A quick look at all the new features and improvements
The good news for those thinking of making the switch to SCOM 2016 is that there's quite a few exciting updates to run through - here's a quick look at some of the key items:
No More Silverlight Dependency
Well...almost. That is apart from Dashboard views, the Operations Manager Web console can now be accessed from multiple web platforms, including Edge, Chrome and Firefox. Of course, if you want blazing-fast HTML5 dashboards and web console for your SCOM deployment, there's still only one place to look 😉
Scheduled Maintenance Mode
This feature provides ability to choose different types of entities to put into maintenance and allows you to schedule maintenance at a future time. System Centre administrators can also now set the agent-managed computer to maintenance mode directly from the computer itself, instead of having to do this from the Operations console. Some might say that this feature has been a looong time coming, but let's move swiftly on. For those that want to take things a step further, there's always SCOM 2016 Maintenance Mode Scheduler from the ever-excellent Tim McFadden.
New Feature: Updates & Recommendations
As the title suggests, this feature enables you to easily identify new technologies or components that are not currently being monitored by Operations Manager.
Alert Data Management
It's now possible for Operations Manager administrators to identify the number and source of alerts, and then filter these alerts by relevancy. Of course, getting on top of alerts is a major headache for every SCOM admin and so, if you're looking for a little help in that area, you may enjoy our technical webinar on SCOM alert management or this popular free resource which allows you to set up HTML email notifications from SCOM
Extensible Network Monitoring
SCOM 2016 allows you to create custom management packs to monitor generic network devices. In addition to this, SCOM 2016 has the ability to monitor additional device components, such as temperature senors, voltage sensors and power supplies. The new Network Monitoring Management Pack generation tool includes an SNMP_MPGenerator UI tool and a NetMonMPGenerator.exe command line tool, which you can reads more about here.
We think this area has a lot of untapped potential and are hearing some very interesting stories and use cases from our customers, so stay tuned for more news from the community on this one. That's right Andre, we're thinking of you 😉.
Nano Server Monitoring
These Nano Agents are still being worked on, but custom management packs are being added to monitor specific workloads on this new flavour of Windows Server. Let's face it, given the way Nano Server has gone, we're not expecting too many people to be interested in this.
Scalability for Unix/Linux Monitoring
A new and improved monitoring method has been introduced, allowing you to scale the number of monitored Linux servers within a SCOM Management Group to twice the previous maximum.
To be honest, we still see a fair degree of skepticism around monitoring Linux with SCOM but, in fairness, that often comes from inherently hostile Linux admins and there are actually lots of customers successfully monitoring large Linux estates with SCOM already. For a great example, check out this live video Case Study from Purdue University who are monitoring a Linux estate of nearly 1,000 servers with SCOM and, as you can see from the Case Study, their SCOM environment absolutely flies!
Operations Management Suite (OMS)
Extend your management capabilities for configuration assessment, alert management, and capacity planning, by connecting your Operations Management infrastructure to Operations Management Suite (OMS). If OMS is an area of interest to you, here’s a couple of additional resources you may find helpful:
- 7 Great Reasons to Integrate Your SCOM and OMS Data
- Free community MPs to help manage your OMS costs and updates
There's an additional entry in the SCOM admin pane, which provides access to third party partner solutions. We'll leave it to you to see what you make of this, but luckily you've already found the essential partner solution and getting hold of it for yourself couldn't be easier.
And, if you like that, you’ll LOVE this...
We recently released the awesome Community MP Catalog, which allows you to easily discover and manage the best MPs freely available via the community. Needless to say, the Catalog itself is also completely free and open source. Using the catalog you can easily find MPs covering everything from security monitoring to using SQL queries to create custom monitors, or setting up website monitoring in bulk and even for helping you tune SCOM itself. Basically, this is a new must-have MP for SCOM, simple as that, and there’s no need for you to be on SCOM 2016, it's compatible with SCOM 2012 R2 as well.
Automatic application discovery and mapping
Wow! Pretty cool right?! Ok, so, sorry, but we're cheating slightly. This feature isn't available natively in SCOM 2016 but if you want to leverage your existing investment in SCOM to automatically discover and map your applications, look no further!
We stumbled across some awesome content during our research on SCOM 2016, so we thought we'd it would be rude no to give them a quick mention. For those that want to do further reading on the subject, you need to look no further than the resources we've listed below.
- Monitor your changing datacenter using Microsoft System Center 2016 Operations Manager
- What's new with System Center 2016?