SCOM 2016 Features – Overview

With this post I am giving you an overview of the new features in SCOM 2016 which have been added currently. I bet you thought not much was happening with SCOM for the 2016 version right? Well I can tell you there is still a lot going on. Below you will find some of the things which have been worked on.

A number of features were added in early Technical Preview Releases (TP3 and TP4), such as Scheduled Maintenance Mode and Nano Server Agent. I will cover those in the series below as well, but first I will focus on the items added in TP5.

The following features and items were added since Technical Preview 5 of SCOM 2016 (Start of May 2016 timeframe) and we want YOU to know about them B) and you can use the links for each feature to dive more deeply into these features and improvements:

  • Management Pack Updates and Recommendations

    This gives insights into wether there are currently management packs in use which need updating, and it will try to find Roles and Features on monitored servers where you have not imported the corresponding management pack.

  • Management Pack Tuning / Alert Data Management

    This feature uses alert data from your own environment to determine which management packs and monitors you need to take a look at for potential fine tuning and gives you easy access to create overrides for them.

  • Scalability for Unix/Linux Monitoring

    This is a setting you can change to make SCOM Linux/Unix monitoring use a slightly different monitoring method which makes it suitable to scale the amount of monitored Linux servers on a SCOM management server to twice the number of agents.

  • Network Monitoring MP Generator

    This tool is meant to make the creation of custom monitoring management packs for network devices easier. You can create a custom, simpler, XML file containing the device/discovery/monitoring logic you need and have this tool convert your XML file into a management pack ready to use for SCOM.

  • Console UI Performance Improvements

    Improvements are being made in a number of views to make the performance of the SCOM console better. Work is being done on several types of views and items. In TP5 this covers the Alert View.

Now there are also other SCOM 2016 improvements on the list:

  • Scheduled Maintenance Mode

    Did this finally happen? Yes there is now an interface in the SCOM Admin pane where you can specify multiple schedules and place objects into maintenance mode based on schedules. This link will open an external site with some screenshots of the solution as it was in an earlier technical preview.

  • Nano Server Agent

    Nano Server is a new type of server meant to run specific workloads and meant to be as small as possible. This means little attack surface, less files and size of the operating system image, less updates and restarts needed. In order to monitor Nano Server an adjusted agent installation was created and custom management packs will be added to monitor specific workloads. Things around this Nano agent and its deployment and monitoring possibilities are still being worked on continuously and this is a good thing because we will be seeing more of this technology. This link will open a new tab to a Technet site explaining how it works (TP4 version documentation).

  • Partner Solutions

    Added to SCOM 2012 R2 UR8 and up and to SCOM 2016 TP5 and up is an additional entry in the SCOM Admin pane where you will find Third Party partner solutions and products and see a link to a product page on the partners website. This link will open a new tab to a blog post from Kevin Greene on the same subject.

Give feedback on SCOM features

By the way, feel free to interact with the product team by giving them feedback:
The SCOM User Voice site

For example to get the Scheduled Maintenance Mode feature to move from the Admin pane to the Monitoring pane somehow so Operator level SCOM users can use the feature as well and not only SCOM admins 😉 Assuming of course most Operators and Service Desk staff are not heavy PowerSHell users (yet).

Wrap-up

This and more is going on in SCOM 2016. I will be writing more about these subjects soon on my blog and in a future book and elsewhere probably.
Also be sure to watch for my presentations on SCOM 2016 at conferences (MMS 2016 Minneapolis on 17 May) and user group meetings (WMUG NL in May). I will be recording one and posting it up soon. 💡

Enjoy being in control of your network infrastructure!
Bob Cornelissen