Gone are the days of SILO based management where you might get a request from your developer team to build them a new virtualized SharePoint farm, where you then have to go about creating each virtual machine one by one and then installing the applications into each one before patching, adding to the domain and dealing with all of the other tricky little pieces that comes with these type of requests.
With System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager, Microsoft have introduced the idea of service templates whereby you can build a template of say a Sharepoint application that would contain all of the components that make up that service. Once the template was built, then it could be used over and over again to deploy that type of service with a few clicks of the mouse! The link below goes into more detail on this:
Creating a Service Template with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012
In SCOM though, the idea of having a distributed application that gives monitoring transparency of your whole service through a single top-level icon made up of a number of sub-components has been around for a long time now and the deployment of these distributed application services is made all the easier through SCOM 'Distributed Application Templates'.
With the release of System Center 2012 Operations Manager (SCOM 2012), there's a new addition to the 'Distributed Application Templates' that we can use to quickly deploy monitoring across your entire IT estate called the '3 Tier Application (360)' template.
The following screens will walkthrough this new template and show some of the new graphics available with SCOM 2012 through the use of Silverlight.
To begin, open up the SCOM 2012 console and click on the 'Authoring' tab on the left hand side of the screen, right mouse click on the 'Distributed Applications' link up the top left hand side and select 'Create a new distributed application' from the drop down menu as below
The first screen you see after this is the 'Create a Distributed Application' window and you will notice that in the 'Template' section, there is the new '3 Tier Application (360)' template for you to select.
Type in a name and description, select the new '3 Tier Application (360)' template, choose an unsealed management pack to save it into and then select 'OK' to continue
The 'Distributed Application Designer' window will then open and will present you with four pre-configured component groups and associated relationships between each of them as shown below
I've populated each of the component groups with some of their associated objects such as client perspectives, .Net applications, SQL databases and sharepoint websites in the screen below
Once the distributed application service has been configured, click on the 'Save' button within the 'Distributed Application Designer' to return to the 'Authoring' screen. Once here, right mouse click on your newly created service and then select the 'View Diagram' option from the drop down menu
This will open up your newly created service in the new SCOM 2012 console utilising the power of Microsoft Silverlight to present a nice quick and sharp diagram view like the one below
If I expand out the newly created distributed application service, we can really get a clear view of what is going on in my environment and all of the sub-components that make up my service
With the help of the new SCOM 2012 '3 Tier Application (360)' template, I had the above example setup and configured in less than 5 minutes!!
This post also coincides with the new Microsoft System Center 2012 Private Cloud Community Evaluation Program and you can still sign up at any time to the CEP by clicking on the link below (you will need a Microsoft Live ID to sign in):