Exciting new features let you manage your UNIX and Linux systems alongside your Windows systems
Many enterprises today run a mix of Windows servers and desktops alongside UNIX and Linux systems, with different strategies for managing them. In most cases, the Windows systems are placed into forests and are centrally managed, but the UNIX and Linux systems might or might not be centrally managed. Rarely are Windows systems managed alongside UNIX and Linux systems. For enterprises that do want to manage Windows systems alongside UNIX and Linux systems, there have always been third-party solutions available, but these are often complicated to install and unwieldy to use. These third-party solutions can also be costly and require significant investment in training and staffing to use successfully.
Microsoft has recognized the need to manage UNIX and Linux systems alongside Windows systems, and has over the years provided a means to integrate the systems to provide centralized authentication, authorization, and auditing. With the release of System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) 2007 R2, Microsoft provides support for managing select UNIX and Linux systems through SCOM, as well as extending Audit Collection Services (ACS) to integrate UNIX and Linux event collection, processing, and storage with that for Windows systems. In this article, I describe how to configure and use these exciting new features to manage your UNIX and Linux systems alongside your Windows systems.
The ability to manage Windows, UNIX, and Linux systems together requires that you have SCOM 2007 R2 deployed in your organization. To integrate event log collection from your Windows systems with your UNIX and Linux systems, you'll also need to install ACS. In addition, only a subset of common UNIX and Linux systems are supported. The supported UNIX and Linux systems are AIX 5.3 and 6.1 (Power PC), HP-UX 11iv2 and 11iv3 (PA-RISC and IA64), Red Hat Enterprise Server 4 and 5 (x86 and x64), Solaris 8 and 9 (SPARC) and 10 (SPARC and x86 later than 120012-14), and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 (x86), 10 SP1 and 11 (both x86 and x64). You'll also find that derivatives of enterprise versions of Linux—such as OpenSUSE—will work, but these are unsupported.
You'll need to install support for Web Services Management (WS-Man) 1.1 on the Windows servers that host your SCOM servers (which will manage the UNIX and Linux clients). On Windows Server 2008 R2, this is a feature called WinRM IIS Extension that you can add. You'll need to install IIS, too.
I recommend that you install the latest cumulative update for SCOM 2007 R2. You can find the latest update available at the Microsoft Download Center by searching for the keywords “SCOM cumulative update.” The cumulative updates address issues with the use of Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2008, and contain fixes that address many other problems. You'll need to apply the latest update to your SCOM 2007 R2 Root Management Server(s), any SCOM Gateway servers you might have, as well as every other SCOM server and all ACS Collectors. You'll also need to follow instructions for how to update the SQL Server databases that SCOM and ACS use.
You'll need to install the latest cumulative update for cross-platform support in SCOM 2007 R2. You can also find this update at the Microsoft Download Center by searching for the keywords “cross platform.” Unlike the cumulative update for SCOM 2007 R2 itself, there are separate downloads for a SCOM server and a SCOM Gateway server. You'll need to download the appropriate cross-platform cumulative updates and install them, beginning with your SCOM 2007 R2 Root RMS Server(s), then your Gateway Servers, and then every other SCOM server. Read the release notes carefully before applying the cross-platform cumulative update.
Finally, make sure you download the latest cross-platform management pack(s). Currently, there's an installer MSI file and five supporting documents for AIX, HP, RedHat, SUSE, and Solaris flavors of UNIX and Linux available at the Microsoft Download Center. (Use the search keywords “cross platform.”) Review the documents appropriate for the flavors of UNIX and Linux you intend to manage. The actual management packs are contained in the installer file. Double-click the installer file so that the management packs are extracted and written, by default, to a folder called SCOMCrossPlatformCU2MP, under C:\Program Files\System Center Management Packs. On 64-bit installations of Windows Server, the Program Files (x86) folder is used instead.