Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud with System Center 2012

The System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager can help you to manage your Virtual Environment and create multiple Business Unit Clouds. You can build and configure network resources and security for a business unit cloud.

You can deploy pre-packaged applications and create a new service template to deploy a service into the cloud. This is done by using the Service Template Designer.

Using System Center Operations Manager, you can monitor the various services that underpin the private cloud. You can deploy agents to key service components running within the private cloud. Custom monitoring is then applied to these components which include the creation of a distributed application model to give a holistic view of the health of the private cloud infrastructure. Architecture of Operations Manager includes databases, management servers, management server pools, consoles, gateways, and reporting.

Application Performance Monitoring (APM) is a feature of Operations Manager. Administrators can configure APM to monitor the performance and availability of applications. Operations Manager can detect any breaks of an application and reports this with the Alerting and Diagnostics tools that are built into Operations Manager.

Service Manager is used to create and manage change requests, incidents, and release records. The security model behind Service Manager can be customized so that administrators can extend the integral functionality of the service.

Problem management within a service management framework can be implemented as a manual feature of Service Manager. Administrators can create a custom event monitor in Operations Manager and then use it to identify and route incidents and problems to Service Manager.

Automation of self-service provisioning can be configured by using the System Center Cloud Service Process Pack, which includes the configuration items that are created and the request items that are contained in the System Center Cloud Service Process Pack.

The process includes installing and configure the System Center Cloud Services Process Pack followed by defining the various Cloud Services configuration items that make up the System Center Cloud Service Process Pack. You also need to define various Cloud Services request items that are included in it.

Data Protection Manager allows you to protect and recover your data in the Private Cloud. Literally you can implement a recovery action by using Orchestrator to recover a database. 2 types of protections are configurable, namely the manual VS the automatic protection and recovery of key service data. The status of the protection can also be monitored.

Finally, administrators can implement IT Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRC) in a private cloud environment by using System Center 2012. Administrators can also implement Software Update Compliance in Virtual Machine Manager to verify whether key private cloud infrastructure is correctly updated with the latest software updates. For instance, you can implement the IT GRC Management Pack in Service Manager to check for compliance across key Service Components and remediate non-compliant items. This can be done by VMM Security Baselines and System Center Advisor.

When it comes to reporting, there are various methods for surfacing service and performance-related data from Operations Manager and Service Manager to SharePoint and Microsoft Excel.

Additional resources

Ken Sim, Technical Evangelist, Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft Virtualization, Private Cloud and Windows Server 2012


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