Hardware Monitoring Using System Center Operations Manager

Hardware management is the one thing I am most worried about.  Sure, I could deploy the manufacturers management solution.  But do I want consoles to manage lots of different systems?  Really, you don’t.  You want one central point and that can be the Operations Manager console.

I’m most familiar with what HP does so I’ll explain it.  They provide and Insight Manager agent that detects health and performance issues of the hardware.  This includes all of the components, e.g. CPU, fans, disks, network cards, etc.  You can deploy and OpsMgr agent to this server.  If you install the HP Insight Manager management pack then, after discovery, OpsMgr will be aware of the Insight Manager agent.  All data collected by that agent will be detected by OpsMgr.  So now, if a disk fails you learn about it in OpsMgr.  If memory degrades, you learn about it in OpsMgr.  This is so handy – because this is where you also get performance and health alerts for Windows, SQL, Exchange, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, etc.  You can extend with 3rd party solutions to include your Cisco network, etc.  Heck, there’s even a coffee pot management pack!!!

Back in the day, there appeared to be only support from HP and Dell.  But that has changed.

  • HP: Hewlett Packard has management packs for ProLiant servers, BladeSystem, and Integrity.  There is also a management pack for StorageWorks systems (e.g. EVA SAN).
  • Dell: I’ve never managed Dell machines with OpsMgr.  But I am told that Dell did a very nice job.  They are significant Microsoft partners.
  • IBM: I’m not the biggest fan of IBM – we have some X series stuff which I detest.  We had to get a IBM employee to download the management pack because all external links failed.  At the time, it appeared their “shared” download was only available from the IBM corporate network. A Dutch friend had the same issue and I ended up sending him what I was given by IBM.  I’ll be honest, the IBM Director management pack is poor compared to the HP one.  IBM wants you to spend lots of money on consultancy led Tivoli.  IBM Director is pretty poor too.  IBM Ireland employees have been unable to figure out how to monitor IBM DAS nor give me the documentation to do it.
  • Fujitsu: I have not seen a Fujitsu server since 2005.  Back then there was no MOM management pack for the Fujitsu Siemens servers; they wanted you to use a native solution only.  That has changed.  They have ServerView Integration for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 and System Center Essentials 2007 and ServerView Integration Pack for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007.

That should get you started.  Each of the manufacturers seems to do things differently.  HP, for example, uses the above system for ProLaints.  But blade enclosures require a piece of middleware.  Make sure you read the accompanying documentation from the OEM before you do anything.

Thanks to fellow MVP Mark Wilson for finding the links for Fujitsu. 

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