Month: November 2016

Monitoring Windows Server 2016 Nano Server with SCOM 2016

The following post is intended to demonstrate how to monitor your Windows Server 2016 — Nano Server, via System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) 2016.

Also, a quick note, the SCOM team released the Windows Server 2016 Operating System Management Pack today, see HERE for the download/MP. One of the many updates to this MP (version 10.0.8.0) is the added compatibility of the Nano agent! So without further ado, let’s try installing the SCOM 2016 agent on a Nano server!

mp

To begin, I have an out-of-the-box Windows 2016 (No UI) VM. I gave it 1GB of memory, and 2 vCPU’s.

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Once the VM is online, first things first, we need to add this machine to our domain, unless you want to go the DMZ/Certificates route…. For simplicity, I am adding the Nano server to my domain, same domain as the SCOM Management Server(s) — The Nano Server and SCOM Management Server MUST be on the same domain. Same network space, etc. etc.

Assuming the above is completed, let’s begin with assigning a static IP address to the server. However, before we do this, we need to get the name of the Network Adapter(s).

Network Adapter Information

Get-NetAdapter
Get-NetIPConfiguration

These cmdlets will give us the network adapter name and current settings. As you can see below, the domain controller/DHCP has already given our server a dynamic IP (10.10.10.50). We want to change this….

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Assign Static IP

New-NetIPAddress -InterfaceIndex 2 -IPAddress 10.10.10.37 -PrefixLength 24 -DefaultGateway 10.10.10.1

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By default, the -PrefixLength 24, will assign the subnet mask of 255.255.255.0.

Next, since this is Active Directory, we want to assign the DNS Server(s) to our Network Adapter.

Assign DNS Server(s)

Set-DnsClientServerAddress -InterfaceIndex 2 -ServerAddresses 10.10.10.30, 10.10.10.31

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If you only have one DNS/DC server, then remove the second entry.

Now that we have communication with the domain controllers, now we can add our machine to the domain.

First, let’s change the server name from its random default, to something we like. I am going to go with “NANO01“.

Change Server Name

Rename-Computer -NewName "NANO01" -Restart

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Next, we can now add the server to the domain.

Add Server to Domain

Add-Computer -DomainName "RaviLocal.com" -Restart

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To quickly verify our server has been added to AD, we can take a looking at the AD Users and Computers UI:

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Great, there it is! Now we can go ahead and deploy our Microsoft Monitoring Agent (MMA)/SCOM Agent.

Deploy SCOM 2016 Agent

Since I am taking the lazy approach, I will be deploying the agent via SCOM console. If you want to make use of PowerShell, see Microsoft’s TechNet article HERE.

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Great, MMA deployed as expected! Quickly verify it is now communicating with SCOM:

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All good!

 

Happy SCOM’ing 2016!

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Step-by-Step: Setup and Configure Azure Site Recovery (ASR) for On-Premises Hyper-V Host with Azure Resource Manager (ARM)

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

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 a Hyper-V 2012R2 host.



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: Choose your Protection Goal(s)

Click Settings > Site Recovery (Under Getting Stated) > Step 1: Prepare Infrastructure > Protection Goal > And specify the following > Click OK:

  • Replicating to: Azure
  • Machines Virtualized: Yes, with Hyper-V
  • Using SCVMM (Virtual Machine Manager): No

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Step 3: Setup the Source Environment

Next, we will now need to Prepare our source give our Hyper-V site a name, “Ravi-OnPrem” makes sense here, but give it something meaningful.

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Now we need to download the ASR Provider Installer, along with the Vault Registration Key.

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Step 4:  Install and Configure the ASR Provider on Hyper-V Host

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This Hyper-V host is not behind any Proxy…

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If we go back to Azure, we can now see our Hyper-V host populated.

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Step 5: Create a Replication Policy

Within our Vault properties > Settings > Manage: Site Recovery Infrastructure > For Hyper-V Sites: Replication Policies > +Replication Policies

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Step 6: Associate Hyper-V Site(s)

Next we will need to Associate our Hyper-V site:

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Great! Now we can continue on with Step 3 (Target Environment) of Step 1 (Preparing Infrastructure).

Step 7: Create a Storage Account + Virtual Network

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Within the Replication, we have a few options here. I left mine as default (GRS) Geo-Redundant.

Next, we need to create a Target Virtual Network:

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Now we can go ahead and setup the replication settings:

Step 8: Setup Replication Settings

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Since we create the Replication Policy beforehand, this auto-filled. Next we need to do some Capacity Planning. Since this is simply a walk-through example, I elected to skip this, but for a real-production environment, I would highly recommend doing this.

Here is a link to Microsoft’s Capacity Planner for Hyper-V Replica.

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Hit OK, and now we are ready to to move on to Step 2 (Replication Application)

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This all should have populated since we created our Storage account and Virtual Network just earlier… If not, add them.

