SCOM and GSX Monitor & Analyzer: the best pair to manage your alerting systems?

The GSX Blog

SCOM resized 600The constant availability and performance of Messaging and Collaboration applications is business-critical.

Powerful supervision tools like SCOM, HP OpenView and Tivoli enable companies to improve availability and performance of mission-critical applications while reducing overall cost of ownership. However, these tools represent ‘simplification through complication’ – it is said that by creating a single management tool for a wide range of software and hardware, they can ultimately simplify the management environment. 

The downside to this strategy is that the intermediate stage requires a high level of expertise and customization. It pushes users IT admins to undertake complex developments and acquire complementary tools in order to accelerate their system management projects. Microsoft’s ‘grand unification’ drive also has significant organizational implications for the different teams involved in service delivery. SCOM’s evolution is forcing customers to integrate Exchange, SharePoint and network teams, but additional management software is needed to support the migration process.

Alternatively, IT departments may adopt a multi-vendor strategy to improve their ROI for Application Performance Monitoring.

For large Exchange and SharePoint deployments, IT departments need dedicated management tools , which integrate fully with, and layer on top of, SCOM as value accelerators. Why? To provide the automation and seamless management of their fixed and mobile Messaging and Collaboration environments, as well as extend and accelerate the overall performance of their system management investments.

GSX Monitor & Analyzer is focused on application layer monitoring of Messaging and Collaboration Systems. It provides a management pack for System Center Operations Manager versions 2007 and 2012 where all the alerts from GSX Monitor can be centralized and managed straight into the SCOM console. This avoids manipulating alert notifications on different consoles, reducing the noise due to the use of different alerting systems as well as simplifying the monitoring capabilities, as you gather everything in one place for a better control.

The alerts generated from the GSX Monitor station regarding email and collaboration systems are automatically filtered and ranked depending on their level of severity:
• Critical (Severity from 80 to 99)
• Warning (Severity from 60 to 79)
• Informational (Severity from 1 to 59)

It is very important to understand that the SCOM console sees all alerts using this standard and that the GSX management pack has been designed to meet this requirement. Furthermore, the fact that you can edit the severity of the alerts in the GSX Monitor console to fit these standards represents a real advantage.

When an event is associated to an alert, which can be represented as a back-up, an escalation or a reminder alert, the GSX Monitor station automatically clears the previous entry and the information is detailed in the history tab of the alerts properties. The alert is automatically closed when a back-up alert is sent. If the issue appears again, a new entry is created in the SCOM dashboard.

The GSX SCOM management pack was also designed to view new or completed alerts in the resolution state of the dashboard.

The SCOM management pack is a good approach for the system administrators and helpdesk teams to be alerted in time by their centralized monitoring console as well as to gauge the end user experience and application performance features of GSX monitoring.

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