Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005 is a robust server-monitoring product that's designed to meet the requirements of an enterprise IT environment. To address the needs of smaller sites (10 or fewer servers), Microsoft designed MOM 2005 Workgroup Edition. Typical uses involve monitoring for a small business, monitoring within a department of a larger business, or monitoring a single application.

MOM 2005 Workgroup Edition is nearly the same product as MOM 2005 but has enhancements to ease installation and agent deployment. Installation of MOM 2005 Workgroup Edition is streamlined to fewer than 10 clicks, and agent deployment is streamlined to 3 clicks. In addition, MOM 2005 Workgroup Edition comes with preinstalled Management Packs, whereas MOM 2005 installs without Management Packs to enable a customized installation. Although Microsoft simplified installation for MOM 2005 Workgroup Editiion and designed it for small networks, operating the product isn't trivial. It requires expert knowledge about system monitoring and an understanding of how to monitor servers with MOM.

To simplify MOM for MOM 2005 Workgroup Edition, Microsoft removed some of MOM 2005's enterprise-focused features. For example, MOM 2005 Workgroup Edition doesn't have the reporting, diagram views, and product-connector capabilities that MOM 2005 has. The removal of such features simplifies the MOM deployment architecture and lightens the processing load that's placed on the MOM 2005 Workgroup Edition server.

You can upgrade a MOM 2005 Workgroup Edition installation to the full version of MOM 2005. Thus, MOM 2005 Workgroup Edition is a good entry point, whether you manage a small environment and seek a solution to monitor all your servers or just want to get your feet wet with MOM. For information about pricing and licensing of MOM 2005 Workgroup Edition, see the Learning Path box.