Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Just Released - All New Exchange 2013 Management Pack!

Microsoft has just announced the release of an updated version of their Exchange Server 2013 Management Pack for SCOM and it's a world apart from its predecessor.

The original iteration of this MP was released over a year ago and was one of the most underwhelming management packs that we've seen in a long time. For whatever reason back then, a decision was made to leave most of the monitoring of Exchange Server 2013 to itself in a kind of 'self-monitoring' role. This decision then resulted in us getting an MP that barely gave us more than an 'Up or Down' overview of our newly deployed and on-premise email systems - which meant that in a lot of cases, people didn't even bother installing the MP into SCOM at all.

Thankfully, the team over in Redmond that are responsible for working on SCOM management packs listened to feedback from customers and the community and put their resources together to come up with this all new and improved MP.

In a world where we're being told that hybrid-cloud is the way to go, it didn't make sense for customers that were deploying hybrid email scenarios (Office365 for some off-prem and Exchange Server 2013 for on-prem) to not have a fully centralized monitoring solution for them. This new MP thankfully should ensure that Exchange and SCOM admins alike will want to get this deployed and managed inside their SCOM deployments now.

Here's some screenshots of the new Exchange Server 2013 MP in action:

Organization Diagram

Organization Summary (using some of the new SCOM Dashboard Widgets)

Server Summary

Like what you see? If so, then you can download the new MP either for your lab environments through the built-in catalog (shown here)

For your production environments, download the MP directly from this link -

Note: I always recommend to only use the built-in catalog option if you want to quickly deploy your MP's into a lab as you don't get easy access to the MP guide when using the direct download link option. As is the case with all SCOM management packs, it's crucial that you read the MP guide from front to back (RTFM!) to ensure you understand everything that the MP monitors out of the box and how to get any discoveries turned on or off.

You can get more info on this new MP from some of my fellow MVP's here and here or you can check out the official announcement here.

Finally, a huge well done should be given to the MP team led by Daniel Savage that got this MP updated and released - I can see a lot of deployments putting this into production now - thanks!

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