What is Microsoft Operations Management Suite and why is it cool?


Summary: Ed Wilson talks about #MSOMS, what it does, and why he thinks it is a way cool tool.

Good morning, everyone. Ed Wilson here. Today I want to talk about why I think the Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) is cool. I will admit that when I was a network administrator (and even later when I was a consultant), I loved and hated going to TechEd. The reason is that although it was a great place to network with other professionals and an awesome place to get the straight scoop on the things I was doing, there were always the sessions touting the next generation of stuff, and all the new things coming down the pike.

As a person who was basically an IT generalist, it was like trying to catch a wave while standing neck deep in the ocean—and that is an impossible task. Although some of the stuff was cool, what seemed to be lacking was how it was going to make my life better and easier, and how it would permit me to reduce the outstanding items on my TODO list. Too often, the things being discussed seemed like they were different. And to boot, they would require, at a minimum, that I take a week-long, instructor-led class, just to reach beginner proficiency.

What does OMS do?

There are four basic areas where OMS can help:

  • Log analytics
  • IT automation
  • Backup and recovery
  • Security and compliance

When I was a network administrator (even when I was a consultant), I spent a lot of time with all four areas…

Of course as a consultant, I was examining the various Windows logs (performance logs and various diagnostics logs) a lot. As a network administrator, I was more concerned with spotting errors from various applications.

As a consultant, I was never involved in backup tasks, but I worked quite often in the recovery side of the equation. Of course, a network admin spends lots of time doing backups and performing selective restorations for the users.

In the old days, IT automation always involved scripting. In fact, I learned scripting when I was a network admin. It was the only way to even begin to hoping to get the job done.

Security these days is everyone’s business.

These four areas are bread and butter

In these four areas, OMS can help me as a network administrator, as a DevOps person, and as a consultant. They are also valuable for the person who does not fall into these categories, but who wants to be able to do those types of tasks.

So why is OMS cool? Well, each of these areas could cause a person to spend weeks coming up-to-speed. I remember the first time I unboxed a network backup program, for example. It came with a 600-page, very small print, book. There were over 150 pages of theory about backup. You know—the difference between full, differential, and incremental backups. Plus there were more exotic backup solutions—complete with drawings. I mean, dude, deploying a simple backup solution, was a major project that took me over a month to implement.

Automation? Well, I have spent more than a decade learning automation, and while I am pretty good at it, there are times when I still have to spend a week looking up stuff and trying various things to get a single script to work reliably.

Log analytics? To do that at even a moderate level of expertise requires reading several books and monitoring several blogs on a regular basis.

Security and compliance? That is another specialty.

So with this in mind, a simple, easy-to-deploy, easy-to-use tool like Microsoft Operations Management Suite, has my vote for cool…way cool.

Check it out on the Microsoft Operations Management Suite site.

That is all I have for you today. Join me tomorrow when I’ll talk about different sources of information about OMS.

I invite you to follow me on Twitter and the Microsoft OMS Facebook site. If you want to learn more about Windows PowerShell, visit the Hey, Scripting Guy Blog. If you have any questions, send email to me at scripter@microsoft.com. I wish you a wonderful day, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Ed Wilson
Microsoft Operations Management Team

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