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February 15, 2006

Essential Microsoft Operations Manager: How to Keep Windows Services Running Smoothly

Sebastopol, CA-- Server downtime is an unfortunate fact of life, but it's not the only glitch that can develop on a Windows network, nor the most common. Database issues can cause an application to work improperly or not at all, problems with Microsoft Exchange Server can slow down email traffic, and hiccups with Active Directory can inadvertently prevent users from logging on. In a time when IT services are necessary to the smooth running of a business, it's not enough to be able to deal with problems once they happen. IT departments need to monitor problems to resolve them before they bring the system to a grinding halt.

Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005 is Microsoft's premier tool for automating the burdensome and lengthy task of monitoring servers on a Windows network. It can even notify administrators of problem events in their environment almost as soon as they happen. Armed with this information and a set of integrated tools to help fix whatever is wrong, a solid MOM implementation can help any IT infrastructure reduce outages and simply run better.

As Chris Fox, author of Essential Microsoft Operations Manager (O'Reilly, US $39.99) puts it, "All IT professionals are being asked to deliver better service from their servers and applications with fewer and fewer resources. If their servers and applications are experiencing outages they won't be able to meet the higher levels of expectation when it comes to providing services. Core to being able to get more 'up-time' from their systems is the ability to know what is going on right now in those systems so that they can fix issues when they are minor before they snowball and cause major outages. Operations Management allows the IT professional to have that knowledge. The industry leaders (such as Microsoft) are constantly moving towards making their servers and applications more manageable, as shown by the Dynamic Systems Initiative."

Essential Microsoft Operations Manager uses a task-oriented presentation that skips the theory and history of Windows administration to tell readers what they need to do and how to do it. It includes scores of step-by-step procedures, diagrams, and screenshots that guide administrators through the sometimes-complex operations required to deploy and exploit a MOM operations center. The book also includes a case study that shows how MOM might be used to monitor and diagnose the problems of a fictitious multi-site, multi-server company named, appropriately, Leaky Faucet.

Topics covered include:

  • Planning and sizing a MOM 2005 deployment
  • Using and getting information from the Operator console
  • Controlling the life cycle of a management pack
  • Managing and maintaining the MOM 2005 SQL database
  • Generating reports with MOM 2005 and SQL Server Reporting Services
  • Deploying MOM 2005 in large enterprises with heterogeneous platforms
  • According to Fox, "the book gives users a solid grounding in the concepts of Operations Management. The single most important thing that my readers should be able to do after reading the book is to effectively use MOM in their environments."

    Essential Microsoft Operations Manager is the key to keeping services running smoothly. It will be an asset to anyone using MOM 2005 out of the box for the first time or preparing for a first deployment.

    Additional Resources:

    Essential Microsoft Operations Manager
    Chris Fox
    ISBN: 0-596-00953-4, 355 pages, $39.99 US
    order@oreilly.com
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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