Saturday, 16 August 2008

Good deployment guides for Operations Manager 2007

Having been slightly disappointed with the release of System Center Capacity Planner models for OpsMgr this year, Microsoft have a released a good infrastructure and design document for planning Operations Manager 2007 deployments. The deployment guidelines and concepts are similar to what I cover in the Operations Manager 2007 course and the planning/deployment workshops which I deliver. The Infrastructure and Design documents can be downloaded here - http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=AD3921FB-8224-4681-9064-075FDF042B0C&displaylang=en.

I really like the powerpoint slide deck which could be used to aid architects in writing a High Level Design document or help out in a Project Initiation Meeting. It's really good to see that in the project scope there is focus on service monitoring as that is a key element of any good Operations Manager 2007 deployment.

It's easy to say :-) but for a good Operations Manager 2007 deployment adequate time must be spent on defining project scope so that all stakeholders know both the business and technical deliverables as that will change how you deploy Operations Manager 2007 and how you define the success criteria. Good project management and understanding of Operations Manager 2007 or any service monitoring technology really is key.

Deploying Operations Manager 2007 means that you "touch" every key service the organisation is currently running and it can't be deployed in isolation. Your stakeholder list is likely to be quite large depending on the organisation i.e. Active Directory teams, Solaris teams, network teams, messaging teams. Depending on this list other key questions arise such as what is the change management procedure for these teams? If you are going to produce Line of Business service views using the distributed application designer (every good deployment should make use of this) then who is the audience? To what level of detail does monitoring information need to be provided? For example if you create a Line of Business view for key website ordering service then if the end user is the audience then the level of detail needed in the view may just be synthetic transaction and availability monitors i.e. is the website up, can a user log on in under 20 seconds etc. If the audience is a technical team then other information will probably need to be provided i.e. website security information, server performance information etc.

Before you even decide on these views the key question is whether the organisation understands its key services and how the various components function. End to end service monitoring means that you should be looking to model all components within the Line of Business views but that is easier said than done....can Operations Manager 2007 really replace existing network management tools such as Cisco Works? Well, technically maybe yes with a lot of effort and development but feasibly the answer should be no and the question is how to we integrate Operations Manager 2007 with these tools and manage the change so that the support teams know how to use Operations Manager 2007 in conjunction with network management tools.

Anyway that's enough for now...sorry another long post but I hope you understand what I am trying to say :-) Scope, planning and management is key in a successful Operations Manager 2007 deployment!

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