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How often have you had a problem with a Windows server that you
could have potentially prevented? For example, if you had been able to
aggregate all of your server logs to a single console and alerted an
administrator when a critical event took place, you may have been able to fix
the issue before it became a problem. If you’re like many administrators, this
situation sounds familiar.

Enter MOM—Microsoft Operations Manager 2005, that is. As the
latest addition to Microsoft’s infrastructure management arsenal, MOM 2005
provides administrators with the abilities to aggregate event logs from
multiple servers, instantly notify administrators when a problem occurs, and
provide historical reporting information useful in identifying trends.

MOM 2005 is available in two editions: the Workgroup Edition
(formerly known as MOM 2005 Express) and the full version of MOM 2005. The
Workgroup Edition allows management of up to 10 servers, but the full version
has no such limitation.

In traditional Microsoft fashion, there is no licensing
path to upgrade from the Workgroup Edition to the full version. Furthermore,
while the full version is a good product, it’s pretty pricey. At $729 for the
MOM server license and about $538 per managed device, the tab can add up very
quickly. (The Workgroup Edition will run you $499.)

In addition, MOM 2005 requires a database of some kind.
While the Workgroup Edition can use the no-cost Microsoft Database Engine (MSDE),
the full version of MOM 2005 requires a full version of SQL Server, which also
isn’t an inexpensive proposition.

That said, MOM 2005 can seriously improve the administrative
and management functions of an IT infrastructure. It can also help
administrators proactively correct problems rather than waiting to hear about them
from the help desk.

For more information about MOM 2005, check out the Microsoft Operations Manager
Web page