2007 Review

“So this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Another year over
And a new one just begun”
John Lennon

Well I have had a busy year. It has been a mixed year with almost as many 2005 projects as 2007. 2005 is alive and well – especially as Forefront uses 2005.

The big news of the year for me was the release of System Center Operations Manager 2007 in April at the MMS to replace Microsoft Operations Manager 2005. And in becoming part of the new System Center family they sparked the biggest debate yet. Should you call it SCOM, OpsMan or just keep on using MOM! The product group think it should be called OpsMgr but all the other groups are happy with their initials – SCCM, SCVMM, SCDMP, SCE etc. So I still call it SCOM and sometimes MOM. It’s only a Microsoft marketing dept. They don’t rule the world you know!

SCOM 2007 should have been released in Nov 2006 and so was already 4 months late. After installing it at various sites I thought it could have done with a few more months. There was the slowness (green bar watching), the hefty server requirements, lack of management packs and worst of all lack of documentation. I am glad I went to the MMS to find out about the product (and to go to 1E’s 10th birthday party). I am also glad I have had some 2005 projects to do to keep going until SP1 is released in early 2008.

On paper 2007 is a winner with a lot more functionality for less money. And when you demonstrate features like the Distributed Application designer it really looks good. But it really is a case of a really good idea but poor execution and delivery. Even the management packs seemed problematic with multiple releases of MPs to fix a number of problems. And I still can not believe that it took 6 months to get the DNS MP out.

2007 is really like a new product that tips its hat to the concepts of 2005. For people versed in 2005 it was quite a difficult transition and 2007 should be treated like a new product. The way it is based around the System Definition Model (SDM – part of DSI – Dynamic Systems Initiative) so it uses objects instead of servers means that monitoring becomes a great deal more flexible. There were a lot of changes underneath the hood but that meant a lot of scrabbling for information on how it worked which is only starting to come out now. This is especially true as expressions were quite fussy on punctuation and getting info on scripting was like gold dust in the early days.

The other big news is that SMS 2003 is replaced by System Center Configuration Manager 2007 with its launch in November. Also released in November was System Center Virtual Machine Manager. In December we had System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 and System Center Capacity Planner 2007. With System Center Essentials 2007 having been released in October the end of 2007 filled out the System Center portfolio.

My big disappointment (apart from the SCOM issues) was that Kirill Tatarinov left the EMD group to go to another technology. Brad Anderson took over so it will be interesting to see if the strategy changes.

As for this blog the most popular post was SCOM 2007 Architecture which I wrote while SCOM was still in beta in 2006! I did look at it to update it at RTM but decided it was good as it was. I have supplemented this with Trichotomy and Blueprint for a Big SCOM Design as well as a spreadsheet for estimating database sizes.

My favourite posts were the Exchange MP Request to the Product Group as I received feedback that they had put that on the list for the next version of the MP and my last post of the year where I found a new bug in 2005 that I could find no reference to elsewhere.

There are a number of blogs that I read during 2007 but I must tip my hat to SystemCenterForum for providing great articles and summaries of everything else that is going. It has meant that I have not blogged as much as they have done it! And I am really glad of the MS bloggers like Clive and Boris et all and their tools! Thanks to all who blogged and helped me understand MOM and SCOM better.


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