To upgrade or not to upgrade ...

Microsoft released Operations Manager 2007 nearly a year ago, in March 2007. Now, in February 2008, there are still many MOM 2005 shops. So many that the Exchange 2007 management pack was released for MOM 2005 long before there was one available for OpsMgr 2007. This begs the question, why are so many organizations still running MOM 2005? Several thoughts on this:

  • Comfort with existing software - if it works, don't break it
  • Unfamiliarity with new version - its so different, need experience / training
  • No real upgrade process - can't migrate MOM 2005 data
  • Its a Microsoft product - wait for the first service pack :)

Without a doubt, OpsMgr 2007 is a far different creature from MOM 2005, and there definitely is a learning curve. Although the product was released (RTM'ed) in March 2007, it was May or June before much of Microsoft's documentation started to surface. The first service pack should be out shortly, as the release candidate has been available for several months and appears to be quite stable. And with the product out for nearly a year, most third party vendors now provide OpsMgr 2007 management packs.

A question to ask is, what does OpsMgr 2007 provide that MOM 2005 does not?

The biggest change (besides rewriting the entire code base from what was inherited from Mission Critical Software/NetIQ) is the change in focus. Rather than concentrating on the status of a server for events and generating alerts, OpsMgr 2007 focuses on the health of a service and/or application. This more holistic approach to monitoring server and client environments rather than individual servers is key to responding to things that may affect the normal running of businesses and ultimately cost an organization $$$.

In addition, Microsoft has enhanced scalability, revamped security, changed the structure and functionality of management packs, and made major alterations to the user interface and reporting capabilities. Discussing all of the functionality provided by OpsMgr 2007 would take an entire book (and System Center Operations Manager 2007 Unleashed spends over 1300 pages doing just that).

If you are still running MOM 2005 I'm not saying to just drop everything. Stable software running in production is not something to change just at the drop of a hat. But you do owe it to yourself to look at the new capabilities in OpsMgr 2007 to see the value they can bring to your organization.  

This information can be found in several places. There is of course, Microsoft's website, www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/opsmgr. I have written compare/contrast articles here in previous blog entries. For deeper/technical information, you may want to peruse my OpsMgr blog at http://ops-mgr.spaces.live.com or buy a book. There is also the System Center Forum, at www.systemcenterforum.org. Or just search for "OpsMgr blog" using your favorite search engine!   

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