As part of a series exploring the features and usage of OMS, this post discusses the nature and usage of OMS Solutions.
Welcome to the “Exploring OMS” series, where we talk about the features, functionality, and usage of Microsoft’s Operations Management Suite (OMS). For the uninformed, OMS is an “IT Management as a Service” platform designed to provide a set of heterogeneous tools for managing one’s infrastructure, regardless of platform or location. At the center of OMS’ tools is a powerful Log Analytics platform which leverages big data analysis techniques on the wealth of machine data it collects, which enables users to more quickly and easily gain insights into the state of their infrastructure.
This post will discuss the most immediate method OMS has for collecting and presenting insights into data – the Log Analytics Solutions.
Looking for a way to start testing OMS with your existing SCOM investment? Check out our previous post, “Have SCOM? Test OMS with Ease!” (link)
Solutions in a Nutshell
To quote Technet, Solutions are,
…a collection of logic, visualization and data acquisition rules that address key customer challenges today. Solutions are powered by OMS log search to bring you metrics pivoted around a particular problem area. They allow deeper insights to help investigate and resolve operational issues faster, collect and correlate various types of machine data and help you be proactive with activities such as capacity planning, patch status reporting and security auditing.
To put it in layman’s terms, Solutions are pre-built configurations designed to collect and present specific types of data with the goal of quickly surfacing actionable data to solve IT problems. Instead of just collecting the data and relying solely on the user to know how to analyze it and infer results from it, the Solutions are designed to present immediate insights drawn from the collected data. Additionally, most Solutions come with pre-defined queries to use as starting points when drilling down further into the data.
Solutions are designed to truly make an administrator’s life easier by leveraging technology to expose actionable data, freeing up the admins’ time to address issues rather than hunt them down.
Addition and Usage
There are a number of Solutions available in OMS Log Analytics today. Microsoft is also developing more on a fast cadence – new options are appearing all the time. Available Solutions can be discovered via the Solution Gallery which can be reached from the Log Analytics home page. The Gallery provides screenshots and information for each Solution available as well as many upcoming Solutions. The following screenshot shows all the options available as of today:
Adding a Solution is easy. Inside the Gallery, one just needs to select the desired Solution and click the “Add” button. OMS takes care of the deployment of the solution to the managed agents and the addition of dashboards and saved queries to your workspace. Some do require some additional configuration, but most are essentially turnkey operations – just enable it and go. The widget on the home page will initially display a message letting you know that data collection has begun and results will be available soon. Once that data collection occurs, the widget will be updated with KPIs and can be clicked on to explore more detailed dashboards for the data.
Here’s an example of what the Security and Audit solution displays once data is collected:
Many parts of the dashboards can be clicked on to instantly drill down to more information, either through nested dashboards or by switching over to the Log Analytics search tools. We’ll go more into detail about Log Search in a later blog post, but it is important to note that Solutions provide an easy-to-use front-end for search queries on the back. Clicking through the Solution dashboards often will take you to the raw data in the search tools, allowing you to modify the queries to drill down further and draw more insight from the system. The Solutions also come with a list of pre-created queries that can help get you started and surface additional information.
OMS’ Log Analytics Solutions are powerful pre-built configurations designed to collect machine data and present actionable analysis and feedback for administrators. This post has discussed the nature of the Solutions, how to add them, and how to use them once added. Join us in the next post in this series where we will begin the discussion on using Log Analytics’s search tools.