact with other enterprise-management solutions like Tivoli or HP
OpenView. In fact, even if you want to monitor some Microsoft products,
like Exchange, you need to get the optional Application Management Pack
Installing MOM is no small feat. Because of its complexity and ability
to do much more than most, if not all, of the products reviewed in this
roundup, you need to ensure that you have the prerequisites (and one or
more powerful servers). These include SQL Server 2000, Microsoft Office,
and a fairly robust network architecture, as MOM is quite chatty.
After installing SQL Server 2000 and ensuring that your Windows 2000
Server computer has the requisite service packs and patches (you can test
this by running a utility that ships with MOM), you’re ready to install.
The default installation allows you to install all components on a single
computer; but Microsoft doesn’t recommend this in all but the smallest
environments. If you want to have a more robust configuration, you really
need to follow the directions to the letter. Thankfully, the documentation
is quite good and the updated Knowledge Base articles (296565,
“Microsoft Operations Manager 2000 Pre-Installation Checklist”; 296566,
“Microsoft Operations Manager 2000 Installation Checklist”; and 296569,
“Microsoft Operations Manager 2000 Post-Installation Checklist”) fill
in some of the blanks.
|Administration of MOM and reviewing alerts and events
can be done using a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in. (Click
image to view larger version.)
Once MOM is installed, install the agents on the computers you want to
manage by configuring the properties of one or more Agent Managers. You
then approve the installation of agents on each selected node. Agents
are installed automatically, provided you configure appropriate user permissions
for the MOM service accounts (specified during the install). Once agents
are installed, MOM can be used to manage computers and services, set performance
manager thresholds and so on. You can configure scripts to run based upon
a monitored event, add monitored events and/or specify conditions for
the event. In fact, MOM is so versatile that you may want to get some
assistance to make sure you properly configure it for your environment.
Administration of MOM and reviewing alerts and events can be done using
a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in you can install on any Windows
2000 computer on your network or by visiting the Web page setup during
install. The Web page can reside on any computer running IIS and doesn’t
need to be on the same computer as the MOM service. The functionality
of the Web-based interface and the MMC is identical. You can also run
reports, but Microsoft Access needs to be running on the reporting computer.
MOM does its job quite well, albeit with a lot of overhead when compared
to the other products reviewed. It also lets you set customizable thresholds
for performance alerts or monitor events for supported applications. It
can notify you via e-mail (MAPI, of course) of any condition you configure
on managed nodes and services. The MMC console and Web-based interface
also let you track the status of a problem—from being notified, to assigning
it to someone, to resolution.
MOM is like your own mom—it watches over you and your resources and then
fixes problems when they arise (or at least tells you about them). And,
like your dear mother, it requires plenty of TLC (and resources) to keep
Microsoft Operations Manager 2000, $349 for the Base Processor
License $349 for the Application Management Pack Processor License; Microsoft
Corp. (800) 426-9400, www.microsoft.com.
Damir Bersinic, MCSE, MCDBA, MCSA, MCT, is an independent consultant, trainer and author.