SC2012 SP1 (Beta) – Operations Manager Adds Support for Additional Linux Distros

The Beta release of System Center 2012 SP1 is now available, and in a series of posts, I wanted to highlight some new features in UNIX/Linux monitoring.

The big announcement is that as of SC 2012 SP1 Beta, we are expanding support to additional Linux distributions. In addition to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, SP1 Beta adds support for:

  • CentOS 5 and 6
  • Debian 5 and 6
  • Ubuntu 12.04

(Look for this list to expand a bit when SP1 goes to RTM)

We took a bit of a different approach in implementing support for these distros, which I will describe here. 

For all other supported UNIX and Linux operating systems and versions, we have historically taken the approach of providing a version-specific agent and Management Pack.  This will be continued for all UNIX platforms (which tend to have significant kernel and API differences between versions) as well as for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (so that your existing customizations are preserved going forward). 

For the “new” supported Linux distributions (CentOS, Debian, and Ubuntu), we have implemented a common agent and Management Pack, that eliminates OS version specificity.  There are several key benefits of this approach:

  • The time it takes us to add support for a new distro or version is reduced, and in many cases, we will be able to support new versions without releasing a new agent/MP.  This allows us to be more agile in bringing new distros/versions into support.
  • Want to monitor an “unsupported” Linux distro?  As long as the minimum package prereqs are met, this is highly likely to just work – even if it is unsupported.

Monitoring for the new Linux distributions is implemented with a single set of managements packs (Universal Linux), and agents (agents for x86 and x64 architectures, and .deb and .rpm package formats).  Because system daemons and syslog message formats tend to vary between Linux distros and versions, the Universal Linux monitoring Management Pack has minimal daemon monitoring implemented out of the box and syslog monitoring rules are disabled by default.  The UNIX/Linux Process Monitoring template can be used to easily add daemon monitoring appropriate to your distro/version, and the syslog rules can be enabled and customized with overrides so that they are appropriate for the syslog messages on the distro/version.



About Kristopher Bash
Kris is a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft, working on UNIX and Linux management features in Microsoft System Center. Prior to joining Microsoft, Kris worked in systems management, server administration, and IT operations for nearly 15 years.

3 Responses to SC2012 SP1 (Beta) – Operations Manager Adds Support for Additional Linux Distros

  1. Karl says:

    Any tips on migrating from a current configuration based on the community provided MPs ( ? Or will it need to be a rip and replace kind of migration?

  2. Pingback: musc@> $daniele.rant | Out-Blog

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