Developing an Operations Manager 2007 Implementation Plan

Applies To: Operations Manager 2007 R2, Operations Manager 2007 SP1

Developing an Implementation Plan

At this point in the design process, you should have several documents:

  • A listing of the goals of your Operations ManagerĀ 2007 implementation project

  • A summary of the business, regulatory, and IT requirements

  • A reliable inventory of your current production environment

  • A reliable description of the processes used to perform monitoring currently

  • A listing of the Operations ManagerĀ 2007 services that will be implemented and the components necessary to support those services

  • A detailed diagram of your planned management groups and how they will be placed in your environment

  • A detailed plan of how Operations Manager will be integrated with your current monitoring processes

  • Hardware specifications for the servers in the planned management groups

The last deliverable that this guide will assist you in developing is an implementation plan.

Lab Testing

An implementation plan is simply a moderately detailed listing of the steps necessary to move the monitoring environment from wherever it is now, referred to as the "start state," to where you want it to be, referred to as the "desired end state." There is only one way to develop an implementation plan properly and that is through lab testing. The goal of lab testing as part of implementation plan development is to validate configuration and procedures, not to prove out scalability, as it is usually cost prohibitive to fully model the production environment with all its complexity and load in a lab setting.

Start your lab design by identifying the critical components in your production environment that support the monitoring environment, such as Active Directory and DNS. Also identify components Operations Manager will interact with, such as applications, servers, and workstations.

Secure hardware that will host the start state lab environment. Because you are not testing for scale, consider using Microsoft Virtual Server to host these components as virtual machines. Using Virtual Server has the added advantage of providing the ability to quickly reset the test environment to a clean start state after a testing run. Build the critical components infrastructure and other start state components in this environment. Exercise due diligence here to ensure that the lab environment resembles the production environment as closely as possible. The closer it is in terms of configuration, services, and data, the more valid the subsequent testing will be.

Next, get the hardware that will be used to support the production implementation of your management groups and get it up and running in the lab setting. This gives you the opportunity to confirm that all the hardware is present and working properly. Then compile a rough list of the steps that will be used to perform the Operations Manager deployment. This completes the preparatory steps.

Now you should perform the implementation in the lab, step by step, updating the procedures as you progress. You should expect to encounter issues during this process. The goal here is to identify as many issues that block the implementation as possible and to develop solutions or procedures to work around the issues. You should expect to repeat this process many times, getting a bit further each time and resetting the lab to the start state as necessary.

Once you are able to get successfully through the implementation from start state to desired end state, you can be sure that you have a reliable and truly useful implementation plan.