Face it: In my believe Operations Manager is a cool product with lot’s of capabilities out of the box. But there is room for improvement as well. One of these areas of improvement is showing the data which you eagerly collect in SCOM to the operators or even to people who are not that tech minded. All they want to see is whether everything is running fine and they can happily (I do hope so) continue their work. SCOM is very good in showing the data to the Operators but is lacking these capabilities of showing data in a more simple way.
Don’t get me wrong on this… It DOESN’T need to have this capability on board by default… Luckily there are a number of players on the market regarding easy setup dashboards and visualizations of this data in your SCOM environment like Squared-up.
During MMS 2013 I came across Squared-up. A small UK based company who took a rather different approach towards dashboarding. The difference is in fact that they are not focusing on creating dashboards in the console as such but generating these dashboards on top of a lightweight HTML5 server which can be installed on a management server or another server if you like. All you need to do is install the Squared up app and connecting it to your environment. From there on all the data is collected by tapping into the SCOM SDK without interfering with the console as such.
No fuzz, no hassle, just straightforward dashboards out of the box…
So the first part of this blog series (yep I will dig deeper into this program) is to see how we are going to install the product and see what is available out of the box. (Note that the print screens are based on version 1.7. I recently install 1.8 on top of this version without issues)
So let’s start the install:
Read through the entire License agreement like I always do (right)
Install the HTML5 web-server
After install we need to connect it to our management group to be able to tap into the SDK.
When all is done we can open the console for the first time by clicking on the link provided on screen:
We are using the Operations manager user “administrator”. No extra users need to be created just the users already present in SCOM will do:
After first log in you need to put in your activation key and you are good to go.
To my surprise data was already coming in and being shown in the website. Without any additional configuration or settings I already have standard view of my environment.
First browse through the standard views:
Active Directory view out of the box
On the left we get a quick overview of the status of the different services and on the right we get straight out of the box the graphs about the key perfomance indicators straight out of the Datawarehouse in real time. Pretty impressive if you ask me.
Web servers view out of the box:
So if I click an alert it will instantly open a new web view with the alert and all the different parameters of the alert in a very sleak design giving you all parameters and data in a glance.
This dashboard is also fully functional. It’s possible to close alerts, assign alerts or even reset monitors in a glance as shown below.
I’ll definitely have to play more with the product to get to know it’s full potential but so far I’m pleased with what I’m seeing: Easy setup, dashboards straight out of the box filled with data, speed (although my environment is running locally on my demo laptop),…
In a further stadium when I find the 25th hour in a day I’ll dig into the creation of custom dashboards which hopefully will be the same easy setup as the install.
If you want to test drive this web console without moving back and forth on your screen you can always open it in a Page view in the console itself like shown below: