Testing management products like Microsoft (Corp.) Operations Manager 2005 is always a tricky process since traditional performance isn’t nearly as important as day-to-day management features and know-how.

So, to give this product a real-world run-through, I took MOM 2005 out of the lab and installed it at a willing client site running eight Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 servers and an AIX server.

Install Ups and Downs

The nine-server test site was a mite small compared to typical MOM enterprise deployments, but effective enough for evaluation purposes. Though Microsoft Corp.’s MOM 2005 Deployment Guide has instructions for upgrading from MOM 2000, my installation was done from the ground up. Upgrading or not, administrators need to prepare for significant work during this initial install phase.

The console and workstation installations are straightforward enough, but it’s the client installations that pull out MOM’s real value. These client installations mostly involve MOM Management Packs, which are application-specific, covering core server topics, including Active Directory, DNS, IIS and similar server applications.

Additional packs currently cover only Microsoft products, including SQL Server, BizTalk Server, and the like, but Microsoft pro