OpsMgr SP2 Beta 1 on Connect

If you have been reading any other OpsMgr blogs you will know this by now but Beta 1 of OpsMgr SP2 is now available from Connect. No mention of a SCE version.

There are three downloads.  A highlights document (Word – 69 pages – if that is the highlights what is the full document going to be like! Most of it appears to be about Xplat), release notes (HTML) and the download exe which is 1,126.42 MB. If you are downloading this one make sure you have a fast connection!

Some bits that have intrigued me from the highlights:-

You can browse the management pack catalog directly from the wizard and import it directly or save it to a file.
A new template you can use to easily create process monitors.
In the Windows Service management pack template, you can use wildcards when you specify the service name that you want to monitor.
The Health Explorer has been added to the Web console. (Much need if you use the web console as that is the best way to find information on monitors.)
You can install the Operations Manager 2007 R2 databases on SQL Server 2008.
When you create a dashboard view a search tool helps find the views you want quickly. In addition, the search also includes views that you have created in your My Workspace. (That last one is great as that has frustrated me before.)
You can put a whole computer into Maintenance mode. This automatically puts the Health Service and the associated Health Service watcher into maintenance mode, which suppresses all alerts on that computer. (Hurrah!)
In Operations Manager 2007 R2, the Operations console performance has been greatly improved. These improvements are most evident in: 
• Opening new views in the monitoring space
• Pivoting between views
• Selecting multiple items in the results view and rendering the details pane more quickly
• Indicating that a view is in the progress of loading
(Well we will see about those! But any improvement in performance is greatly welcomed.)
The notification feature has been restructured to make it easier to configure.
You can create a new subscription directly from an alert and to add the parameters from the selected alert to an existing subscription. (This will save messing around with all those PowerShell solutions.)
Support has been added to natively monitor IIS 7 without having to enable the backward compatibility APIs or legacy management features
Operations Manager 2007 R2 supports monitoring as many as 2,000 URL monitors per management server.
The new version of the authoring console adds several user interface enhancements, and now includes the ability to edit any element in a management pack.
(And one that I have blogged (complained) about in April and Kevin Holman has blooged about. ) Reporting – it is easier to find the objects that you need to customize a report. The object picker has been enhanced to enable search and filtering by name or class of object, which makes it easier to find the objects.

So I now need to find the time to download the beta and get it installed and see if all the promises above are worth the upgrade. This is a beta so there will be bugs and performance improvements are generally done near the release but it certainly looks interesting.

And as I mentioned before it is not a free upgrade unless you have Software Assuarnce. And to confirm that they say on the site:-

“R2 is a new version of Operations Manager 2007 and it is not a free upgrade”

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