Have seen a thread today on the TechNet forums about the SCOM Console crashing when running a task. http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/operationsmanagergeneral/thread/c339c327-1e7d-412b-9d1a-5ae0b8a2e0f8/#9ae059f9-f881-4fa1-9d42-fceed4c4ef2d
We actually also have one issue exactly like that, so it was a nice opportunity to dive into it a bit more. So what happens is that from the SCOM Console you run a task against some agent and while running that task it crashes and takes the SCOM Console along with it. You can get an error like the following:
Alexey Zhuravlev from opsmgr.ru recently found that Internet Explorer 9 seemed to cause the problem in a case he encountered and in this thread the solution was also to remove IE9 to get it working.
To quote him on that part:
Console calls this:
If I understand the process correct, it uses Mshtml.dll. IE9 replaces this dll (installs it's own version 9.0.*). And it looks like the new version causes an access violation...
One of the colleagues of mine at a customer location also had these problems since a while, but with certain tasks. It turns out to be the tasks that are run against the agent. So for instance a ping will work just fine because it is running locally, but a task like show processes or start a service will first give a popup for you asking if you want these credentials after running that one it crashes (and takes the SCOM console down with it. So when you do that you get one of these popups:
We tested by uninstalling IE9 and confirming it was now IE8. Tasks ran fine. So we installed IE9 again, but this time from the Microsoft website and not some internal updating process. And yes, it crashed again at running a task.
So the current workaround is to uninstall IE9 to work with this. Hope that it will be fixed soon.
Update 9 June 2011:
Lincoln Atkinson gave an answer to a thread in the Technet Forums about this issue with a remark for a future fix:
The product team is aware of this issue and are looking into a fix. We will be fixing for vNext + if possible backporting the fix in a future cumulative update.
As I have said in SCOM Trick 7, the use of maintenance mode is important. But not always will somebody use the normal SCOM interface (or web interface) to start maintenance mode right before they start working on the machine. To be honest a lot of the times machines get placed in maintenance mode when the alerts start flowing in during planned work and they quickly place the machine into maintenance mode. In any case, you can actually schedule maintenance mode, or include it in scripting. Here are some resources to get you started.
Maintenance mode history report
Remote maintenance mode mp
by running a script on the agent, makes event log entry that gets picked up.
MCS maintenance mode mp
Put a group into Maintenance Mode
Maintenance Mode powershell script
Remote Maintenance Mode GUI tool
Cluster and maintenance mode
Stopping maintenance mode
SCOM Maintenance Mode Tool
Schedule a group of URLs (or one) into maintenance mode
One of the questions that get asked after people start using maintenance mode in SCOM, especially in bigger environments, is to provide an overview of who put something into maintenance mode.
Somebody wrote a management pack for this!
Maintenance Mode History Report Management Pack
One of the great features in SCOM is the ability to place a machine/device or part of it in maintenance mode whenever you are working on the machine and you do not want it to generate alerts while you are doing your stuff. For instance during a planned change. This also avoids unnecessary red and yellow health states which affect your SLA availability reports. One more thing is that it tends to not stress out helpdesks and ticketing systems if you try to avoid sending them unneeded alerts (sometimes they do not know you are playing with the machines).
In many cases a whole machine will be placed into maintenance mode. As of SCOM 2007 R2 setting maintenance mode for a machine only has to be done in one place and not in three places like before.
You can enable maintenance mode from any state view by clicking the desired machine/device/website/database and selecting Start Maintenance Mode in the actions pane or by right-clicking and selecting that option. This can also be done right from an alert view, but I always prefer to be clear on where I select it.
From there you can select if it is planned or not and what the reason is. You can start it, stop it or change the duration.
Something to NOT do is place management servers in maintenance mode. Unless you know what you are doing.
In some cases when you have a health explorer that will not turn green and manually resetting it does not help and in some cases it is just at the rollup stages where it will not turn back to green… you can try to place the machine in maintenance mode for 15 minutes and after that time it will re-calculate the health state.
