SCOM Trick 35 – SCOM Licensing

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One of the things that is most often unclear with Microsoft software is licensing. There are people who have studied it for years. So, what options are there for SCOM and System Center? I hope these will point you in the right direction.

Here is one page from Microsoft with some resources:
http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/en/us/how-to-buy.aspx

Malcolm Bullock on System Center licensing:
http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/en/us/how-to-buy.aspx

Graham Davies using the back of a napkin for the SCOM licenses:
http://systemcentersolutions.wordpress.com/category/licensing/

Posts from Ian Blyth:
http://ianblythmanagement.wordpress.com/2007/04/04/scom-2007-licensing-and-prices/
http://ianblythmanagement.wordpress.com/2008/05/08/standard-v-enterprise-oml-and-virtual-machines/




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SCOM Trick 34 – Move SCOM databases

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At some point you might run into the need to move one of the databases related to SCOM to another server. In case you do you can start your migration plan with reading some of these posts.

Let’s start with the TechNet pages related to the subject:
How to move the operations manager database:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc540384.aspx

How to move the operationsmanagerdw database:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc540368.aspx

How to move the operationsmanagerac database:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc540397.aspx

How to move the report server:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc540369.aspx

Now for some posts from our favorite Microsoft PFE’s (although Kevin is now a TSP):
http://blogs.technet.com/b/kevinholman/archive/2010/08/26/moving-the-operations-database-my-experience.aspx
http://blogs.technet.com/b/kevinholman/archive/2010/08/25/moving-the-data-warehouse-database-and-reporting-server-to-new-hardware-my-experience.aspx
http://blogs.technet.com/b/jonathanalmquist/archive/2011/01/21/my-plan-to-move-the-report-server-to-a-new-computer.aspx




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SCOM Trick 33 – Service Level Dashboard

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One of the solution accelerators Microsoft released is the Service Level Dashboard. What it does is create a dashboard on top of Windows SharePoint Services which shows service level objectives you have set.

There are a few very good resources out there and I will link them here.

The TechNet page:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd630553.aspx

Posts by Jonathan Almquist:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/jonathanalmquist/archive/2010/04/10/service-level-dashboard-2-0-installation-considerations-and-guidance-part-1.aspx

A post by Marnix Wolf:
http://thoughtsonopsmgr.blogspot.com/2009/05/scom-r2-service-level-dashboard-mp.html




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SCOM Trick 32 – Monitor Oracle

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After monitoring operating systems there might also be a wish to monitor Oracle. Of course Oracle has a bit more to offer than a database server. I will list a few links and products here that monitor the database and some that monitor other components.

First of all I want to mention the first Oracle that I was asked to monitor. It turned out to be Oracle Linux operating system. We found that this OS actually made itself known as RedHat Linux and that the SCOM discovery wizard also saw it that way. So we can pick it up as a Linux server with cross plat monitoring.

Next here are a few links to monitoring solutions for Oracle:

NiCE has a great management pack for monitoring Oracle NiCE website. They have been building on this pack continually. Feel free to request information or a trial.

Bridgeways has a management pack for Oracle Database:
http://www.bridgeways.ca/products.php
There is also a beta version for Weblogic there. However it has been in beta for some time now, not sure when they are going to release it.

ComTrade has an Oracle Siebel management pack:
http://www.managementproducts.comtrade.com/management_pack/siebel/Pages/default.aspx

Quest has a management pack for Oracle Database:
http://www.management-extensions.org/entry.jspa?externalID=100044&categoryID=237
And a connector to link Oracle Enterprise Manager to SCOM
http://www.quest.com/quest-management-connector/

Monitor an Oracle database with a SCOM OleDB watcher
http://www.maartendamen.com/2010/09/monitor-an-oracle-database-with-a-scom-oledb-watcher/

Kristopher Bash has also been working on a management pack:
http://operatingquadrant.com/2010/05/09/finishing-the-oracle-scx-management-pack-for-opsmgr-cross-platform-agents/




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SCOM Trick 31 – Monitor server hardware

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When monitoring operating systems and server applications you will probably get to thinking you would like to monitor a bit more from the hardware as well. Well this is possible in a few ways depending on the hardware and also depending on the operating system running on it.

