5 March 2015 blogs Guest Blogger 7 min read
If you’ve been around for a while, you might have seen my previous blog post about why you should think in terms of SLA and how you can deliver this value to your organization. Now the time has come for me to dive deeper into some of the news revealed at TechEd Barcelona that I mentioned in my last post. First, I am going to look into the ability to automatically discover out-of-the-box-services. Three of the services that are supported with Live Maps right now are Active Directory, Exchange 2013 and Sharepoint 2013. By using this feature you don’t have to create these services yourself, as Live Maps will do this for you based on dynamic rules looking for certain computers and services. The service I will show here is Active Directory, as this is the most often setup service out of the three.
Below, I will go through how to use three of the new features in the latest release:
- Active Directory
- Exchange Server 2013
- Sharepoint 2013
- Lync 2013
This feature is really helpful as it helps us to keep track of what components are included in the service. We don’t need to worry about missing out on some parts (as long as they are being monitored by SCOM of course) when building the service. What I’m going to show below is how easy it is to discover Lync 2013 by just letting Live Maps discover it for us.
When you’re inside the “Live Maps Authoring Console”, click Discover Service to fire up the whole Discovery process which lets us monitor our services.
When clicking “Discover Service” for the first time after the installation, you will see all the services listed above. Since I have already discovered “Active Directory”, this one is not included in the list below. If you’ve deleted the service and want to rebuild it, make sure you delete the Management Packs from within SCOM containing the service and you will then be able to discover it again. Pick the service of your choice, in this case Lync 2013.
The next step will verify that you’re actually monitoring Lync by checking the Management Pack imported into SCOM. If you haven’t imported the Lync management packs, you will receive an error on this step and you won’t be able to go through with the discovery.
Once the check goes through and it’s verified that Lync 2013 is being monitored, you will be presented with the screen below. In this case, I have used 3 Services and 23 of my views prior to this discovery. Once the Lync service is created, I will have used 4 services and 38 out of my 100 available views. This way it’s easy to keep track on how many views we’ve got left before hitting the limit.
Below is a picture of how the Lync service is built up and what parts you can see. Once again, this is automatic and Live Maps discovers the component without you needing to custom create anything at all. The only thing you (perhaps) need to adjust is the rights for the services, deciding who should have access to the different parts of the service.
This Lync Service is the newest one and came out in the beginning of January. As I mentioned in my last post, there are more services coming in the future, such as Office 365, for example. So stay tuned for more interesting new features to be added to Live Maps.
When building your services using Live Maps from scratch or letting Live Maps discover them for you as above, you’ll get all the information you need about that service. But what about those underlying services we need to make sure that the service will keep functioning? Another new feature is the “Dependent Services”. Using this feature we’re able to put it all together by telling Live Maps which services depend on each other. As I will show in my example below, I have created a service called “System Center Operations Manager”, a service that is very much depending on Active Directory. Instead of having to extend every service with the AD and DNS components, it’s now possible to just point out the service as a supplier. Have a look below for how it’s done.
Launch the “Live Maps Authoring Console” and open your service (right-click and Open).
As you can see below, a new tab is visible. “Related Services“, is something I personally really like since it gives me the opportunity to get a wider look at my service and I will always know about the bigger picture.
Click “Related Services” and click Add to open the window seen below. In this window, you will see all of your services and you can just choose the ones you want to add as Supplier Services. When you’re done with adding your services, clickSave and then go back to the service map in the web console or the Operations Console. Be aware that it may take some time for the changes to show up in Operations Manager so don’t panic if you don’t see the changes right away.
In this picture there’s a new tab that we haven’t seen before. Besides from the End User, Application and Infrastructure components there is also the new Related Services tab.
Click your service to go further down in the hierarchy and you will see the below output. In the pane where we can see Alerts, Service Levels and Service Information we can now also see what services SCOM (in this case) rely on. Since we’re into the SCOM service right now, Active Directory shows up as a Supplier Service. This means that if the Active Directory service would fail, this would also affect SCOM.
When looking into the Active Directory service instead we can now see System Center Operations Manager showing up as a Consumer Service. This gives us the exact information we need to check what services depend on each other. In this case, it would be a bad idea to stop the domain controllers since that would affect SCOM (and a lot of other services).
In this post, I’ve shown you just some of what you can achieve with these features, and, of course, when using Live Maps together with System Center Operations Manager. The Dependent Services feature really makes life easier when you don’t have to include AD and DNS components in every service we build. This, together with the fact that if the AD should go down, we will be informed that almost all of our services are degraded or out of order. Think about it, what would the result be if your AD went down? Once you’ve set up the monitoring in SCOM, Service Discovery is done in just a matter of minutes when using Live Maps. I’m really looking forward to seeing what will come out from Savision this year in their next release of Live Maps. So far, I really like the Service Discovery since it gives us such a great overview of our environment.