SCOM - Monitoring a Service - Part 5 unix/linux service

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This is part 5 of the series about monitoring a service in SCOM. This is about monitoring a Unix or Linux service.

First the list of other posts in this series:

In the previous posts I went into monitoring windows services in several ways. In this post I will go into basic monitoring of a Unix or Linux service. This will be done based on a monitoring template just like Part 3 of this series, but this time for Unix/Linux services of course. Again several methods are available, but this is the easiest one to get a quick start. In most cases I encountered the question was just to pick up the running state of the antivirus agent, the backup agent and one or two services running state. In this case I will just use the cron service (Alright, I know it is already monitored by default by the cross plat mp's, but just needed an example).
Also this post assumes some small things, like being able to create a new management pack to store stuff and to select something by clicking buttons with three dots on it. Otherwise have a quick look at parts 2 or 3 in this series.

So lets get going with this one.

Open the SCOM console and go into the Authoring pane. Expand Management Pack Templates and select Unix/Linux Service. Right-Click and select Add Monitoring Wizard (or click the button on the menu bar).

Select Unix/Linux Service and click Next.
Give it a name, for instance "Cron Service".
Create a new destination management pack (click the New button and give the MP a name and click Next and Create). Always create a new management pack for this or select a specific one that suits this purpose (just not the default management pack).

In the service details part we will first select a server that has this service running by using the button with three dots. Next we will want to select if we want to select a specific group to target this to. For instance custom groups you have created or perhaps you have some service running specifically on Sun servers or RedHat servers. So for fun I will select to apply it to a computer group. So I click the checkbox and in the group search field I type solaris and click Search button and select the Solaris Computer Group. So if all your Unix boxes have the same backup agent or whatever you can target this monitoring wizard against those kind of groups and the server you select here is just an example of it. Next we select the cron service that we wanted to monitor in this example.

Click the Create button and it should be there in your list and monitoring is going. Just wait a few minutes to have it initialise.

As you see the cross plat team within the SCOM team has done a great job at using the template and getting it to monitor processes with just a few clicks!

Now lets move on to some resources and links and stuff in the last part of this series to wrap things up.

Bob Cornelissen

SCOM - Monitoring a Service - Part 4 basic app mp

SCOM, System Center 5 feedbacks »

This is part 4 of the series on how to monitor services with SCOM. Will be a lot longer than the other ones.

First again the list of posts in the series (as far as I know until know):

I this part we will move towards creating a custom management pack with first a discovery of the application. Based on this discovery we can target monitors to monitor services and other stuff this application depends on. We will also place these monitors in a rollup monitor in order to group services in the Health Explorer. From here we can move forward to views. This part is more complicated and contains more steps. There are multiple ways to accomplish this and this is just an example and you might want to change things or targets or leave things out. But this will still be done completely using the standard SCOM console.

So I am going to take the Microsoft FCS again as an example and I am going to create an attribute that is based on Windows Computer. Again, more ways are possible. I am sure that by the end of this you will know where to make the changes you need. So lets take the steps to build something.

First we create an attribute and registry discovery in a new management pack. The management pack will be called "Microsoft FCS". We do this in order to find machines that have this application installed and we will enable monitoring of this application for those machines. Here we go:

Open up the SCOM console and go to the Authoring pane. Go to Management Pack Objects - Attributes. Click Create a new attribute.

We need to specify a name. I will use the application name to identify it "Microsoft FCS Client" and click Next.

Now we decide on how to discover it. We can use registry or wmi discovery. I will take registry discovery. Now we will fill in the other fields.

As with everything in SCOM we need to target somewhere. SO click the browse button next to the Target field. I will use Windows Computer in this example, so I find it and select it.

When you arrive back at the wizard it now looks like this:

So, here you can see it actually used the Windows Computer, but it placed the part _extended behind it. This is because the Windows Computer is in a sealed MP. You can play around with this name, but I will keep it this way for this specific excersize. So you can change the name at this point and have it reflect your aplication a bit better. Just for this post I will keep it as such, just remember to remember what was here. Just for the rest of this excercise remember that it is Windows Computer_Extended as we will see it often. You will see that it just picks an unsealed MP in the field below it, but as you know we are going to create a new management pack for this application. So click the New button to create a new MP. Give it a descriptive name. I use "Microsoft FCS" in my example.

