Month: October 2016

Step-by-Step: Setup and Configure Azure Site Recovery (ASR) Virtual Machines (VMs) in Azure with Azure Resource Manager (ARM)

This post is a series of blog posts for Azure Site Recovery (ASR).

  • ASR for VMs hosted On-Premises, coming soon…
  • ASR for Hyper-V hosted On-Premises, coming soon…
  • ASR for an ESXi hosted On-Premises, coming soon…

Here is a step by step walk-through on how to go about setting up and configuring ASR (Azure Site Recovery) and backing up your On-Premises Virtual Machines (VMs) with Azure Resource Manager (ARM).

First things, first, Azure’s Recovery Service Vault is a unified vault/resource that allows you to manage your backup and data disaster recovery needs within Azure. For example, if you are hosting your VMs on-premises you can create a link between your on-prem site and Azure to allow your VMs to be backed-up into Azure. This is regardless of your hypervisor, it can be either ESX or Hyper-V, either will work. However for the interest of this blog post, I will be setting up ASR for VMs hosted within Azure.


Configuring Azure

Step 1: Create a Recovery Services Vault

Within Azure Resource Manager (ARM), if we select New, within the Marketplace, select Monitoring + management, then select Backup and Site Recovery (OMS) within the featured apps. Of course if this is no longer present, just search for it within the marketplace.

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Next we will now need to create our vault.

Give it a meaningful name, and you can either create a new Resource Group, or use an existing. I opted with existing, as I will (another post) next setup a Site-to-Site ASR.

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Give this a few seconds, maybe minutes to do its thing…

Great, now our Vault is up and ready to go!

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Step 2: Backup Goal/Target

Select +Backup, and let’s setup create a backup strategy:

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As mentioned, in this walk-through, we will be setting up ASR for our VMs within Azure. So, this workload will be running against our Azure environment, and we want to backup our VMs.

Step 3: Create a Backup Policy

Now we want to create a backup policy. You can chose the default, which I believe is a daily snap-shot and the retention is 30 days. This may be too aggressive, or too conservative. Nevertheless, let’s create our own.

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Give it a name “ASRBackup14Days“, for this example, I want to backup my VMs in the following manner:

  • Backup every day @ 2AM
  • Retain the daily backup of the VM for 2 weeks (14 days)
  • Retain the weekly backup of the VM for 2 weeks
  • Retain the monthly backup of the VM for 2 months (~60 days)
  • Also, begin this policy the first day of January 2016…

Of course these options are..optional, you only need to specify either the daily, weekly or monthly retention…

Once complete, we now need to select the VM(s) we would like to back-up.

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Select one, or select them all, but keep in mind, this could get costly $$$$, more VMs and more often the back-up frequency.

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Step 4: Initial Backup

Great! Now, Enable backup. Now, if we go back to our ASR Vault, should see a job already in progress, as Azure already started the initial backup.

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As you can see, the VM is being backed up now!

Step 5: On-Demand Backup

If you ever want to do an ad-hoc backup, just go back to the ASR Vault, within the Protected Items, select the VM(s) you are interested, and schedule an immediate backup.

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SCOM 2016 Web Console Face-Off

I had some free time so, I figured let’s test out the SCOM 2016 Web Console with respect to HTML5…

In my test, I tested the following browsers. Please note, metrics/data collected was within the built-in browser development tools.

  • Internet Explorer 11 (Obviously)
  • Chrome (v 54.0.2840.71 m)
  • Firefox (v 49.0.2)

I tested out the following views within each browser:

  • Alerts View
  • State Views
  • Performance Views
  • Diagram Views
  • Dashboard Views

Let’s get started:


First, let’s try my default (go-to) browser, Chrome

Alerts View:

alerts

State View:

state

Performance View:

performance

Diagram View:

diagram

Dashboard View:

dashboard

Verdict: Well, that’s a bummer… All but the dashboard view worked. I suspect Silverlight is still required… But good to know most, or at least in this exercise 80% of the functionality tested works in Chrome.

 


Next, let’s test Firefox.

Alerts View:

alerts

State View:

state

Performance View:

performance

Diagram View:

diagram

Dashboard View:

dashboard

Verdict: (See Chrome…)


 

Lastly, Internet Explorer (not Edge).

