Microsoft SCOM is an essential infrastructure monitoring tool for IT operations. Adding in the ability to monitor applications, usage, and end-user experience with the SysTrack SCOM Workplace Analytics management pack extends the utility of SCOM to include user-centric monitoring within one unified console.
Building the Best IT Toolbox
Enterprise monitoring has become an essential tool for IT departments. Increasingly complex mixes of devices, workstyles, and the infrastructure needed to support it have made monitoring and data collection necessary to keep the enterprise functioning and productive. But end-to-end monitoring can be a daunting task – there’s users to consider, user devices, network devices, servers, applications, and everything in between.
Every monitoring solution has its niche, so trying to cover every level of the stack might require using multiple solutions. That can complicate things when you have additional infrastructure to support the monitoring tools, multiple agents installed at different places in the stack, and the overhead that comes with managing all that. So, the trick for enterprises becomes finding a balance between employing the right monitoring solutions to get the data needed and keeping it as simple as possible. Given this challenge of developing the right toolbox of monitoring tools, let’s look at a scenario that could cover a lot of those bases.
Incorporating SCOM into the IT Toolbox
A lot of enterprises use Microsoft products throughout their organization. Whether it’s the end user’s workstation, enterprise apps that use a SQL backend, or distributing software with SCCM. A very common and useful Microsoft product in the enterprise monitoring category is System Center Operations Manager (SCOM). SCOM is a flexible product that many IT admins trust and use frequently. Outside of purely monitoring, SCOM can be used for certain admin functions like managing virtual machines and datacenters or device discovery. Add in SCOM’s ability to monitor network devices, servers, datacenter infrastructure, and create custom alerts and notifications, and it becomes an invaluable piece of the IT puzzle.
Taking Advantage of SCOM Management Packs
SCOM management packs are an easy way to expand the functionality of your SCOM instance. Simply import a use-case-driven management pack and it will add new dashboards and reporting features to the SCOM console. Using this approach to build your end-to-end monitoring solution has the advantage of simplicity, since management pack content is displayed within the SCOM console. Adding the monitoring capabilities of an additional enterprise software product using management packs can greatly expand the features available without expanding the number of apps you must use to access them.
Finding the Right Management Pack
SCOM excels in monitoring network devices and datacenter infrastructure but doesn’t necessarily offer much out-of-the-box functionality aimed at workstations or the end user. Adding functionality to SCOM to monitor those components covers a great deal of the IT picture.
At Lakeside Software, we’ve focused our product SysTrack on the end-user experience and the devices the user works from. This naturally makes SysTrack and SCOM very complementary to each other. That’s why we’ve developed the SysTrack SCOM Workplace Analytics Management Pack – an end-user experience focused management pack that enhances the device and infrastructure focused capabilities of SCOM.
Importing the SysTrack SCOM Workplace Analytics Management Pack brings some key features of SysTrack inside the SCOM console. You’ll get access to data around software usage, hardware inventory, change management, user experience, health diagnostics, and real-time trouble shooting with Black Box. Also included is the Ask SysTrack bar to get helpful links to SysTrack resources based on a topic you searched.
Our management pack is available with the latest major version, SysTrack 8.3. It’s compatible with SCOM 2012 SP1 Update 6 or newer. If you’re already using SCOM in your environment and want to add user-centric monitoring to the mix, we invite you to check out the SysTrack SCOM Workplace Analytics Management Pack.
Ryan Wood is a senior engineer at Lakeside.