Savision, when you got Microsoft SCOM & Citrix management packs but lack visibility
As a tradition I write a blog post about a new sponsor of my website, two reasons behind it. First one is as a courtesy to the sponsor, a thank you for doing business. The second reason is to make sure you as visitors know what the logo on the side if off, and if you are looking for a solution like that, that you know where to look. It is in no way a statement of value but I urge you to take a good look at Savision and any of my sponsors, they create amazing products that are needed in our line of work.
Microsoft SCOM, Citrix and Savision
Many customers are bound to use Microsoft SCOM as it comes for “free” with the licenses they acquired. Microsoft SCOM is not the best product on the market in this virtual world. It was designed once for a more physical and less complex world. To make the most of the data received by Microsoft SCOM you need a good solution to work with that data. The biggest complaint we hear at customers is that Microsoft SCOM fills up your mailbox, thousands of messages and no clue what to do with them. Dashboards are difficult to work with and the console could be better.
Citrix acquired the ComTrade management packs so now customers with a Platinum license can use those management packs in Microsoft SCOM to monitor the Citrix environment. The idea behind it was to enhance the Platinum license which was a lot of money for few features. Even though the management pack from ComTrade is doing its job it can’t take away the limited possibilities Microsoft offers with SCOM. I personally think that picking a Platinum license for that would be a waste of money.
Savision is offering Livemaps, a management pack that can help you make sense out of that data. it will provide you with HTML5 dashboards you are looking for. When the data coming out of Microsoft SCOM overwhelms you you look at them to get the dashboard. By default the standard applications dashboards are available and any different ones can be created at will. Savision is (and I’ve been telling this to customers for a while) the management pack I would add if you were to work with Microsoft SCOM. Add this or don’t do Microsoft SCOM. You need visibility and Microsoft nor Citrix is offering that with SCOM.
Savision is offering out of the box services that are ready to use is you monitor them with Microsoft SCOM and a management pack. So instead of looking at components you are looking at services and behind the services you can define different test like end user test or infrastructure test and so on. Here is a sample SLA dashboard you could create which shows different services. You could create different kinds and show metrics different. Drilling down will show why the service is only at 31%.
So when i drill down on Lync I will be taken to a different dashboard where the tests are split out. From left to right we see end user test, application tests, infrastructure test and supplier services. Supplier services are the dependencies that often are forgotten in monitoring. End user test would be a test to see if the user can actually reach the service. They are working with third parties to integrate here so that they can show data retrieved from others if they can supply it themselves. Think about logon simulators , you can design one yourself or perhaps hook into another one and use that data.
If look further on that same page we see altering at the bottom, thresholds that are breached and other mayhem you need to look into. going down like this gives a lot of details on why the service is down. combining this with the end user tests will show how to resolve the issue.
When you click further to look for the root of the issue a pop-up will appear showing detailed information. The screenshot is rather large so I added a smaller version, click on it to see more of it. The error here states that a certificate is expired.
If we look for a moment at the end user tests we see, in the case of Lync, that there is a web test. This test is executed during the day to see if the service is still up and running
This web test is one example but together with the other test in the service monitoring gives a complete overview of the service you are monitoring. I really think that if you have Microsoft SCOM and Citrix you need to do some serious monitoring like this. You need to verify your Citrix Storefront or NetScaler is up and running and only by testing it for real will it show real results.
There is of course much more to tell, let me go over it quickly as I think service monitoring is the most important feature of LiveMaps. Default system monitoring is of course also a feature they offer. you can create custom dashboards to show all your servers and when you see one turn red dive in and see where the issue is.
The screen shows the most important metrics like processor or memory usage and of course the errors or events of the server are displayed so you know what is going on.
And again here you see the same error you saw before from a different perspective. That is important that monitoring knows the service is running on a server and that they rely on each other. So alerts are shown on different levels.
I think they are offering a very interesting product. There is much more to tell and show but I think this gives a very good idea of what they are capable off. Take a look at their site, they have an online demo there you can check out. See the custom dashboard, the services overview, the topology, the data center view and so much more.
You find the by clicking on the logo of them on your right side, check them out they are worth your time.