Now Azure should have connected with our Hyper-V host, we can now see our VMs within our Hyper-V host. Here we now need to select which machines we will want to include within ASR. For simplicity and variety, I am going to select a domain controller and a Linux machine.

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Now we need to configure the VMs properties:

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Once we are good, we can go ahead and apply the Replication Policy to our VMs.

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Once satisfied, go ahead and hit “Enable Replication“.

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Lastly, Step 3, we now need to complete creating our Recovery Plan:

Step 9: Create Recovery Plan

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Great! All done? Before we say all done, let’s go back to our Hyper-V host, and configure the Network/Throttling bandwidth.

Step 10: Network/Throttle Bandwidth

My Hyper-V host is not equipped with a GUI as I am using Windows 2012R2 Minimal Server, so navigate here to launch the Microsoft Azure Backup Agent, “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Azure Recovery Services Agent\bin\“. Launch, “wabadmin“.

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In the Actions pane, select “Change Properties” >> Select the Throttling tab.

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Change these settings as to your needs. I wanted to increase my non-work hours to 4MB, but looks like 1MB is the max.

Great! Since we already hit, enable replication, this process should have already started… Let’s go back to Azure:

If we take a look at the Vault > Settings > Protected Items > Replicated Items 

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Once these VMs are 100% Synchronized, the next steps will be to simulate a fail over, both Test and Planned.

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Step-by-Step: Setup and Configure Azure Site Recovery (ASR) for On-Premises Virtual Machine with Azure Resource Manager (ARM)

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

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 being hosted on your On-Premises environment on a Hyper-V 2012R2 environment.



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: Choose your Protection Goal(s)

Click Settings > Site Recovery (Under Getting Stated) > Step 1: Prepare Infrastructure > Protection Goal > And specify the following > Click OK:

  • Replicating to: Azure
  • Machines Virtualized: Yes, with Hyper-V
  • Using SCVMM (Virtual Machine Manager): No

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Step 3: Setup the Source Environment

Next, we will now need to give our Hyper-V site a name, “Ravi-OnPrem” makes sense here, but give it something meaningful.

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Once validated, we can now go ahead with the Azure Backup Agent. Download the Azure Backup Agent, and also, download the Backup Credentials.

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Download the Agent and Credentials to the server you will be backing up. In my example, I will be backing up a Windows Server 2016 (RTM).

Step 4: Microsoft Azure Recovery Site (MARS) Agent Install

The Microsoft Azure Recovery Site (MARS) Agent is a pretty simple install, but here is what I experienced when installing:

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Since my environment is pretty open, ie. No Proxy, no changes required here.

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Your call here..

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All good with the MARS prerequisites… Hit Install!

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All good, time to register our server to our Recovery Services Vault.

 

Step 5: Register Server to Azure Recovery Services Vault

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Here is where we will need that VaultCrentials file.. I hope you downloaded it as mentioned earlier… As you can see, back in the first few steps, when we created our Vault, the settings are now automatically inputted.

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Here, I decided to let the wizard generate the Passphrase. I then saved the key locally to the server.

 

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Perfect! Now we can go ahead and with the Azure Back: Site Recovery/Backup Schedule, etc.

Step 6: Configuring Microsoft Azure Backup

Going back to our On-Prem server, which by the way is a Windows 2016 OS, let’s launch Microsoft Azure Backup

Click on Schedule Backup within the (Right) Actions Pane:

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Since this is a basic server, I only allocated 1 drive for this example, once we hit Backup, I am presented with the available drives.

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Now we can begin defining our Backup Schedule

Step 7: Specify Backup Schedule

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For this example, I want to back up the following server with the following properties:

  • Backup once a week @ 4AM, every Monday

Retention Policy will be as follows, see below:

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Once you are satisfied with the policy, go ahead and hit next. Since we want to back up to Azure, and not an offline backup, we will backup over the network.

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Have a look over before we do the initial backup.

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Step 7: Initiate Backup Now

Going back to the main console, within the right pane, within Actions, let’s initiate our Back Up Now.

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If we now double click within the job, we can see the Backup has begun….

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Step 8: Validate Backup

If we go back to Azure, and take a look at our Vault properties, we can see there is a Backup in progress.

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If we drill down within the Backup, we can see our server being backed-up.

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After a few minutes, we can go back to the server, and track its progress:

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And likewise, if we go within to the Azure Resource Manager, and within the Vault Backup jobs, and take a look at the details, we can see data is being updated to Azure.

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Perfect!