Go ahead and create the management pack. Now we are back in the attribute creation wizard. It now looks like this (and we click Next).

Now we can configure the registry probe. Now in this case we are going to check if a certain registry key exists and use a daily discovery. So first I click the Key type. Next I have to specify the path in the registry to the key I am looking for. Keep in mind that the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE is already there. This means we do not have to specify it in the path and that we can not try to find it in the other hyves either :). SO I dive into the registry and in my case I find this entry:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft Forefront\Client Security\1.0
It tells us what it is and the version, so we can work with this. Remember to leave out the HKLM\ at the start. And paste the rest in there. Now we define what we are checking (check if exists). And specify the amount of seconds between each discovery. For one day that is 86400 seconds. It will look like this:

After clicking Finish we will have our attribute. We can check it out in the view we are in right now. Best to use the Scope button on top and find the "Windows Computer_extended" in the list to scope on and you will see it. Go ahead and scope right now as we will need that later.

Alright. On to the next step. We will create a group based on this attribute. We want to get all Windows Computers with this attribute (registry key exists) being true and place them in one group.

So back in the Authoring pane go to groups and Create a New group. We need to give the group a logical name. I use "Microsoft FCS Client Computers". Give it a description and place it in the right management pack (never forget there are numerous opportunities to forget that one if we are clicking around too fast!!!).

When continuing through this wizard we do not want to add Explicit members, so we move on to the Dynamic members (so we dont have to worry about it and let the system discover and monitor itself).

Click the Create/Edt rules at the Dynamic members. Now it asks us to pick a class. Remember that I asked you to remember the Windows COmputer_extended class? First select that one in the first box. Now click the Add button, like so:

Now we can use the dropdown boxes to define what we are looking for. So in the first box we select "Microsoft FCS Client" (this was the attribute that we were discovering through the registry). Next box we use "equals". And in the last box we type "true" (in lower case). If you ever wat to do the opposite, like create a group of machines that do not have this app installed you could use the "false" here. Anyway, your view should be something like this:

We can click OK now and we are back in the group wizard and we see the query there:

Now click Next and Next and Create to create the group and wait a few small moments for the wizard to finish and the console to load.

Alright, whats next. Because this particular app actually has two services that I want to monitor I would actually like to group them together in the Health Explorer. So I will first create an Aggregate Monitor to hold the service monitoring monitors (what the series was about). Hang on, here we go again.

In the Authoring pane we now go to Management Pack Objects - Monitors. Check that you are still scoped to Windows Computer_Extended. Now in the middel of the screen open up the Windows Computer_Extended -> Entity Health -> Availability like so:

Alright, now right-click on the Availability and select Create a Monitor -> Aggregate Rollup Monitor:

Now we land in the aggregate monitor wizard. We have to specify a name. I use "Microsoft FCS Application". And type a desciption if you like. Now the Monitor target. If you just followed my instructions on scoping and clicking you will see that Windows Computer_Extended is already selected and below that the Parent monitor is already Availability. This monitor is enabled by default which is good. Please select the right management pack that we have been working on! Your screen will look like this:

In the next screen we will keep the selection of Worst state of any member. Check the best way in your case for this one of course. In my case I just want it to roll up the state if any of the services turn red. And in the following screen we will keep the alerting disabled. To give you an example, you might want to turn on alerting at this level for instance if you have an application that has all kinds of services interlinked and if one is going down the others will follow. That would either create a lot of alerts from all the service monitors, or you could turn all of those off and turn it on at this aggregate level, having the alert say that the application Microsoft FCS has a problem and please investigate further. In this case you would get one alert and you already know what to do and you can check in the health explorer what has happened with the monitors at one level deeper. Moving on... We can click the Create button now.

Please check again that it lives at the right level (so below Availability in this case). Now we are ready to get into monitoring the services (that was what this story was about in the first place). So we can right-click our new aggregate monitor and Create a Monitor -> Unit Monitor (now we are getting into the method I used in Part 2 of this series remember?).

