We’ve talked many times about the power of community and have done lots to nurture it – from our Community Answers platform to cool free management packs like the PowerShell Monitoring MP – but we think this new project is the most exciting harnessing of community power yet.
SCOM is an amazingly powerful platform, but it’s the management packs that do all the heavy lifting. Thanks to the extensibility, maturity, and huge install base of SCOM, there’s a plethora of freely-available community management packs out there, covering everything from security monitoring to controlling your OMS costs, from using SQL queries to create custom monitors to setting up website monitoring in bulk and even for helping you tune SCOM itself.
All of this comes from a vibrant, creative and generous worldwide SCOM community, hundreds of subject matter experts who’ve built custom management packs to help solve problems they’ve faced in their day-to-day work and want to share them to help make your life easier too.
So, that’s all pretty awesome, but how do you find every single management pack that might be of interest to you? Do you spend your whole life digging around the internet, looking in every nook and cranny for little-known bloggers who might have put a useful MP out there? And once you’ve found them, how do make sure that you’ve always got the latest version installed? Not easy, right?
Well, help is at hand in the form of the Community MP Catalog which extends the SCOM console to simplify the discovery and life-cycle management of community MPs, including;
This is a completely open, transparent, community project and one which we hope will provide a big boost to the SCOM community worldwide.
To ensure the quality and reliability of the community MPs that you discover via the Community MP Catalog, the catalog is curated by a special panel of community moderators who ensure MPs are validated before they make it into the catalog.
The installed management pack for the community catalog itself, and the .json files which populates the catalog, have both been made available open source, hosted on GitHub. That means anyone can recommend a community MP for inclusion in the catalog, whether that’s their own or one that someone else has made openly available. From there, the recommendation will be reviewed by the community moderators before making its way into the catalog.
That means if you’ve got one or more handy custom MPs of your own that you’ve been keeping hidden away, now’s the perfect time to share them with the community! You now longer need to be an MVP or blogger with thousands of followers for your great work to be immediately available to thousands of fellow SCOM administrators worldwide. So, if you’ve previously benefited from the community and have something to give back, this is the perfect opportunity!
The Community MP Catalogue is available for free download - just hit the big orange button below to be taken to our download site.
If you’d like a more in-depth introduction to the MP you can check out the recording of the release webinar below.
For additional technical details on the project and / or to contribute directly, you’ll find everything you need on GitHub;
Finally, a big thank you to the MP’s author, Nathan Foreman without whom none of this would have been possible, and his fellow community moderators; Martin Ehrnst (Systems Engineer, Intility), Shawn Williams (Systems Engineer, Purdue University), Peter Svensson (IT Specialist, Vastra Gotalandsregionens IT) and Daniele Grandini (Microsoft MVP).
How is it decided which community MPs are included in the catalog?
The catalog is supported by a panel of community moderators who have populated the catalog with many of the best community MPs currently available. Because this is an open source project, anyone can suggest a community MP for inclusion in the catalog. That submission will then be reviewed by the panel of moderators before being added to the catalog.
Will my existing community MPs show up in the Community Catalog pane in the SCOM console?
Yes, provided that the community MPs you’re currently running are in the catalog already, then they’ll appear in the pane in the SCOM console. If you’re using a community MP that isn’t included in the catalog, then it won’t be visible, but if it’s a great MP that other people could benefit from too, you can always recommend it for inclusion in the catalog (see above).
My SCOM Management Group isn’t connected to the internet; will I still be able to get visibility of these community MPs?
It’s actually the SCOM console which calls up to GitHub to pull down the catalog details, so as long as the device you’re using the SCOM console on has access to the internet, then this will work for you. However, the alerting of new MP updates does require your management server to be connected to the internet.
Does the Community Catalog MP provide instructions on how to install, configure or update the MPs?
No, the Community Catalog MP simply surface the MPs and their original location, the community MPs themselves are still accessed from their original source – for example, Tao Yang’s blog or Daniele Grandini’s GitHub account – and it’s there that you should expect to find any accompanying instructions.
How does this compare to the Microsoft MP catalog?
This catalog surfaces all MPs available to the SCOM community, not just vendor MPs, and is controlled and moderated by the community itself.
What versions of SCOM is this available for?
The MP has currently been tested and validated on SCOM 2012, 2012R2 & 2016.
I understand that I can configure the MP to alert me about updates to community MPs but can it also alert me if the Community MP Catalog itself is updated?
Yes, you sure can :-)
© Squared Up Ltd 2017