What's New in System Center 2012 - Operations Manager


Updated: May 13, 2016

Applies To: System Center 2012 - Operations Manager

System Center 2012 – Operations Manager has a number of new capabilities and changes outlines in this document. We urge you to read the System Center 2012 – Operations Manager Release Candidate Release Notes for details about known issues.

Setup and Upgrade


Operations Manager has a new Setup wizard. For important instructions about how to install Operations Manager, see the Deployment Guide for System Center 2012 – Operations Manager.

Upgrading to System Center 2012 – Operations Manager

Operations Manager provides an upgrade wizard to help you upgrade your System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 environment to System Center 2012 – Operations Manager Release Candidate. For more information, see Upgrading to System Center 2012 – Operations Manager.

New process flow diagrams help you determine your upgrade path from System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 to System Center 2012 – Operations Manager Release Candidate and map your upgrade process. To open and view content for any step in the process, just click a process box.

Upgrade process flow diagram

Upgrade Process Flow Diagram

Upgrade process flow diagram

The following table lists the process flow diagrams and descriptions of when each upgrade path should be used.


Process flow diagram

When you have a single-server or distributed management group that already meets the minimum supported configuration requirements for System Center 2012 – Operations Manager.

Single-Server and Distributed Upgrade (Simple) Process Flow Diagram

When your single-server management group does not yet meet the minimum supported configuration requirements for System Center 2012 – Operations Manager, and requires new hardware.

Single-Server Upgrade (Complex) Process Flow Diagram

When your distributed management group has one or more servers that do not meet the minimum supported configuration requirements for System Center 2012 – Operations Manager, and might require new hardware.

Distributed Upgrade (Complex) Process Flow Diagram

New Monitoring Capabilities

Network Monitoring

Operations Manager provides the ability to discover and monitor network routers and switches, including the network interfaces and ports on those devices and the virtual LAN (VLAN) that they participate in. You can also delete discovered network devices and prevent the deleted network devices from being rediscovered the next time discovery runs.

Application Monitoring

In Operations Manager, you can monitor Internet Information Services (IIS)-hosted .NET applications from server-side and client-side perspectives to get details about application performance and reliability that can help you pinpoint root causes of incidents. When you specify settings, the types of events to collect, the performance goals to measure, and servers to monitor, .NET Application Performance Monitoring reveals how web-based applications are running. You can see how frequently a problem is occurring, how a server was performing when a problem occurred, and the chain of events related to the slow request or method that is raising exceptions. This information is required to partner with software developers and database administrators to help ensure that applications perform correctly and reliably for your customers. For more information, see Authoring the .NET Application Performance Monitoring Template and Monitoring .NET Applications.

Location of .NET Application Performance Monitoring

.NET Application Performance Monitoring

Performance and Scale

Resource Pools

A resource pool contains only management servers and provides the ability to distribute workloads across multiple management servers, such as availability, network device monitoring, distributed monitor health rollup, and group calculation. For more information, see How to Create a Resource Pool.

Removal of Root Management Server

In Operations Manager, all management servers are peers; there is no root management server. The workload is split among all management servers in a management group, which provides high availability without requiring a cluster.

Improved Experience

Web Console

Operations Manager introduces a new web console that is optimized for faster load times and provides you with access to the new IT pro dashboards.

Dashboard Views

Operations Manager includes new comprehensive dashboard views that combine multiple panels of information into a single view. In Operations Manager, you can add the new dashboard views to My Workspace and the Monitoring workspace.

Creating Dashboard Views

Dashboard views have been significantly upgraded in Operations Manager from their capabilities in System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2, including custom layouts and nested dashboard views.

Display Dashboard Views in SharePoint

The Operations Manager web part displays specified dashboard views and can be added to Microsoft SharePoint 2010 sites. For more information, see Add a Dashboard to a SharePoint Site.

System Center 2012 - Orchestrator Replaces Microsoft-Developed Connector Functionality

Connectors developed by Microsoft have been discontinued for System Center 2012 – Operations Manager and their functionality has been replaced by System Center 2012 - Orchestrator.


Orchestrator is not required to create and test non-Microsoft-developed connectors against System Center 2012.

Orchestrator provides the ability to create and run automated workflows, called runbooks, made of multiple activities that each performs a distinct function. The connector functionality of enabling System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 to synchronize alerts with remote systems is achieved by creating runbooks, using activities that interact with Operations Manager and one or more other products. Because runbooks can include sophisticated logic and activities from any number of Integration Packs, you can implement scenarios that cannot be easily achieved with connectors. Integration Packs will be delivered for each System Center component and provide additional activities specific to a particular component.

Operations Manager Module for Windows PowerShell

Operations Manager provides a Windows PowerShell 2.0 module containing a full set of new cmdlets. The cmdlets in this module are only compatible with Operations Manager. You can recognize the Operations Manager cmdlets by the "SC" preceding the noun. For additional information about the Operations Manager cmdlets, open the Operations Manager command shell and type Get-Help about_OpsMgr_WhatsNew. For information about how the Operations Manager 2007 cmdlets map to the Operations Manager cmdlets, type Get-Help about_OpsMgr_Cmdlet_Names.

To use the Operations Manager cmdlets, you must establish a connection to an Operations Manager management group. You can establish either a persistent connection in which you can run multiple cmdlets, or a temporary connection when running a single cmdlet. For more information about connections, open the Operations Manager Shell and type Get-Help about_OpsMgr_Connections.

UNIX- and Linux-Based Computers

In Operations Manager, you can perform privileged operations on UNIX-based and Linux-based computers using unprivileged Run As accounts by combining with “sudo” elevation on the target UNIX-based and Linux-based computers. This capability avoids the need for UNIX or Linux root passwords to be known on the management server, and keeps the privilege control entirely within the domain of the UNIX or Linux administrator. Operations Manager also includes new Windows PowerShell cmdlets for performing agent maintenance functions on UNIX-based and Linux-based computers, allowing for scripting and background operations.  In addition, the resource pool feature supports computers running UNIX and Linux.  If a management server fails, another management server in the resource pool can take over the monitoring, providing high availability. For more information, see Monitoring UNIX- and Linux-Based Computers

Operations Console

You will notice some subtle changes to the Operations console. The Actions pane is now the Tasks pane, and includes a new section called Navigation Tasks that makes it easy for you to open views for a selected object. The Tasks pane offers two tabs: one for actions and one for resources and Help links. The Navigation and Tasks panes can be minimized or expanded instantly by clicking the arrow in the title bar of the pane.