Friday, January 13, 2012

SCOM 2012 - Creating your very own custom Distributed Application Template - Part 1

Over the last 12 months I've been working on some pretty nice System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) projects but I find that the larger the customer site / IT infrastructure, the more repetitive tasks there are to be carried out!

One such project I've been working on requires the creation of over 90 distributed applications that will reflect each of the remote sites around the globe that SCOM is monitoring. Each of these 90 distributed applications would contain the exact same component groups - for example, they'd all have a Domain Controllers group, a File Server group, an SQL group and a Web Sites group. The only difference for each of the 90 distributed applications would be the actual windows servers that would be members of each of the component groups as they would be specific to each of the sites they were located in.

To build a distributed application with only four component groups is real easy but the problem is when you have to go and create the same distributed application 90 times - not fun!!

This process will work exactly the same on both SCOM 2007 R2 and SCOM 2012 but as the System Center 2012 Private Cloud Community Evaluation Program is running at the moment, I'll be demonstrating this on SCOM 2012. If you want to learn more about System Center 2012, then join up to the System Center 2012 Private Cloud CEP from the link below:

SCOM 2007 R2 comes with three distributed application templates:

  • Line of Business Web Application
  • Messaging
  • Blank (Advanced)

SCOM 2012 comes with four distributed application templates:
  • 3-Tier Application (360)
  • Line of Business Web Application
  • Messaging
  • Blank (Advanced)

Although a new distributed application template (3-Tier Application (360) - see my previous post on this for more information) has been added to SCOM 2012, it is still limited to 3 tiers and a client perspective component group which probably won't be flexible enough to fit in with the type of distributed application you might want.

As a result of these template limitations, I set out to build my own template that incorporated all of the customer specific component groups that I wanted and one that could be easily deployed alongside the default templates that came out of the box with SCOM.

To begin with, we will first need to download  and then install the Windows Software Development Kit from the following link:

I would recommend carrying out this procedure from one of your SCOM Management Servers as it just makes things that little bit more seamless!
When you have downloaded the SDK, kick off the installer and move through the following screens

Make sure you select all of the components here, including the 'Redistributable Components' at the bottom

This screen can take a little while to complete but when it has all finished, you can close the SDK installer and move on to the next steps which I will cover in Part 2.

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