Operations Manager in 2008 Review

I was going to to this at the end of 2008 but other things got in the way.

The big news was that SP1 was released in February. Not just bug fixes but enhancements with the key one speeding up the console so that it was usable. Still not a speed demon but so much more usable without having to wait for the green bar. And if your console is still slow see Cameron’s post to identify bottlenecks. System Center Capacity Planner was released for free but with models only for Exchange and SharePoint. The Engyro connectors were released for free. Well they had to do something with them as SC Service Manager was seriously delayed.

March was the release of the only book on OpsMgr worth buying – System Center Operations Manager 2007 Unleashed. Very big. And I even get a couple of mentions in it.
In April there was the sold out MMS at Las Vegas and the big news was the beta release of the Cross Platform Extensions that will ship with R2 in 2009. Great beta showing great functionality. Silect also released a free starter version of MP Studio and Savision showed off Live Maps 2 with v3 in December. The Authoring Console was also released although the version number was the same as the RC one!

May saw the release of the Service Level Dashboard Solution Accelerator. May also saw the release of the OpsMgr model for System Center Capacity Planner which was talked about in the documents as the “official” tool for sizing OpsMgr 13 months after OpsMgr was released. Although it is free I panned it.

TechEd, Orlando saw the release of the new System Center logo and branding.

July saw the release of the hotfixes needed for Windows 2008 support. Windows 2008 got some great reviews whereas Vista got hammered.

August saw SQL 2008 released and an update to the Service Level Dashboard with Dundas gauges.

October saw the release of Virtual Machine Manager 2008 with integration into OpsMgr.

In November we had the first public beta of R2.

There were a lot of new MPs release, then re-released and then re-released again. Some MPs were released with bugs so shocking you had to wonder of anyone had tested them. I had a number of posts berating some of these. Too many to list which is not good. And some MPs just did not want to be found. SystemCenterForum had to post on how to find the IBM hardware MP.

On the community side the System Center Virtual User Group was formed with some good Live Meeting sessions and a competition that brought out new MPs and scripts. There were some good community MPs. A great MP for backing up unsealed MPs from Derek that now I have changed to using C instead of D I use at all installations. Another favourite is from Raphael Burri when you have multiple forests which has been missing from the AP MP for years. And although 6.0.64520 can find these it still does not do a 100% job but Raphael’s got a fix for that with this MP. I got fed up with all the links and posts for MPs that were not in the main catalogue so I created a page to keep track of them and SystemCenterForum.org has created a much nicer looking page.

Run As profile configuration helper v1 was done in Feb. A prolific year as well as the posts and PowerShell scripts. Other people released tools as well and Stefan summerised them here and SystemCenterForum.org created a new page to keep track of them.

More bloggers and posts through 2008 showing how much momentum the product has picked up. I found it difficult to keep track and remember all the good posts that everyone has written. Some bloggers started off and showed great promise but posts just stopped. It is difficult to blog on a regular basis. My favourite blogger of 2008 has to be Kevin Holman with an honorable mention to Jonathan Almquist and Marius Sutara. I star good posts that I want to find quickly again. I have starred most of Kevin’s blog. Great articles explaining things in depth, clearly and not documented elsewhere. Required reading. There are many other good blogs out there but for me those stood out.

PowerShell’s use kept increasing during the year but half of me thought it was because the console GUI was not that good compared to the learning curve of PowerShell. There is no doubt it is powerful and System Center Forum had a nice run of posts going through the most popular commands in October.

On licensing I had a post on trying to explain the various types. Then I had a rant about the fact that Microsoft had changed the licensing of OpsMgr but had not seen fit to update the web site with the latest information. That was in May and it took some prodding with e-mails and explaining how, at least in the UK, they were probably breaking some laws. That seem to get them moving and in July the web site was fixed with the correct information. Come on Microsoft. You can do better than this!

For me it has been a busy year with constant customer work. Good for the finances and for improving my skills but not so great for posting. I have a pile of half written posts that I did not have time to finish off, or the post became moot due to a new update or someone else wrote about it. Must do better in 2009. All in all 2008 was a good year for Operations Manager, OpsMgr, MOM, SCOM or your favourite way of pronouncing it. The best I heard was hearing it pronounced as S-Com. Sounds more like an audio connection for a hi-fi.



  1. Ian,

    Nice post! Make sure you get the updated version of the Unsealed MP Backup MP. Neale and I converted it to use a proper datasource so you have nice overrideable parameters. I have an update coming for it this weekend that incorporates a RunAs profile as well!

    link on the Community MP page – http://systemcenterforum.org/mps


  2. Paul

    Blogs are a great SCOM resource. Here’s my collection of SCOM Blogs.


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