Operations Manager and Operations Management Suite 101: BETTER TOGETHER!

In this post, I will explain (my personal take on) how System Center 2016 – Operations Manager and Operations Management Suite (OMS) are complimentary to one another.  This post is designed to explain this point in more detail and answer commonly asked questions about how these two monitoring solutions are related. A great piece of Microsoft Official documentation on this can be found here: https://aka.ms/monitoring

Operations Manager and Operations Management Suite are complimentary and make for a synergetic 'Better Together' story.  One is not a substitute / replacement for the other.

Reference: https://aka.ms/whatisoms

What is Operations Manager and what is Operations Management Suite?

So firstly, what are each of these? Here are the Microsoft descriptions from the official overview documentation for each solution:

Operations Manager, a component of Microsoft System Center, is software that helps you monitor services, devices, and operations for many computers from a single console. (/en-us/system-center/scom/key-concepts?view=sc-om-2016)

Operations Management Suite (also known as OMS) is a collection of management services that were designed in the cloud from the start. Rather than deploying and managing on-premises resources, OMS components are entirely hosted in Azure. Configuration is minimal, and you can be up and running literally in a matter of minutes. /en-us/azure/operations-management-suite/operations-management-suite-overview

So the 2 are separate / independent / not related then?!


One important factor here (which can sometimes lead to confusion) is that both of these products use the same agent (Microsoft Monitoring Agent) that is installed on machines that are to be monitored by EITHER solution. Once deployed, this agent can send data either to SCOM in an on-premises environment and / or to an OMS Workspace hosted in Azure as shown in this diagram below:

The above diagram is somewhat of a simplification of the one below from this link -  https://aka.ms/omsarchitecture

When we look at how this looks on an agent, you will see 'Microsoft Monitoring Agent' installed in Services:

There is also a 'Microsoft Monitoring Agent' applet in the System and Security section of the control panel:

In the control panel applet, you will see one tab for the Operations Manager Management Group information and a Second tab for Azure Log Analytics (OMS) Workspace information, demonstrating that data is sent two ways:


Give it a whirl for free!

Ok, so now I've explained how Operations Manager and Operations Management Suite are complimentary to one another, it is worth knowing that currently (at time of press), you can try OMS for FREE!!!!  Yes, that's free!!!!  This has the conditions (again, at time of press) of a 500MB daily limit of data that can be injected into OMS, and data is retained for 7 days, but both of these are not prohibitive to 'kicking the tires' and exploring and better understanding the benefits that Operations Management Suite can offer:

As already explained, because both Operations Manager and Operations Management Suite use a common agent (Microsoft Monitoring Agent), if you already have an Operations Manager infrastructure, you are already half way to using Operations Management Suite with the agent already been deployed, so if you haven't already,   I would highly recommend creating a workspace and having agents send data there also, in order to explore the added capabilities and functionalities that Operations Management Suite can add.

If you don't have an Operations Manager infrastructure, why not still give Operations Management Suite a whirl, to see the great solutions you can enable without System Center Operations Manager (which is all of the Management Solutions, other than the 'Alert Management' one at time of press).

This document does a great job of explaining the various solutions and their requirements, and the method of which data is sent to OMS (direct or via System Center Operations Manager) if an agent reports to both on-premises Operations Manager and an Operations Manager Suite Workspace. https://aka.ms/solution

Frequently Asked Questions

Is OMS a replacement for System Center Operations Manager?

NO!!!  There are some things that System Center Operations Manager does more effectively, and some things that OMS does more effectively – Use the right tool for the job! Check this link out for more on that - https://aka.ms/monitoring

Do I need System Center Operations Manager for OMS?

NO!!!  OMS uses the same agent that is used in System Center Operations Manager so if you have a System Center Operations Manager environment deployed, monitoring agents that you'd like to add to your OMS workspace, it makes it less effort to bring these machines into OMS as they already have the required agent and the onboarding can be done via the System Center Operations Manager console. The one Solution in OMS which does require System Center Operations Manager is the 'Alert Management' one, ONLY if you want OMS to include alerts from Operations Manager in addition to alerts from Operations Management Suite (which are different to the alerts created by System Center Operations Manager)

So how do I get started with OMS if I do not have System Center Operations Manager?

If you do not have System Center Operations Manager, you will set up your Log Analytics workspace via the Azure Portal or the Microsoft Operations Management Suite portal, and then the agent can be downloaded from either of these portals and be installed on agents.   It can also be enabled on Azure machines directly in the Azure Portal.

Is OMS just for monitoring cloud?

NO!!! You can monitor resources in both Cloud and On-Premise (Private cloud) via OMS

Is OMS Agentless?

No, it uses the same agent (Microsoft Monitoring Agent) that is used in Operations Manager

What do I get in OMS that I don't already get in SCOM?

Log Analytics is a Service in Azure so it is not necessary to maintain the infrastructure that hosts the OMS Workspace.  Like in Operations Manager you get Management Packs containing monitoring elements for a give product or service, in OMS you get Management Solutions.

These are described as a collection of logic, visualization, and data acquisition rules that provide metrics pivoted around a particular problem area. (Reference: https://aka.ms/solution )

Ok I'll give it a shot, where do I start?

Instructions for creating a workspace can be found here


Also check out the rest of my Operations Manager and Operations Management Suite 101 Series here:


NOTE: Any comments and feedback greatly appreciated if you found this post helpful or have any corrections / suggestions.  Cheers, Antoni