Microsoft Private Cloud
In the first few parts of this blog series the focus will be on private cloud. A lot of information can be
found about it on the Internet. An important milestone is definitely the new System Center release 2012.
Under the following link you will find an article from Jan 17th 2012 with the title :
“Microsoft Brings the Cloud Down to Earth for Enterprises”
Here is a quote from Satya Nadella, president of Microsoft Server and Tools Business :
“We are delivering on that promise today. With System Center 2012, customers can move beyond
the industry hype and speculation, and progress into the here and now of private cloud.”
Customers are using virtualization ( Hyper-V, VMWare, Xen, Lpar, LDom, KVM …. ) for quite some
time now. Regarding the key differences between virtualization and private cloud and the benefits
of private cloud compared to virtualization one can find again lots of information on the Internet.
Here is one article which covers the question :
As described in this article :
virtualization isn’t always the foundation for cloud computing. But if we compare virtualization with
private cloud which is based on it then two key characteristics of private cloud are automation and
self-service.The question comes up though how easy it is to put this idea into practice.
The author of the following article about System Center 2012 says :
“Building your own private cloud is an exercise that’s still far from trivial, but Microsoft has made the
process much more approachable with System Center 2012.”
I guess everybody sees the possibility to implement the private cloud approach on the infrastructure
level with focus on the OS and the DB. As an example I added a link to the HP database
consolidation appliance :
“A complete, ready-to-use solution for consolidating and optimizing your database workloads to gain
the full benefits of a private cloud.”
But how does this look like when we add a SAP system to the picture ? What does self-service
and automation mean in a SAP landscape ? How could the System Center capabilities be used
to provide automation and self-service for SAP NetWeaver ? Is it possible at all ?
This blog series will help to answer these questions and show how a SAP NetWeaver private cloud
could be built on Microsoft technology using System Center 2012 as a key component of the solution.
SCOM integration with SAP
To quote Laotse : even a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Our first step is SCOM – System Center Operations Manager. Private cloud doesn’t mean that
monitoring of the landscape becomes obsolete. It’s out of the scope of this blog though to explain
SCOM. Details can be found following the links in the links section at the bottom of the blog.
The question we want to answer is : how could SAP NetWeaver be monitored out of SCOM ?
Well – when using SCOM ( also in its latest version 2012 ) it becomes obvious pretty quickly that
there is no out-of-the-box integration with SAP NetWeaver. Looking deeper one will inevitably
come across the System Center Operations Manager 2012 SDK :
Great ! So all you have to do is to use the SDK on the SCOM side and a corresponding SDK on
the SAP side and implement the “glue” between both worlds. All joking aside – as long as there
is no SCOM management pack for SAP provided by Microsoft this gap has to be filled by
customers or partners.
Fortunately some partners did this work already and offer tools to connect SCOM with SAP.
The best known ones are : Cisco / Tidal, UC4, RealTech, OZSoft and Connmove.
The following section shows two examples using the solutions from OZSoft and Connmove to
give an idea how the SAP integration of SCOM could look like. More information can be found
on the home pages of the vendors.
Important note about SAP Solution Manager :
both tools shown below will integrate exactly the same way with a Solution Manager instance.
As CCMS is also available in Solution Manager it works identical from a SCOM integration
perspective. CCMS is still around in the latest Solution Manager release 7.1. Therefore no
problem to connect SCOM with Solman 7.1 the same way as before. Partners will evaluate
options and benefits of integrating SCOM with the new Monitoring and Alerting Infrastructure
( MAI ) in Solman 7.1.
Two 3rd-party examples
Two small-footprint solutions were chosen to show how SCOM 2012 ( these tools would also
work with SCOM 2007 ) can be integrated with SAP NetWeaver. The basic idea is to bring
SAP NetWeaver CCMS monitor data ( SAP transaction RZ20 ) into SCOM.
Both tools provide their own little GUI which is necessary to specify the connectivity between
the SCOM server and a certain SAP system as well as the selection of a CCMS monitor. It
was pretty easy to install and configure these tools. For the simple test an existing CCMS
monitor template was used : “Entire System”. It’s of course possible to first create your own
custom monitor on the SAP side and then map this one to SCOM.
More details and evaluation downloads can be found on the corresponding web sites :
The screenshots below were taken from some simple initial tests to give an idea how it looks like :
Figure 1 : for the tests a simple internal Hyper-V network was used consisting of three VMs. One VM
acted as a domain controller, one VM included a SAP NetWeaver system and the third one
included System Center and the 3rd-party tools
Figure 2 : in the SAP system ( transaction RZ20 ) I looked for the “Entire System” CCMS monitoring template
Figure 3 : within the “Entire System” template I looked for counters under “Dialog” for the
application server. In the test environment there was only one application server
Figure 4 : the OZSoft GUI also allowed me to select the whole “Entire System” monitoring template
Figure 5 : here you can see the Connmove cmWatcher GUI where the SAP system is defined on the
upper part of the window and SCOM in the lower part
Figure 6 : the tool from Connmove is a little bit different in the overall handling. It allows to select specific
counters out of a CCMS monitor already within the tools GUI. Once you create your own
custom monitor on the SAP side you will very likely just map the whole thing without any
Figure 7 : this screeenshot shows a performance view in SCOM 2012 based on the OZSoft
management pack where you can scroll through all the counters available in the CCMS
monitor which was selected before
Figure 8 : as I did some preselection in the cmWatcher tool from Connmove I see only the six counters
out of the CCMS monitor which I selected before
Some links to look for additional information regarding System Center and Microsoft private cloud :