Step-by-Step – Upgrading to SCOM 2016 from SCOM 2012 R2

So you’ve decided to take the jump and upgrade to System Center Operations Manager 2016? Assuming you are running a SCOM 2012R2 (UR11) environment, this post will be exactly what you need to have a successful SCOM 2012 R2 to SCOM 2016 upgrade. **Although the recommended path is to upgrade from UR9**

In my environment, here is the quick breakdown:

  • SCOM 2012 R2 environment has two Management Servers.
    • Handful of clients (Windows 2012R2) being monitored.
  • Both Management Servers live on a Windows 2012 R2 operating system.
    • Both Management Servers are running with UR 11 (Update Rollup) **Microsoft recommends upgrading the environment at latest version number minus one (latest – 1), so in this case, UR9 (UR10 was never issued for SCOM 2012R2)**.
  • The SQL environment is a SQL Server 2014 SP2 also running on Windows 2012 R2.
    • The Operations and Data Warehouse live on dedicated SQL instances, however reside on the same server.

Pre-Upgrade Tasks

Let’s get started!

First, we need to do some “Pre-Upgrade” Tasks. Follow these in order.

  1. Back up the Operations Manager Databases
  2. Review the Operations Manager Event Logs
  3. Cleanup the Database (ETL Table)
  4. Remove Agents from Pending Management
  5. Disable the Notification Subscriptions
  6. Stop the Services or Disable any Connectors
  7. Verify that the Operational Database Has More Than 50 Percent Free Space
  8. Back up the Operations Manager Databases

To Cleanup the ETL Tables, you will need to run the following script:

  • The following script will determine the number of rows that will (need) be deleted:

DECLARE @SubscriptionWatermark bigint = 0;

SELECT @SubscriptionWatermark = dbo.fn_GetEntityChangeLogGroomingWatermark();

Select COUNT (*)
FROM EntityTransactionLog ETL with(nolock)
WHERE NOT EXISTS (SELECT 1 FROM EntityChangeLog ECL with(nolock) WHERE ECL.EntityTransactionLogId = ETL.EntityTransactionLogId)
AND NOT EXISTS (SELECT 1 FROM RelatedEntityChangeLog RECL with(nolock) WHERE RECL.EntityTransactionLogId = ETL.EntityTransactionLogId)
AND EntityTransactionLogId < @SubscriptionWatermark;

etl-cleanup-1

  • Now we can go ahead and clean up the ETL table running the script below:

DECLARE @RowCount int = 1;
DECLARE @BatchSize int = 100000;
DECLARE @SubscriptionWatermark bigint = 0;
DECLARE @LastErr int;

SELECT @SubscriptionWatermark = dbo.fn_GetEntityChangeLogGroomingWatermark();
WHILE(@RowCount > 0)
BEGIN
DELETE TOP (@BatchSize) ETL
FROM EntityTransactionLog ETL
WHERE NOT EXISTS (SELECT 1 FROM EntityChangeLog ECL WHERE ECL.EntityTransactionLogId = ETL.EntityTransactionLogId)
AND NOT EXISTS (SELECT 1 FROM RelatedEntityChangeLog RECL WHERE RECL.EntityTransactionLogId = ETL.EntityTransactionLogId)
AND ETL.EntityTransactionLogId < @SubscriptionWatermark;

SELECT @LastErr = @@ERROR, @RowCount = @@ROWCOUNT;

END

etl-cleanup-2

Great! Let this run, which may take a few minutes, or hours depending on your environment..

Now we are ready to get started with the upgrade. (Don’t get to backup your databases (Report Server, Operations, Data Warehouse!!)

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Upgrading to SCOM 2016

After you have downloaded the RTM image file, as you may have noticed, it is not an ISO file. So let’s extract the file contents locally…

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Before moving on with the install, I stopped the following SCOM services on all of the Management Servers:

  1. Microsoft Monitoring Agent (healthservice)
  2. System Center Data Access Service (OMSDK)
  3. System Center Management Configuration (cshost)

Now we can run the installer (Run As Administrator or, SCOM Data Access/SDK account)

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Sweet! Although this was expected, since no new changes were required for Windows Server 2012 R2.

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I cannot stress how useful it is to use dedicated service accounts. Here input your Data Access/SDK account.

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Once quick review before we begin the Upgrade..

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Let this run… For me, the upgrade took around 50 minutes for the first Management Server..

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Sweet! All good. Remember to install the license key before the 120 days are up.

Let’s launch the console just to make sure we are in all working order.

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Great! Now we will need to repeat the process for the second/other Management servers…

Once complete, let’s upgrade our client agents to SCOM 2016 (v 8.0.10918.0)

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At this time we can make use of the SCOM 2016 features, and update our out-dated Management Packs. Remember this feature really only works for Microsoft based Management Packs, ie. SQL, Windows Server, Client OS, etc.

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I hope this helped! For additional information, and or upgrading other items such as Gateways, ACS (Audit Collection Services), etc. Please visit Microsoft’s guides HERE.

 

Lastly, it is highly recommended to upgrade to SCOM 2016 Update Rollup 1 (UR1). For that guide, please visit this LINK.

 

Happy SCOM’ing 2016!

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