Microsoft released a KB article containing a fix for one of the following cases:
In System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 environments you may see the following:
- The Data warehouse size grows, and upon investigation you discover that partitions are not being dropped/optimized even though grooming jobs are showing as running successfully.
- Report results do not match the resource availability and do not match the visible data in the Operations Manager console.
Keep in mind that the script to fix these items requires first that SCOM 2007 R2 with CU7 is installed a minimum version.
The KB article can be found here:
Microsoft published a new KB article. This is for the combination of VMM 2012 and SCOM 2012 and running PRO mp's. It can happen that the resulting groups contain CHinese characters. This can occur due to a missing languagecode in the SCOM database. The KB article contains the method to fix this issue if it affects you.
It seems a few days ago a regression error was found with SCOM in combination with a rollup hotfix KB2775511. We are talking potentially both SCOM servers and agents. The rollup however is a rollup of about 89 hotfixes. We have no info yet on which specific files/hotfixes would be involved. We only have heard about the rollup itself. More info will surely follow.
Currently it is advised to not roll out KB2775511 if you are running SCOM. No advise on the contained hotfixes separately, but I would opt to wait for more info regarding this issue before deploying any of those separately on servers.
The notice with the warning is from this website.
Update: I havent been able to locate this one on my laptop (Microsoft Update) and WSUS. So perhaps not that many people are running this KB2775511 yet. I hope so.
Last night Microsoft released UR3 for System Center 2012 SP1. This covers at least a few products according to the page where the UR3 is explained over here.
For now it says App Controller and DPM and SCOM and VMM in this KB article.
Not all updates will necessarily be available at the same time by the way. Some downloads might be available today and some might be available at a later time.
For myself the SCOM pieces are the first items of interest for today
Will check out the rest tomorrow.
I saw the download link for the SCOM update was not shown yet on the KB page, but you can get the SCOM downloads here: http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Search.aspx?q=2852565
I already saw these popping up in my WSUS server as well.
What does the SCOM update contain???
According to the KB article today it should contain the following items (taken directly from that KB page):
Operations Manager Update (KB2852565)
The Audit Collection Services (ACS) dtPrincipal tables sometimes are missing a user's domain name.
If you decide to see more than two days' worth of data in a Service Level Dashboard view, the data is displayed from the Daily Aggregated data and does not contain the last two days' worth of data.
The Health Service stops collecting performance data on Windows Server 2008 R2.
The web console crashes when the Active Alerts view and the Windows Computer State view are accessed at the same time when Internet Explorer 9 is used.
A memory leak may occur in the console when the performance widgets dashboard is left open.
When the Operator role is used, many 26319 events are generated. This causes performance problems.
Health Service availability reports are incorrect because of duplicate entries in the HealthServiceOutage table.
When the Orchestrator Integration pack is under a high-load scenario, a software development kit (SDK) process deadlock may occur.
This update includes fixes to the following Advisor Connector issues:•Group opt-in
•Microsoft System Center 2012 Operations Manager gateway and Microsoft monitoring
•Windows PowerShell cmdlets
•Microsoft Knowledge Base article links in Operations Manager console alerts
Operations Manager - UNIX and Linux Monitoring (Management Pack Update)
The Solaris agent cannot be installed on Solaris 11.1 because it does not find the prerequisite OpenSSL package.
Knowledge editing pages are not displayed when monitors that were created by the Shell Command templates are edited.
Log files that are encoded in schemes other than ASCII cannot be monitored.
Alright, thats it for SCOM it seems
I saw that last night Microsoft released Update Rollup 4 for System Center Advisor for download and to WSUS.
The KB article explains where to get it (I already hinted that also WSUS gives this one) and what is contained.
From the KB article:
Issues that Update Rollup 4 fixes
This update resolves the following issues:
•Advisor RunAs account setting has to be more robust.
•Advisor on-premises agent displays information bugs.
•Advisor on-premisea agent and gateway components have to be stabilized.
By the way also in SCOM 2012 R2 there will be more Advisor links between SCOM and Advisor so we can integrate and improve this platform. So looking forward to that later! I will blog about these things more at a later date.
Happy monitoring with Advisor!
A few days ago Microsoft released the BizTalk 2013 management pack into the wild with version 7.0.1033.0
It can be found and downloaded from this page.
