Welcome to the Squared Up Academy

Your one-stop shop to take Squared Up to the next level


An introduction

The Academy is for customers who want to take their use of Squared Up to the next-level, highlighting advanced features and scenarios, as well as pointing you in the direction of the resources you need to get the results you want.

Feel free to dip into any content that catches your eye; each section provides a brief overview, together with details on the technical resources available.

We also recommend bookmarking this page, as we keep it regularly updated with fresh new content.

Alert Management

What is it?

Alerts are the bread-and-butter of SCOM, but there's plenty that can be done to better manage and understand them and get your users more engaged with them.


Why is it cool?

SCOM sends so many alerts that many users simply see it as a spam engine and often misunderstand the distinction between different alerts in any event. You can change all that with better alert management, ranging from getting SCOM to send HTML emails to using the Data Warehouse to easily understand what your noisiest alerts are. After all, who doesn't want less open alerts!?


How do I get started?

Well, for a quick win, you can enable HTML email notifications from SCOM, as covered in this KB article (4 minute read) and this technical webinar (20 minute watch).

 

 

For a different approach, you might want to consider sending SCOM alerts into Slack or, for something even more radical, turning off email alerts entirely (!) as covered by Martin Ehrnst in his blog post on How To Get Your Colleagues Engaged With SCOM (4 minute read).  

If you want your users to better understand the distinction between Monitor and Rule alerts, this blog post (4 minute read) is a good place to start, or if you’re looking for additional guidance on making the most of alerts within Squared Up you may find the KB articles on scoping alert criteria (3 minute read) and linking alerts to an external ticketing system (2 minute read) helpful.

Tying everything together for you, we delivered a dedicated technical webinar on alert management (39 minute watch) as well as a deep-dive Masterclass webinar (1 hr watch)

[Please note that some of the Squared Up content in the Masterclass webinar has been superseded in later versions of the product but all of the SCOM content, as well as a significant amount of the Squared Up content, remains completely valid].

Custom Labelling

What is it?

Custom Labelling gives you the ability to re-write / customise object labels on your dashboards and perspectives, using the Status, Image, SLA and Performance Tiles, allowing you to transform your data...

 

Why is it cool?

SCOM objects often have some pretty unhelpful names, or names which are simply too unwieldy to put on a dashboard. Custom Labelling allows you to fix that by easily customising labels using either static or dynamic text, including giving you access to other properties of the object.      


How do I get started?

You can get a great overview of Custom Labelling from this blog post (3 minute read) and additional details in our KB article on How To Use Custom Labelling (5 minute read).

For a live demo and walkthrough of custom labelling, check out the webinar recording (25 minute watch) of our dedicated session on the subject:

 

 

Outside-In Monitoring

What is it?

Outside-In monitoring allows you to use SCOM’s native Synthetic Transactions / Web Availability monitors to give you a user-centric view of application availability and performance, perfect for surfacing on dashboards and building meaningful SLAs on top of.


Why is it cool?

SCOM’s great at providing detailed monitoring of all your infrastructure components, but that doesn’t necessarily tell you about application availability and performance from an end-user's perspective, it's not typically what your boss wants to know about and it's therefore not necessarily what you want to put on top-level dashboards. Configuring Outside-In monitoring and displaying it on your Squared Up dashboards fixes all that!

 


How do I get started?

Our dedicated technical webinar (30 minute watch) provides a top-to-bottom view of Outside-In monitoring, including some great additional resources like URLGenie (10 minute read) for setting up web availability monitoring in bulk or details on how to integrate a free external web check tools like Uptime Robot into SCOM (4 minute read):

 

You should find that getting to grips with Outside-In monitoring dovetails nicely with our webinar on Building Application Dashboards (33 minute watch) and, finally, for a deeper-dive, you may enjoy our Masterclass Webinar on building Top-Level Dashboards (1 hour 15 minutes watch).

