11 February 2016 blogs Klaas Hulder 7 min read
Most people that are looking for SCOM service monitoring are probably looking for information about how to monitor a Windows Service with System Center Operations Manager (SCOM). However, it is also possible to monitor IT services with SCOM. In SCOM, they name an IT Service a ‘Distributed Application’, mainly because most System Center users think of a Windows Service or Web Service when they see the word ‘service’, instead of an IT service.
An IT service is very well-known by people who are familiar with IT Service Management (ITSM) solutions, whereas a Windows Service is well-known by people from IT Operations. Live Maps is the solution to bring those two worlds together. IT processes – like incident management and change management – will be easier to manage when you know exactly which IT Component, like a Windows Service, is ‘partly’ responsible for the functioning of a specific IT Service. For example, if you can automatically relate an incident on an IT component to the IT service, the information about which IT services are impacted by the incident is one mouse-click away.
Monitoring a Windows Service
In case you are looking for how SCOM can monitor a Windows Service, I will try to give a short summary of how SCOM monitoring works. In most cases, SCOM monitors much more than only the Windows Service. For example, SQL Server is also implemented using Windows Services, and SCOM doesn’t only monitor if those Windows Services are running or if there are certain events in the event log. SCOM uses more than 40 monitors to monitor the health of the SQL Server Windows Services.
SCOM uses unit monitors that are executed by agents on the machines monitored by SCOM. The unit monitors will retrieve specific facts from the machine and will know if that fact is good, bad, or neither good or bad. Based on that information, the unit monitor will report back a healthy, critical or warning health state. Aggregate monitors are used to aggregate all those health states from the unit monitors to the health state of the IT component. Dependency monitors are used to set the health state of a group or service based on the health states of its members. Multiple roll-up algorithms can be used for this state roll-up: like the group has the state of the worst health state of its members, or the group has the health state of the best health state of its members. A more complex roll-up algorithm is that a certain percentage of group members needs to be critical before the group health state will be set to critical.
Reflecting health states of IT components
In the context of monitoring, a Live Maps Service (IT service) is nothing more than a group that uses those dependency monitors to reflect the health states of the IT components responsible for that IT service to function.
With this underlying system, we are able to present information from thousands of monitors in a single dashboard like you can see below. Users of this dashboard don’t have to care how SCOM decides what the color of the tiles have to be. They only care if that color represents the correct state of their IT Services, and they can trust that Live Maps with SCOM does an excellent job in making complex IT structures look simple.
If you want to find out how Live Maps can give you more control over your complex IT environment, try it yourself.
If you are not using Live Maps yet or like to learn more, you can request a free trial key:
Lead Developer- Savision
Klaas is Savision’s first employee. He has been working for Savision since it was founded by Dennis Rietvink and Douwe van de Voort in late 2006. At the moment he is leading the development team responsible for the development of Live Maps. He has over 17 years of software development experience working for banks, utility and telecom companies at EDS.
Klaas studied Information and Communication Technology in the Netherlands.