A little while back I was asked a question that I wanted to spend some time on answering with more than a quick reply. The question is below:

Why do you suggest that a parallel SCOM implementation always be set up to monitor a Quality Assurance/Development environment? My manager is trying to lighten our footprint, and is wondering.

The following are my thoughts on the positives and negatives to having a QA/Development environment (or test environment as I will refer to it during this blog post) for OpsMgr/SCOM.

 

Positives:

  • A test environment is required to provide a way to test changes in monitoring before they occur in production. 
  • Monitoring can be developed in one environment, and then migrated into the production environment.
  • A test environment provides a way to test Cumulative Updates and new versions of Microsoft management packs before they are rolled into production.
  • The alerts that appear in the production environment are production actionable alerts.
  • When all systems are together in one environment, situations occur where overrides need to be created for specific sets of servers specifically because they are not production systems. IE: I don’t want any alerts on my test systems, but send an alert if they are offline. Maintaining separate environments removes this issue.

 

Negatives:

  • There is additional overhead required to maintain the additional OpsMgr environment (patching, resources required, etc).  [To minimize this overhead, an all-in-one OpsMgr environment can be used which while it does not replicate the full configuration of the production environment, it provides most of the benefits of having a test environment.]
  • Having a test environment means that there will be different consoles which will need to be used to monitor depending on whether the system is or is not a production system.

 

Thank you to Blake Wilson, Paul Johnson and Stephen Leuthold for their insights!

 

How about you, have you seen additional positives or negatives or have a different perspective on one list above? If so, please let me know by adding a comment on this blog post!