[Please note that some of the Squared Up content in this webinar has been superseded in later versions of the product but all of the SCOM content, as well as a significant amount of the Squared Up content, remains completely valid]

Perspectives

What are they?

Perspectives are template dashboards that can be applied to any SCOM object, whether that’s servers, disks, groups or Distributed Applications, giving you the ability to customise not just top-level dashboards, but all of your drilldowns too.


Why are they cool?

Driven by our powerful dashboard-templating engine, Perspectives give you the ability to customise the way you view literally anything and everything in SCOM.

Why would you want to do this..?

Well, let’s say you have a group of application servers and want to ensure that whenever a user views one of those particular servers (but only those servers) they’re presented with specific performance counters, advice and even remediation actions relevant to that application, you can do so by creating a custom perspective.

Perspectives also mean you can build template views and apply them very broadly within your environment, with no additional effort; for example, a template dashboard showing key metrics that’s shown every time you drilldown into any Group or Distributed Application.


How do I get started?

Perspectives are incredibly powerful but it can take a bit to wrap your head around the concept, so we recommend starting our KnowledgeBase article on What Is A Perspective? (4 minute read) as well our blog post on building amazing SLA dashboards (5 minute read), which showcases how effective it can be to build a template perspective rather than lots of individual dashboards.

You can take the next steps with our Introduction To Perspectives webinar (30 minute watch):

 

 

Once you're ready to get hands-on, take a look at our webinar recording on Scoping Perspectives (29 minute watch).

Perspectives are powered by our Total Dashboard Architecture (TDA) and if you want to take a deep deep-dive into that, check out our masterclass webinar on TDA (1 hour 23 minute watch).

Data on Demand

What is it?

Data on Demand allows you to automatically, on-demand, pull data into your Squared Up drilldowns, meaning you can put real-time data you in front of your users at exactly the right moment.


Why is it cool?

There’s lots of real-time data that’s extremely useful to have in front of you when troubleshooting an issue – let’s say, what processes are currently running on a server or what are the Top 5 CPU consuming queries running on a database – but that it’s simply not practical to get SCOM to collect all the time.

Data on Demand allows you to put this data in front of your users by programmatically pulling that data into your Squared Up views at the exact moment when a user accesses that view.

Best of all, Data on Demand leverages SCOM Tasks, meaning there’s no additional infrastructure configuration, no heavy overhead on SCOM and you can easily write your own tasks to pull back whatever custom data you like.


How do I get started?

For a quick introduction to Data on Demand, check out this short video tutorial (6 min watch):

 

 

Next, why not check out the recording of our webinar (27 minute watch) dedicated to the subject.

If you want to take a deeper-dive into Data on Demand, then the recording of our special Masterclass webinar (1 hour 20 minute watch) will be perfect for you and, for those all interested in authoring your own Tasks to pull back custom data, you may find that the free Powershell Management Pack provides a lower barrier to entry than some of the other authoring options available.

Service Manager Integration

What is it?

Use our SQL Tile to automatically pull data from Service Manager into your dashboards and drilldowns, on demand.


Why is it cool?

Service Manager (SCSM) is widely deployed alongside SCOM and now you can easily pull that information into Squared Up in a simple, lightweight manner, allowing you to surface CMDB information like service owners and their contact details, or Service Desk information like the number of open tickets or change requests, whenever you view an application or even an individual server.

What’s more, because all data is pulled into Squared Up on-demand, there’s no heavyweight integration, synchronisation or data duplication.

It’s worth keeping in mind that much of the information provided pertains to not just Service Manager but to any tool backed by a MS SQL database, meaning you can pull in data from a wide variety of other external sources too.


How do I get started?

For a quick introduction, check out our overview blog post (3 minute read) and then head onto our detailed technical webinars, which we’ve split into Part 1 (28 minute watch)...

 

 

...and Part 2 (25 minute watch):

 

 

Not licensed for this feature? 