Alerts View:

alerts

State View:

state

Performance View:

performance

Diagram View:

diagram

Dashboard View:

dashboard

Verdict: Well, there you have it, the SCOM 2016 Web Console is not all HTML5, as it still requires Silverlight. Maybe the MOM team will step their game up, and have this fully integrated in SP1 or maybe R2 versions — After all, HTML5 was released in 2014. Or maybe, this is Microsoft’s gentle way of pushing users to OMS (Operations Management Suite).

Also, Google Chrome was notably faster than Firefox and IE.

OpsMgr Page View; Browser Google Chrome Firefox Internet Explorer (11)
Alerts View 1.84 s 2.73 s 2.73 s
States View 2.62 s 2.13 s 2.12 s
Performance Views 2.88 s 4.68 s 5.50 s
Diagram Views 0.87 s 2.97 s 1.76 s
Dashboard Views 1.96 s 1.40 s 2.18 s

 

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Step-by-Step – SCOM 2016 Update Rollup 1 (UR1) Install Procedure

Well, that was fast… System Center/Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) team just released Update Rollup 1 for SCOM 2016, only weeks after the System Center 2016 suite and Windows Server 2016 were released.

The MOM team did not indicate what exactly the fixes were in this Update Rollup, so your guess is good as mine. However, I believe one of the issues that may have been resolved was the SCOM 2012R2/SCOM 2016 Console crash due to the October Cumulative Update, October 2016 Windows Server Cumulative Update(s).

Below step by step procedures below are the steps I took and in no way shape or form do I accept responsibility for any data loss, and/or issues within your environment. It is advised to always take a backup of your SQL databases and/or snapshots of your SCOM environment(s). Please take these notes as suggestions. Always refer to Microsoft’s KB (posted below) for full documentation steps.

Here are the key updates for UR1 (source Microsoft):

Issues that are fixed in this update rollup can be found here, https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3190029

Once you are ready to begin your upgrade, it is recommended you do the following server/roles in the order specified below:

  1. Install the update rollup package on the following server infrastructure in the order below:
  • Management server(s)
  • Web console server role computers
  • Operations console role computers
  1. Apply SQL scripts.
  2. Manually import the management packs.
  3. Apply the nano agent update to manually installed agents, or push the installation from the Pending view in the Operations console.

Once you have downloaded the rollup files, I like to extract and only keep the language I need, in this case, ENU (English). You will need to install these with Administrative rights, I like to use PowerShell as Local Administrator. It really does frustrate me, as there is no indication that the rollup installed correctly, (other than looking at the file version number change via File Explorer; Build Number 7.2.11719.0 (RTM) –> 7.2.11759.0 (UR1)).

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Personally, I prefer to execute the MSP files via PowerShell (RunAs Administrator) console.

Again, the order needs to be:

  1. Management Servers
  2. Web Console Role Servers
  3. Operations Console Role Servers

Once the Update Rollups are installed, you will now need to apply the SQL scripts. In this UR, only the Data Warehouse is affected.. However, before doing the SQL part, I highly recommend rebooting all of the SCOM Management Server(s), as none of the installers requested a reboot. I ran into some errors with the SQL script update. After a reboot, the script executed just fine.

The scripts can be found here, “%SystemDrive%\Program Files\Microsoft System Center 2016\Operations Manager\Server\SQL Script for Update Rollups\

Please note, the user executing these scripts needs to have read and write permissions to the database(s).

Execute the flowing SQL script on Data Warehouse DB SQL Server against OperationsManagerDW database, UR_Datawarehouse.sql.

*** !WARNING! AT THE TIME OF THIS POST, MICROSOFT’S KB IS WRONG! I have reported the incorrect files/documentation notes to their MOM team. Please note, after the MSP files have extracted, only the “update_rollup_mom_db” is to be found, this script needs to be run against the OperationsManager Database NOT the Data Warehouse.***

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Once you have successfully executed the SQL script, you will now need to import the updated Management Packs (MP). These MPs can be found here, “%SystemDrive%\Program Files\Microsoft System Center 2016\Operations Manager\Server\Management Packs for Update Rollups\“.

You will need to import the following MPs, please see below:

  • Microsoft.SystemCenter.Advisor.Internal.mpb
  • Microsoft.SystemCenter.OperationsManager.Library.mp
  • Microsoft.SystemCenter.Image.Library.mp
  • Microsoft.SystemCenter.Visualization.Library.mpb
  • Microsoft.SystemCenter.Advisor.mpb
  • Microsoft.SystemCenter.AlertAttachment.mpb
  • Microsoft.SystemCenter.IntelliTraceProfiling.mpb
  • Microsoft.SystemCenter.2007.mp

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Don’t forget, once the MPs have been imported, you should now go back to your Pending Management view, under the Administrations pane, and update all servers.