So of course this is a fresh pack to monitor BizTalk Server 2013 with. At the basis was the BizTalk 2010 management pack, however a few known issues and a few remarks from the MVP community were taken into account. SO this pack is better than the 2010 pack. Especially the amount of alerts is less now, because some seemingly duplicate alerts are being suppressed. This means that I do not have to write another Noise Reduction Management pack for this 2013 version of the pack anymore
There are some things to keep into account though.
If you are intending to run BizTalk 2010 and BizTalk 2013 monitoring side by side there are a few things.
- FIrst of all when running both downloaded MSI files to extract the management packs from them the second MSI will fail telling you it is already installed. Simply remove the other one from control panel programs and run the other one. Remember to first copy the extracted .mp files from the "c:\program files (x86)\system center management packs\" directory!
- Second if you install both the RFID management pack files, the second one will give an error due to duplicate relationship type.
- And you will notice that when looking into the authoring pane and such while trying to find one of the classes/rules/monitors and such the entries for both versions look the same. Its a bit of a search to find which is which in some cases. By the way also in the management pack list and in the runas profiles there will be duplicate entries (seemingly). Underneath they are different and version specific though.
It is good to see some improvements have been made to the pack, and I certainly hope the next itteration will contain more fixes to already communicated details and small issues surrounding these kind of packs. We are moving forward with this.
So enjoy your BizTalk monitoring!
A few days ago Microsoft released the a newer version (7.0.391.0) of its BizTalk 2010 management pack. The pack can be downloaded from this page.
Basically it seems to address a known issue with a discovery to be able to handle a large amount of BizTalk artifacts. I can not see anything else has changed. Be aware that the What's new section in the MP guide is actually the contents of the initial pack of 3 years ago and not relates to this specific version iteration of the pack.
This means my BizTalk Noise reduction management pack for version 2010 is still valid and needed if you plan to run this monitoring pack!
There is one more thing to keep in mind. If you also plan to run the BizTalk 2013 packs (see my next blog post), and you run the MSI from the download it will say that it has already been installed (it thinks the 2010 pack extraction is the same), so if that happens remove the pack from control panel - programs and install the other one in order to extract the mp files. Also if you want to run both the RFID packs for both BT versions this will not import because of a duplicate relationship type. Most are not importing this specific thing, but just to make you aware. Have already let my friends at MS know about these issues and I hope they will be fixed.
I had hoped more known issues, like the noise reduction, would have been fixed, but I guess there is room for improvement for a future version of the same pack? Not sure if we will see that though for the 2010 pack.
An interesting link showed up in the Microsoft Downloads page. Seems like our SCOM 2012 environments will be more than ready for the upcoming R2 of Server 2012. Microsoft has just released *preview* MPs for the all the major infrastructure components in R2 like AD, DNS, DHCP, RDS, Hyper-V and so on. Most of the packs are only updated to include support for R2, but some of them have new features.
Here is summary of the MPs with new features:
AD LDS MP
Discovery of AD LDS instances, configuration sets, and application partitions
Monitoring the availability of AD LDS instances and application partitions
Monitoring replication between AD LDS instances
Monitoring AD LDS server availability from AD LDS clients
Client Perspective Monitoring
Replication Instance Topology Report
Instance Info Report
DFS Replication MP
Support for clustered namespaces
Support for clustered replication group members
DHCP availability monitoring
IP address range consumption monitoring
Policy IP range health
File Server MP
Fixed MaxConcurrentAPI issues.
Changed Cluster Discovery to only discover volumes and resource type “Physical Disk”.
Added performance rules and reports for Windows Server 2012 R2 that target Windows Server 2012 R2 Operating System
As mentioned, the other MPs for AD, DNS, Failover Cluster, Hyper-V, WSUS, RDS, NLB, are updated to support for Windows 2012 R2.
As usual you can find all the monitoring scenarios in the MP guides.
Most likely by the time of the release of the RTM of Server 2012 R2 these packs will be updated again, but for now you can download the preview bits from the Microsoft download page here.
Since a few hours the Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 Preview bits are available on MSDN and TechNet. SO we can go ahead and download those files. It could be that relating to what access you have to these platforms you will see a few which are yet unavailable, but they will be available soon. In my case I could access all of them.
