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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.