What's new in SCOM 2019?

Your five minute guide

A bright future

Microsoft has announced that SCOM 2019 is due to be released in Q1 2019. It may come as a surprise but SCOM 2019 will be a Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) release – the first for SCOM since 2016! We've included System Center's roadmap below.

This is good news for users, because it commits Microsoft to providing 5 years of mainstream support plus an additional 5 years of extended support. Microsoft will also be investing further in SCOM, with two Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) releases expected in 2019. The first SAC release is expected in Q1, with the second coming in Q3. There will also be an update to SCOM 2016 released in Q2 2019.

There is a lot going on! 

 

What is the difference between LTSC and SAC?

 

Long-Term Servicing Channel

Released approximately every three years, but could be less frequent in the future according to Microsoft. They are more suitable for environments which can’t be upgraded frequently. 

 

Semi-Annual Channel

Released twice a year, but only given official support for 18 months – they are better if you have an environment which can be upgraded frequently. 

 

Which channel should I choose?

You have a few things to consider if you're a SCOM administrator and you're choosing which release to upgrade to - the LTSC or the SAC. 

 

Feature parity

The good news is that SCOM 2019 and SCOM 190X will have feature parity. They will also both include everything from SCOM 1801 and 1807

 

Locked in

The bad news is that while you can upgrade from a LTSC release to a SAC release, you can't go from a SAC release to a LTSC release, unless you rebuild your SCOM environment. 

 

SCOM 2019 LTSC SAC Path

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your choice

Your choice will depend on how often you want to upgrade your SCOM environment. If you take the SAC path, you'll be able to upgrade your environment approximately every 6 months. If you take the LTSC path, you'll be looking to upgrade roughly every 3 years, unless you switch to an SAC release. 

Our advice would be - if you are on SCOM 2016, go for the SCOM 2019 LTSC. You'll keep your options open and be able to move to a SAC release if it is a compelling update. 

If you are on SCOM 1801 or 1807, your only choice is to move to the SCOM 190X SAC release - unless you rebuild your environment. 

How to improve engagement with SCOM

SCOM 2019: Features

SCOM 2019 is a good step forward for the platform, with new features addressing some of the long-term pain points. 

 

Email alerts

Setting up and using email alerts is a fundamental feature of SCOM - and yet it has too often been a painful and ineffective experience. SCOM 2019 brings welcome improvements, including the addition of 'OR' and 'EXCLUDE' operators to the criteria builder.

You'll also have easy access to relevant information within the email notification about the alert, its source, and the applicable rule/monitor - all with links taking you to the SCOM HTML5 console. 

 

HTML Email Notifications

Rich HTML email notifications are the default in SCOM 2019. This is something we have wanted to happen for a while (our first Coffee Break webinar covered how to enable HTML email notifications). SCOM 2019 will give you the ability to customise and preview the HTML content. 

 

Closing alerts

We've all seen it happen - an alert is raised, someone fixes it, but the monitor stays in red and the SLA stays failed. From now on an alert can no longer be closed if a monitor is still unhealthy. Please note that this has only been confirmed for the HTML 5 console in SCOM (so far) - we'll update this page if Microsoft confirms this feature for the entire SCOM console. 

 

Unix/Linux 

There are a number of improvements for Unix/Linux:

  • During agent failovers, duplicate alerts are no longer generated.
  • Updates and recommendations are included for Unix/Linux MPs.
  • Linux Log file monitoring is improved, and any custom datasource can now be created (e.g. for monitoring docker containers).

 

Extras

There also a number of incremental improvements included in SCOM 2019:

  • Enhanced Azure MP (now faster and easier to use)
  • Azure Service Map Integration (including a new feature which allows you to bubble up SCOM health states in to Azure). 
  • Support for SQL 2017
  • APM Monitoring now supports Client Side Monitoring (CSM) on Edge and Chrome, and monitoring Sharepoint 2016

 

The System Center suite

Microsoft is investing across the System Center suite - ranging from X64 Support and Powershell 4+ being introduced for Orchestrator through to better fabric health reporting in Virtual Machine Manager. 

 

Alignment with Windows Server 2019

SCOM will integrate and align its support with Windows Server 2019. You'll be able to monitor Windows Server 2019, including the latest versions of Linux distributions. 

 

Further reading

Blazingly fast HTML5 SCOM dashboards

SCOM 2019 brings new features and longevity, but if you really want to make the most out of your SCOM environment, you should give Squared Up a go. 

You can install Squared Up in just 10 minutes and you'll get instant access to our speedy HTML5 Dashboards, awesome Application Discovery tool and brilliant Performance Reporting tools. We could go on, but we'd prefer to let you try out the product for yourself - sign up for a free 30-day trial below.

 

 

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