In many cases, like with Dell and HP there are hardware monitoring and management agents installed on the server which get used by management packs to talk to.

So let’s go with some of the links I have listed (some might be more than just the server hardware, but I am guessing you wont mind seeing an additional link):

:!: Dell

Dell Server Management Pack Suite v4.0
Dell PowerEdge/PowerVault Servers, Dell Remote Access Controllers (DRAC) and Chassis Management Controllers (CMC). See below for a newer version.
http://support.us.dell.com/support/downloads/download.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=gen&releaseid=R237719&formatcnt=0&libid=0&typeid=-1&dateid=-1&formatid=-1&source=-1&fileid=342171

Version 4.1 A00:
http://support.us.dell.com/support/downloads/download.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=gen&releaseid=R290639&formatcnt=0&libid=0&typeid=-1&dateid=-1&formatid=-1&source=-1&fileid=432840

Dell MD Storage Array Management Pack Suite v4.0
http://support.us.dell.com/support/downloads/download.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=gen&releaseid=R255600&formatcnt=0&libid=0&typeid=-1&dateid=-1&formatid=-1&source=-1&fileid=374922
Supported Storage Arrays: MD3000, MD3000i, MD1000 daisy chained to a MD3000 or MD3000i

Dell Printer Management Pack v4.0
http://support.us.dell.com/support/downloads/download.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=gen&releaseid=R247998&formatcnt=0&libid=0&typeid=-1&dateid=-1&formatid=-1&source=-1&fileid=362248

Dell Client Management Pack v4.0
http://support.us.dell.com/support/downloads/download.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=gen&releaseid=R245492&formatcnt=0&libid=0&typeid=-1&dateid=-1&formatid=-1&source=-1&fileid=356452

Check out this page for some of the latest links which are also listed above (but perhaps get updated more often):
http://www.delltechcenter.com/page/SCOM+-+System+Center+Operation+Manager

Create Dell hardware reports in SCOM
http://thoughtsonopsmgr.blogspot.com/2010/03/running-customized-report-showing.html

:!: HP

HP Insight Control for System Center
https://h20392.www2.hp.com/portal/swdepot/displayProductInfo.do?productNumber=HPICE

HP Storage works MP
http://h18006.www1.hp.com/storage/SCOM_managementpack.html

HP EVA management pack
http://scug.be/blogs/scom/archive/2009/06/17/hp-eva-management-pack.aspx

:!: Fujitsu

http://support.ts.fujitsu.com/download/ShowDescription.asp?SoftwareGUID=22E1D341-A71E-4091-B37E-363A14B87A71

:!: Sun Solaris

Outside of what the cross plat agent can monitor you can add to this by adding the Solaris machine as a SNMP network device and pick up the xSNMP MP and add the Sun monitoring bits.
http://xsnmp.codeplex.com/releases




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SCOM Trick 30 – Monitor Network Devices

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As we want to monitor everything with SCOM we also want to pull in the network devices. There are several different ways to do this in SCOM 2007 R2. Let’s go from very simple basic monitoring to more extensive monitoring. Here are a number of possibilities:

You can ping the machines with a free ping management pack.

You can add the network device to SCOM if you have an SNMP read string on that device in the SCOM console (Administration – device management – network devices). This will basically just check if SNMP gives a reply on the device.

You can check if the xSNMP management pack created by Kristopher Bash (free) does what you want. In many cases this is suitable and is a lot deeper than the previous methods. You can find it at: http://xsnmp.codeplex.com/ . I like this MP a lot.

Of course it is always possible to first add a network device as mentioned previously and create SNMP monitors yourself. If you know your way around SNMP you could do this.

Jalasoft offers the Xian Network Manager IO R2 enabling deep monitoring of network devices:
http://www.jalasoft.com/Web/Product/Product.aspx?id=54

Opslogix bring us both the free Ping management pack http://www.opslogix.com/ping and the Network management pack http://www.opslogix.com/network-management-pack . The last one also offers deep monitoring of network devices.

