20 August 2015 blogs Marius Sandbu 4 min read
Operations Manager has always been a great tool; the challenge with it is that it requires proper tuning. If it doesn’t receive its proper tuning, it will just generate a lot of noise. However, if properly tuned, it will become an IT-admin’s best friend. Now, one other problem with it is that it’s aimed for the IT-pro guys and not necessarily for the help desk, the CEO, the DBA admins and so on.
On the brighter side, the good thing about Operations Manager is the ecosystem around it, and the fact that it’s extensible. There are many ways we can extend the built-in monitoring capabilities with solutions like Citrix & ComTrade, and VMware & Veeam which both are developing Management Packs for Operations Manager.
Savision has a product called Live Maps , which in essence allows us to map its components to our business services and gives all of our different groups like CEO, DBA admins and help desk a clear view of what is going on with our infrastructure; for instance, if we have a business critical service which all of our end-users are using. The help-desk guys want a clear view if the service is available and working or not. They don’t want to be bothered with simple SQL error messages, or if a non-critical service has stopped on a specific server, they just want the clear overview, which makes it simple for them to see if a system is working or not.
Many might have already done a good job defining Distributed applications in Operations Manager but still do not get the clear overview. Within Live Maps , we have the possibility to define which are end-user based services (what the users experience when they try to login), what the IT-admins want to know about (servers, that are experiencing issues), and we also have the DBAs (which want to know if databases are not behaving well).
After installing Live Maps, we have the authoring console which allow us to create a new service to import an existing Distributed Application.
Image 1 – Authoring Console.
In my case, I already have a good predefined Distributed Application, containing all my infrastructure hosts (VMware) and Citrix environment, and some network devices.
Image 2 – Import Distributed Applications.|
I can choose my existing Distributed Application and then choose Import (marking the Auto Update feature will allow Savision to get updates from the DA within Operations Manager).
After it is imported, we need to define which are end-user based monitoring components and infrastructure components, etc. By default, host servers are populated into the infrastructure pane and SQL; IIS, for instance, is populated into the application monitoring pane.
When I go back to the console, I have some new views under the monitoring pane, such as all services dashboard. Which in my case, will list up three different Savision services that are based upon my DA.
Depending on the DA setup, it will allow me to easily see if there are any end-user based issues (issues that the help-desk people will want to know about). I can click on any service to get more detailed information about what issues are, and if they are indeed affecting the overall service.
It then groups all the different alerts that are critical for this service, depending on the role.
Image 4 – Service Map.
If I want to, I can also scope the views so that Helpdesk only sees the end-user-based part of the dashboard, as this is the only thing relevant to the help desk team in order to track if users cannot access their services. This is a quick introduction to some of the capabilities with Savision Live Maps, but you can do so much more with it. Another great thing about Live Maps is that it comes with unlimited HTML5 dashboards, so you can even get information on any mobile device, whether you are on your desk or on the go.