Tuesday, August 6, 2013

SCOM 2012 R2 Cross-Platform (XPlat) OMI changes

OMI replaces OpenPegasus

One of the changes in the R2 release (expected fall 2013) is the change of management platform for the cross-platform agents to monitor Linux and UNIX systems. The supported cross-platform systems are: Linux (RedHat, SUSE, CentOS, Debian, Oracle and Ubuntu) and UNIX (AIX, HP-UX and Solaris).

In the current 2012 version the cross-platform agents are built-upon the OpenPegasus standard. This is an open-source implementation of DMTF CIM and WBEM.

With the focus on becoming a Cloud OS, Microsoft needed a new abstraction layer for standard-based management which could be used to manage different kind of devices and abstractions (from cloud to physical device). The current standard had some caveats that did not line up with Microsoft standards-based management vision for the future.
That’s why Microsoft decided to use OMI* (Open Management Infrastructure) to replace OpenPegasus in the cross-platform agents.

If you want to know more about Microsoft’s reasons for this change, read their blog: http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsserver/archive/2012/06/28/open-management-infrastructure.aspx

Besides the benefits of using a new standards-based management interface for top-to-bottom management, OMI performs significantly better than its predecessor. The footprint is smaller, making it better suitable for mobile devices.

* Previously known as NanoWBEM
More info on OMI: https://collaboration.opengroup.org/omi/

Seamless upgrade

Upgrading to SCOM 2012 R2 is seamless. The same goes for your own cross-platform Management Packs using the standard Microsoft provider (root\scx). As long as you used the Management Pack Types and provider which came out-of-the-box there is nothing to be worried about.

What's affected?

Management Packs that use OpenPegasus providers will not be compatible with the new agents. Vendors or customers who have written custom OpenPegasus provider have to rebuild their management packs to be based on the new OMI framework. If customers don’t upgrade to those new Management Packs or vendors are unable to redo their Management Packs, your upgrade to SC 2012 R2 will render that monitoring unusable, and errors might occur. For what I've seen, management packs from vendors like NiCE and Bridgeways use their own custom OpenPegasus providers.

Other options

Some cross-platform management packs do not make use of custom providers. One of those is the Oracle MP from OpsLogix.

For a limited time they offer a free upgrade to their pack which is easy to install and clears the way for upgrading to OpsMgr 2012 R2. This management pack uses watcher nodes, which can offload your management servers, which are usually burdened with monitoring the cross-platform instances.

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