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I've taken the liberty to test both SCOM 2007 and Zenoss and found the following:

SCOM 2007

Pros:

  • Great MS Windows server monitoring and reporting
  • In-depth configuration and easily integrates into a "MS datacenter"

Cons:

  • limited network device monitoring support (without 3rd party plugins)
  • expensive
  • difficult learning curve

Zenoss

Pros:

  • Open Source (free)
  • decent server monitoring for Windows, great monitoring for Linux
  • decent network device monitoring

Cons:

  • not as in-depth as SCOM (for Windows at least)


So my question to you folks is this:

Given the above, and given that I'm trying to monitor 55 Windows servers, 1 Linux server, 2 ESX servers, and Juniper equipment...which would you recommend?

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Within the last few months, the "core" version of Zenoss has grown significantly in its Windows monitoring capabilities. In particular, a 3rd-party developer named Egor Puzanov has been refining and expanding the WMI plugins. Since your question is dated from July, it might be worth looking at Zenoss again and updating your impressions. (FYI: I'm not affiliated with the Zenoss company or open source project, other than as a user of "core" for the last several months.) –  Ryan B. Lynch Feb 14 '10 at 2:58
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4 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The maths add up for me. 55 > 2 > 1 > ? = SCOM

Also, to be honest, the amount of stuff there is to monitor on a Windows machine, with all the various flavors of Microsoft software sitting on them, for me, would make a tool specialized in monitoring that product a priority.

Lastly, I believe SCOM 2007 can monitor several *nix flavours, ESX, and any SNMP enabled device, natively, free of charge.

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Thanks to all...I think I just needed others opinions to steer me along. I was leaning towards SCOM as well, but the "free" factor of Zenoss really appealed to me on a cost savings level. Thanks again. –  TheCleaner Jul 8 '09 at 15:10
    
BELIEVE ME, zenoss is much better than SCOM. I faced the same decision two years ago, chose SCOM, then dumped it for zenoss. All the servers that I monitor are Dell/Windows machines. –  Joseph Kern Aug 4 '09 at 11:37
    
My monitoring load is 200 windows servers 4 ESX servers and other assorted SNMP devices. Get your head wrapped around RRDtool and you'll be well on your way. Besides SCOM can't remember more than 60 or 90 days of data. –  Joseph Kern Aug 4 '09 at 11:42
    
Not true, SCOM uses it's Data Warehouse to hold data long term, and this is one distinguishing factor over some other products. A lot of monitoring products try and store all your historical data to the same database. As time goes by, your DB swells to GB's and GB's of data and starts slowing down and corrupting. SCOM instead takes averages of your 7 days data and moves this in to a seperate Data Warehouse for long term storage and reporting against. This cuts down the size massively. It depends on the data type but by default it'll retain it for up to 400 days. –  SteveBurkett Jun 3 '10 at 13:52
    
@SteveBurkett: Just for the record: RRDTool (which Zenoss uses) aggregates old data in a similar way, to allow you to retain old data without bloating the datavbase. –  sleske Jun 20 '11 at 11:18
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Makew sure you have looked at thew latest release of SCOM 2007 r2. I'd use SCOM, SCVMM and the quest juniper plugin. You can alaso simply do SNMP monitoring of the juniper stuff but it depends on what sort of reporting you need. You could also work on converting that last little linux box over to windows and save yourself the yearly support cost. If you are stuck with it the cross platform extensions for scom will let you monitor it as well.

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55 Wintel presence would outweigh the choice scale to SCOM 2007 if cost is not a problem. SCOM has native support and advanced tools for windows (naturally) and it is still able to monitor *nix platforms without the need for agents (albeit a little limited to SNMP and SSH but compare that to the number of win vs nix on the network).

Also with "cost" out of the way with the purchase of SCOM, I think a couple of dollars more for agents to VMware and Juniper devices wouldn't be such startling difference compared to just plain vanilla SCOM.

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  1. SCOM 2007 R2, 6.1.7221 - My beginning experiences... so you can know about the golem

1.1. SCOM Web does not like Firefox 3.6.3, neither with IE user agent.

1.2. Documentation in the SCOM WEB leads to online documentation!

1.3. Reporting exportation 1.3.1. Export to HTML create a new HTML format .mhtml format (only usable on IE of course...) 1.3.2. and when you rename your file to .html, the content of the file becames a binary file:

...
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/related;
 boundary="----=_NextPart_01C35DB7.4B204430"
X-MSSQLRS-ProducerVersion: V9.00.4035.00

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
... 

1.3.3 Manual selection for global reporting for more than 10 servers seems not to work.

1.4. And there is more !

Just try to create a 2 weeks report, or a month report + several days: you are stuck on monthly (end 31) report.

If you have the luck to choose, to me it is pretty clear:

(2) I know a lot of people using Nagios (http://www.nagios.org/) and even Nagvis (http://www.nagvis.org/).

I'm sure that OpenNMS (http://www.opennms.org/wiki/Main_Page) is also a good candidate [Java side].

(3) http://monitoringforge.org/ - For a global opensource forge on monitoring tools

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Regarding 1.3.1, the MHTML format wraps all your text and graphs and pictures in to one file. If you went HTML you'd have an .htm file plus multiple .gif and .jpg files. Kinda difficult to email round etc. Mozilla and Opera will read MHTML with the appropriate plugin. Guess they should give you the option of HTML or MHTML though. –  SteveBurkett Jun 3 '10 at 13:58
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