Service Manager Integration requires an Enterprise Application Monitoring edition license. If you're not currently licensed for this feature but would like to try it out, no problem, simply drop us a line using the button below and we'll arrange a special test license for you.

Request a Trial License

ServiceNow Integration

What is it?

Use our WebAPI Tile to automatically pull data from ServiceNow into your dashboards and drilldowns, on demand.


Why is it cool?

ServiceNow is one of the most widely deployed ITSM tools within enterprise IT environments and now you can easily pull information from ServiceNow into Squared Up in a simple, lightweight manner, allowing you to surface CMDB information like service owners and their contact details, or Service Desk information like the number of open tickets or change requests, whenever you view an application or even an individual server.

What’s more, because all data is pulled into Squared Up on-demand, there’s no heavyweight integration, synchronisation or data duplication.


How do I get started?

For a quick introduction, check out our overview blog post (3 minute read) and to get into the details of how to configure the integration - including a live demo and technical walkthrough – watch our video tutorial (28 minute watch):

 

 

Not licensed for this feature? 

ServiceNow Integration requires an Enterprise Application Monitoring edition license. If you're not currently licensed for this feature but would like to try it out, no problem, simply drop us a line using the button below and we'll arrange a special test license for you.

Request a Trial License

OMS Integration

What is it?

Use our OMS Tile to automatically pull data from Microsoft OMS into your dashboards and drilldowns, on demand.


Why is it cool?

Microsoft OMS can provide you with some great insights, but without being able to easily correlate that with your primary monitoring tool (SCOM) it can be hard to realise meaningful value from collecting all that additional data. What’s more, you may not want to set up all your users in OMS and train them up on a new console in order for them to get insight from Log Analytics data when they’re troubleshooting performance issues.

Squared Up allows you to integrate SCOM & OMS, pulling data down from OMS on demand so you can seamlessly surface it for your users, alongside your SCOM data, and within the context of all the structure that SCOM provides (Groups, Distributed Applications, Alerts and so on).


How do I get started?

If you need any persuading of the merits of integrating your OMS data with SCOM, let us give you 7 Great Reasons (3 minute read) or if you’re struggling to realise the value of OMS data, our blog post (3 minute read) on exactly that subject should help give you a few good ideas.

Once you’re ready to get underway, we recommend having a read of our KB article on using the OMS Tile (3 minute read) and watching the recording of our technical webinar on OMS integration (25 minute watch):

 

 

 

Not licensed for this feature? 

OMS Integration requires an Enterprise Application Monitoring edition license. If you're not currently licensed for this feature but would like to try it out, no problem, simply drop us a line using the button below and we'll arrange a special test license for you.

Request a Trial License

Doing more with SCOM

What is it?

SCOM is an incredibly powerful and extensible platform and there’s a lot of (free) resources and knowledge out there to help you make the most of it; here’s some of best of them!


Why is it cool?

Free is always pretty cool, and there are some awesome free MPs out there to help make your life as a SCOM admin that bit easier and to allow you to do much, much more with the platform.

As well as all being free, we’ve even gone to the effort of pulling the best of them together for you in one place, how cool is that?


How do I get started?

Ever been intimidated by MP authoring and wished it was easier to do custom monitoring with SCOM? Then you need the free PowerShell Monitoring MP, which you can read about (2 minute read)download and learn all about from a technical webinar (1 hour watch):

 

 

Once your underway with that, there’s plenty more to explore and you can get straight to the goodness with our infographics on the Best Free Management Packs for SCOM, Part 1 (3 minute read) and Part 2 (3 minute read).

Or, are your Citrix colleagues bugging you for better monitoring from SCOM? Well, there’s a free Citrix Logon Simulator MP to help you out! You can get a taster of it in action in this customer case study / live demo (22 minute watch), which comes from our Masterclass Webinar on Citrix Monitoring (1 hour 23 minute watch).

 

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