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And that is that! You are now on the latest and greatest System Center Operations Manager release for SCOM 2016.

Step-by-Step – Installing System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) 2016 on Windows Server 2016 with SQL 2016

This post I will be installing System Center Operations Manager 2016 (SCOM) RTM, Build Number 7.2.11719.0.

Here is some of the background information. As this post will concentrate on the installation of SCOM 2016, I am going to omit the setup and configuration of the Domain Controller, Windows Server 2016 for both SCOM Management Server and SQL Server (Please note, I am using SQL Server 2016, both servers on Windows 2016).

If you need help setting up SQL 2016 for SCOM 2016, please visit HERE.

Environment:  Virtual; ESX 6.0 Hypervisor

SCOM Management Server:

  • Windows Server 2016
  • 4 vCPU (2.00GHz)
  • 12 GB memory
  • 100GB Diskspace
  • 1GB vNIC

SQL Server:

  • Windows Server 2016
  • SQL Server 2016
  • 4 vCPU (2.00GHz)
  • 24 GB memory
  • 300GB Diskspace
  • 1GB vNIC

Service Accounts and Local Administrator:

Domain\Account Description Local Admin on…
domain\SCOM_AA SCOM Action Account SCOM & SQL
domain\SCOM_DA SCOM Data Access/SDK Account SCOM & SQL
domain\SCOM_SQL_READ SCOM SQL Reader SQL
domain\SCOM_SQL_WRITE SCOM SQL Writer SQL
domain\SCOM_Admins SCOM Administrators Group SCOM
domain\SQL_SA SQL Service Account SQL
domain\SQL_SSRS SQL Service Reporting Services Account SCOM

 

Now, if you’re lazy like me, or are tired of doing this setup for environments, I have scripted the automation of these accounts. You can find that link here, Microsoft TechNet Gallery.


Let’s Begin:

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For completeness, let’s install all the features of SCOM 2016. (I am hosting a default SQL 2016 instance on the SCOM Management Server for SSRS)

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Well, that’s not new… Errors. Since this is a clean, vanilla Windows 2016 server, we will need to install all the necessary Web Console components, along with Report Viewer Controls (probably SQL CLR Types too..).

  • For the Report Viewer Prerequisites, go HERE.

Note, oddly I was unable to install with CLR SQL 2016, Reports Viewer still complained and required CLR SQL 2014.

  • Here is the PowerShell command I ran to install the necessary IIS features/roles:
Import-Module ServerManager
Add-WindowsFeature Web-Server, Web-WebServer, Web-Common-Http, Web-Default-Doc, Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Static-Content, Web-Health, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Log-Libraries, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Performance, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Security, Web-Filtering, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-App-Dev, Web-Net-Ext45, Web-Asp-Net45, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Mgmt-Tools, Web-Mgmt-Console, Web-Mgmt-Compat, Web-Metabase, NET-Framework-45-Features, NET-Framework-45-Core, NET-Framework-45-ASPNET, NET-WCF-Services45, NET-WCF-HTTP-Activation45, NET-WCF-TCP-PortSharing45, WAS, WAS-Process-Model, WAS-Config-APIs -restart

 

Once the server is back online, you will need to register ASP.Net.

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You will need to apply the following using Command Prompt (as Administrator)).

  1. cd %WINDIR%\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\
  2. aspnet_regiis.exe -r
  3. IISRESET
  4. Reboot your server…

Once the server is back online, let’s try that Prerequisites check again….

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Great! Now all of Prerequisites have been met!

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Provide a meaningful Management Group Name (there’s no going back after this…)

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SQL Server will be where your SCOM SQL instance(s) were installed. For me, I have built two instances on my SQL2016 server (SCOM_OPSMGR & SCOM_DW).

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I recommend always keeping this off, and manually updating your SCOM infrastructure.

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One quick review. Looks good. Hit Install, and get some fresh air!

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A few minutes later….

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Sweet! All good. I hope this helps. If you have any questions or issues, please drop me a line.

Please note, it is STRONGLY ADVISED to install the Update Rollup 1 once you have deployed SCOM 2016. For that walk-through, please visit the following post, HERE.

Happy 2016 SCOM’ing!

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