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SCOM 2016

With the release of SCOM (System Center Operations Manager) 2016 Microsoft released a new version of SCOM. The look and feel of SCOM is almost the same as the 2012 version. Of course Microsoft add a couple of new features which are very useful. Microsoft has listened to the feature requests of the SCOM Community. I will describe the new features.

New features SCOM 2016

Management pack updates and recommendations

SCOM Management packs can be obtained from the Microsoft website, or other third party websites which has developed their own Management packs for custom applications. In SCOM 2016 you be able to view the current status of the management pack. When a management pack is older than the one in the Microsoft catalog the status will be changed to “update available”. The new tab is placed in the management packs folder under the Administration tab.
When you look into the management packs folder it have some new buttons available, with this new buttons you can find some more information, download page, install guides or other recommendations.

Management pack tuning and alert data management

In SCOM 2012 it was a hard job to tune the alerts, rules and discoveries when there was something wrong. You must report these with the reporting feature and change them by hand.
SCOM 2016 facilitate alert tuning by default. This enabled you to avoid the flooding of non-essentials repeated alerts and give you the focus back. In the management pack tab there is a new window called “Tune Management packs”. With the Identify button you can set the time range to analyze the data, and set the minimum number of alerts for the management packs you want to display. In this view you see the alert count, priority, source and name. Alerts can be tuned for all objects of the target class, group, or a specific object of a class or for all objects of another class. Direct from the tune alerts tab.

Improvement of the Unix, Linux monitoring

SCOM 2016 make use of a new “Management Infrastructure MI” API. With this API you can monitor much more Linux agents. Supported configuration of 1000 Unix agents to one SCOM 2016 management server. The use of the new API is not enabled by default; to enable this you must create a new registry key in:

Name: UseMIAPI
Location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft Operations Manager\3.0\Setup

Extensible network monitoring

SCOM 2016 comes with a new tool for creating custom management packs for network device monitoring. With the “NetMonMpGenerator.exe” tool located in the install directory on your SCOM management server you be able to create Management packs from .XML files with the well-known OIDs in it. This will spare you a lot of time.

Scheduled maintenance mode

With SCOM 2016 it is possible to schedule maintenance mode for specific objects. You can suspend the monitoring for a specific date / time. This is possible in the Maintenance mode scheduler wizard. Another nice feature is the client side maintenance mode enabler. This enables you to set the SCOM client in maintenance mode from the client side. So you don’t have to login to operations console for this action. This can be done with the following PowerShell command: Start-SCOMAgentMaintenanceMode cmdlet.

Monitor Nano server and workloads

SCOM 2016 has included Nano server support. The following features are available for Nano server:

  • Discover and deploy Nano server monitoring agents. Also available with PowerShell.
  • Monitor Nano server IIS and DNS roles.
  • ACS Audit event collection.
  • Support for Active Directory Integration.

Faster web console

SCOM 2016 has removed the Silverlight dependency for accessing the Web Console. Silverlight is only needed for opening Dashboard views, the rest is programmed in HTML which can be accessed from multiple browsers (chrome, firefox etc.)

Improved console performance

The SCOM 2016 console is way faster than the SCOM 2012 console. The load time of diagram and state views is reduced.

Partner program in administration console
There is a new tab available for third party Tools for creating management packs or downloading third party management packs.

New features SCOM 2016 Unix/Linux monitoring

  • New management packs for Apache HTTP server, MySQL and MariaDB.
  • New Linux monitoring agents which include OMI (Open management Infrastructure)
  • Multi-threaded agent which allows parallel execution.
  • Templates for Two-state, Three-state monitors, Agent tasks, Performance rules and Alert rules. You can now use shell, perl, phython, ruby or any other scripting language.
  • Default credentials for discover Unix and linux computers.
  • Filter logical disks or file systems by file name or type. Discovery rule overrides can now exclude file systems that you don’t want to monitor.

 

Run SCOM Discovery task manually

Sometimes it takes up to 24 hours to discover a new component or new installed role. If there is no time to wait 24 hours to complete this discovery you can do this manually.
There is a nice task in the SCOM console to get this discovery started.

First search the Discovery ID and Instance ID. This can be done with some PowerShell one-liners:

Then search the “Trigger On Demand Discovery” button in your SCOM Console.
Is placed under the folder -> Operations Manager -> Agent Details -> Agent Health State -> Select Object -> Task plane (scroll down) -> Trigger on demand discovery

Then Override the task parameters with your id found in the steps above:
Override Task Parameters SCOM