SCOM – TechEd 2014 North America (Houston)

If you were missing the “Friday Rules” series it was because I had been quite busy. Thanks to my company itnetx, which allowed me to go to TechEd North America, I was able to get the latest trends about Microsoft technologies.

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Since there is no Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) anymore, Microsoft merged the content all together from TechEd and MMS. Well, not really. There were sessions about System Center related technologies, but not as much I would have liked. I am really missing MMS but luckily there will be an alternative this September called System Center Universe Europe . System Center Universe is a community conference that is focused on systems management and virtualization topics such as cloud, datacenter and modern workplace management with Microsoft System Center, Microsoft Hyper-V and Microsoft Azure.

In this post I would like to focus just on Operations Manager related content  from TechEd NA. There were definitely highlights for me on TechEd 2014. Although there were only few sessions about System Center Operations Manager other sessions also provided interesting content. Channel 9 provides recordings of all sessions and they will be available in the next few days for download, click here for all System Center Operations Manager sessions.

  • DCIM-B228 Effective Capacity Planning of Your Infrastructure Resources with Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager Reporting
    The information you need to make the right choices about how you plan capacity for your private and public cloud infrastructure is at your fingertips in the data that you collect with Operations Manager. All you need to know is how to best utilize the Operations Manager datawarehouse, reporting, dashboarding, and Microsoft SharePoint to bring this information to the surface and then visualize it.
  • DCIM-B329 Building Highly Effective Dashboards in Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager
    This session covers the brand new innovations in the Operations Manager dashboard infrastructure that allows you to build custom dashboards for any audience.
  • DCIM-B369 Extending Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager
    This session covers how Operations Manager as a platform has been extended with System Center Advisor to provide Operational Intelligence about customers’ environments by capturing their operational/machine data into a big data store in Azure. Come see how easy it is to collect logs, explore them in real-time and visualize the results. On top of that come learn about the built-in add-ons that deliver intelligence for Capacity Planning, System Updates and Malware Protection.
  • DCIM-B381 Overview and Enhancements in Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager
    This session provides an overview of the most stable enterprise monitoring product available today and the new innovations that arrived in R2 and since. This session also features a panel discussion with members of the System Center Product Group.
  • DCIM-B415 Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager: Mastering Historical Monitoring Data
    Many monitoring metrics can be used to analyze your infrastructure. Want to know how user activities impact your LOB applications? Need to plan future capacity? Think of moving to the cloud? There is no reason to allow blind guessing where knowledgeable decision can be made. In this session, learn how to collect and analyze historical monitoring data of any kind. The discussion includes methods and demonstrations of using both standard (performance, state, events, alerts) and non-standard types of data. You’ll also discover many tricks that will help you to understand the specialties of System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager monitoring data.
  • DCIM-B419 Monitoring SQL Server with Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager
    Take a deep dive into monitoring Microsoft SQL Server with System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager, System Center 2012 R2 Advisor and protection with System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager. This session is focused on the application SQL Server and how we can keep it in tip top condition.

The big announcement was the limited public preview release of System Center Advisor.

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Yes, there is / was already System Center Advisor available for SCOM, but this is a new thingy. It will allow you to collect data from your environment about logs, capacity, assets and malware and put this data into the cloud (Microsoft Azure). A very sophisticated engine behind the scene let’s you slice and dice this date in every aspect you can imagine in a very easy an amazingly fast way. Yes there are concerns about the data in the cloud, but Microsoft will publish a paper which will explain how they secure the data. Here just an overview:

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If you want to know how to get this thing rocking read Dieter Wijckmans post on SCUG.be.

The highlight for me was to meet up with the System Center Operations Manager product team. I would like to thank the team for having this session and asking us customers about our missing parts, what the future should look like and suggestions to make our life easier. It was an excellent opportunity to meet the people, which are responsible for the “green check marks” :). One thing I could clarify and I was a bit concerned about, how does System Center Operations Manager fit into this private / public / hybrid cloud hype and what is it’s future. I got some clear statements:

  • System Center Operations Manager IS NOT DEAD! System Center Operations Manager is alive more than ever and Microsoft will invest a lot of money to further develop and improve SCOM.
  • There will be major changes around System Center Operations Manager but not within the core itself.
  • Minor issues will be improved in the upcoming UR’s.
  • On-premise scenarios are for the SCOM product team very important now and in the future.
  • The team is really working hard to improve the product and if you need a feature or a bug fixed report to http://connect.microsoft.com . They want to know what you think and want, belief me!

As you can see we will have a great future with a great product!

TechEd was also a great opportunity to meet my blog sponsors VEEAM, NiCE, Jalasoft and OpsLogix which have excellent products and great people behind the scenes. Please check their products out by clicking on the banners!

I hope this is useful and informative for you!

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