Why upgrade to SCOM 2016 when I can use OMS?

2017-12-11T14:30:16+00:00 March 9th, 2017|Azure, Cloud|

So, you are currently running with SCOM 2012 R2 and you have heard about this superb offering called OMS (Operations Management Suite) and you are currently scratching your head thinking…”If OMS does all this wonderful stuff, why should I bother upgrading to SCOM 2016?”.  Or maybe you are wondering why you are using SCOM at all.  Why not get rid of it and just use OMS?

In this blog, I will bring together my thoughts around both of these offerings in an attempt to provide an overview of the main differences and benefits of each.  This blog is inspired by and echoes  some points made in these great posts by Marnix Wolf and Marius Sandbu.

It is true that OMS is amazing and it is getting better all of the time with new offerings being added, but OMS is not (yet!) a direct replacement for SCOM, and should be seen as a compliment to your SCOM deployment.

Also, if you are running SCOM 2012 R2, then be aware that mainstream support ends in July this year (2017) with extended support currently available until July 2022 (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle/search/17442).  There are some other key benefits to upgrading from SCOM 2012 R2 to SCOM 2016, which includes improved console performance, removal of the dependency of Silverlight (with the exception of Dashboard Views), extensible network monitoring, improved Unix/Linux monitoring and new capabilities for Management Pack updates and recommendations.  For more details around what is new with SCOM 2016, this TechNet article explains more.

SCOM is more of a reactive tool and currently has more detailed levels of monitoring than OMS.  There are also many management packs available, such as specific third party products that provide a deeper monitoring solution than OMS.  It can also monitor things like services and processes, which has not yet arrived with OMS, so these are key reasons why you may want to have SCOM running in addition to using OMS.

Rather than a competitor for SCOM, OMS can be seen more as a competitor to the likes of Splunk and ELK.  It is more proactive and tends to bring together the various System Center products in order to offer a cloud based monitoring and analytics service by collecting data from Windows and Linux machines, as well as network analytics data from Azure and bring it all together to provide a wider view.

Now, you will notice that I mentioned that OMS is not yet a direct replacement.  There was a reason for that which put simply, it is clear that the amount of investment from Microsoft around OMS is huge, and it is no secret that Microsoft’s strategy is cloud first.  As I have already explained, the rate at which OMS brings on more features (solutions) is incredible.  As more and more businesses start to migrate away from their on-premises Data Centres and start to realise the potential of the cloud, then OMS is going to be the product of choice.

So, SCOM and OMS currently provide different objectives and they are designed to work better together, but keep an eye on OMS as the rapid introduction of new solutions is exciting!  If you are running SCOM 2012 and looking for improvements with your network or Unix/Linux monitoring, then you should consider upgrading to SCOM 2016 soon as 2012R2 is out of mainstream support this year.

If you want to try out OMS for free to see its capabilities, or just want to learn more about it, then just go to this page.