Pilot Testing

This phase of the deployment process requires working with your IT department and your NOC, to coordinate the introduction of MOM components into your production environment. Key roles during this phase continue to be the MOM Administrators, the MOM Deployment Testers, and any Application Administrators. A key role for this phase is the IT Operations Liaison and the Network Operations Center (NOC) Liaison. Specific deliverables for this phase include pilot testing plans, pilot testing reports (including performance data), and a record of configuration changes.

Conduct your pilot testing in three distinct sub-phases. First, monitor and test agentless computers.


In order to benefit from the full MOM agent functionality, it is recommended that you install agents on the agentless computers.

Next, install an agent on these computers and monitor and test agent monitoring. Finally, install the prescribed monitoring consoles in your NOC, and test the functionality.

Figure 7 demonstrates the recommended flow of testing during the pilot test phase.


Figure 7 Recommended Sub-Phases for Pilot Testing

You can use one or both of the following approaches, for creating a pilot test environment.

Mixing the Lab and Production Environments

Pilot test the agent-less computer monitoring, agent monitoring, and NOC monitoring features, by installing these elements in your production environment, one at a time, and then monitoring the elements from your lab testing environment.

Phasing these monitoring features into your production environment allows you to use production-level monitoring data to continue to tune and optimize Management Packs before deploying them your production environment. This approach provides an additional opportunity to test the performance of MOM server components and hardware. However, this approach requires connectivity between your test environment and your production environment.

The following diagram illustrates the relationship between the lab testing environment and the production environment.


Figure 8 Mixing the Test and Production Environments for Pilot Testing

The pilot testing phase, described in this chapter, assumes that you are using this first approach to pilot test your MOM implementation.

Pilot Testing All MOM Components in Production

Install a pilot configuration group into your production environment, and use it to monitor a small number of computers. This approach will have a greater impact on your network environment, as you work to both optimize the MOM server components, and tune Management Packs, directly in your production environment. However, this approach does not require connectivity between your lab testing environment and your production environment.

Build the Pilot Testing Environment

The pilot testing environment includes adding the following elements into your production environment:

  • Agent computer monitoring: install the MOM agent on these computers to achieve full monitoring capabilities. If you already have a previous version of MOM installed in your production environment, you can multi-home existing MOM agents.

  • NOC monitoring features: pilot testing monitoring features in a Network Operations Center. Introduce the user interface that is prescribed for users in the NOC. Establish connectivity between the NOC and the test configuration group.

Test Monitoring Features in your Production Environment

For each of the three categories of monitoring features that you are testing during the pilot phase, use a change control process to ensure the integrity of the testing and optimization process. Optimize during the test sub-phases for agent monitoring features, and NOC monitoring features. Each time you optimize, repeat the testing scenarios for the sub-phase. The following flow chart demonstrates the recommended change control process for pilot testing.


Figure 9 Recommended Change Control Process for Each Sub-phase of Pilot Testing

Testing the Agent Monitoring Scenarios

During the pilot test phase, complete the following:

  • Verify that MOM agents are deployed as intended.

  • Gauge the potential volume of production data.

  • Verify the MOM design works as intended, with network security features, including firewalls.

  • Verify the reporting and reporting database features with production-level monitoring data is working as intended.

  • Verify the hardware in your environment meets potential load requirements.

Testing the NOC Monitoring Features

During the pilot test phase, verify that the following has occurred:

  • NOC monitoring features work as prescribed.

  • NOC monitoring features work, as intended, with network security features, such as untrusted domains.

Test the Management Pack Using Pilot Servers

To simulate a pilot testing phase, identify pilot servers and add these to the test management group. By adding pilot servers to the scope of testing, you can scale your test scenario to evaluate the impact of increased monitoring data. Add pilot servers by multihoming agents in your production environment.

Another approach for pilot testing is to begin the pilot test phase in your production environment, by installing a limited number of agents to your production management group, and then gradually phasing in more agents. This approach works well if you are deploying MOM into your production environment for the first time. However, if you are updating a Management Pack, or deploying a new Management Pack into an existing production environment, the new or updated Management Pack is applied to all existing agents that meet the criteria for the Management Pack. Therefore, there is little opportunity for phasing in a Management Pack to your production environment.

Deploy the Management Pack to Pilot Servers

Consult the Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 Deployment Guide for detailed instructions on deploying agents in your scenario.

Coordinate Management Pack Tuning with the Application Administrator

Continue to tune the Management Pack based on the results of the monitoring data. Coordinate changes with the application administrator. Record all changes to the Management Pack in the Management Pack log.

Verify That Pilot Test Objectives Are Met

Determine the criteria for pilot phase testing. When pilot phase test objectives are met, have key participants approve the resulting Management Pack.

Export the Management Pack

Export the Management Pack and archive a copy of this file.