Operations Manager is part of the System Center family, and its official name is System Center Operations Manager (SCOM). Operations Manager deployment requires SQL Server, and we wrote a previous article explaining the SQL deployment to support Operations Manager 2016. Take that article as a requirement before starting the steps described below.
In this article, we will be deploying a single Operations Manager that will contain all components of the solution on a single server. However, in a corporate environment, the administrator will plan to distribute the roles and design high availability to the monitoring system. We will be covering this type of design and steps toward it in future articles.
Operations Manager has different components, and we are going to briefly describe each component:
- Management Server is the key role in the Operations Manager universe. The agents connect to it to communicate with all monitoring components. The Management Server processes all information received from the agents and places it into the databases (operational and warehouse). Having more than one Management Server provides high availability and capacity to the environment. Because they are in constant communication with the databases, they should be placed on the same network as the database servers.
- Web Console is the web interface for SCOM console. Although it does not have all features that are available on the regular SCOM console, the administrator/operator can access the Monitoring, which provides a great deal of monitoring data and tasks.
- Reporting Services is self-explanatory. It is responsible for all reporting capabilities of the solution. When reporting is crucial to an organization, the best practice is to separate this role in a different set of servers.
- Gateway Role helps the communication between non-domain locations and Management Servers. It acts as a proxy between agents and management server.
- ACS Collector/Forwarder are both components used when the organization is storing the security event logs for security purposes. The ACS Forwarder is part of the agent, and when enabled will forward all security log entries of a monitored computer to the ACS Collector, which will process and optimize that data into the ACS Database.
There are also the databases hosted on SQL Server that are key for any Operations Manager deployment. Here is a brief explanation of each one of them.
- Operational database: All operational data, configuration and monitoring rules for a management group are stored on this SQL database, which is created during the installation process.
- Data Warehouse database: This can serve more than one management group and it stores data for long-term reporting. All data stored on this database comes from either the Operational database or from rules that collect data. By default, we have some retention of 400 days for some dataset of information (alerts and client monitoring, to mention a few).
- ACS Database: Stores all events that are generated by an audit policy when ACS is configured. By default, all audit logs are retained for 14 days.
Operations Manager service accounts
As part of the installation process, we must configure the Service Accounts that will be used by Operations Manager. The following table summarizes the initial accounts required during the installation process.
|Operations Manager Workload||Suggested Account Name||Additional Information|
|Action Account||svc.scom.msa||This account should be local administrator on all Management Servers, and can be used to install agents on remote server however it requires local administrator for that scenario.|
|Data Access Service account||–||Local System account and responsible to update information on the Operational Database|
|Data Reader Account||svc.scom.dr
|Required for Reporting Services used to access the reporting information.|
|Data Warehouse Write Account||svc.scom.dw||Account used to read information from the Management Server to the Data Warehouse database.|
The Active Directory user object does not have any special requirement. Just create the accounts and assign a strong password. Preferably, configure the account to not expire passwords.
Installing the prerequisites
The Web Console requires several features of the Operating System to be installed. The following PowerShell cmdlet can be used. After running this cmdlet, restart the server.
Add-WindowsFeature Web-Server, NET-HTTP-Activation, NET-WCF-HTTP-Activation45, Web-Mgmt-Console, Web-Net-Ext, Web-Net-Ext45, Web-Static-Content, Web-Default-Doc, Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Filtering, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Metabase, Web-Asp-Net, Web-Windows-Auth, Windows-Identity-Foundation
Another component that must be installed is the Microsoft System CLR Types for SQL 2014 and it can be found here. The article to download from the list is SQLSysClrTypes.msi.
Deploying Operations Manager
The first step is to download the trial version from Microsoft here. After downloading and executing the file, a location to extract the entire media will be used. Leave default settings, and the installation files will be available at C:\SC 2016 RTM SCOM.
Open that folder, and click on Setup, and the initial page of the installation wizard will be displayed. Make sure to select Download the latest updates to the setup program and click on Install.
In the Select features to install page: In this article, we are installing all roles on the same server. So, we will be selecting all options. Then click Next.
In the Select installation location page: Leave default settings, and the installation size is around 2.5GBs. Click on Next.
In the Prerequisites page: All prerequisites to install the roles selected will be checked, and the goal on this page is to get All prerequisites have passed. If there are any missing prerequisites, we must fix it before moving forward.
In the Specify an installation option page: Here we define the Management Group. A management group is required and it always has an Operational database and Data Warehouse assigned. A Management Group must be unique and the name can’t be changed later on. We can have more than one server in a management group, and we can have more than one in the environment.
We are going to label our Management Group as INFRALAB. Click on Next.
In the Please read the license terms page: Read and accept the license agreement, and click Next.
In the Configure the operational database page: A new Management Group comes with an Operational Database, and on this page, we can define the SQL configuration that will host the operational database. We will be using the local server and we will leave default settings for name, SQL Server port, database file folder, and database size. Click Next.
In the Configure the Data Warehouse database page: We will be configuring our first Data Warehouse for our Operations Manager environment. Since all configuration is on this server, just type in the server name, leave default settings for the existent settings, and click Next.
In the SQL Service instance for Reporting Services page: We are using a single server, so the current server will be listed there. Click on Next.
In the Select an authentication mode for use with the Web Console page: We can select the authentication to use the web console. We will leave default settings, which is Use Mixed Authentication (forms authentication), and click Next.
In the Specify a web site for use with the web console page: We need to select a website, and if we are going to use SSL (highly recommended), click Next.
In the Configure Operations Manager accounts page: Here we will enter the accounts and credentials that we defined at the beginning of this article. Click Next.
In the Diagnostic and Usage Data page: By default, if the management server is configured to send data and usage to Microsoft, the current Operations Manager console will follow such configuration and send that information. Click on Next.
In the Installation Summary page: All options selected so far in this deployment wizard will be listed. To confirm those and start the installation process, click on Install.
In the Installation progress page: The major steps required to build the Operations Manager solution will be listed, and as the setup progresses, a status icon will be placed on each item. The process may take several minutes — enough time for a coffee waiting for the completion!
In the Setup is complete page: The result of the installation process is shown. By default, the Operations Manager console will be open as soon as we click on Close.
After completing the installation of Operations Manager, there are a lot of tasks that must be completed before you’re ready for prime time. The most important ones are:
- Install the Operations Manager agents on the servers that we want to monitor.
- Deploy the Management Packs for the workloads to be monitored.
- Configure Notification Channels to allow Operations Manager to notify the users.
When opening Operations Manager for the first time, the Monitoring page (the first item on the left side) helps a lot and has a list of to do items, as well some hints and action items on the right side. On the left side, we can check the overall status of the Operations Manager by having the computers agents and their status by numbers, and so forth.
Photo credit: Flickr / Tim Regan