Why use OMS while SCOM is running?

Summary: Microsoft MVP, Marnix Wolf, talks about why to use Microsoft Operations Management Suite and SCOM together.

Good morning everyone. Ed Wilson here, and today I have our first guest blogger, Microsoft Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP, Marnix Wolf. Marnix blogs frequently on the Thoughts on OMS, OpsMgr & Azure blog, and he is often on Twitter (@Marnixwolf). So without further ado, here is Marnix.

Use OMS and SCOM together?…the big question

Many times I am asked this question. For the person or organization asking this question, it sounds logical. But to anyone with some understanding and experience with OMS and about how Microsoft has changed, the question sounds more like, “I’ve already got a horse cart, so why look for a car?”


Some background information

This may sound harsh, but let me explain it. SCOM isn’t old-fashioned—but there is something else happening here. As we all know, Microsoft has changed its direction. It’s cloud and mobile first now. So the investments into these new products (services really) are staggering.

Within a year, a whole new plethora of services has seen the light—whereas others (which already existed) have had major overhauls. Comparing this to an on-premise product, it would be the like making Exchange Server 2003 generally available (GA) in January 2015, upgrading it to Exchange Server 2007, 2010, and 2013 during the year, and then making Exchange Server 2016 generally available in December the same year.


Because Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) is a Microsoft cloud-based service, this service is constantly evolving, and new features are added on a monthly basis.

Back to the comparison

So because of the speed of development and the growth of its usability footprint, OMS has the speed of a car, whereas SCOM has the (development) speed of a horse cart. Yet, this doesn’t render the investment in SCOM to zero. Far from it.

But when you’re running one more SCOM environments, it certainly pays off to start using OMS. And the funny thing is, you can do this for free and in the matter of minutes. Only a few hours later, you’ll get good insights into the collected data.

But what exactly is OMS?

To put it simply, OMS is a cloud-based IT management solution with many offerings, such as IT Automation, Security & Compliance, Log Analytics, and Backup & Recovery. As such, it’s a perfect aid to manage and protect your IT infrastructure—on premises and in the cloud.

Basically what we’re looking at is a System Center service offering in the cloud. But it gets even better. Since OMS is a Management-as-a-Service (MaaS) offering, it’s fully serviced and maintained by Microsoft. There is no need to update anything. Here, Plug-and-Play gets a whole new meaning.

As you can see, OMS does add new features to the System Center stack as a whole, and SCOM in particular.

On top of it all, it’s managed from a web-based interface, which is as fast as lighting and works on a plethora of devices and web browsers. Yes, the iPad of your IT manager is fully covered. There are even apps for it, and for iOS and Android. For more information, see Azure Operational Insights: What About the Console?

I can use OMS with SCOM for free?

Yes! Of course, Microsoft isn’t Santa Claus, but still you can use OMS for free. There are free, standard, and premium data plans. So you could start out with the Free data plan, test drive it, and when you like it (you most certainly will), upgrade to a paid data plan. For more information, see the Microsoft Operations Management Suite Pricing page.

Connecting SCOM with OMS is a walk in the park. You don’t need voodoo priests, or anything else awkward for that matter. All you need is a Workspace ID and a primary key.


Simply enter this information into your SCOM Management Group (found under Administration) and be happy.


I don’t have SCOM or I don’t want to connect it to OMS

No problem. Simply download the agent from your OMS workspace (for Windows or Linux), install it, and configure it with the correct Workspace ID and primary key. Again, no mumbo jumbo required. Guess the voodoo priests are out of a job soon.

Soon enough, data will come flowing in and you can start all kinds of analytics. Totally awesome!

How do I enable an OMS feature?

I am repeating myself here, but that’s also easy. It’s nothing more than a mouse click. OMS features are titled Solutions, and you can find them in the Solutions Gallery.


Simply click the Solution of your choice, read its description and (sometimes) additional requirements, and then click the Add button. Done!


As you can see, in no time you’re test driving OMS!

Why is OMS so cool?

After driving a horse cart for many years, driving a car is a totally awesome experience! But seriously, OMS extends SCOM to a whole new level. So using OMS is nothing but a logical decision. And with the move to the cloud (Azure, for instance), it’s good to get a deeper and better understanding of how it works. This way you can help your company evolve and start making your job more exciting by automating boring and repetitive tasks with OMS, giving you more time to work on more interesting tasks.


Thank you, Marnix, for being our first guest blogger. This is an excellent way to begin the week. Join me tomorrow when I’ll talk about getting started with OMS

I invite you to follow me on Twitter and the Microsoft OMS Facebook site. If you want to learn more about Windows PowerShell, visit the Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog. If you have any questions, send email to me at scripter@microsoft.com. I wish you a wonderful day, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Ed Wilson
Microsoft Operations Management Team