Having discussed Incident Management in part 1 then Problem Management logically follows.
A problem is the unknown underlying cause of one or more incidents. It will become a Known Error when the root cause is known and a temporary workaround or a permanent alternative has been identified. Or to put simply – a problem is often identified as a result of multiple incidents that exhibit common symptoms.
The goal of Problem Management is to minimise the adverse effect on the business of Incidents and Problems caused by errors in the infrastructure, and to proactively prevent the occurrence of incidents, problems and errors.
As we have seen in Incident Management MOM detects incidents quickly and hence can help ID problems quickly. MOM’s reporting can help you prioritise your resources by supplying you with accurate data on which incidents are occurring most often. These are basically the Most Common Alerts reports.
You may also want to look at the Alert Tuning Solution Accelerator (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=F6AC090E-A594-4EB5-96D9-2A5FEB827BCC&displaylang=en) as it has more reports that help in summarising alerts in different views. These are Alert Count by Processing Rules, Alert Count by Device and Alert Count by Date. This solution accelerator is also good at helping tune alerts so that you can get alerts that equate to incidents.
By seeing which alerts are most common then you can then set the second/third line staff on looking at the most common incidents or the problem that has the highest impact even though it may have fewer incidents. In either case MOM easily provides the evidence of which incidents are occurring and how frequently.
When problems are resolved MOM has an easily updated and extensible knowledgebase that can be used to make solutions and workarounds readily available to the 1-2 line support people improving the productivity of support staff. If an existing knowledgebase system exists that can be hyperlinked then the process should be setup so that all the information is put into that single system and in the Company Knowledge tab a hyperlink to the relevant information should be added.
MOM Reporting can also assist in providing relevant information to management.
Service Level Management
The goal of Service Level Management is to maintain and gradually improve business aligned IT service quality, through a constant cycle of defining, agreeing, monitoring, reporting and reviewing IT service achievements and through instigating actions to eradicate unacceptable levels of service.
MOM will not write the SLAs for you but MOM provides the monitoring and reporting capabilities to help in determining if those SLAs are being achieved. In particular the MOM SLA Scorecard for Exchange Solution provides you with an executive dashboard to measure and trend service availability and workloads across multiple server roles in an Exchange Server messaging environment.
The facilities to be able to do Service Level Management will be greatly enhanced in System Center Operations Manager 2007.
MOM monitors itself and has a view to show if operations staff are not dealing with alerts in the time frames that have been configured for each resolution state in the global settings.
As mentioned earlier MOM has the ability to integrate in with a service desk to provide information to the service desk operators. This can be done using the MCF and there is a solution accelerator to help in setting up a bi-directional connection.http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=E795EDF1-C610-467D-A9D5-92D5239232F6&displaylang=en
Additionally there are connectors for
Tivoli, HPOV and HP NNM in the resource kit.http://www.microsoft.com/mom/downloads/2005/reskit/default.mspx
And if you want to buy an off the shelf connector with support then there is a list of third party connectors athttp://www.microsoft.com/mom/downloads/momprodconnectors.mspx
To be continued.