MGT310: Microsoft Service Manager 2010 Architecture and Deployment

Released a little over a week ago, Microsoft Systems Center Service Manager, is a product that ties together Configuration Manager, Operations Manager, helpdesk ticking functionality, change control tracking, and configuration change auditing. Since the product is literally brand new, not many people know what it is. There’s a session tomorrow that covers all the features, so at this point I don’t know a lot about it.

However, the session today covered the installation, basic configuration, and touched on a few features. Here are a few highlights:

– Provides a user self-service portal for opening help tickets, monitoring the status of tickets, and looking in knowledge databases.

– Provides direct connectors to SCCM, SCOM, and AD. It’s database is based on the SCOM schema, and pulls in a lot of asset, configuration, and operational data from SCCM and SCOM.

– Can automatically create tickets from SCOM alerts, and send e-mail alerts.

– Topology can scale to very large environments, up to 50,000 users.

– The ‘engine’ is based on management packs, exactly like the ones SCOM uses. This makes the product very extensible and customizable. Dozens and dozens of MPs come out of the box.

– Like Exchange 2010 and OCS 14, administration is based on a RBAC model for granular delegation. The delegation wizard has a ton of options for really scoping a role, and their permissions. For example, a helpdesk person could be limited to only see assets and tickets for a particular set of users or servers.

– Tight PowerShell integration.

– General Mills was an early adopter and configured the product in two hours, and they said it had the tight integration with SCCM and SCOM that hey hadn’t gotten in 14 years with Remedy.

– The product can be easily customizable using wizards. Additional fields, object types, and roles can be added.

– Later this year Microsoft will be releasing a compliance management suite.

– The product is easily extensible by ISVs, such as Provance.

Service manager looks like a great product and really ties together the operations side of IT (SCCM and SCOM) with the user facing helpdesk. Automated ticketing, easy installation, and extensibility make it look like a great product. The architecture is very modular and can provide high scalability and reliability via clustering and hardware load balancers.

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