2011
03.22

Formerly known as “Project Atlanta”, System Center Advisor (SCA) was talked about today at MMS 2011.  It basically is a cloud version of OpsMgr, capable of monitoring your machines.  Right now, it supports monitoring of x86 or x64 versions of:

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 or later
  • Windows Server 2008 or later

Those experienced with OpsMgr will know that an OpsMgr agent (which is what SCA uses BTW) uses Kerberos (AD) for authentication.  That won’t be possible here!  But OpsMgr does have a gateway.  SCA uses that Gateway functionality.  So, if you want to use SCA you have to install the SCA Gateway and that requires a machine running Windows Server 2008 (x86 or x64) or later.  Your agents authenticate with the gateway and the gateway authenticates with SCA in the cloud.

The architecture isn’t all that different to what has been possible with OpsMgr 2007 up to now.  And the firewall side of things is easy too!

You can access a web portal to monitor all of your resources on those supported platforms.  I guess more platforms will be added over time.

The setup is easy.  Log into the site with a Windows Live ID.  You download your unique gateway cert.  Install the gateway with the cert.  Deploy your agents!  You’re practically walked through the process:

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This will be attractive to smaller companies who want some of the power of OpsMgr.  They might get that functionality without the outlay on hardware and consulting.  Some VPS hosted companies may like this.  It’s not enterprise ready; the limited platform support is an issue.  And we don’t really know how “live” it will be.  But it definitely is something worth keeping an eye on.

As a MS partner, it’s a bit worrying because it redirects business from the partner directly to MS.  It also doesn’t appear to have that partner model that is evident in Intune.  Speaking of which – I see no integration with Intune.  Maybe with time …

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