Microsoft SCOM (System Center Operations Manager) has limited built-in alert notifications. They are fine for basic tasks but lack critical features required for larger IT departments, for 24/7 IT monitoring and after-business-hours incident response. You can either script a lot to cover some critical issues (there are a few good blog post) or you can choose an out-of-the-box solution like Enterprise Alert solving all current and future issues.
Here are major headaches with SCOM alert notifications. You might even find more limitations making your IT ops live difficult.
- Only email notifications out of the box (again, how good is your scripting?)
- No persistent alerting or multi-channel
- No tracking of delivery notifications
- No sense of ownership for notifications (no support of acknowledgements)
- Tricky alert filtering, e.g. the OR operator on alert parameters is missing
- No automated escalations, i.e. if a notified user doesn’t respond to an alert
- No on-call scheduling, the built-in time-of-the-day coverage is cumbersome and not suitable for teams
- No alert status change notifications (can you script?)
- No delay of alert notifications, e.g. delay until business hours for non-critical alerts
- No mobile apps for remote alert management
Advancing SCOM alert notifications
Here is in short what Enterprise Alert brings to the table out-of-the box:
- Push, Text, Voice with text-to-speech, IM and email notifications (all 2-way)
- Multi-channel notifications (broadcast or sequence) with personal profiles
- Full tracking of delivery notifications
- Remote Acknowledgements, e.g. texting back or using the mobile app
- Very granular alert filtering, with AND & OR for all parameters of a SCOM alert
- Automated escalations, i.e. if a notified user doesn’t respond to an alert
- Very comprehensive on-call and follow-the-sun scheduling via drag&drop with calendar integration, duty reminders, who-is-on-call-views, holidays, stand-ins, etc
- Alert status change notifications
- Alert flood protection and de-duplication
- Set delays of alert notifications, e.g. until business hours for non-critical alerts
- Native mobiles apps for remote alert management for iOS, Android and Windows Phone
How does Enterprise Alert connect to SCOM?
We have chosen to use the Connector Framework SDK and built a true product connector enabling a 2-way integration with SCOM. This enables to update alerts in SCOM, remote acknowledge SCOM alerts (no need to fire up the console anymore!), close alerts remotely, annnotate alerts, stop alerting if a alerts get closed in SCOM and much more. Pure convenience for operating SCOM. You can even do it from your Apple Watch! The product connector can even co-exist with your existing subscriptions (if you still need them, though).