In an upcoming Trick I will list some of the tools you can use for maintenance mode, scripts, powershells, management packs and so on.
Just remember to use maintenance mod.
A question that pops up a lot is if we can monitor VMware with SCOM. There are actually several options that deliver different levels of monitoring.
- Veeam Nworks. A very complete third party SCOM add-on.
- Bridgeways VMware monitoring MP.
- Vizioncore (Quest).
- SNMP and Syslog from SCOM
I am sure there are more possibilities, but these are the most well-known I think.
My personal favorite is still Nworks as the most complete and robust system.
My opinion is still that books are a great resource to learn about a product. Also for SCOM there are a few around:
- System Center Operations Manager 2007 Unleashed
A very complete book about SCOM, written by MVP’s
- System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 Unleashed
A follow-up on the previous book that builds on top of it, adding R2 pieces of information, but also authoring and more
- Mastering Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007
- Monitoring Exchange Server 2007 with System Center Operations Manager
My personal favorites (and many with me) are the two Unleashed books which are the most complete and clear to read for SCOM admins of all levels.
What can you do when you want to learn about SCOM? Well there are a lot of possibilities.
- Read books about SCOM (see SCOM Trick 5)
- Read the product documentation (see SCOM Trick 1)
- Watch webcasts about SCOM
- Watch the SCOM superflow. For more information:
- Visit System Center User Group meetings in real life or online
- Take a SCOM course given by one of the many certified trainers out there
- Visit TechNet briefings near you
- Check out the SCOM 101 guide. For more information:
- Read management pack guides (see SCOM Trick 2)
- Read blogs about SCOM. There are a lot of these around in the community run by enthusiasts, Microsoft staff, MVPs, Community Contributors and lots more.
- Attend TechNet or Microsoft Management Summit meetings
Once in a while you will have a question. Something will not work as expected. You discover a bug or SCOM does not react as expected. You might be looking for something special. Well first of all I would suggest to check out the official documentation and the management pack guides and perhaps a book on the product (is another trick ). After this you could go over to several community resources. Just to name a few:
- The TechNet forums for SCOM
- Just for fun I will add the link to all the TechNet forums:
- The System Center Central community website (forums, blogs, wiki and more)
- The My IT Forum community site (forums, blogs and more):
- There are a lot of community sites, for instance System Center User Group websites. Many times these are arranged by country or region.
So what would be the first thing you do after installing SCOM or when you find a new management pack? For most that would be to load the management pack and see what happens. This is usually followed with a lot of alerts coming in and trying to find out what happened or you find out that you do not see any health state of the application you are monitoring with that management pack.
So the first thing you should do when you start with a management pack is to read the management pack guide. It usually tells you some specific points to watch out for before, during and after loading the management pack. This is also true for community packs and software vendor management packs. Usually these have to do with runas accounts and profiles and overrides and enabling discoveries and monitors or disabling them.
Where can you find management packs?
- When you download a management pack usually there is a second download link for the guide.
- In some cases the management pack guide is included in the downloaded msi and when you extract it during installation the guide gets located at the location of extraction.
- On TechNet the online management pack guides: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd347500.aspx
- Through the SCOM console.
Go to scom console – Administration – management packs. Select download management packs. Next search for a product like “Active Directory”. Open the list below and find the product you are looking for (in the example “Active Directory Server 2008”). On that line move your mouse to the right to the column of Information. Just click in that empty space and it will give you the possibility to download the MP guide.
Alright, let’s face it… we are all IT people. So to generalize, we are stubborn and do not read manuals unless we are forced to. We install products and start clicking away. Until we hit a wall somewhere or we start complaining about something that is not there in a product while it is actually there, but we cannot find it. So in the rare occasion that we actually do not find something on our own and we have no other choice than to read the documentation, or when others tell us to first read about the subject before asking questions… Here are the online product documentation locations:
The TechNet library for System Center products
The TechNet Library for SCOM 2007:
Other locations of documentation are community sites and a lot of sub-sites of the above. But these will be covered in other SCOM Trick posts.