Also available are the preview of Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Preview, and the SQL 2014 CTP1 preview also seems to be here already if you are a die hard SQL fan.
SO now we can start playing around with some Windows and System Center R2 products and see what changed and what we like
Savision is of course known for its Live Maps software which helps to visualize the health of objects in your SCOM monitoring in a way everybody can understand what is going on. Savision has since a long time also had a Web Console where the dashboards could be viewed through an http(s) connection. From SCOM and other notification tools which add-on to SCOM we are used to pushing alerts towards some IT staff, sometimes based on the source of alerts in relationship to their function within the IT organization for instance. What Savision now adds is a mobile solution to view the overall state of only the maps you are interested in and receiving notifications if such a map changes state. This reduces a lot of alert noise. Currently the mobile apps are available for Android and IOS. The Windows Phone version is still in development and is expected at a later date.
In the article below I will list some lessons learned and of course some features of the product. Pictures are kept large, so we can see whats going on.
My environment for this run:
On the backend I am using a single SCOM server version 2012 SP1 UR2 and using Savision Live Maps 2012 version 1.2.1. As my mobile device I used an iPad mini.
In general, before starting you should read the Savision Installation Guide where the basic installation steps are listed for the server side and client side (the Installation guide can be found on the Savision training center page). Also refer to this article from Savision founder Dennis Rietvink on the mobile access feature with explanations on how it works (http://www.savision.com/resources/blog/mobile-access-system-center-operations-manager). A little further below here I also have an architecture picture which will show the involved components and how they fit together.
Getting the server side working:
I am keeping this part short as it is just following the install guide steps and some additional steps are mentioned.
- When running the full installer of Savision Live Maps 2012 version 1.2.1 we install the Live Maps authoring console, because we need some maps and register the product.
- At the same time I installed all other Savision Live Maps components as well.
- I enter all required information, like pointing the web console to the SCOM Web Console, entering management server details.
- Also at some point the popup comes for the account to use with the mobile access service. This account is used to register mobile devices, so needs SCOM Admin access (I used the SDK account here).
- When configuring the Savision Web Console, make sure you select the Forms based authentication.
- At the end of the procedure be sure to first open up the Authoring Console and register the product with your license key.
- Create some maps (I already had some).
- My Savision Web Console was installed on port 52909 as usual (I did not change that for this environment).
- Open up the SCOM console and in the Monitoring pane go to the Live Maps Mobile folder and select the Mobile Device Notification Service discovered inventory view and it should list the service and be in a green healthy state.
- So what is needed now is to provide access for the mobile devices to access the Savision Web Console URL. So I published this specific web console to a URL on the outside (in my case I did not bother to go with SSL for the temporary environment, but it is advised to do so) and in this case I published it at port TCP 52909 all the same.
- Just make sure the web traffic from mobile device ends up at the Savision Web Console on the correct port. You can test this by using a regular browser on the mobile device or your laptop from the outside and login through the forms based authentication screen and make sure the account you use has access to the maps in the dashboard you are interested in.
- The account used to access Live Maps can be an Operator account for instance, so does not need to be an administrator.
- Also for the notifications to work the server where the mobile device notification service is located must be able to access the internet on port 443 (usually this works already).
This takes care of the three items in the middle and to the right of this architecture picture (copied with permission from Savision blog):
Now let’s get to work on getting the mobile device talking to this backend.
Going to the client side:
Alright, this is where I will start to make it visual for you, as I had some lessons learned here as well. Also some things were specific for my situation and my type of device.
So let’s start by starting up the iPad mini and going to the App Store. Do a search for “Savision”.
At first it did not find anything, because it was searching specifically for iPad Apps.
Lesson learned: Select the other tab to find the iPhone Apps and there is the Savision Live Maps app. In this picture it is already installed, but if you haven’t got it already just click the Install button.
Next up is the configuration.
So first enter the server name. Make sure the http or https is correctly used and if you are using the port number, like I did, also include that in the URL. It is the same as what you used in the browser to access the system. Enter the domain name for the user. Enter the user name. Enter the password for this user.
The very next thing to do is to click on the Views line here. At this moment you will see a small popup that the device is being registered. This will run for a few seconds and you will see the Favorites Picker screen (see below). However I want to point out at this moment the Allow Notifications option. By default this is turned off. So turn this on at this step or go back to the configuration after you selected the maps you want to keep an eye on through this app. You can check that a device is registered also from the SCOM side (see even further below, we will get to that later).