JaxMP also offers network monitoring: http://www.jaxmp.com/

In the next version of SCOM, the SCOM 2012, we will also get network monitoring built in. We will see more and more information regarding this in the coming months. And of course I will be blogging about it in a while.




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SCOM Trick 29 – Web Console issues

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The SCOM Web Console is a nice way of displaying alerts and health states using the web. No full GUI needed and just the default web port (depending if you installed as http or https). Great. But it is possible that you run into problems with the web console. It may not work for some reason (either during install or right after or after some time).
In case this happens to you, here are a few resources to go to and check if this solves your issues:

Common Issues with the OpsMgr Web Console
http://blogs.technet.com/b/kevinholman/archive/2010/04/07/common-issues-with-the-opsmgr-web-console.aspx
There are a lot more links from this post by Kevin, so check it out!

The system Center Operations Manager 2007 web console fails to open with "Error: Could not load file or assembly 'Microsoft.ReportViewer.WebForms, Version=9.0.0.0"
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2010168

Also a very good way to solve some web console errors is to re-install the feature, like Marnix says here and I have to say this has helped me a few times as well and increased the speed to resolve the issue.
http://thoughtsonopsmgr.blogspot.com/2009/08/opsmgr-r2-webconsole-wont-start-after.html

Web Console Security in Operations Manager 2007
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb735415.aspx

How to configure a Stand-alone OpsMgr 2007 Web Console for Windows Authentication
http://www.systemcentercentral.com/Downloads/DownloadsDetails/tabid/144/IndexID/6193/Default.aspx




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SCOM Trick 28 – Creating test events

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When working on new management pack with monitors or rules that watch the event log for a certain event you might want the possibility to test if it actually works without wrecking your server first to create the event. So in the MOM resource kit there was a tool Event Creator to generate events for testing purposes. Now we also have different methods to do this.

One of the default methods is to use the eventcreate command from a command line. Just type eventcreate /? In an elevated command prompt and you get all the options. One drawback is that it creates events up to ID number 1000. If you want higher you need another method.

Stefan Stranger wrote a PowerShell script to create events:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/stefan_stranger/archive/2008/05/08/new-powershell-event-creator-for-operations-manager-2007.aspx

Also Marnix Wolf wrote about a free tool called pgevent:
http://thoughtsonopsmgr.blogspot.com/2009/08/event-creation-for-testing.html




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SCOM Trick 27 – Un-seal a management pack

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In some cases you will want to un-seal a management pack. I am assuming this is a sealed management pack that has not been created by you. This might be because you want to look inside for examples on how to do something. There are several possibilities to do this:

Here is a nice PowerShell script to unseal a number of management packs from Pete Zerger:
http://www.systemcentercentral.com/BlogDetails/tabid/143/IndexID/79692/Default.aspx

Here is a post from Boris:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/boris_yanushpolsky/archive/2007/08/16/unsealing-a-management-pack.aspx

A method to export management packs from the shell by Jonathan:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/jonathanalmquist/archive/2009/03/30/export-a-management-pack.aspx

These are the cleanest ways to do it. If you only want a very quick peak in a management pack for examples you could also make a quick copy of the extracted mp’s in the following directory “C:\Program Files\System Center Operations Manager 2007\Health Service State\Management Packs”. But would still recommend to use one of the other methods.



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SCOM Trick 26 – Seal a management pack

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When you are doing a bit of management pack authoring you will notice that you get to a point where you will want to seal your management pack. For instance because you want to reference the objects of it from another management pack.

Here is a TechNet article on how to do that:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh219340.aspx

I have used Jonathan’s method a number of times and its working perfectly:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/jonathanalmquist/archive/2008/08/19/seal-a-management-pack.aspx

Richard has also written a tool to do it with. The MP Sealer. However the link that was listed here doesn't work anymore.

Also the SCOM Authoring console will provide functionality for sealing management packs you create. However you still need to create your key pair. David Allen explains how:
http://wmug.co.uk/blogs/aquilaweb/archive/2009/07/21/sealing-a-management-pack-in-r2.aspx




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