Azure Partner Community: Introduction to Microsoft OMS


Welcome to part 2 of this month’s Azure Partner Community blog series. Read part 1, with an update about Microsoft Azure Internal Use Rights for partners. Read previous posts

by Nick Johnson, PMP

US Partner Technology Strategist

In the first blog post for this month’s Azure Partner Community series, my colleague, Frank Campise, provided you with an update about the Microsoft Azure internal use benefits available to MPN members. Using your Internal Use Rights benefit gives you a way to become familiar with the latest Microsoft products and technologies. There are many creative ways to use Azure in your company to build skills and knowledge as well as test and demo.

One way to use your benefits is to set up and demo the Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS). If you aren’t familiar with OMS, read on for an overview and information about setting it up.

Microsoft OMS is a SaaS management offering that works with any cloud. Built to stand alone or extend upon the foundation of System Center, OMS enables you to leverage a single portal for all your management tasks. With OMS you can onboard and integrate resources quickly. As you can see in the graphic above, OMS allows you to manage workloads across Windows, Linux, private, hybrid, and public clouds.

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Operations Management Suite offers a solution that addresses things your customers are probably concerned about. With OMS, you can help customers simplify their management tasks while extending their capabilities. It includes:

  • Log analytics: Collect, correlate, and act on log data
  • IT automation: Orchestrate and automate complex repetitive operations
  • Availability, backup and recovery: Protect and extend your datacenter and quickly implement hybrid cloud
  • Security and compliance: Identify, assess, and mitigate security risks

Building your first environment

Now that you have an understanding of what OMS can offer, let’s look at how to set it up and start using it with your Azure internal use rights. This is a great way to learn about it and show it to your customers.

Prepare and configure sample resources in Azure

Before you log into the OMS portal, you’ll need to prepare Microsoft Azure. In the video below, I’ll show you how I configured them.

  1. You will need a working Azure subscription for which you are the administrator.
  2. You will need some working Azure VMs to monitor via OMS. In the environment I built I included four virtual machines running Windows Server 2012 R2. When I created the VMs, I chose an older version release date. This will result in a machine that is slightly out of date on updates, which OMS will notice and alert you about.
  3. In Azure, I’ve configured a backup vault and begun protecting the virtual machines. Check out Jonathan Gardner’s blog post on this subject.

Build your OMS workspace

Once you’ve configured Azure, sign up for the Operations Management Suite trial. For partner demo purposes, use the same Microsoft account you use to log into your Azure subscription. On the “Create New Workspace” page, fill out the page and go to the next page, the “Link Azure Subscription” page. In the dropdown list, choose the Azure subscription you want to connect to and click “Link.” Once this process finishes, you’ll have a working OMS workspace.

Begin monitoring your servers

Now, connect to your data sources. When you log into your OMS Workspace, look for this tile and click on it:

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  • First, add the solutions you want to include. For now, add the defaults and click the “Add selected Solutions button.” If you want to modify the selections, you can do that now or add and remove a solution from the gallery at any point the future.
  • Second, connect to the data sources you want to monitor. For this first-time demo, we’re going to monitor VMs. Download the agent and install it on each server as explained in this blog post by Pierre Roman. This is also how you can connect on-premises resources and AWS servers. This method does work on Azure, but in my demo video, I’ll show you another way. And, if you use System Center, you can connect through that as well.
  • Third, add the types of logs you’d like to monitor from the data sources. For the ease of a first-time demo, consider adding the System and Application Windows Event Logs. Just type “System” into the search box, select System, and click the “+” to add it. Repeat for Application. For a more advanced look at log monitoring setup, refer to this blog post.
  • Lastly, in this example I’m monitoring a backup vault in Azure, so on the OMS home screen, click the Backup tile to configure the Azure Vault to monitor.

Setting up your first Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) workspace
Watch online

Partner opportunity

Microsoft Operations Management Suite and cloud resource management present several opportunities for you to build business by helping your customers build a modern infrastructure.

Here are some of the services I see partners offering in this space:

  1. Help customers consolidate management of numerous physical, virtual, and cloud-based environments across companies. In one example, several departments at a customer had deployed their own cloud-based servers. The partner helped IT manage those environments, while leaving some autonomy and control in the hands of the individual teams.
  2. Partners are extending the automation engine to build customer-specific and industry-specific processes that can be packaged and sold as IP. Learn more about the profitability of IP for partners
  3. If you have a System Center practice, OMS capabilities are an excellent way to extend your business. Watch this video to learn more about this opportunity

Resources

Visit the Microsoft OMS website and watch this overview video

Operations Management Suite technical overview

Inside the Microsoft Operations Management Suite (preview release)

Video: Learn more about the Microsoft vision for IT management

Video: Log Analytics overview

Free eBook: Are you ready for the next big thing in IT Management?

On-demand training: 4 essentials to IT management in the new hybrid world

Channel 9 videos:

Blog post: Manage more of your Linux with Microsoft Operations Management Suite

Mobile apps for OMS (Windows Phone, iOS, and Android)

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