23 February 2016 blogs Guest Blogger 5min read
If you have been around now for a while and are following this blog, you might have read my previous post about why Live Maps will change the way you look at monitoring and managing your business services. The post goes through the first 5 (out of 10) reasons why Live Maps will help you get the most out of your System Center investment. If you haven´t read it yet, you´ll find it here.
Below are the five last reasons which I will cover in this series.
6. Makes your monitoring business services easier
With Live Maps, you will not only look at your servers and network devices as single objects to monitor. Traditionally, a server with all of its components such as hard drives, memory, CPU etc. have been the single monitoring point. When looking at monitoring business services instead, you switch focus to looking at the entire service instead of just the single components. Take an external facing web shop, for example: if this shop goes down, customers can´t place their orders and will end up going somewhere else. When looking at monitoring the web shop as a business service instead, you get a complete overview of all the components that make up the service, and as soon as a server has an error (or warning) you will see that it actually affects the complete server. With this way of monitoring you will get notifications once a component, a disk for example, is running out of space. By catching this at a warning state, it will never get to the point where it actually affects the performance of the web shop.
With Live Maps, this procedure is really easy to get started with and you will get a really good overview of all of your business services, which will result in happier faces – not only in the IT department but throughout the complete business.
7. Service level monitoring
Even though service level monitoring (SLA´s) isn’t a new thing in the SCOM world, it gets better with Live Maps, and you will see it in a nicer and easier way. Once you have created your business services with Live Maps, you will also be able to configure the level of availability you expect to receive from the business service. The availability will then be presented in a total of four different values. The first and most important is the overall availability of the service. The second way is the availability of the end-user facing parts, such as the websites the user is interacting with. The third availability level is the application layer. This layer shows the underlying components such as databases, web server roles etc. The fourth and last availability level shows the infrastructure level, such as the server, the virtualization platform or network devices needed to deliver the service.
With this way of measuring SLA´s, you will always have a good overlook of what parts are performing better or worse than the others. This is also something that you can deliver in monthly reports to the business owners to show them how their services are behaving. See below for a view of the SLA overview.
8. Out-of-box services
When building business services in Live Maps you need to know what components to include. But is that always so easy to figure out? Take Lync 2013 for example. With Live Maps you can have this business service automatically created, picking out the components needed to deliver the service. The only thing you need to prepare before being able to automatically create this service is to make sure Lync 2013 is monitored by SCOM by importing and configuring the management pack for Lync. See an example below of what it looks like with the out-of-box service for Lync 2013.
If you aren´t into Lync on-prem, perhaps you´re running Exchange Server 2013, Sharepoint 2013 or at least Active Directory? These three functions can also be automatically created by Live Maps. In their upcoming March release, there will be more out-of-box services added.
9. Integration to other products
What if you want to deliver your services to someone else in the organization other than just displaying it on the wall on a monitor, is it possible? Yes, it is! Once you have created the business services you will be able to synchronize it with your helpdesk system such as System Center 2012 R2 Service Manager or ServiceNow. This way, your helpdesk personnel can easily access information about what business services an outage may affect. By using this synchronization, you ensure that a potential major outage can be stopped in time thanks to the fact that they now get a complete overview of the service, and not only the single components of the business service. In their upcoming release, they will also offer more integrations, so stay tuned.
10. HTML5 dashboards, visible everywhere on any device
Are you a fan of Silverlight? If the answer to that question is yes, then I have to disappoint you. With Live Maps, you will have the dashboards delivered using HTML5. This means that you can easily get access to the business service status on any device and on any browser. Thanks to the new Live Maps web portal, you will be able to not only check out SLA´s or recent alerts but you will also be able to set a server into maintenance mode from your cell phone. Pretty nice, right? See below for a glimpse of the HTML5 web portal.
Hopefully, I have given you a good overview of Live Maps with these two blog posts so that you may see the value in looking into business service management rather than just monitoring single components. If you want to read more about Live Maps, check it out here or try it for free.