So now we find the Windows Services -> Basic Service Monitor. And do not forget to select the right management pack!! (I repeat myself, because I can tell you that I have made this mistake almost as often as doing it right, especially when you want to move fast...). Now we need to give our Unit Monitor a name. What I like to do is go into the Services.msc console and open the properties of that service. In there you can easily copy and paste the display name of the service. you cant change it but you can copy it :)

Pay close attention in this next screen, there is a lot to check, so do not click too fast! So we paste that name into the Name field in the Unit monitor wizard. We type a nice description what this monitor does. We check that it is pointing to the right MP. We check that the monitor target is Windows Computer_Extended. Now pay close attention to the partent monitor. Open the dropdown box and find the aggregate monitor you just created before this under the availability node and select it. Next thing is do de-select the Monitor is enabled box. So yes, we are creating a disabled monitor. We will override it later for the group of machines we created earlier that contains all machines that have the application installed. SO your screen will look like this (at least mine does):

Moving on to the next screen we will have to select a service. SO click the button with the three dots. Type a computer name in the first field and hit Enter to load the services list of that machine. Now find the service we want to monitor.

Hit OK and move on to the next screen. So how bad is it when this service stops running. Well I would like the Antimalware service to be the critical one when it stops and after this I will create another Service monitor for the State Assessment service that I will give a warning (yellow) state to when it stops working (to spice up the excercise ha ha ha).

Alright, on to the next screen where we define if we want to alert. Yes we will want alerts for this one, so we use the first checkbox to enable alerting. We will alert if this monitor is in a critical state (which it will be if the service stops as defined in the previous screen). We would like this to auto resolve if the service comes back online. For alert name I will use what is already there and I will add "is not running" to it. Please enter a nice description. You can use the small button with the small dots to create something really nice. This is a bit outside the purpose of this post, so I will move on with this one, I am sure you can figure this one out. Set the Priority... Well Medium is fine for now and Severity Critical is nice for now as well. You end up looking at something like this:

The bits in the description are just formed by selecting the Principle Name in this case, but you can take whatever you want that accomplishes your goal. NetBios name will suffice in most environments as well, but in bigger ones you would want the FQDN name. Now click the Create button.

Here we go, we have a disabled (grey) monitor in the right place.

Now I will create another service monitor for the MS FCS State Assessment service. I will move through this one faster, because you know the drill. I will make this one yellow Warning in health state and also alert on Warning state. Go to the aggregate monitor again (actually select it first) and right-click it and Create a Monitor -> Unit monitor. It is a Windows Services -> Basic Service Monitor. Select the right MP! Give it a name (paste the name of the service) and give it a description. Make sure monitor target is Windows Computer_Extended. Parent monitor is Microsoft FCS Application. We DISABLE the monitor. We select the right service by selecting a machine that runs this service and selecting it. In this case I map the health state of Service is not running to Warning. I will generate an alert (so enable it) when the monitor is in a warning health state (check this is the right one with the previous screen in this wizard). Adjust alert name and description. I will give this one a Medium Priority and a Warning Severity.

So now we have to service monitors.

Next step is to check if attribute discovery is actually working and has found the application installed anywhere.

In the SCOM console go to the Monitoring pane. Near the very top of the tree on the left side go to Discovered Inventory. On the right side in the Actions pane click the Change Target Type button. Find the Windows Computer_Extended again. Now check if you see the following:

In this case you will see a machine that has done the check and found the Microsoft FCS Client to be true. Other machines that do not have it installed will display false in that column. Remember that the discovery runs once every day, so for some machines it will take a while to appear over here. If you are in a hurry just go to that machine and restart the System Center Management service to have it re-run the discoveries and you will see it within a few minutes. As you know these discoveries will fill the group we created earlier.

Now we will enable monitoring by going back to those monitors and enabling them for the group we have created. Here we go. Go to the Authoring pane and find the monitors again. If you just came from there the scope should still be there are you will find them in a second. Select the first service monitor. Right click it and select Overrides - Override the monitor - for a group. We will select the group we created. In my case Microsoft FCS Client Computers.

We will now enable this monitor for this group. Set Enabled to True.

Click OK and now make the same override for the other service (in my case). Now get something to drink again and after returning open a health explorer on a machine where the application was discovered:

There they are. And the results when we stop the services:


So one red and one yellow. We start the services again and everything turns green again in health state and alerts go away.

From here you can do more fun stuff like creating state and alert views in the monitoring pane. Perhaps a task to Start the service targetted at this class, so when you click the alert you get a task on the right side of the screen to start the service right from there. Perhaps you want to create availability reports. Perhaps you want to add Rules to check the event viewer for certain entries that are related to this application. All things that are out of scope for this post. There are lots of resources on how to do those kind of things as well.

