Understanding Computer Groups

Microsoft Operations Manager 2000 (MOM) allows you to group similar computers for monitoring and management. Then you can monitor and manage the group rather than each individual computer. Monitoring and managing computer groups saves you time and effort and minimizes configuration steps.

Computer grouping rules define these groups of computers. You can group computers together based on their domain, computer name, or attributes such as the operating system version or installed applications. You can also identify computers to always include or exclude from the computer group, regardless of their other characteristics.

You can also name the computer group. The name allows you to easily include one computer group in other computer groups.

Computer groups are dynamic. For example, a computer group of all Microsoft Windows 2000 computers includes all computers running Microsoft Windows 2000 when the rule was created, as well as any new computers onto which Microsoft Windows 2000 is installed. If you remove Windows 2000 from a computer, the computer no longer fits the computer grouping rule. The Agent Manager scans managed computers to track and implement these changes.

Computer grouping rules are created and enforced in only one configuration group. Computer grouping rules created in one configuration group do not apply to other configuration groups.

By Domain and Computer Names

You can group computers using their domain or computer names. MOM allows you to identify the domain or computer name using wildcards, regular expressions, or Boolean regular expressions.

By Computer Attributes

You can group computers using characteristics the computers have in common. These characteristics are called attributes. When you create a computer grouping rule using attributes, you can choose from attributes already created or you can create your own.

You create a new computer attribute based on a Windows Registry key or value. Then, you can use that attribute to create a computer grouping rule. When MOM evaluates the rule, it finds any computers with that attribute and includes them in the computer group.

Using attributes, for example, you could create computer groups that include all computers running Microsoft Windows 2000.

You can also create computer groups using attributes and other computer groups. For example, you could create a computer group that includes all Windows 2000 computers that are not running Microsoft Windows 2000 version 4.5.

By Including or Excluding

You can add computers to a computer group by including them. Computers that are included are always part of the computer group, regardless of their other characteristics. If your enterprise includes computers to be monitored outside a firewall, you must include them in a computer group, since MOM cannot collect information or attributes from a computer outside the firewall.

You can also exclude computers from a computer group. Computers that are excluded are never part of the computer group, regardless of their other characteristics.