Category: System Center

Planning to upgrade to SCOM 2016?

Planning to upgrade to SCOM 2016 from 2012 R2? Wei H Lim from Microsoft just developed and released a handy management pack that will help you with that process.

Check out the links below for the complete post by Wei, and a download for the MP.

Cheers!

What’s New in System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) 2016?

Later this month, System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) 2016 along with the System Center suite and Windows Server 2016 will be available to the public. With that said, what’s new in SCOM 2016? Is it work the upgrade? etc., etc.

In previous posts, I did a walk-through on Maintenance Mode schedulesManagement Pack Updates, and how to integrate your SCOM environment with Operations Management Suite (OMS) go here for those.

While there isn’t exactly a change-log provided by Microsoft/System Center team(s), there is an article indicating the new features introduced in System Center Operations Manager SCOM 2016:

  • Management Pack Updates and Recommendations
  • Alert Data Management
  • Extensible Network Monitoring
  • Monitoring Nano Server and Workloads
  • Console User Interface Performance Improvements
    • HTML5 dashboards? Bye-bye Silverlight!?
  • Scalability Improvement with Unix/Linux Agents Monitoring
  • Maintenance Schedules
  • Extend Operations Manager with Operations Management Suite
  • Partner Program in Administration Pane

For the complete breakdown for what’s new in SCOM 2016, go HERE.

Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award – Cloud and Datacenter Management

I am proud and happy to announce, Microsoft has awarded me their Most Valuable Professional award this October, for my contributions within the Cloud and Datacenter Management technical communities.

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“Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals, or MVPs, are community leaders who’ve demonstrated an exemplary commitment to helping others get the most out of their experience with Microsoft technologies. They share their exceptional passion, real-world knowledge, and technical expertise with the community and with Microsoft.”

For more information, please visit the LINK.

 

Step-by-Step – SCOM 2012 R2 Update Rollup 11 (UR11) Install Procedure

My personal notes,  SCOM 2012 R2 Update Rollup 11 (UR11) has a lot of networking monitoring fixes, Linux/UNIX support and security fixes, along with more OMS integration. What is OMS, please go HERE. It is highly recommended to upgrade your lab/Dev environments first before upgrading your Production environment(s). The 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 above) for full documentation steps.

Here are the key updates for UR11 (source Microsoft):

Issues that are fixed in this update rollup can be found here, https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3183990

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

  1. Install the update rollup package on the following server infrastructure:
  • Management server or servers
  • Audit Collection Services
  • Gateway servers
  • Web console server role computers
  • Operations console role computers
  1. Apply SQL scripts.
  2. Manually import the management packs.
  3. Apply the 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).

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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. Audit Collection Services
  3. Gateway Servers
  4. Web Console Role Servers
  5. Operations Console Role Servers

Once the rollups are installed, you will now need to apply the SQL scripts. First update the Data Warehouse, then followed by the OpsMgr DB.

The scripts can be found here, “%SystemDrive%\Program Files\System Center 2012 R2\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).

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Once you have successfully executed the SQL scripts, you will now need to import the updated Management Packs (MP). These MPs can be found here, “%SystemDrive%\Program Files\System Center 2012 R2\Operations Manager\Server\Management Packs for Update Rollups“.

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

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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 release for SCOM 2012 R2.

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New Features in SCOM 2016 – Maintenance Schedules

One very common request I always get with my SCOM 2012 customers is, “how can I put machines into Maintenance Mode for a future date?”

My response is, well, with some PowerShell and the Windows Task Scheduler, you can achieve this.  But wait, looks like the System Center/SCOM 2016 team has listened and delivered! Introducing ‘Maintenance Schedules‘.

Now SCOM administrators can put a machine, or a group of machines, or a group into Maintenance Mode (MM) for a future date. Even better, it looks like a lot (if not all) of the functionality has been taken from good old Windows Task Scheduler. What that means is, you can put machines into MM, for that Friday night/Saturday morning Change Request, or even better MM for reoccurring schedule, like Patch Tuesday.

In the example below, I am going to do a quick walk-through for a group of machines for a typical patching schedule.


For this scenario, let’s assume the following:

  1. Machines are patched every 3rd Friday of the month,
  2. Blackout/maintenance window is 6 hours (360 minutes),
  3. Scheduled MM will start @11:00PM.

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  • Right click either on Maintenance Schedules, or within the middle pane.

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  • As a rule of thumb, always a good idea to select the second (default) option here, “selected objects and all their contained objects.

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  • Search for the machine(s) or the group(s) you want to enter into Maintenance Mode

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  • Once you’re happy, go ahead and hit next

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  • Next we are presented with an array of options. As per our example, we will be putting our machines in MM every 3rd Friday of the month, starting at 11:00PM, for 6 hours.

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  • Now we’re ready

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  • Now we need to provide a name to our MM Schedule… By default, ‘Planned’ and ‘Enable Schedule’ are ticked off. Go ahead and hit finish!

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  • Now we can see our new Scheduled Maintenance Mode schedule! 🙂

As you can see here, for a SCOM Administrator, you can see which user create this task and also to see if it is enabled at the current time

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  • You can also Edit, Copy, or Disable the schedule. Looks like I just discovered a bug! Also, disabling is not provided here, but it is within the Action pane:

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  • And that is it!

If the schedule was done correctly, you will see the Event ID 1215 within the SCOM Management Server.

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I hope this helped!

Happy SCOM’ing 2016!!

New Features in SCOM 2016 – Management Packs:Updates & Recommendations

One of the many questions I always ask my customers, “how often do you update your Management Packs?”

Some of the typical responses I get are…

  • Ummm..
  • How do you do that?
  • Where can I get the latest MPs from?
  • Oh, I didn’t know they need to be updated…

Well, Microsoft/System Center/SCOM team has listened and delivered!

In SCOM 2016 you can now simply go into the Management Packs administration, and see if there are any updates pending for any of the Management Packs within your environment. Simply right click and download and install the latest version. Note, this feature is currently only applicable to Microsoft based Management Packs. Third party Management Packs you will still have to download and install manually, and also research if there is an updated version. Who knows, this could change by the time SCOM 2016 RTM, or SP1 or even R2 comes out… Until then, only Microsoft MPs.

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Cheers!

Installing & Configuring SCOM 2016 Reporting Feature

Some prerequisites and things to know… In my environment I am using SCOM 2016 (Technical Preview 5 (TP5)) and SQL 2014 SP1 running on Windows Server 2012 R2. On this local server (I am installing this on my SCOM SQL server) I have already deployed a default (not named) SQL instance, with Reporting Services (SSRS) installed (and already configured). If you run into issues here, please let me know.

On your local server, ensure your SQL service account and SQL SSRS account have local administrative rights on the server. Launch the SCOM 2016 installer and run as the SCOM SDK (Data Access) account.

So let’s begin:

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Let this run for a few minutes, grab a coffee, get some fresh air, etc. 🙂

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Yay, no errors!

You should now have the Reporting function within you SCOM 2016 console. Happy (SCOM) reporting!

 

How to Create an OMS Workspace

For starters I am going to assume you have an Azure account, with some type of subscription.

  • Login to your Azure portal and scroll down to Operational Insights

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  • Create a Workspace

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  • Once Azure has accepted the Workspace name, and activated the service, you can now start deploying OMS agents, and/or linking your On-Premise SCOM/OperationsManager 2012r2 (UR6 or higher) environment

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Cheers!