I think this is the place to stop now for this session. But you have seen how you can still build up monitoring an application from the SCOM console, without going to the Authoring console or XML yet. There are multiple roads that lead to the same result and sometimes a better one :)

The next post in the series is Part 5 and will be about monitoring a Unix/Linux service. I will use the monitoring template again for this one and use just a few screen shots to get things done due to the great work of the product team.

Enjoy monitoring!!!

Bob Cornelissen

SCOM - Monitoring a Service - Part 3 service monitor template

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This is part 3 of the multiple part series on monitoring a service by using the windows service monitoring template included in SCOM.

To start the links to other parts of the series:

In this part we will create a windows service monitor using the windows service monitoring template included in the SCOM console. We will create a new management pack to hold the service monitor and we will add the service monitor using the template and discuss options to not only send alerts when the service is not running, but also how to include monitoring the same service for memory and processor usage. This is very easy and the product team has done a good job at this.

So lets get cracking at this one.

Open the SCOM console. Go to the Authoring pane. Expand Management Pack Templates. Slect Windows Service. RIght-click and slect Add Monitoring Wizard (or use the button in the menu above).

Select Windows Service and click Next.

Give it a name. In my case I just used "FCS AM Service". I left the description open. Now pay special attention... We need to create a New management pack here. So we click the New button. So first click the New button and give the new management pack a name. In my case "Services Part3" and i left the rest alone and clicked Next and Create.

This gives us the following result so far. And click next to continue of course.

In the Service Details screen we need to define some stuff. First of all the Service name. In this case I use the small button with the three dots to browse to a machine that is running this service and I select the service, like so:

Now we select the targetted group. Use the button with the dots again. This filter is a bit different fm the one in blogpost part 2. I will select All Windows Computers here.

And that gives the following result:

The additional checkbox is also a nice one. When it is selected it will only complain when this service is stopped when the service startup is set to automatic. On to the next step.

In this screen you can elect to monitor CPU usage and memory usage of the monitored service. For instance use the checkboxes to enable both and set thresholds to lets say 90% cpu and 500 MB memory for this process. We can define how many samples it has to be above threshold and how much time is between each sample.
Insert here: I forgot for a moment that the wizard refuses to enter anything more than 100 MB memory usage. This is a bug in the system (probably it thinks these are percent entries :) ). If you want to change it to higher values you will have to edit this value. I will tell you near the end of this post where. Put it at 100 MB for now.
See following screenshot for an example.

Click Next and Create to finish this wizard.

So what happens when we stop the monitored service...

and the health state has both service availability entries and performance entries (sorry for having to hide the computer name entries):

And near the bottom of the knowledge there is a link to start the service. And that (or starting it manually) makes the alert and health state go away and go green again.

So, earlier on I told you that it has a problem accepting values above 100 MB memory usage in the wizard. In the case of the specific service I am monitoring values of 100-200 MB are still normal, so I want to change it to 300 MB for instance as threshold.
So in the last screenshot above you will see I marked a few parts in yellow. You will want to go to the one near the bottom for Memory Usage. In the health explorer of any server just scroll down into the tree to Entity Health - Performance - Windows Local Application - Performance FCS AM Service - Windows Service Memory Usage. Right-click it and select Monitor Properties. Go to the Configuration tab. Here you will see the following:

In this screen you can see the threshold in bytes set at 100000000 (so 100 MB ). If you click the Edit button near the bottom of the screen you get into this xml code and you can change this to 300000000 for instance to set it at 300 MB. and Click OK and Apply.
Of course it is also possible to use overrides to change the threshold.

So this is a very easy way to create a service monitor that has a bit more intelligence in it. Could be that we used less steps than in part 2 of this series. And it created a number of monitors in the background for its functions (service running state, cpu usage, memory usage) and alerts. The product team has done a very nice job at this (except for allowing something above 100 MB for memory monitoring wink wink).

The methods used in part 2 and part 3 of this series were very simple and quick ways.

What I propose to do next in part 4 is to go a bit deeper and start monitoring an application. So what we will do is create a discovery, a group, a service monitor, rollup monitor, alerts, a view. This will create both a framework for us to place more service monitors in the same application, target the service monitors (and also rules if we make some) to only machines that are actually running this application and have a look at the machines running it and their state. And we will do all of this from the standard SCOM console. So no Authoring console or XML editting.

