As with any exam, it will vary from person to person as to what is deemed to be difficult. Be sure you are familiar with each of the topics in the exam objectives listed below.
System Center Operations Manager automates routine, redundant tasks, and provides intelligent reporting and monitoring to help increase efficiency and enable greater control of your IT environment. Role-based security, Active Directory integration, and new infrastructure elements make it easier to monitor, configure and deploy in complex environments. Support for high-availability features such as clustering and failover ensure the IT environment is always monitored.
System Center Operations Manager utilizes a single interface that shows state, health and performance information of computer systems. It also provides alerts generated according to some availability, performance, configuration or security situation being identified. It works with Microsoft Windows Server and Unix-based hosts. The basic concept of SCOM is that you install a software agent on the object to be monitored. The account used to install the agent must have administrative privileges on the targeted computers. The agent will report specific events or alerts generated by the applications executing on the monitored object. To install an agent, you must be an administrator, but the rights to view alerts can be granted to any valid user account. When an alert is detected, the agent forwards the alert to a central SCOM server. Some alerts may trigger email or text notification to the system administrator. If you use computer systems that are not in Active Directory, you can use the Operations console to search your environment for manageable objects and then deploy an agent to any object that you want to monitor. This process of searching your environment is called discovery. Performing a discovery on your network allows you to see all manageable objects including those of which you may not be aware.
The Discovery Wizard is built in to SCOM and allows you to easily discover objects. It does not show systems that the management group is already monitoring. If you are doing a phased rollout of your management group, you can run the wizard to add new systems to the group. Also, after your initial deployment, you can use the Discovery Wizard to add newly installed computers to be managed. It may be that you do not want to discover and install an agent on all objects in your network, so you also have the option of manually installing agents. The communication channel between server and agent is encrypted.
Operations Manager supports the collection of SNMP messages. SNMP messages can be used similar to any other event for the creation of alerts. Operations Manager also supports the redirection of Syslogs to the management server for analysis and alerting.
The term Management Pack refers to a set of filtering rules specific to some monitored operating systems, applications, and other technology components. A Management Pack contains best practice knowledge to discover, monitor, troubleshoot report on, and resolve problems for a specific technology component. Management Packs include health models that will analyze the performance, availability, configuration and security inputs, as well as the status of related components, to determine the overall status of components. Management Packs are available for Microsoft and third party operating systems, applications, and devices. Microsoft provides Management Packs for more than 60 Microsoft products and Windows components. Microsoft also has Management Packs for more than 50 Microsoft technologies, including the following: Exchange Server, Windows Active Directory, SQL Server, Windows XP/Windows Vista, Office client/Office servers and Internet Information Server. Microsoft partners have created Management Packs for various hardware platforms, non-Microsoft applications, and even non-Microsoft operating systems, such as Linux and UNIX. To read more information on which partner Management Packs are available, you can go to the Management Pack catalog at the Operations Manager Web site.