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What's New in System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager


Updated: May 13, 2016

Applies To: System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager

System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager has new capabilities and changes, which are outlined here. For details about known issues, read the Release Notes for Operations Manager in System Center 2012 R2

Fabric Monitoring

A close integration between System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager and System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager introduces System Center cloud monitoring of virtual layers for private cloud environments. To get this new functionality, use the System Center 2012 Management Pack for System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager Dashboard, which is imported automatically when you integrate Operations Manager and Virtual Machine Manager. For information about how to integrate Operations Manager and Virtual Machine Manager, see Configuring Operations Manager Integration with VMM.

Fabric Health Dashboard – Monitoring the Health of Private Clouds

The Fabric Health Dashboard shows a detailed overview of the health of your private clouds and the fabric that services those clouds. The dashboard helps you answer questions like “What is the health of my clouds and the fabric serving those clouds?”

To view the Fabric Health Dashboard, click Monitoring, and in Cloud Health Dashboard, click Cloud Health. Select the cloud you want to investigate, and then, in the Tasks pane, click Fabric Health Dashboard.

For each cloud, the Fabric Health Dashboard displays these aspects of the fabric:

  • Host State: monitors the health state of the hosting groups or the computing aspects of the cloud, such as CPU, memory, disks, and network adapters

  • Storage Pools State File Share and LUN State: monitors the health state of the storage aspect of fabric for issues, such as disk space capacity and allocation

  • Network Node State: utilizes network monitoring in Operations Manager and displays the health state of network nodes (devices) that are relevant for the cloud you selected. Only physical network devices within one hop from the hosts are shown. To see the physical network devices, you must enable the Network Monitoring feature of Operations Manager and monitor the physical network devices connected to the hosts. Virtual networks are not shown in the dashboard.

The Active Alerts and Number of VMs fields on this dashboard help indicate which issues are having the greatest impact on your cloud and can help you prioritize your work.

Fabric Monitoring Diagram View – Displays Health States of Cloud and On-Premise Environments

The Diagram view gives you a diagram of the entire infrastructure and shows the health state of each part of the fabric. The Diagram view helps you answer questions, such as “What is the health of my entire fabric?” Improvements to the diagram ensure that health rolls up and that the relevant fabric components are part of the Diagram View.

To Open Diagram View, click Monitoring, and in Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager Views, click Diagram View for the environment you want to see displayed as a diagram.

Microsoft Monitoring Agent

Microsoft Monitoring Agent is a new agent that replaces the Operations Manager Agent and combines .NET Application Performance Monitoring (APM) in System Center with the full functionality of Visual Studio IntelliTrace Collector for gathering full application profiling traces. Microsoft Monitoring Agent can collect traces on demand or can be left running, which monitors applications and collects traces continuously.

Microsoft Monitoring Agent can be used together with Operations Manager or can be used as a standalone tool for monitoring web applications written with Microsoft .NET Framework. In both cases, the operator can direct the agent to save application traces in an IntelliTrace log format that can be opened in Visual Studio Ultimate. The log contains detailed information about application failures and performance issues.

You can use Windows PowerShell commands to start and stop monitoring and collect IntelliTrace logs from web applications that are running on Internet Information Services (IIS). To open IntelliTrace logs generated from APM exceptions and APM performance events, you can use Visual Studio. For more information, see Monitoring with Microsoft Monitoring Agent.

Integrating Operations Manager with Development Processes (DevOps)

Here are two important changes to the DevOps functionality in System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager:

New Alert Fields of TFS Work Item ID and TFS Work Item Owner

In System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager, you can synchronize Operations Manager alerts and Team Foundation Server (TFS) work items. When synchronization is enabled, IT operations can then assign alerts to the engineering team. Assigning an alert to engineering creates a new work item in TFS. The workflow will track and synchronize any changes that are made to TFS work items and any associated Operations Manager alerts.

Integration between System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and TFS used the Ticket ID and Owner fields of the Operations Manager alert to store and display which work item is associated with an alert and who it is assigned to. Beginning in System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager, two new alert fields, TFS Work Item ID and TFS Work Item Owner, hold these values. These fields are read-only in the Operations Manager console to prevent accidental changes of the values that are controlled in TFS.

If you previously personalized any standard alert views or created your own alert views in System Center 2012 SP1 using Ticket ID and Owner fields to display TFS information, you must replace those fields with the TFS Work Item ID and TFS Work Item Owner fields to continue displaying the same information. The previous Ticket ID and Owner fields are still used for synchronization of alerts with incidents in Service Manager Alert Connector.


You can now use Operations Manager integration with TFS in the same environment with the Service Manager Alert Connector.

Conversion of Application Performance Monitoring (APM) Performance Events to IntelliTrace format

This monitoring capability now allows the opening of APM performance events from Visual Studio IDE as if the performance event was captured during the IntelliTrace historical debugging session. Tightly integrated with TFS Work Item Synchronization Management Pack, this capability instantaneously brings generated IntelliTrace logs to TFS work items assigned to engineering. This can result in streamlining communications between IT Operations and Development and enriching the development experience with analysis of root causes of the application failure, reducing the mean time to recovery (MTTR) for the problems detected by APM.

Support for IPv6

In System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager the Operations console can take IPv6 addresses as input for Network Discovery and display IPv6 addresses in the network-related views.

Java Application Performance Monitoring

The System Center 2012 Management Pack for Java Application Performance Monitoring lets you monitor Java application performance and exception events by using Operations Manager Application Advisor. You can set method and resource timing for performance events, stack traces for exception events, and set Java specific counters (such as Average Request Time and Requests Per Second) for events. Additionally, you get Operations Manager level alerting on Java application server counters. You can download the management pack from the Microsoft Download Center.

System Center Advisor

System Center Advisor is an online service that analyzes installations of Microsoft server software. With the latest preview version of Advisor, you can now view Advisor alerts in the Operations Manager Operations console.

Advisor collects data from your installations, analyzes it, and generates alerts that identify potential issues (such as missing security patches) or deviations from identified best practices with regard to configuration and usage. Advisor also provides both current and historical views of the configuration of servers in your environment. Ultimately, Advisor recommendations help you proactively avoid configuration problems, reduce downtime, improve performance, and resolve issues faster. For more information about Advisor, see Viewing System Center Advisor Alerts and Advisor online help

UNIX and Linux Monitoring

UNIX and Linux agents for Operations Manager are now based on the Open Management Infrastructure (OMI) open-source CIM Object Manager.

Debian GNU/Linux 7 is now supported by the Universal Linux agents and Management Packs.