Bob Cornelissen

SCOM - Monitoring a Service - Part 2 basic service monitor

SCOM, System Center 10 feedbacks »

This is part 2 of the multiple part series on monitoring a service (yeah how much can we say about this...?).

To start the links to other parts of the series:

And now on to monitor a windows service the very very basic way. We will create a new management pack to hold the service monitor and we will add a basic windows service unit monitor that creates an alert when the monitored service is not running. This is very basic and will do no more or less than stated :) I will screenshot a bit often here in parts 2 and 3 of this blog post and will assume some things in other parts.

Go into the SCOM Console and move into the Authoring pane.
Expand Management Pack Objects and select Monitors.
In the menu bar or in the Actions pane select Create a Monitor -> Unit Monitor.

The Create a unit monitor wizard opens up. Before we do anything else we need to have a management pack to save stuff in. We could have done this before, but in this case I will use the first monitor we create as an opportunity to create a new management pack. So near the bottom of this screen click the New button.

When the Create a Management Pack wizard opens we add a Name for the management pack. In this case I use "Services Part2", but normally this would say something about the application you would want to monitor or the purpose of it. We can add a description here.

We finish this part of the wizard by clicking Next and Create. This will bring us back to the Create a unit monitor wizard and the newly created management pack will be listed as the destination management pack near the bottom of the screen. Next we define what kind of monitor we want near the top of the screen. In our case this is Windows Services -> Basic Service Monitor. Click Next to continue.

In the general properties we will define a name for the monitor. In this case I will just use "FCS AM Service" as Name and Description to keep it simple.
Now we need to specify a Monitor target. So click the Select button in the middle of the screen.

We see a big list of targets (and we see even more when we select the View all targets option). We need to think of where we could possibly target this. Well, one of the things we know is that it runs on windows computers. That could give us Windows Computer and Windows Operating System for instance (if we say that we dont want to specify a specific operating system). I will go with Windows Computer for now.

We need to specify the Parent monitor now. As we are monitoring the running state of a service we will use the availability parent monitor. And click Next.

So now it asks us for the Service name. It is easier to browse there, so we use the small button with the three dots.

Pick a machine where you know this service is installed. Find the service you want to monitor in the list and select it. In my case I pick the Microsoft Forefront Client Security Antimalware Service.

When we click OK it will bring us back to the wizard and it gives us the name of the service (as windows would understand it).

Click Next and we can configure what the health should be if the service is not running. In the box where it says Health State for the row where it says Service is not running we can select what state we want by clicking and using the dropdown that appears to either select Critical or Warning. For this example I just think this is a security service so I will leave it as Critical.

Next step is to define if we want to generate alerts for this monitor. Lets go ahead and do that and check the checkbox. Next we need to define when to generate an alert. In my case I said that the state of service down should be Critical, so my choice is to generate an alert when the monitor is in a critical health state. If you had Warning in the previous screen you will need to use the warning state here as well in order to get alerts.
The checkbox to Automatically resolve the alert when the monitor returns to a healthy state is very usefull in most cases. So if the service returns to running state (either automatically or because you start it manually for instance) it will also close the alert for you in the SCOM console.
In the alert properties we can define an Alert name. BY default it displays the name of the monitor here. In my case I add some words to make it say "FCS AM Service is not running". I copy that to the Alert description box below it and add some words to it suggesting to start the service. I will not add more fancy stuff here although the small button with three dots will give you possibilities to add the server name in the description for instance. Next we can also set Priority and Severity of the alert. I will leave it default for now. That will give us the following screen.

Now we can push the Create button to create the monitor.
We will have a monitor now for one service in a new management pack with alerting when this service is not running.

New I can pick a machine and stop this service and see if I get an alert in the monitoring pane in Active Alerts.

After starting the service the alert disappeared within the minute.

So that is the most basic quick and dirty way to monitor one service.

Now lets see in Part 3 of this series how we can do this using the Windows Service monitoring template and at the same time make a choice if we want to monitor the processor and memory usage of this service (process) and at what threshold it should start complaining.

