12 February 2015 blogs Daniel Örneling 6 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:
- Service Discovery
- Visualizing performance data in the service view
- Dynamically updating services
In my next blogpost, I will go through more of the recently added features to Live Maps.
How to set it up
The procedure of discovering these services is really easy but remember: you must be monitoring the AD inside SCOM in order for Live Maps to discover the components of the service. After having imported all necessary Management Packs for Active Directory and SCOM, and having discovered all of them, we jump right into the “Savision Live Maps Authoring Console” which is the place where all of the magic happens. Here you create your services, views or whichever part you feel like at the moment. The first step after having opened the console is using the new button “Discover Service” as seen below.
Here, you can either import a distributed application that you created earlier inside SCOM and that you want to bring to the new one, or select “Savision Live Maps Service Active Directory”. The next thing is that Live Maps will check SCOM and make sure all dependent management packs are in place. When that has cleared, we’re good to go.
As we move on in the process, we will get a license check showing us how many of our licenses will be used for the service after we are finished. This will give us a good overview of how many licenses we are using and when it´s time to purchase some more.
The last part is to just watch the Summary and get a look at what will be created in your environment. After clicking finish, it will take a couple of minutes to create the service. After that, you will be able to see it on your service map inside SCOM.
After all the components have been discovered, we can fire up our service map. There we will see the new service, out-of-the-box ”Active Directory” discovered without us doing anything else than clicking OK a few times and then Finish.
After clicking on the service and then checking out the Application Components, you will be presented with this view, which you can always present at a screen next to the service map using the Live Maps Web Console. This way, your users and/or the IT department will have a clear view over the health of the environment.
Another great new feature is the ability to show performance data inside your services. This allows you to display the performance of the Infrastructure components like used memory etc. In this case I´ve created a service desk view and also included performance of the database server. As you can see, this can display historical data ranging from 1 Day up to 1 Year. This provides a really good view of the performance of the server or database. This is a better view than what SCOM itself would deliver because of the retention times. Instead of generating a report for the server memory usage for the last year, here we can visualize it in the service by having Live Maps look into the data warehouse.
Automatically discovering .Net applications
One of the coming features is the ability to automatically discover .Net applications in the environment. This is very useful when running several applications which you want to monitor as a service. Right now, application discovery is limited to Internet Information Services web applications but in a later release support will be added for other web servers. The process of discovering the applications requires the importing of two management packs into SCOM. This process won’t be needed in the future as this will be imported as a part of the installation process in a coming release.
Once imported, the management packs will be processed by SCOM and several applications will be found. This might take a while so go grab a cup of coffee (or two) and get back to watch Live Maps work its magic. After a while, the applications will show up in SCOM as distributed applications and of course, these can then be imported as a service and shown on your service map. This is just another great way to display the availability of your services to the organization.
You have now seen some of the features that came with the latest version of Live Maps which can all make life a lot easier when administrating services and distributed applications. As of right now, I went through three of the services that are available for discovery but the newest release in January 2015 featured support for products like out-of-box services Lync and Dependent Services. In future releases, there will be support for BizTalk, Office 365 and previous versions of Exchange and SharePoint.
Don’t miss next week’s blog posts: Make Unmanageable IT Environments Manageable Using ITOA. How do you avoid your IT experts from being hunched over their laptop peering at applications for hours? Find out how to get to the root cause of the problem by using ITOA solutions.
About Daniel Orneling
Daniel Örneling is a specialist consultant working for Approved Consulting. He focuses on SCOM, OMS and those parts of Azure that come along with it. Follow his blog if you want to learn more about his tips and fixes for System Center Operations Manager, Operations Management Suite and much more.