In our latest Coffee Break webinar, Microsoft Program Manager Ankur Gupta unpacked the newly released Azure Monitor SCOM Managed Instance (SCOM MI), alongside our usual host SquaredUp Director of Engineering Bruce Cullen. 

Ankur gave a brief overview of where the product is currently.  Having recently released, Ankur was very eager to show the team’s vision for SCOM MI and what features are coming soon, as well as offer some value propositions to illustrate exactly who SCOM MI is for. 

What is SCOM MI? 

Beginning with a demonstration video, Ankur showed the process of a new client getting started with Azure, migrating their applications over, and creating a SCOM managed instance to monitor those applications. He went on to demonstrate SCOM MI’s ability to scale up instances, a time-consuming task for on-premises SCOM users, with a single click.  

The demo video can be viewed from 4:00 to 12:00 in the webinar recording.

Why SCOM MI? 

Ankur outlined the three key value propositions of SCOM MI: 

  1. Simplified management of SCOM infrastructure 
  2. Preserve SCOM investments in monitoring rules 
  3. Consolidated operational experience 

1. Simplified management of SCOM infrastructure  

After speaking to many SCOM customers during the development process of the MI product, a universal pain point identified was that organizations were mandating a move to the cloud. These customers wanted to continue using SCOM, but were needing a cloud-native product, and wanting to spend less time managing their SCOM infrastructure and more time managing their workloads. 

This led to the creation of a service for SCOM that exists within Azure, a cloud-native service. By removing the responsibility from the customer for hardware updates, scaling, and maintaining a healthy management group, it also removes a lot of the headache of SCOM infrastructure management.  

2. Preserve SCOM investments in monitoring rules  

The second concern brought up by customers was whether the time investments they had put into SCOM, such as management packs, custom configs, and IPs, would be lost when moving to the new product. Thankfully, SCOM MI allows compatibility for all agent-based SCOM management packs, and allows custom configurations and IP to be reusable and migratable.  

3. Consolidated operational experience 

The final pain point that came up often was having to use multiple tools and solutions for different workloads, making monitoring and management more time-consuming and difficult. This is alleviated in SCOM MI by integrating observability information with Azure Monitor, to provide a single monitoring experience. 

SCOM MI & Azure Monitor 

After a brief explanation of the SCOM MI pricing model (see above diagram, or 17:59 to 21:28 in the recording), Ankur went on to explain the integration of SCOM MI with Azure Monitor.  

Ankur was quick to stress that SCOM MI and Azure Monitor are not going to be competing products – rather, they are complementary, with SCOM MI acting as an additional capability of Azure Monitor. SCOM MI targets the subset of customers who are already using SCOM and gives them a sense of familiarity within a cloud-native product. 

The future of SCOM MI 

Ankur outlined what is coming in the SCOM MI GA and outlined the roadmap for the future. 

Improvements: Patching, alerting, workload monitoring, and more 

One of the many updates being rolled out with SCOM MI is an improvement to Patching. In the on-prem SCOM model, Update RollUps are released every 6-7 months, which results in long workflow delays as components are updated.  

In contrast to this, SCOM MI will feature updates roughly every 15 days, with each update taking roughly 30 minutes to implement. This allows users to have access to the latest version of the software, and have bugs fixed within a significantly shorter window. 

Other new features for SCOM MI include real-time alerting integrated with Azure Monitor, improved workload monitoring, and the ability to integrate log analytics with Azure Workbooks, to allow users to visualize any queries they run. 

Dashboarding and visualization 

The final feature update Ankur outlined was an improvement to dashboarding and visualization capabilities. Unlike the on-premise SCOM, which has basic and limited visualization capabilities, SCOM MI features built-in templates for Azure dashboards as well as a library of dashboards for Azure Managed Grafana. SCOM MI also includes a link off to SquaredUp in the Reports section. For more information on dashboarding Azure Monitor and SCOM MI data, as well as how to integrate it with SquaredUp, read our blog here.

For a full run-through of the future updates coming in SCOM MI, check out 26:40 to 37:40 of the webinar recording. 

The webinar concluded with a Q&A session between Bruce, Ankur, and the viewers. The Q&A session is available from 38:00 to 58:00 in the webinar recording. 

To learn more about the recent launch of SCOM MI GA, click here.