Bob Cornelissen

SCOM - Monitoring a Service - Part 1 intro

SCOM, System Center 3 feedbacks »

I regularly get questions about service monitoring for custom services or just for services of applications where they do not want to implement full management packs. In almost every case there are different prerequisites in the question. Most of the times customers want to able to do it themselves and in most cases they want to be able to do it through the normal SCOM Console.

As most SCOM admins know there is a template built-in in SCOM to do this and it gives possibilities to also monitor the CPU and memory consumption of this service and alert on state or performance thresholds. In most cases where you just want a simple service monitor this is the best way to go. In many cases I get asked however on simple service monitors (yes even more basic) or on the other side more complicated monitors (multiple services running state and sometimes also moving towards event log entries). This last concept is going towards creating a custom management pack for an application whereby the most important monitoring is the running state of the services, but still created through the console and not through the Authoring Console or XML manupilation. In some cases of course this is not enough and other prerequisites push you towards creating a custom management pack through the Authoring console and XML. The purpose of this series is not to go into creating custom management packs through Authoring console or XML, although we might touch upon xml at times.

So, I will try to put some options into a few blog posts covering:

Of course in all cases we will create a new management pack to hold the monitors, but part 4 is more in the direction of custom management pack creation for applications. Of course I am aware that multiple methods are possible in each scenario on the options to use and places where you target your custom monitors. Of course you can always send your comments by email to bob @ the domain listed above in the address bar :)

Use the links in the list above to move to the parts of this post.

Enjoy!
Bob Cornelissen

New SCOM tool - Subscriptions copier

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Timothy McFadden published another tool to compliment your SCOM toolbox. It is the Subscriptions copier. And it is used to - uhm - copy subscriptions!

So how can this be usefull? Well in many cases subscriptions are not always that easy (like the send ALL alerts through the email to the system admins team). In that case this tool can simply copy the subscription and you can rename it and change some settings for it (like where you send the alerts). But the tool can also create a number of copies in one run.
You can imagine a situation where you want alerts to first be sent to a team of admins who should be able to solve the issues or who would acknowledge them by changing the resolution state of an alert. After a while you might want to send a reminder email about open alerts to the same group. Or you might want to send a reminder to somebody else - for instance to a manager in order to escalate after some period of time if the alert still has the New state. It is easy to create the subscription (or copy &#59;) ) and set a Delay of 60 minutes in order to notify a manager of an alert that is still in the New state.

The tool can be found here: http://www.scom2k7.com/subscription-copier/

Thank you very much for this addition Timothy!

Bob Cornelissen

SCOM generates errors 31555 and 31569 with a TypeLoadException exception

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The other day we saw another error on the SCOM RMS that looked familiar in some way, but of course I had lost the links to the KB articles. So what happens?

We see these alerts coming from the event log and reflected in SCOM alerts:

Data Warehouse configuration synchronization process failed to read data from the operational database. Failed to generate data to be forwarded to the Data Warehouse. The operation will be retried.
Exception 'TypeLoadException': Could not load type 'System.Security.Authentication.ExtendedProtection.ExtendedProtectionPolicy' from assembly 'System, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089'.

Data Warehouse failed to request a list of management packs which contain reports deployed to SQL Reporting Services Server. Report deployment process failed to request management pack list from SQL RS Server. The operation will be retried.
Exception 'TypeLoadException': Could not load type 'System.Security.Authentication.ExtendedProtection.ExtendedProtectionPolicy' from assembly 'System, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089'.

Especially look for the part where it says TypeLoadException. As there can be more types of exceptions why for instance the list of MPs from SRSS can not be retrieved.

These errors come after some hotfixes released in June 2010 are run on the RMS. These are updates 982167 and 982168 .Net Framework 3.5 hotfixes that also touch the .Net Framework 2 feature layer.

If you run into this go to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2262911/en-us.

That article ponts to a hotfix 975954 which can be found here http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/KB975954/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ReleaseId=3839. After that run the fix mentioned in the 2262911 article or manually run msiexec /f {C09FB3CD-3D0C-3F2D-899A-6A1D67F2073F}
in order to make all features in the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 product to reevaluate its installation state.

Reboot when it asks for reboots.

