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Cloud Computing

Use System Center to Monitor Your Coffee Consumption

I’ve been visiting the Microsoft campus in Redmond, WA, this week to get an update on System Center 2012, Windows Server 2012, and SQL Server 2012 from several different product teams at Microsoft. I’m also here to attend the TechMentor Conference and hopefully catch some sessions by IT industry luminaries such as Mark Russinovich, Mark Minasi, J. Peter Bruzzese, and Bruce Mackenzie-Low.

One of my meetings on the Microsoft campus was with Chris Van Wesep from the System Center product team. Most of our discussion revolved around the new features in System Center 2012 and the new capabilities being introduced in the upcoming System Center 2012 SP1 service pack, but Van Wesep also mentioned some of the creative ways that IT professionals have used System Center over the years. Download 180-Day Free Trial of System Center 2012

Case in point: Danish System Center experts Kare Rude Anderson and Jakob Gottlieb Svendsen from Coretech have created a management pack for System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 that employs a webcam and some creative scripting to monitor the fullness of the Coretech office coffee pot. Coretech’s Jakob Svendsen describes how they developed the management pack in the video below.

Svendsen explains that the management pack relies on two photos of the coffee pot being monitored — one of an empty pot, and one of a full pot — then counts the black pixels in the live webcam image and compares it to the low (empty) and high (full) values.

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Some of my favorite comments from the video include “…because [the coffee volume] is less than 20%, it will create a critical alert instead of a warning” and “…your coffee status is healthy.” I could absolutely use a critical alert system when my coffee pot is running low, and I think the vast majority of the caffeine-addicted masses would agree that a healthy coffee status is analogous to unmitigated joy and happiness.

Know of any other unusual or creative uses of System Center that I may have missed? Feel free to add a comment to this post or continue the discussion on Twitter.

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