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Microsoft Updating System Center Operations Manager 2012

Microsoft today shared some of the improvements being made to System Center Operations Manager 2012.

The details were announced at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, which is happening this week in Los Angeles. They were also disclosed in a telephone brief with reporters last week.

Operations Manager 2012 is designed to enable infrastructure monitoring and ensure the availability of critical applications. In addition, the solution aims to provide a comprehensive view of IT root resources across both private and public clouds. Microsoft earlier described Operations Manager 2012 back in March as part of its System Center 2012 debut. However, most of those 2012 products will be expected to appear on the market in the latter half of this year.

One enhancement to come with the new product will be the ability to leverage commodity hardware to reduce the overall cost of ownership for organizations. The previous Operations Manager 2007 R2 solution required high-end hardware, plus clustering was needed to ensure high availability, explained Daniel Savage, a senior program manager for System Center Operations Manager 2012.

Microsoft removed the root management server in Operations Manager 2012 and introduced pooled management servers. Now, when a management server gets lost, the system will go into failover mode.

"What that's allowed us to do is really address out-of-the-box high availability and the ability to use commodity hardware," Savage said, "so, simplifying that cost and making it easier to actually perform the functions we need."

With the pooled management server capability in Operations Manager 2012, users can specify a set of servers to run as pools in order to monitor network devices. IT pros can specify either explicit discovery, which will produce a list of servers, or they can use the recursive discovery mode. In addition, users can specify when the discovery process will run.

Microsoft introduced Unix and Linux management in Operations Manager 2007 R2. However, with Operations Manager 2012, Microsoft has added network monitoring capabilities for those environments. Microsoft integrated technology acquired from EMC to improve the product's network monitoring capabilities, Savage said.

Microsoft also improved network monitoring in Operations Manager 2012 through a new dashboard. The "network summary dashboard" allows IT pros to better focus on problems, Savage said, and they can drill to see the details. It shows connected computers and the availability of devices, as well as key performance indicators. IT pros can send the network summary dashboard to others for review.

On the applications side, Operations Manager 2012 provides monitoring diagnostics for .NET and Java EE. Microsoft has fully integrated its AVIcode acquisition, which helps pinpoint flaws in applications built on those platforms.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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