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SCOM 2022: the most exciting updates

Shawn Williams

Technical Evangelist, SquaredUp

Great news for the SCOM community – SCOM 2022 is here!

SCOM isn’t going anywhere and it’s only getting better. We saw this proven in the Big SCOM Survey Results 2021 where more than half of respondents said they were going to increase their SCOM deployment to monitor more of their existing and new infrastructure.

SCOM continues to deliver excellent data center management and it’s great to see that it will continue to be developed and supported for years to come. With 5 years of updates and 5 more years of support, we’re guaranteed another 10 years of SCOM.

However, as great as SCOM is, it can’t do everything. Although I might be biased, third party tools, like SquaredUp’s dashboards, are the secret sauce to a singing SCOM environment. The third-party vendor community is thriving and evolving as SCOM changes too. So, in this post, I’ll point out a couple of ways SCOM 2022 will impact how you use SquaredUp alongside.

(As an aside, if you want to be a part of the amazing community of SCOM Admins and users, join SCOMathon and tune into monthly coffee breaks and annual events like SCOMathon 2022.)

New SCOM 2022 features

The SCOM 2022 preview came out at the end of last year and I’m really looking forward to some of the updates that Microsoft has announced. The updates cover security, setup and deployment, user experience, and supportability. So, let’s take a look at a few of the best new features here.

Additional role-based access controls (RBAC)

The RBAC is going to be enhanced in the new release with two new user profiles – Read-Only Administrator and Delegated Administrator. These will provide greater granularity and flexibility of controls.

The Delegated Admin profile can be used as the base profile for creating custom user roles. You’ll be able to add permissions on top to allow a user to have admin access to only the functions they need to manage.

The Read-only Admin profile will be helpful for auditors who need to see everything but don’t need to edit.

Updated M365 monitoring

With the new SCOM comes new M365 monitoring, and this looks set to let you integrate Microsoft Teams into SCOM. This will let you see infrastructure monitoring alerts in your Teams channels and will give you a much smoother user experience.

New and updated management packs

Microsoft have packed in updates to MPs and will be adding new ones too. Notably, Microsoft are making a lot of their management packs version agnostic. I’m unsure whether this is a positive change or not, so we’ll wait and see.

Given how poor the last M365 MP was, I’m glad they’ve dedicated time to rewriting this MP following the community feedback. The new features look to be a lot better!

A new one on the list is Azure Stack HCI for heterogenous data centers. The new hyper-converged operating system delivers up-to-date security, performance, and feature improvements.

Plus, SCOM will be extending the supported Linux operating system version in line with the latest available in the ecosystem. Great news for Linux users.

What I’m most excited for in SCOM 2022

With plenty of updates and improvements imminent, here’s what I’m looking forward to most.

#1. New Role-Based Access Controls (RBAC)

The new role-based access control is going to revolutionize how we can give access to users, and therefore who we give access to.

Have you ever needed to give an auditor complete access to your SCOM environment even though they really only needed read-only access? Or have you wanted to give certain admin functions to non-admins, but had to choose to do it all yourself instead because you couldn’t divide up access?

All these problems are promising to be solved with the new, granular RBAC permissions.

The two new user profiles are:

It looks like the Read-Only profile will give a user complete visibility of SCOM, including reporting, and the Delegated Admin has the same access but without being able to view the reporting.

The bonus of the Delegated Admin profile is that you can choose specific permissions to layer on top of that access for granular control. This lets you delegate administration like Agent Management and Reporting. My take is that changing how agents are managed can only be a good thing.

With SCOM 2022, you will be able to delegate more admin and keep your production environments safe at the same time.

This update potentially means you can also change who can create SquaredUp EAMs. If the permission can be delegated to non-admins, then more users could create VADA diagrams. In my book, this is another huge win for SCOM 2022.

#2. ITOM compliant alert closure

Ticketing with bi-directional communication had the issue that unhealthy monitor alerts couldn’t be closed in SCOM 2019. It’s not SCOM best practice to close monitor alerts when they have an unhealthy status.

But now, SCOM 2022 brings the freedom to opt out of that. You can now close the unhealthy monitor alerts in ticketing. I spotted that Kevin Holman is a fan of this change.

#3. Workflow Analyzer

Technically, Workflow Analyzer already exists so it isn’t a new feature for SCOM 2022. But strangely, there’s been minimal press about this. It was previously part of other tools that were deprecated, but it’s been brought back and updated based on community feedback.

I think, when it’s used in conjunction with the new SCOM, it’s a brilliant addition.

Workflow Analyzer helps you monitor and debug workflows that are initiated when MPs are imported. It also monitors what resources are being used by MPs. It’s a great tool that can help SCOM Admins locate and troubleshoot a variety of problems.

So there you have it – my top three SCOM 2022 updates.

Will this change how we use SCOM (and therefore SquaredUp)?

I do believe the new features of SCOM 2022 will change how we use SCOM. And it also opens the door for you to change how you use SquaredUp too.

As I mentioned earlier, if the RBAC can be used to delegate who can import a management pack, this could open up who can design SquaredUp EAM VADA diagrams.

I’ll look into whether the new ITOM alert closure capabilities will change how you use SquaredUp. Currently, SquaredUp doesn’t let you close an alert attached to a monitor based on SCOM best practice.

That’s all I have for today. But I’ll put out a new blog when SCOM 2022 is made available and let you know my thoughts after putting it to use. So keep an eye out for that.

In the meantime, did you see we just released a new version of SquaredUp that has SQL-ODBC and a new image tile that lets you overlay your data on any image?

Take a look at the new SquaredUp 5.4 release.