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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SCOM 2019 is a good step forward for the platform, with new features addressing some of the long-term pain points.
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.
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.
There are a number of improvements for Unix/Linux:
There also a number of incremental improvements included in SCOM 2019:
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.
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