June 05, 2017
This OMS feature blog sadly signals the end of our v3.1 blog series (boo!), but as if by magic, a new series for v3.2 will soon be on the agenda (yay!!). It's almost like we plan these things...
Before we crack on and update you on our enhanced OMS functionality, we've provided a list of previous blogs in this series below;
When it comes to Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS), and specifically to the Log Analytics service within OMS, the message we hear from our customers is loud and clear; they’re excited about the potential of the service but struggling to show their business how they’re going to derive value from collecting yet more data and are conscious they’re not going to be able to get their users to adopt yet another portal or learn the OMS query syntax. The forthcoming switch of the underlying Log Analytics platform to ‘Kusto’ (as revealed at MMS recently by Brian Wren and Cameron Fuller) promises to significantly enhance the power and capabilities of the service, but the question of turning that power into a meaningful solution still remains.
Well, we believe the OMS Log Analytics can add tremendous value, but that the value of the data isn’t simply in collecting it, storing it and being able to rapidly search through it (impressive though that all is), it’s only in users actually consuming the data. For that, we believe the data needs to be seamlessly accessible through the tools they already use and, most importantly, married with the structured context of the specific items they’re interested in (for example, servers, applications or alerts), not just a vast sea of data.
In Version 3.0, our OMS Tile allowed you to integrate your SCOM & OMS data at a Dashboard level and we’ve taken that a step further in v3.1, allowing you to integrate OMS data with SCOM data (and even with data from tools like Service Manager, ServiceNow and many more) at a Perspective level, meaning that data from all these disparate tools can be unified, contextualised and accessed via a single-pane-of-glass User Interface.
To enable this, in v3.1 we’ve expanded the capabilities of the OMS Tile to support parameterised queries, meaning that instead of the OMS query being static, it can now be dynamic, meaning you can automatically include information from the Perspective context directly within the query that’s passed to OMS.
This means that instead of pulling information for, let’s say, all software updates against a pre-defined set of servers, you can create a Perspective that shows you the recent software updates on just the server that you’re looking at.
However, where this gets really powerful is when we do the same for Distributed Applications, meaning that if we’re troubleshooting application performance issues, we can see not only the health of the components making up our application, but also immediately see if there have been any recent software updates against any of the servers that comprise the application, as well as who has recently logged onto those servers. Because application issues and downtime are almost always the results of a change, rather than of the failure of a simple infrastructure component, marrying this data together means you can massively reduce your meantime-to-resolution.
The result is that, by unifying data from SCOM & OMS into a single pane of glass and by providing application context, we can immediately find the root cause of the application issues we’re experiencing. What’s more, if we’ve also integrated data from our ITSM tool (see the Service Manager and ServiceNow examples from our earlier blog) then we can immediately know whether this was a planned update, who to contact about it and, by having visibility of Service Desk tickets, whether our users are impacted.
The short video below shows how powerful tying together all this data can be; within a couple of clicks and just a few seconds we can we can go from an alert --> to seeing the overall availability of the affected application --> to a comprehensive topology view showing the health and performance across the application stack --> to seeing recent Changes and Log-Ons against the application --> and then lastly to seeing the Open Incidents against the application and who the Owner is (with, in the is example, that data coming from Service Manager but could just as easily be, say, ServiceNow).
The beauty of this type of integration is just how lightweight it is; there’s no heavyweight data synchronisation or retention, you just pull the data you need, on-demand, so you can put the right data in front of the right users at the right time.
To get a better idea of how you can use the power of parameterised queries with the OMS tile (and also SQL and WebAPI tiles), you can skip straight to the relevant part of the recording of our v3.1 Release Webinar.
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