When talking about monitoring and management IT people tend to focus on infrastructure components like servers, network devices etc. This is indeed important, but even more interesting is to have an eye on your applications and services that are consumed by internal or external consumers. When services are not available your consumers will not be able to use them which can have a drawback on the company’s reputation and you can lose money. With System Center 2012 you can manage the complete life cycle of a service, from deployment to monitoring and management until decommissioning. In this blog post I will give you a high level overview how this could look like by using Microsoft System Center 2012 technologies.
Step 1 – Deploy a Service
The first step is to deploy a new Service. I’m using SCVMM12 for this process as it allows to deploy new multi-tier services based on service templates. The cool thing is that you can also automatically deploy the SQL Server installation, an IIS configuration or even an application (by using Server App-V). For this example I defined a simple 2-tier service template with 1 single server per tier.
As soon as the template is ready, a new service can be deployed. SCVMM 2012 will automatically provision the needed virtual machines and deploy the complete service.
Step 2 – Monitor a Service
Now that the service is deployed it would make sense to monitor it in SCOM. Guess what? This is done automatically when you have configured the SCVMM-to-SCOM-Integration. Configuring the connection between the product is straightforward and you only need to deploy the SCVMM Management Packs to your SCOM infrastructure before.
After configuring the connector you will see lots of details about your virtualization infrastructure. You can also use PRO (performance and resource optimization) to start actions in SCVMM12 based on captured data. Coming back to our deployed service another cool thing happens: our service will automatically be visible in SCOM12 as a Distributed Application! I repeat: “automatically”, so there’s no need to design it in the DA Designer.
Because SCOM12 captures data for this DA, you can also use availability reports or service level tracking features to generate reports or dashboards for your consumers or application owners.
Step 3 – Manage a Service
Now as you have our service monitored by SCOM12 you also want to manage it. This is done in Service Manager. I bet you already know it: the service is of course automatically synchronized to the Service Manager CMDB! Again, the only thing you need to do is a one-time-configuration of the SCSM12-to-SCOM12-integration. The initial connector is configured in SCSM12, but an additional configuration for the connector subscription must be done in SCOM12.
Now our service will be synched to the CMDB. There’s no need to import additional Management Packs into the SCSM12 CMDB after the integration has been configured. As soon as the service is synchronized, additional information like service owner, service consumers or service classification can be added.
All the components of the service are also visible in the components view. From here you have a good overview of related work items (e.g. Incidents, Change Requests) that affect the service or any of it’s components.
Step 4 – Decommission a Service
When a Service reached it’s end it is decommissioned. This is the easiest part as the service will be deleted in SCVMM12 and this modification will be synchronized through SCOM12 to SCSM12.
System Center 2012 can assist companies managing their services very effectively by using a completely integrated approach that allows rich data exchange between the different products. As a result the service quality can be raised to the next level.