Creating and managing groups

In System Center Operations Manager, groups are logical collections of objects, such as Windows-based computers, hard disks, or instances of Microsoft SQL Server. You create a group by using the Create Group Wizard. You can explicitly assign membership to a group or you can create rules that will generate a dynamic group membership.

Some of the purposes for using groups are:

  • To scope overrides to a specific subset of computers.

  • To scope alert notifications or product connector subscriptions for a specific set of computers.

  • To scope user consoles, so the user role only sees the servers they are responsible for.

  • To scope a set of computers that need to go into a scheduled maintenance mode.

  • To scope application views only to computers that host a given application.

  • To create a rollup health state view of an otherwise unrelated set of computers.

  • To create a set of computers for a report.

Using the Operations console in the Authoring workspace, you can only create instance groups. To create a computer group, you must use the Authoring console or work directly in the XML of a management pack. The following image shows the display of groups in the Operations console.

Example of Groups Available in Operations Manager

Computer groups only contain computers. Instance groups can contain all object types, such as an instance of a health service or an instance of a SQL database. Both computer groups and instance groups can contain other computer and instance groups. Another way to view the difference between the group types is:

  • An instance group is populated with objects that match your criteria.

  • A computer group is populated by computers that host objects that match your criteria.

To create a group based on a hosting relationship, such as all computers that are running SQL Server, you must use the Visual Studio Authoring Extensions for Operations Manager or work directly in the XML of a management pack.

The most common objects you will place in your groups are Windows Computer objects. The most common way to dynamically assign computers to the groups is by using a property of the Windows Computer class. For example, Organizational Unit is a property of the Windows Computer class, so you can create a group that makes all computers in a specific organizational unit members of the same group. The following image shows the properties of an object in the Windows Computer class, which you can view in the details pane of the Monitoring workspace by selecting the Windows Computers state view.

Properties of a Windows computer object

You can assign both explicit and dynamic members in the same group definition, and you can exclude explicit members. For examples of dynamic group queries and formulas, see Operations Manager Dynamic Group Examples.

To create a group in Operations Manager

  1. Log on to the computer with an account that is a member of the Operations Manager Administrators role.

  2. In the Operations console, click Authoring.

  3. Right-click Groups, and then click Create a new Group to start the Create Group Wizard.

  4. On the Enter a name and description for the new group page, do the following:

    1. Type the Name for the group.

    2. Optionally, type the Description for the group. A description of the group membership makes it easier to select the right group for views, overrides, and so forth.

    3. Select a destination management pack from the list, or click New to create a management pack with the Create a Management Pack Wizard.

    4. Click Next.

  5. On the Explicit Members - Choose Members from a List page, you can add explicit objects to the group or click Next to continue to the Dynamic Members configuration. To add explicit group members, click Add/Remove Objects and then perform the following steps:

    1. In the Search for list, select an object type, such as Windows Computer.

    2. Optionally, in the Filter by part of the name box, type all or part of the object name, and then click Search.

    3. In the Available items box, select the desired objects, click Add, and then click Next.

  6. On the Dynamic Members - Create a Membership Formula page, you can add a dynamic membership formula to the group or click Next to continue to the Subgroups page. To add a dynamic membership formula, click Create/Edit rules and then perform the following steps:

    Warning

    This procedure tells you how to create a query for Windows computers based on NetBIOS computer name.

    1. In the Query Builder dialog box, leave the default Windows Computer and click Add.

    2. In the Property list, select NetBIOS computer name.

    3. In the Operator list, select Contains.

    4. Set Value to part of the name of the computers you want in the group, such as NY or MKTG.

      Note

      Click Insert to add an Expression or group expressions with OR or AND operators. Repeat the preceding steps to add additional object types to the rule.

    5. Click OK, review the Query formula, and then click Next.

  7. On the Choose Optional Subgroups page, either click Next to not add groups to the group, or click Add/Remove Subgroups to add groups, for example.

    1. In the Group Selection dialog box, in Filter by part of name, you can optionally type part or the all of the group's names, and then click Search.

    2. In the Available items text box, select the desired groups, click Add, click OK, and then click Next.

  8. On the Excluded Members - Specify Exclude List page, click Finish to not exclude objects from the group, or click Exclude Objects, and then perform the following steps:

    1. In the Object Exclusion dialog box, from the Search for list, select an object type, such as Windows Computer.

    2. Optionally, in the Filter by part of the name box, type all or part of the object name, and then click Search.

    3. In the Available items text box, select the objects you want to exclude, click Add, click OK, and then click Finish.

    Note

    It can take approximately one minute to populate the membership of a group.

To view members, state, and diagram of a group

  1. In the Authoring workspace, click Groups.

  2. In the results pane, click the group you want to view.

  3. In the Tasks pane, click:

    • View Group Members to view a list of all members of the group with the health state of each member.

    • View Group State to view a state view of the group.

    • View Diagram to view a diagram of the group.

Next steps