OMS – Intelligence Packs Cheat Sheet

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Operations Management Suite (OMS) is one of the (probably) hottest technologies Microsoft is currently working on. If you want to bet on a horse, which will win the crazy technology race now and in the future, OMS will be a save choice. Because of that I highly recommend start using and learning OMS today. There are plenty of sources on the internet to get you started.

OMS uses solutions / Intelligence Packs to add functionality, logic, data and visualization to OMS. As soon you add a solution to OMS, files are downloaded (but not in all cases) to your server where the Microsoft Monitoring Agent is installed. These files look like SCOM management packs and the internal structure is also similar. In a lot of cases, these management packs contain collection rules which are executed at a certain interval. For OMS you can choose two different ways , either you just use the Microsoft Monitoring Agent (MMA) in a “agent only” scenario or you are using the Microsoft Monitoring Agent in conjunction with SCOM. In both situation you will be able to collect data, but not in both situation you will be able to use all solutions, because some solution(s) require a SCOM management group. Another interesting finding is, that not all data gathering processes use the same “methods”. E.g. some solutions just execute PowerShell to gather event and log entries, which will be sent to OMS other solutions use a lot of bundled DLL files to deliver sophisticated data collection. I was interested in getting a kind of an overview, which solution uses what “technology” to collect the information from your systems and what targets are these collection rules using. I did basic investigations, like first activating a solution in the OMS portal and then I checked out what management pack got downloaded to SCOM. After figuring this part out, I checked the management pack itself to see what rules and assemblies it contains etc.

Because every management pack behaves different, I tried to put the most important information into a cheat sheet. I know the solutions will change rapidly and new solutions will come out. But I think for having a first overview / impression, it will help in certain meetings or troubleshooting scenarios.

You will find some deeper information like the following:

  • All rules involved in the data collection process
  • The target class the rules are using
  • What resources (DLL, execpkg) files are used?
  • How frequently the data gets collected (interval)?
  • Are there RunAs profiles involved?
  • What technologies are supported?
  • Agent requirements, MMA only or MMA + SCOM?
  • The solution title is a hyperlink to TechNet article
  • The intelligence pack title is a hyperlink to SystemCenterCore.com which will show all IP / MP details

Let me know if you have any comments, updates or ideas. I will try to frequently update this sheet. You can download the PDF from TechNet here.

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