vCenter Server can perfectly be used for monitoring the status of your VMware infrastructure. A lot of alarms are available to notify something is starting to go wrong or has already failed. The IT-world has more than virtual machines running on VMware however. You have server hardware, routers, switches, applications etc etc. If you are running a large infrastructure you do not want to have a whole lot of management consoles open to monitor the status of your infrastructure components.
System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) is one of the few tools available which is able to deliver a single pane of glass for monitoring your infrastructure components. It uses Management Packs which holds to knowledge of applications, switches etc. It does far more than a ping to servers or monitoring if a Windows service is still running.
To deliver VMware vCenter Server status to the SCOM 2007 console various solutions exist. Most of them are using some sort of gateway server to translate VMware status info to info SCOM understands.
- Veeam nworks Management Pack for SCOM. Probably the best solution to integrate vCenter Server with SCOM 2007, if you got the budget. Reliable, good support and has a lot of alarms. Veeam will soon release 5.5 which includes support for PRO tips. Licensing is per CPU-socket in your ESX host. Good stuff.
- Jalasoft Smart Management Pack for VMware VirtualCenter. Much more limited than Veeam, but also costs less. Jalasoft has less knowledge of what is going on at vCenter and is less actual with supporting newer release of VMware software.
- Bridgeways Management Pack for VMware . I do not have any experience nor info on this.
- Vizioncore Management Pack for VMware. Released in July 2010 this is the only free solution for integration of vCenter and SCOM. You will need to download the Quest Management Xtension (QMX) as well. For the QMX you will need a license key which can be get for free. See instructions here. A review can be found here. One of my co-workers does not have very good experieces with QMX. Lots of alerts, lots of trouble to get it on.
At October 20 2010 Microsoft did a Technet Webcast on Veeam nWorks integration with SCOM titled “Hypervisor-Agnostic Management: Integrating VMware into System Center (Level 300)”
In this webcast, we focus on best practice methods and real-world deployment examples for extending Microsoft System Center Operations Manager and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager to monitor and manage VMware. We demonstrate the nworks Management Pack for VMware and nworks PRO Pack for VMware from Veeam Software to show you how the advanced monitoring and automation features of System Center can be used for VMware environments. Practical examples taken from Veeam’s enterprise customers are shared and discussed, providing systems management architects the key design criteria for implementing enterprise-wide management of both VMware and Hyper-V virtualization integrated into System Center.
See the webcast at https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?culture=en-US&EventID=1032464592&CountryCode=US