System Center For Managers, Directors and CIOs

March 20, 2011

I am going to be starting a new blog series titled ‘System Center for Managers, Directors and CIOs’. The reason for this blog series is based on customer feedback. I am constantly amazed at the number of customers that I speak with where the conversation starts off something to the effect of ‘We’ve just fired a “System Center” consultant who accomplished nothing over the last x months. We are now behind the eight ball and have a huge commitment to fill and we need is done yesterday.’

Step back to the 1-2 months prior to hiring the now fired consultant and you will begin to understand what led up to this failure. First, the customer performed a number of interviews and talked to both Microsoft partners and independents. In the majority of cases, the customer felt that they could get better value for their money by working with an independent consultant as their rates are typically lower that that of a larger firm. The second and more tragic mistake is that the customer didn’t know how to quantify the effort or the deliverables of the consultant. And this is the real challenge for many Managers, Directors and CIOs.

So let’s focus on that challenge and demystify this so that you can avoid making this same mistake. Below are a set of questions that I hope you can use to help qualify and validate the candidates that stand before you claiming to be ‘System Center experts’. I have not included the answers to these questions as I don’t want the alleged System Center Experts to read this and attempt to fool you but I would be happy to share these with you if you reach out to me on Linkedin

This first set of questions will help you to qualify a consultant or firm claiming to have System Center Operations Manager experience.

1. What does Event ID 1201 in the Operations Manager event log tell you?

2. If using Avicode and creating monitors with the Avicode Management Pack Templates, what must you do to remove a monitor created with the Avicode Management Pack Templates?

3. What server operating systems might get rebooted when CU4 is installed to already deployed agents?

4. What directory needs to be exempt from anti-virus to ensure that scripts run?

5. How will you demonstrate to me the number of customizations or Management Pack (MP) tuning that you have done?

6. How can I see the contents of a sealed Management Pack without loading it into SCOM?

7. What node (Administration, Monitoring, Reporting, My Workspace, Authoring) in the Operations Manager Console allows me to schedule maintenance mode at a schedule time in the future?

8. What two components need to be in place to monitor physical server hardware events?

9. What tool(s) do you use to author Management Packs?

10. Specific to MP development, describe cookdown?

Good luck with your Ops Mgr consultant hiring!! We wish you all the success that our customers have attained.

0 thoughts on “System Center For Managers, Directors and CIOs

  1. Andreas Zuckerhut

    Thing with this list of questions is that you would have to know the answers yourself, otherwise you may run into a phoney again.
    A MUST for that list is:
    – Gray Agent but server is up

    These questions are good: 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10
    I’d rephrase 2, 3 and 8. 2 Could actually be removed as it’s specific to Avicode.

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