Microsoft System Center is a suite of management products that are designed to assist with the management and maintenance of a Microsoft-based infrastructure. Each of the products in the System Center suite is designed to focus on one specific aspect of the management process. Virtual Machine Manager, for example, is designed to help administrators to manage the virtual server infrastructure, while Data Protection Manager is designed to act as a backup solution. Even though each of the System Center products does something different, the products can sometimes be symbiotically linked together. Such is the case for System Center Operations Manager and System Center Virtual Machine Manager. In fact, the Virtual Machine Manager console provides a mechanism for linking Virtual Machine Manager to Operations Manager. By doing so, you will be able to use System Center Operations Manager to monitor your virtual machines and the supporting infrastructure.
Verifying the prerequisites
Before linking the two products together, you will need to make sure that a few basic prerequisites are in place. For the purposes of this article, I am going to assume that you are using the 2016 version of System Center.
System Center Operations Manager console and management packs
The first thing that you will need to do before linking System Center Operations Manager to Virtual Machine Manager is to install the Operations Manager console directly onto the Virtual Machine Manager server. Next, you are going to have to make sure that you have the required management packs for System Center Operations Manager. Specifically, you will need:
- Windows Server Internet Information Services Library Version 6.0.50000.0 or later
- Windows Server Internet Information Services 2003 Version 6.0.5000.0 or later
- Windows Server 2008 Internet Information Services 7 Version 6.0.6539.0 or later
- SQL Server Core Library Version 6.0.5000.0 or later
Microsoft maintains an online catalog of management packs that you can download and import into System Center Operations Manager. You can access the catalog here.
Importing a management pack is a relatively straightforward process. From within the Operations console, click on Administration, and then right-click on the Management Packs option, and then select Import Management Packs from the resulting context menu. This causes the Import Management Packs Wizard to open. Now, just click Add, and then choose the Add From Catalog option. If you need more help, Microsoft provides a more thorough walkthrough of the entire process here. Incidentally, it is also possible to download a management pack from outside of the console, and then import the management pack from disk rather than importing it from the catalog.
In addition to the prerequisites that have already been discussed, you will also need the appropriate credentials. Specifically, you will need a set of administrative credentials for Operations Manager, and a set of credentials for Virtual Machine Manager.
Adding the System Center settings
To link System Center Operations Manager to Virtual Machine Manager, open the Virtual Machine Manager console, and then navigate to the Settings workspace. Next, select the System Center Settings tab, and then right-click on the Operations Manager Server option, and choose the Properties command from the shortcut menu, as shown in the figure below.
Right-click on the Operations Manager Server text and then select the Properties command from the resulting shortcut menu.
At this point, System Center Virtual Machine Manager will launch the Add Operations Manager wizard. The wizard’s initial screen will list the prerequisite requirements for Operations Manager integration, as shown in the figure below. Although the prerequisites were listed at the beginning of this article, it is always a good idea to read through the on-screen list of prerequisites, just to make sure that nothing has changed.
Click Next, and you will be taken to the wizard’s Connection to Operations Manager screen, which you can see in the figure below. This screen is designed to help you configure the connection from VMM to Operations Manager. As you can see in the figure, this screen requires you to provide several pieces of information. To begin, you will need to enter the name of the Operations Manager server that you want to connect to. You must then choose the account that you want to use. You will have to choose between the Virtual Machine Manager service account, and a Virtual Machine Manager Run As account.
After specifying the required credentials, there are two checkboxes that you can optionally select. One checkbox enables Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO), while the other enables maintenance mode integration with Operations Manager. If you opt to enable Performance and Resource Optimization, you will have to enable PRO separately for each host group, host cluster, service, or cloud within which you want to use PRO.
Click Next, and you will be taken to a screen that allows you to configure the other half of the connection. This is the connection from Operations Manager to Virtual Machine Manager. As you can see in the figure below, this part of the configuration process is really simple. You are merely required to enter a set of administrative credentials for Operations Manager.
Click Next, and you will be taken to a summary screen that displays the configuration options that you have entered. Take a moment to verify that everything is correct, and then click Finish to complete the process.
As you can see, it is relatively easy to integrate Operations Manager and Virtual Machine Manager. Upon completion of the integration process, you will be able to use Operations Manager to monitor the Virtual Machine Manager server and all of the hosts and virtual machines that it knows about. It is even possible to use Operations Manager to monitor the health of the Virtual Machine Manager fabric and of your private clouds.