Coffee Break: How to connect SCOM to your IT tooling

Here are a few ways you can bring all your third-party tools alongside SCOM into one place, so you get oversight of everything.

Why centralize?

First, why should you connect SCOM to the rest of your tooling?

The Big SCOM Survey of January 2022 shows companies have 3.8 monitoring tools on average, including SCOM.

SCOM doesn’t live alone in your infrastructure. You probably have more than one monitoring tool, each generating alerts, incidents, and notifications in different formats. Plus, each tool probably has its own dashboarding solution – sometimes even separate dashboarding for every account – which siloes insights. Each tool also has its own way of consuming the notifications.

So, it would make sense to bring all your monitoring together and centralize so you can break down monitoring siloes and identify the origin of any issues that arise.

Why centralize in SCOM? 

You could centralize all your data and dashboarding in nearly any tool of your choice. So why centralize in SCOM? 

Here are six reasons we think you should centralize in SCOM rather than your other tools. 

  1. SCOM has great coverage – less to integrate into SCOM versus other systems 
  1. It is a mature product and is everywhere 
  1. There’s a strong community of SCOM users to get support from 
  1. SCOM is a super flexible tool – with a SCOM agent you have all the power you need to do whatever you want 
  1. SCOM is familiar in IT due to maturity 
  1. You can easily extend SCOM through MPs and its great object model. SCOM has a flexible base to build on with custom classes, objects, and relationships that let you create what you want.  

If you share our point of view that SCOM can sit at the center, you need some reliable ways to pull information out of SCOM into dashboards that can display all your tools in one place for monitoring purposes. Alternatively, you need a way to pull alerts, notifications, and events from all your other tools into SCOM.  

So here are our top recommendations for how to centralize all your tools. 

Option 1. SquaredUp Dashboard Server: EAM-X  

SCOM has blind spots. Data centers like VMware, SolarWinds, Nagios, Kubernetes etc. aren’t monitored by SCOM natively. Also Cloud and DevOps platforms like Azure, AWS, GCP, Azure Monitor, CI/CD, APM etc. are difficult to monitor in SCOM. 

Although SCOM can be extended to monitor these, Management Packs (MPs) are difficult and time consuming to author. That’s where SquaredUp SCOM Dashboard Server: EAM-X comes in. EAM-X is all about making SCOM better.  

What is SquaredUp SCOM Dashboard Server: EAM-X? 

EAM-X from SquaredUp lets you extend SCOM by plugging directly into your data center tools and cloud platforms to bring all your data together. 

Whether you use VMware, SolarWinds, AWS, CloudWatch, or any of the 50+ plugins SquaredUp EAM-X offers, SquaredUp has got you well covered. The EAM-X offering is powered by the SquaredUp ecosystem:  

EAM-X is a great way of linking multiple integrations that you can’t, by default, hook into SCOM. 

See a short demo on how EAM-X works in the Coffee Break webinar from 6:24.  

[Watch video

And you can find out more about EAM-X here:  

[Discover EAM-X] 

EAM-X customer case study: Arup 

Here’s an example of what one Enterprise Monitoring team was able to do with SquaredUp SCOM Dashboard Server: EAM-X. 

Prior to having EAM-X, Arup relied largely on MPs to bring data from third-party tools into SCOM. But not all available MPs are fit for purpose, like the SolarWinds MP that isn’t developed continuously, and not all tools have an MP for SCOM. This caused a noticeable issue for Arup. 

The team at Arup was trying to fulfil the need for more visibility across all their services but couldn’t deliver on everything because the MPs weren’t able to provide the data needed. Also, it was difficult to get the right level of observability for their DevOps teams that were using cloud platforms, like AWS. That’s why Arup turned to EAM-X. 

With EAM-X, Arup solved their SolarWinds blind spot. They chose the nodes that they wanted, put them into a scope, and then deployed a dashboard within a SolarWinds workspace to target the health, state, and availability of AnyConnect VPN nodes.  

From that, they could build a shared dashboard that displayed business critical, 24/7 monitoring in SCOM, and observe the system through a single pane of glass. You can see their Service Desk dashboard below that displays the VPN AnyConnect Nodes in the bottom right. 

Option 2: Cookdown Connection Center 

Cookdown’s Connection Center will connect SCOM to anywhere, from ITSM tools like ServiceNow and Cherwell through to messaging tools like Microsoft Teams and Slack, ultimately to anywhere you want with Webhooks. But pushing SCOM alerts out is only half of what Cookdown Connection Center does. 

Connection Center also helps you bring alerts, events, and notifications from your third-party tools into SCOM.  

At its simplest level, Cookdown Connection Center makes SCOM a Webhooks listener, able to do things with received Webhooks.  

How to bring third-party tool alerts into SCOM 

Connection Center lets you bring alerts into SCOM from third-party tools so you can use SCOM as your central monitoring tool and handle all notifications from one place.  

You simply need to set up a Webhook connection from within SCOM in the Connection Center UI then provide a payload that will shape the source of information that the Webhook receives. You can easily modify your connections as needed using the liquid format details to assign alert names, priority, and severity.  

You can also specify the properties of your alerts to make sure that, when an alert is closed I the source system, it is also closed in SCOM. This avoids creating a pile of never-ending alerts. 

See how you can easily customize connections in Cookdown Connection Center to centralize your alerts in SCOM (from 28:00 into the video)

[Watch video

Option 3: Free alternatives 

David Smith’s vROps solution 

The first of the free options is from David Smith. He’s built a solution to generate events, and even turn them into alerts, in SCOM. You can see a diagram of how it’s architected in the diagram below.  

It’s a .NET managed module that works by using PowerShell and can be adapted for any source using the open-source code. It’s not just for vROps.   

Get it here: 

You can see a demo of how this works at  

Nathan Foreman’s API Query MP 

Nathan Foreman’s free management pack lets you query the API using the Get Method to then run monitoring on top of it.  

This MP was built during the annual SCOMathon HackaSCOM so you can see a bit more behind the scenes and a quick demo here.  

Get the code: