Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Syliance IT Services

Maybe some of you are wondering why it is a bit quiet around my blog in the last few weeks.

The matter is that me and a colleague of mine founded a new company providing System Center consulting services.

As you can imagine that is a lot of work – at least if you’d like to be successful. But stay tuned, I’m back soon!

In the meantime you may visit our website www.syliance.com
You also find us on Facebook and we appreciate any “like”: www.facebook.com/syliance

Of course, feel free to get in touch with us if you need assistance in System Center or Hyper-V matters!

Thanks, Patrick

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

IBM Storage MP for XIV

This blog describes how to configure the Management Pack (MP) Integration for IBM XIV Storage.

In this guide I assume that you'd like to configure (more or less) failover. You would not have failover if you decide to do the steps below on only one Management Server.

1                  Prerequisites

·         Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2

·         XIV-User to connect to XIV (Read Only role is enough as long as it is enough to alert for mirroring problems through alert rule instead of alert monitor.)

·        Source File from IBM (ftp://public.dhe.ibm.com/storage/XIV/IBM_Storage_MP_for_SCOM)

2                  Installation

These steps are only necessary during the first-time setup or when an additional Management Server has been added to the Management Group!

2.1             Install the CLI components

Install the integration on each Management Server and on the Root Management Server too. For this simply execute IBM_Storage_MP_for_SCOM-windows-<architecture>-1.1.exe provided by IBM.

2.2             Import the Management Packs

Import the designated MPs from the following path:

C:\Program Files\IBM\Storage\Host\IBMStorageSCOM\mps

2.2.1        Import XIV Management Packs

To monitor XIV Storage the following MPs must be imported:

·         IBM.Storage.Common.mp

·         IBM.Storage.XIV.mp

3                  Configuration

3.1             Implement IBM XIV Storage

3.1.1        Configure IBM Storage SCOM-control Utility

These steps are only necessary every time when a new XIV should be added to the Management Group!

 

Add each XIV Management Interface to the configuration on each (Root) Management Server in the Management Group. For this execute the following command (one line) from the command line:

C:\Program Files\IBM\Storage\Host\IBMStorageSCOM\bin\scomu.cmd --add –t xiv --ip <IP_from_XIV_Interface> --username <XIV_Monitoring_User> --password <Password> --debug

 

There should be the following output  when the connection has been added successfully:

Connecting to the device ...

1 IBM XIV Storage System is found.

device ID: <XIV_Id>, code level: <XIV_Code>

 

The connection is OK.

Trying to add the connection.

New connection is added.

 

Note 1: it is strongly recommended to add each of the interfaces to the configuration. To do this, the command from above has to be executed for each IP address!

 

Note 2: each XIV (with all management interfaces) needs to be configured on each Management Server and on the Root Management Server in the Management Group to enable MS failover!

3.1.2        Configure SCOM Management Pack

These steps are only necessary during the first-time setup!

 

Create the following overrides for the discovery “XIV System Discovery”.

3.1.2.1    Disable the discovery for Agents

 

1.    In the Operations Console go to Authoring, Management Pack Objects, Object Discoveries and search for XIV System Discovery.

2.    Right-click XIV System Discovery and select Overrides > Override the Object Discovery > For all objects of another class…

3.    Select Agent from the target list.

4.    Enable the Enabled override and change the Override Value to False.

5.    Create a new Management Pack for Overrides and call it IBM Storage Overrides.

6.    Apply the changes to the newly created MP.

3.1.2.2    Change the default interval

1.    Right-click XIV System Discovery and select Overrides > Override the Object Discovery > For all objects of class: Windows Server

2.    Enable the IntervalSeconds override, change the Override Value to 86400 (= 24h).

Note: you can change the value to any other that you prefer. Maybe it is a good approach to change the value temporary to (for instance) 60sec to speed up the first time discovery. If so you should not forget to change the value afterwards!

3.    Apply the changes to the MP IBM Storage Overrides created in chapter 5.2.1 step 5.

4                  Monitoring

4.1             Monitoring IBM XIV Storage

4.1.1        Rules

There are two rules for XIV event monitoring. Each of these rules polls the XIV every 600sec (default).

4.1.1.1    XIV Alert Rule

For XIV systems, in addition to alerts generated for health changes, the listed alerts also notify you about critical system events, which are classified by two different severity levels: Critical and Warning.

4.1.1.2    XIV Event Rule

For XIV systems, all event levels are displayed: Information, Error, and Warning

4.1.2        Monitors

There are several monitors for the following XIV components. Each of this monitors polls the XIV every 300sec (default).

4.1.2.1    Logical Components

·         Cluster State

·         Disk State

·         Fibre Channel Port State

·         Host State

·         IP Interface State

·         iSCSI Port State

·         Module State

4.1.2.2    Physical Components

 

·         Host Mapping

·         Mirroring State (Monitoring User must have Administrator privileges on XIV)

·         Storage Pool State

·         XIV System State

·         Volume State

5                  Troubleshooting

5.1             Trace

The IBM CLI Integration has some tracing features.

 

Use the following command in the command line to enable the tracing (in this example for XIV):

scomu.cmd --loglevel -t xiv TRACE

 

Use the following command in the command line to disable the tracing (in this example for XIV):

scomu.cmd --loglevel -t xiv NOTSET

5.2             Logging

Find the following log file on each Management Server that is running the IBM Integration (in this example for XIV):

C:\Program Files\IBM\Storage\Host\IBMStorageSCOM\log\scom_xiv.log

5.3             Event Collection Problems

Check if the following folder exists and contains files if there are no events in the Event View

C:\Documents and Settings\Default User\Application Data\Python-Eggs

5.4             Trace SCOM

1.    Start Command Line

2.    Change to %ProgramFiles%\System Center Operations Manager 2007\Tools

3.    Stop Tracing by StopTracing.cmd

4.    Start Tracing by StartTracing.cmd VER

5.    Wait until the workflow has been fired again (maybe it makes sense to override the interval temporary)

6.    Stop Tracing by StopTracing.cmd

7.    Format the Trace by FormatTracing.CMD; an explorer window opens.

8.    Open the file TracingGuidsNative.log

9.    Search for xpyv.exe to find all workflows running the CLI

 
All information is provided "as is" without any warranty! Try in lab before. Handle with care in production.
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 Cumulative Update 5 (CU5)

Since beginning of August the Cumulative Update 5 for SCOM is RTM. Now I have some experience with it and so I recommend to perform the update (or at least think about it).

Here is what MS addresses in this update:

Cumulative Update 5 for Operations Manager 2007 R2 resolves the following issues:

  • Restart of non-Operations Manager services when the agent is updated.
  • Updated ACS reports.
  • TCP Port Probe incorrectly reports negative ping latency.
  • MissingEvent Manual Reset Monitor does not work as expected.
  • Drillthrough fails because of rsParameterTypeMismatch in the EnterpriseManagementChartControl.
  • ACS - Event log message is truncated or corrupted in SCDW.
  • UI hang caused by SDK locking.
  • ACS Filter fails for certain wildcard queries.
  • Edit Schedule button is disabled with SQL 2008 R2.
  • Web console times out when you open the left navigation tree.
  • Scheduled Reports view for Windows Server 2003 and for Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services SP3 CU9 returns "System.IndexOutOfRangeException: Index was outside the bounds of the array."
  • Signed MPs cannot be imported when new attributes are added to existing classes.

Cross Platform Cumulative Update 5 for Operations Manager 2007 R2 resolves the following issues:

  • Performance data for LVM managed partitions is not available.
  • Process monitor does not keep name if run by using symbolic link.
  • AIX with large number of processes crashes with bad alloc.

Cross Platform Cumulative Update 5 for Operations Manager 2007 R2 adds the following feature:

  • Support for Red Hat 6

You can find the bits here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2495674

Within CU5 there is only the agent for RH6. You'll find the MP here:

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=18891

As in the past Kevin Holman blogged already about how to perform the update step by step.

You find the blog post here:

OpsMgr 2007 R2 CU5 rollup hotfix ships - and my experience installing it

Kevin also wrote a blog for those of you who'd like to deploy the CU automatically:

Command line and software distribution patching scenarios for applying an OpsMgr Cumulative Update

Great work, Kevin – thanks for that!

Good luck!

All information is provided "as is" without any warranty! Try in lab before. Handle with care in production.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Update Alert with SCOM Notification

SCOM notifications are really nice. Alerts can be automatically send through email, text message, instant message or trigger an external command.

There is just one problem: Operators that work with the console are not able to see what alerts have been sent or processed by an external command.

So it happened more than once that the daytime operator began to analyze a problem in the morning that the engineer on duty already analyzed during the nightshift.

With this solution SCOM changes the resolution state from New to any other that fits to your needs automatically when a notification has been triggered. Further, you can provide an Owner, for example the message recipient or department. And you can also add other values like Ticket Id, Comments, Custom Fields, … .

The manual is within the ZIP file. You find it in the download section. Please vote with the "+1" button below if you like it. Thanks.

Update: Yesterday I updated the version and added logging. Today I fixed a minor bug… So version 1.1.0.0003 is available now!

All information is provided "as is" without any warranty! Try in lab before. Handle with care in production.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Log file monitoring pain points

In SCOM you do have the possibility to monitor log files in case that your application is not writing into the Windows Event Log what should be the preferred way.
Unfortunately there are some points that you have to be aware of:
  1. Do not clear the log file!
  2. If using the same log file watch out for the size!
  3. If using rotating log files be sure that the actual file name will always change!

Regarding point 1:

Operations Manager will remember the last checked line within your log file. So in case that was in line 100, SCOM will start reading in line 101 the next time the workflow runs. If you decide to clear the log file and start filling it from line 1, SCOM will not proceed until line 101 is reached.

Regarding point 2:

If you use the same log file it would be a good idea to monitor the file size and alert at a useful threshold so that your volume will not run out of space. But: what to do when that becomes true? See point 1 and 3!

Regarding point 3:

This one is really strange! (until you understand http://support.microsoft.com/kb/172190 (thx to Chris for his comment)

If you use rotating log files to be sure that you have for instance a new one for each day/week/… or a new one when a file size has been reached – what is a very good approach at all – it is very often, that the current log file has a fixed name like myapp_current.log and the archived log files a name like myapp_<date>_<time>.log or something similar.
Most of the time the log writing application renames the current log to one including date and timestamp in the name and after that, a new one will be created. So far, so good and SCOM can read the new log file if the created timestamp is newer than from the file with the same name before. But…
Unfortunately NTFS is not as smart as it looks like: in case you delete a file called test.txt and create a new one with the same name within the minute you have deleted the old one, the created timestamp will be the one from the old one and not from the one newly created and SCOM will treat it like a cleared file as in point 1.
You can test that easily on your client:
  1. Create a new file called test.txt in a temporary folder.
  2. Check the created timestamp.
  3. Wait until the current time has changed at least to the next minute.
  4. Delete the file created in step 1.
  5. Create a new file and call it test.txt too. Be sure that you do that within the same minute as you deleted the first file in step 4!
  6. Check the created timestamp and verify that it is the same as you've noticed in step 2.
So the NTFS meta data is not up-to-date.
OK, now we try something different:
  1. Use the file created in step 5 of the sample above or create a new file called test.txt in a temporary folder.
  2. Check the created timestamp.
  3. Wait until the current time has changed at least to the next minute.
  4. Delete the file created in step 1.
  5. Wait again until the current time has changed at least to the next minute.
  6. Create a new file and call it test.txt too.
  7. Check the created timestamp and verify that it is a different one as you've noticed in step 2.
Lesson learned: it seems that NTFS meta data will be updated every minute. My experience in my tests was, that this will be done every full minute but it is possible that this happened just by accident. Anyway…
The problem is that in most of the cases you are not able to define, when the new log file should be created after the rotation. So you are also not able to handle that kind of behavior.
The only workaround (well, it is more a solution than a workaround) is to use the date and timestamp in the current log file too and create your workflow with wildcards for that variables. So if your log file name looks like myapp_<date>_<time>.log you can create the workflow to watch out for myapp_*_*.log . SCOM will only touch files that have been modified since the last run.
Here are some other thoughts from Anders Bengtsson (thanks, Anders!) regarding log file monitoring.
All information is provided "as is" without any warranty! Try in lab before. Handle with care in production.
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Saturday, June 18, 2011

You like a blog post? Click +1!

Some of you may have noticed it already: you can now simply click the "+1" at the bottom of a post to show that you like it (as you know it from Facebook, for instance).

image

The only thing you need is a Google account but most of you already have one, I assume. If not, you can create one after clicking "+1" the first time.

Nothing new that you are also able to send the blog via email, tweet about the blog or post it on Facebook, drop your comment, ….

I'd appreciate your constructive feedback in every way. Thanks in advance!

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Schedule Maintenance Mode Date/Time issue

Maybe you found the new SCOM Admin Resource Kit already which includes tools to improve the SCOM administrator experience (find the link below).

These tools are Scheduled Maintenance Mode, Clean Mom and MP Event Analyzer.

If you are using the Scheduled Maintenance Mode tool you may experience some exceptions when creating the schedules. To solve that, simply change the Date/Time style in the regional settings to "English (Unites States)" and run the program. After that you can change it back to your local setting as you prefer.

Here you can find the Admin Resource Kit: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=e37ab90b-ec7b-4130-8e3f-9691a76530db&displaylang=en

All information is provided "as is" without any warranty! Try in lab before. Handle with care in production.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Forefront Endpoint Protection Management Pack

When searching the System Center Marketplace for FEP MPs you should keep in mind that there are two different MPs.

One is only for server health and the other one(s) are FEP “deep dive” (well, more or less) security monitoring.

FEP Server Health Monitoring Management Pack:

Forefront Endpoint Protection Server Health Management Pack monitors health of the FEP servers and alerts on server health changes. As most of FEP functionality is based on Configuration Manager infrastructure, this MP only monitors two standalone components:
1) SQL agent job that copies data from Configuration Manager database to FEP Data Warehouse
2) FEP alerting service
Management Pack also alerts on events in Windows Event Log that indicate error conditions of FEP Server.

http://systemcenter.pinpoint.microsoft.com/en-US/applications/forefront-endpoint-protection-server-health-monitoring-management-pack-12884909405

FEP Security Monitoring Management Pack:

The Forefront Endpoint Protection Security Management Pack provides real-time monitoring of your Forefront Endpoint Protection clients by using System Center Operations Manager. Alerts can be configured for virus activity, firewall downtime, or update failures. In addition to real-time event monitoring, the Forefront Endpoint Protection Security Management Pack also provides automated response capabilities to remediate security related issues.

http://systemcenter.pinpoint.microsoft.com/en-US/applications/forefront-end-point-protection-2010-security-management-pack-12884909636

Thanks for the hint to my friend and SCCM (and latterly) FEP expert Mirko!

All information is provided "as is" without any warranty! Try in lab before. Handle with care in production.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

System Center Marketplace & Unofficial System Center Catalog

After such a long time and as Dan Rogers announced at MMS in Las Vegas last March, Microsoft recently launched the new “System Center Marketplace” based on Pinpoint. And this time the catalog rocks!

Also, an (at the moment) unknown blogger launched the blog “The Unofficial System Center Catalog” for SCO (aka Opalis aka Orchestrator) and SCOM. It lists a lot of non-Microsoft IPs and MPs in the wild including hyperlinks to the vendor/developer. Hopefully the author maintains the blog so that the list will be up to date. Thanks for that anyway!

Check out both sites:

http://systemcenter.pinpoint.microsoft.com

http://unofficialsystemcentercatalog.wordpress.com

All information is provided "as is" without any warranty! Try in lab before. Handle with care in production.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

SCOM 2012: (Default) Management Pack selection

I just love that: no more selection of the Default Management Pack by mistake:

image

All information is provided "as is" without any warranty! Try in lab before. Handle with care in production.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

How to use Resolution States in SCOM

Out of the box there are just two resolutions states, called New and Closed.

From my perspective it is a really good idea to use other resolution states too. So you are able to give information about the current state to other Operators too and keep a good overview about your alerts.

In the Administration pane you can add additional states to your environment by editing the list provided in Settings, Alerts, Alert Resolution States.

I usually configure the following resolution states in a SCOM Management Group:

ID Name Used for Used by
0 New (default) Alerts that has not been processed yet SCOM
1 Process running (M) External process running (e.g. Opalis, PowerShell) Opalis/Orchestrator, Scripts, …
5 Suspended (H) Not possible to solve at the moment Operator
6 Engineer On Duty (M) Engineer on-call has been notified Orchestrator, Scripts, …
10 1. Level (H/M) Alert has been assigned to 1. Level Operator, Orchestrator, Scripts
20 2. Level (H/M) Alert has been assigned to 2. Level Operator, Orchestrator, Scripts
248 Test Issue (H) Test Issue; no action needed Operator
249 Known Issue (H) already assigned to 2. Level but additional Alert Operator
254 Ticket Closed (M) The external ticket has been closed Connector, Orchestrator, Scripts
255 Closed (default) Problem solved SCOM, Operator

The appendix (H), (M) and (H/M) should show if this is resolution state is planned to be used by the machine (Orchestrator, Script, …) or by human (Operator).

Depending on the customers environment it may be necessary to add more than those resolution states. For example you can add a resolution state for your Server Team (maybe ID 21, because first specialized 2. Level group).

I recommend my customers to change the state as soon as an Operator has first contact with an alert. For example they should change the state to 1. Level (or 2. Level if they assign the alert to the next group) so that everybody who is working with the console can see that there is an action in progress.

Enjoy using the resolution states and see, how easy you and your colleagues can have a much better overview about your environment.

All information is provided "as is" without any warranty! Try in lab before. Handle with care in production.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Why should I automate?

Yesterday (and the day before yesterday, and…) I had a conversation with my temporary roommate about washing up the dishes. He (more or less) does not understand why I use the dishwasher all the time and not, like he is it used to, wash the dishes manually.

He learned from his parents to do the wash up during cooking like “cook’n’clean”. I think that was a great approach – a few decades ago! (sry, “Ernest” Smile)

Welcome to the 21st century, where automation becomes true!

As an automation expert, my approach is to save time and energy wherever it is possible. And that means also in doing the wash up. So I can concentrate on cooking or reading the news. Or even do nothing – also a form of energy saving (some of you may call me lazy and (at least this time) I like it Smile)!

As the university of Bonn in Germany (and of course others before too) found, washing dishes by hand is not as efficient as a machine. In the study they found, that dishwashers only use half the energy and one-sixth of the water. Wow (sorry, Grandma). (source: http://www.landtechnik.uni-bonn.de)

And just as a side note: I like it also cleaned up. But in my case that means, that the dishes wait in the dishwasher to be cleaned or, if already done, to become dry. No stuff laying around.

I think that is a good example how you can save time and energy (what means money) in doing automation. And of course there are a lots of re-occurring activities in your datacenter to be automated too. In the meantime there are many examples in the blogs out there. And the consultants in the wild do have the experience to implement automation in your environment.

It’s so easy to become a little more greener kitchen datacenter!

Side node 2: for the IT- pro’s out there: automation does not necessarily mean that this will cost your job! But with automation you do have more time for the important and more exciting things! Enjoy your new business life (or the time with your wife(girlfriend while the dishwasher does your wash-up- job Winking smile)!

I’m still here and do have a dishwasher since decades!

All information is provided "as is" without any warranty! Try in lab before. Handle with care in production.

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Monday, April 4, 2011

MMS2011: WinWorkers Virtual Machine Discovery Management Pack

The WinWorkers Virtual Machine Discovery Management Pack for Operations Manager 2007 (SCOM) extends SCOM to accurately identify Microsoft and third party virtual machines and important properties of virtual machine guests, including:

  • Virtualization platform on which that guest resides (Hyper-V, VMware, Xen)
  • If virtual machine tools installed and version of the installed tools.
  • If dynamic memory* is enabled for the discovered virtual machine
  • Discover when a Hyper-V virtual machine has been moved to a new host and update the host property of the virtual machine
  • The management pack also includes dynamic groups for use in SCOM reporting and tuning activities.

Request the MP for free from http://www.winworkers.com/downloads

All information is provided "as is" without any warranty! Try in lab before. Handle with care in production.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

MMS2011: System Center Orchestrator (Opalis)

Just a short announcement concerning the Operator Console of System Center Orchestrator (former known as Opalis):

Operator Console:

The new console will be developed on Silverlight and looks very nice at the moment.

It is not clear at the moment why MS chooses Silverlight instead of .NET but maybe to run the console within the browser and without the need of IE. Look ahead for more information about that.

MS Integration Packs

Some of the Integration Packs will not be supported by MS anymore.

The important thing: The one for VMware will be. And also some others… You’ll find more info about that soon on that blog.

All information is provided "as is" without any warranty! Try in lab before. Handle with care in production.

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MMS2011: Operations Manager 2012: Management Pack Readiness and Authoring

Here are some update concerning MP authoring in the next version of SCOM called System Center Operations Manager 2012:

  • MP developed for SCOM 2007 will not break and will be supported! (Thanks for that!)
  • New features like dashboards, … will be delivered through "Feature Packs”. Amazing!
  • MPs will not break!
  • A new MP catalog will be available soon instead of Pinpoint. It will be called System Center Marketplace and will provide very nice search function and is optimized for System Center.
  • They will not brake! ;-)
  • The known Authoring Console is end-of-live and will be replaced by a new one. (no more info's at the moment). It will bring copy&paste (and hopefully keeps XML comment tags!).
  • The new dashboards (look amazing!) will provide templates.
  • VIAcode (partially former AVIcode team if I understood that correctly) launched new documentation tools: MP Wiki and MP Tuner (Beta at the moment). MP Wiki provides online documentation for the most popular publicly available
    Management Packs for System Center Operations Manager. MP Tuner will give you the ability to easily document your own developed MPs and specific overrides as well.
  • There is a new TechNet Gallery (Beta at the moment) with many tools available.
  • MPs will not brake! No joke! :-)

All information is provided "as is" without any warranty! Try in lab before. Handle with care in production.

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Monday, February 28, 2011

Desmond Lee speaker at Tech Ed 2011 Middle East (Dubai)

Desmond Lee MVP, Senior Consultant at Winworkers, will be presenting two breakout sessions at Tech Ed 2011 in Dubai.

System Center Virtual Machine Manager vNext:
Service Lifecycle Management for the Private Cloud

Date: 08 March 2011 12:00 PM — 01:00
Track: Management (MGT201)
Speaker/s: Desmond Lee
Session Type: Breakout Session
Room: Red Room 1 | Level: 200 — Intermediate

System Center Virtual Machine Manager vNext:
Fabric Management for the Private Cloud

Date: 09 March 2011 10:30 — 11:30
Track: Management (MGT301)
Speaker/s: Desmond Lee
Session Type: Breakout Session
Room: Purple Room 2 | Level: 300 — Advanced

Find more information here:

http://www.winworkers.com/desmond-lee-speaker-at-tech-ed-2011-in-dubai/

All information is provided "as is" without any warranty! Try in lab before. Handle with care in production.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Opalis available to CMS and Enterprise CAL customers

Just a quick information to all customers with System Center Client Management Suite (CMS) or Enterprise CAL:

Microsoft updated their System Center Licensing Options. So now you have the rights use Opalis on your clients too.

Find more about pricing and licensing on the product site:

http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/en/us/pricing-licensing.aspx

Thanks to Adam Hall for that information!

All information is provided "as is" without any warranty! Try in lab before. Handle with care in production.

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Opalis Operator Console: Transaction failed (2nd edition)

I had a very similar error a couple of months ago but this time it seems to be an other problem. I installed 6.2.2 and 6.3 on a new system and used Kelverion Configuration Utility for OpConsole (thanks, that’s great) but unfortunately the following error occurred again when trying to access the Operations Console with an AD account:

"The username or password you have entered is not correct. Transaction failed."

Again it is a SQLJDBC problem, but this time it is easier to fix (hmm… maybe also last time):

simply copy the file <JBoss>\bin\sqljdbc_auth.dll to the folder %ProgramFiles%\Java\jdk1.6.0_04\bin

The folder <JBoss> is the folder where you installed JBoss.

After restarting JBoss the login works as expected.

Looking forward to v.Next!

All information is provided "as is" without any warranty! Try in lab before. Handle with care in production.

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What preferred OS for Opalis?

Because that was a question in a PoC a couple of days ago…

Since version 6.3 Microsoft also supports Opalis running on Windows Server 2008 (32 and 64bit) and R2. So far so good…

However, I don’t recommend to install Opalis on these OS because of restrictions with some Foundation Objects and all (!) pre-6.3 Integration Packs.

You can check that in the list of requirements here:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg440750.aspx

So I strongly recommend to use Windows Server 2003 R2 for any of your Opalis server roles. Of course you should be able to install the Management Server on W2k8 and the Action Servers on W2k3 and design your workflows on an additional machine instead of your MS but that does not make things easier.

All information is provided "as is" without any warranty! Try in lab before. Handle with care in production.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

MMS 2011 Sessions Recommended by WINWORKERS

Advanced Data Center Automation with
System Center and Opalis

MVP Pete Zerger CEO Winworkers USA
Roger Zander Senior Consultant, Winworkers

Session BB33: Ballroom H Mon 3/21 3:00p — 4:15p. Level 300.
Join Roger Zander (creator of the popular ‘SCCM Client Center’) and MVP Pete Zerger (SystemCenterCentral.com) as they discuss and demonstrate methods to automate deployment for large enterpriseand multi-tenant System Center architectures featuring ConfigMgr, OpsMgr and Opalis.

Find more information about sessions from our consultants here:

http://www.winworkers.com/category/news

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Friday, February 11, 2011

VHD Test Drive – SCOM 2007 R2

With the VHD Test Drive for SCOM you can evaluate Operations Manager without installing and configuring the software up to 180 days. Also these VHDs can be used as temporary labs so you are able to play in a quickly set up sandbox.

Contained is a fully configured Domain Controller and SCOM RMS including all administrative tools, cumulative updates, different management packs, SQL and all SCOM features.

You’ll find the VHDs here:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=ef67ea4f-b8af-436f-80ae-33936f26f110

Thanks to Marnix Wolf for the hint!

All information is provided "as is" without any warranty! Try in lab before. Handle with care in production.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Microsoft Management Summit 2011

The most of you know already about the MMS2011 in Las Vegas I guess.

It’s the most valuable event about System Center products in the world! If you work with SC and like to increase your knowledge you have to be there. that’s the best event to get a deep dive and meet other specialists.

Well, this year our company, WinWorkers, will also attend as a partner. So we’ll be happy to meet you at our booth 433 at the exhibit. Most of our consultants attend too and are also speakers there, so you would be able to meet all our specialists and well known names in the whole world. (I’ll post the sessions later)

Find more information here:

www.mms-2011.com

www.winworkers.com

http://twitter.com/#!/search?q=%23MMS2011

Note: i don't brake for volcano's!

See the Iceland Volcano and Earthquake blog

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 Cumulative Update 4

Microsoft released CU4 for SCOM 2007 R2.

From the KB notes:

Cumulative Update 4 for SCOM 2007 R2 resolves the following issues:

  • The Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO) Tips feature does not function correctly after you install Cumulative Update 3 for SCOM 2007 R2.
  • The Alert view does not work correctly when the source of an alert contains both monitors and rules.
  • The event description is not collected by the Azure management pack. To resolve this issue, build the Windows Azure application by using Windows Azure SDK 1.3.
  • The monitoring host process may stop responding on a computer that is running on Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2).
  • The performance of the Diagram view is slow if a user role is in the scope of many groups.
  • In the web console properties for an alert, the hyperlinks on the Knowledge tab are not active.

Cumulative Update 4 for SCOM 2007 R2 adds the following features:

  • SQL Server 2008 R2 database upgrade support
  • Automatic recovery for Health Service in a SQL Server failure scenario
    Note: By default, this feature is not enabled. For more information about how to enable this feature, see the "Automatic recovery of Health Service in a SQL Server failure scenario" section.

You find the KB here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2449679

As always Kevin Holman posted an article about his experience – thanks to Kevin!

All information is provided "as is" without any warranty! Try in lab before. Handle with care in production.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

How to configure authentication in Quests QMX for Websphere WAS

If you try to configure Quests Management Extension for Websphere Application Server 6/7 you realize very soon, that there is no possibility to provide username or password for the Performance Monitoring Servlet URL.

With the following workaround you are able to connect to the servlet but unfortunately you have to enter the password in clear text. So at least it may be a good idea to change the file permission to a minimum requirement for the files affected. And it would be good to use a dedicated service user with the “monitor” permission in WAS.

There are two files (called PMIServletReader.js and TestConnection.js) to be modified in the folder %ProgramFiles%\eXc Software\WMI Providers\nonWindows\Virtual Agent Library\MOM\Websphere

The important script is PMIServletReader.js where you have to modify line 99. There you find the following string:

l_objXMLHTTP.open("GET", strURL_in, false);

Add the following (bold) text to the line and replace username and password to the one you like to use:

l_objXMLHTTP.open("GET", strURL_in, false, "username", "password");

Double-check that the quotation mark (") is not a special character. I prefer to delete the copied ones and replace them by the one given by the editor.

Save the edited script. If you like to test the connection (what I recommend) you have to edit the same line (maybe other line number) in the second script called TestConnection.js. Now you are able to test the connection within Quests Configuration Utility by right click on the WAS server entry and selecting Test Connection. Verify that you have enabled the server by unmark the "disabled” checkbox before testing. Don’t forget to save the change.

You should also be sure, that the value in the field “Websphere Application Server Name” in Quests Configuration Utility is exactly the same as in the XML given by the servlet. Simply open the URL for the servlet in your web browser and copy the value from the tag called “Server name” and paste it into the field from above. This must not be the name of the server itself.

All information is provided "as is" without any warranty! Try in lab before. Handle with care in production.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Updated my Microsoft Certifications

Now I successfully updated my MCSE, MCSA and MCPs to the newest MCITP and MCTS (for SCOM too)!

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Deploy SCOM agent to untrusted zones with Opalis

Normally I publish my own thoughts on my blog. But because the Opalis workflow from Anders is very interesting and a good example how Opalis can help you to automate administrative tasks I will post the link to his blog: http://contoso.se/blog/?p=2054

All information is provided "as is" without any warranty! Try in lab before. Handle with care in production.

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