Bob Cornelissen

Hyper-V clustering using not similar hardware

Windows 2008, Hyper-V, SCVMM Send feedback »

Because of questions from two customers about high availability for Hyper-V virtual machines and NOT similar hardware between the hosts I was clicking around and found an interesting checking tool for processor compatibility for hosts that you want to add into a hyper-v cluster. This is because if virtual machines fail over and they discover they cant run the same processor feature set the failover will fail. And you might find out too late (like when it needs to failover!). Of course the ideal route would be to buy two or more exactly identical hosts and connect those to storage to create the cluster with. But in this case I was asked to check if I could find a combination with not similar machines and see if we can somehow make the virtuals higher available.

So first of all the technet page on hyper-v clustering (classic failover clustering but a page further the CSV live migration is also discussed).
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc732181(WS.10).aspx

And I found this tool the "Virtual Machine Migration Test Wizard":
http://archive.msdn.microsoft.com/VMMTestWizard
With this one you can check in existing clusters, but also adding a machine to an existing cluster or just checking which machines you have running could be placed together in a cluster. This is all based at first on processor feature compatibility and is probably not the only thing you should check for :roll:

And in the comments of that page somebody also made a link to a short video explaining the why and how of this tool:
http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-US&vid=487bbef4-6ab7-4121-91de-c87613014bbb.

So, now lets see if I can play around with this a little.

Bob Cornelissen

SBS 2011 Essentials Release Candidate Now Available

Uncategorized, Windows 2008 Send feedback »

Re-blogging the announcement as is:

Today we are pleased to announce the availability of the Release Candidate for Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials. Ideal as a first server for small businesses with up to 25 users, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials provides a cost-effective and easy-to-use solution to help protect data, organize and access business information from virtually anywhere, support the applications needed to run a business, and quickly connect to online services for e-mail, collaboration and CRM.

The Release Candidate (RC) signifies our last mile efforts for releasing this product to our customers, and prepares our large network of software and solution partners for its release.

To fast track your learning, we have also launched our new SBS 2011 Essentials Learning Bites – fifteen 3-5 minute videos focusing on core features and functionality. Further videos, plus many other resources can be found on the official SBS website.

Thank you for helping us test this product, and please provide any feedback through SBS Connect, or our official SBS 2011 Essentials Support forum.

Windows Home Server 2011 Release Candidate now available

Uncategorized 1 feedback »

Got a few emails about Release candidates this weekend. One of them is for the new Home Server 2011 RC.
Will paste the info as is:

Today we are pleased to announce the availability of the Release Candidate for Microsoft Windows Home Server 2011 (formerly Windows Home Server Code Name “Vail”). Affordable and easy-to-use, Microsoft Windows Home Server 2011 (WHS) is the ideal solution to help families keep their important digital files and PC’s automatically backed up, organized, and accessible.

The Release Candidate (RC) signifies our last mile efforts for releasing this product to our customers, and prepares our network of software and hardware partners for its release. Along with the RC, we have also released an update to the Windows Server Solutions SDK which provides tools and information to develop add-ins and extend the functionality of Windows Home Server 2011.

This WHS RC is the first public release to include changes in the storage features, so let’s look at some of the changes you can expect. All existing technologies such as server and client backup, health monitoring, remote web access, streaming media, and simplified dashboard management are still included.

A new Move Folder Wizard makes it easy for you to move data from one drive to another. As Hard Drives are added to the Home Server, your health alerts will notify you that a new Hard Drive is available. From here, you can automatically format and configure the new drive for additional storage.

Once configured, you can easily use the Move Folder Wizard to move your data to the new drive as needed.

To see this in action, please watch our Windows Home Server Move Folder Wizard Learning Bite.

Data protection also includes daily Server and PC backup, Previous Versions via Shadow copy which lets you return prior versions of existing files (without needing to restore from backup), and a protection feature for pre-defined folders (such as Recorded TV, Videos, Photos) in case these are accidently deleted.

We are also excited to announce Acer is in the final testing phase of Microsoft Windows Home Server 2011. Irene Chan, Senior Business Manager from Acer America Corp. stated this morning “We're excited to offer this new and improved, easy-to-use OS on our Aspire easyStore Home Server this Spring. Designed for households and small businesses with multiple PCs, Aspire easyStore offers a simple way to network computers, centralize, share and protect digital data as well as access it remotely from anywhere in the world." stated

Thank you for helping us test this product, and please provide any feedback through WHS Connect, or our official Windows Home Server Support forums.

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