However in this case I got an almost immediate error “Couldn’t register”. After researching and trying different situations and options together with Savision Support we found that it was due to an Ampersand sign ( & ) I had in the password for the account I was using first. Savision will list this as a bug and solve this in a future release. So for this specific version, make sure you do not have an ampersand in the password.
Now we want to be able to select which Live Maps we are interested in. Use the search function to look for the maps. In this case I find 4 maps and tap their names to select them all. Next tap on the Save button.
This should be the first result. It should bring the state of the maps you selected to the app. Tap on the refresh button to refresh faster if you are in a rush.
Now let’s get back to the notifications side. When clicking the Configuration button below you can enable the Allow Notifications option. This was shown a few pictures back above.
Lesson learned: At this point I started to break stuff on the SCOM side in order to get a state change of the dashboards and to receive an alert on my mobile device. I did see the state of the maps changing in the application, but I did not see any alerts. It turns out that on the iPad (and iPhone) there is another place to configure how notifications show up on the device. So here goes for the next steps.
On the iPad I went to the general Settings.
Select the Notifications tab and find the Live Maps entry on the right hand side.
Lesson learned: In my case there was no Live Maps entry here. And disabling and enabling notifications in the Live Maps app did not help. Together with Savision Support we actually found out there is a bug where this can occasionally happen (in their case also on an iPhone). They will fix this in a future version update. I found the workaround is to remove the app completely from your device and to re-install it again.
Normally selecting the Live Maps entry in the notifications area should bring you to this screen. Here you can select several options for the alerts, like the style etc. These are the options I used in this case.
At this point I first made the maps I am interested in green again and made sure the app also saw this change. Let’s try to break stuff again. I have a monitor on a machine in my environment which will go red and fire an alert, because of an issue I have been too lazy to fix for the moment, so I can reset its health to make stuff green again and within a short time it will turn red again. So leave the iPad and wait for a number of minutes.
There we go. Yes I cropped the image a lot, but you can see the notification in the middle. If I unlock the screen and on the iPad I sweep from the top down there is also another notification screen where I can see stuff:
Yes there are also other icons there I will discuss at a later time. Let’s focus on this one first!
So open up the Live Maps app from the notifications area or just open the app.
Refresh the screen if it doesn’t display the changes yet (It will do that, its just not polling every second… ). Here we can see two maps have gone red. Actually in this case the Netherlands map is nested into the Europe map. We can see there are arrows, where we can move into more details as for the alerts available (remember that a health state change doesn’t require an alert to be there, although in many cases there is). This is an important thing actually to notice. As long as the health state changes it will show up here and you know something is going on, even if an alert was not created or if somebody manually closed the alert without fixing the problem. It happens.
In any case the alerts belonging to this map are now retrieved. This can take a few additional seconds, so don’t panic right away. Here is the list of alerts we have. Only one in my case. Let’s tap on it and move into the details of it.
Here is the alert. I did join two screens together here which makes the screenshot longer, but it has a scroll bar normally.
Yes this server happens to have a Forefront 2010 client on it and it has a job which tries to push the SCEP 2012 client without first removing the old software. It doesn’t like that. Will fix that later.
So, now as promised what does this look like from the SCOM side?
I have touched upon the discovered inventory view right above this one which lists the state of the Mobile Device Notification Service. It was green. Nothing more to see there. What we are seeing in this discovered inventory view, with name Registered Mobile Devices, are the devices registered through that Live Maps app on mobile devices. My buddy Michiel from Savision Support was connected and my own iPad is listed here. We can see the type of device and version and the owner name (as entered in the device). Also we can see that this device has Notifications Enabled (while the one from Michiel has not). Also it lists the user and domain used to connect, which you entered in the configuration of the mobile app on your mobile device. And just to show you on the left hand side you can see the 4 Live Maps I used in this case, both dashboard and list type maps.
One nice feature from an admin perspective is that you can actually see which maps are in the users list by right clicking this device in this view and opening a Diagram View. It will list the maps the user selected there.
I like the idea of this mobile app and I also like the idea of making it very easy to use. Also it shows me only the alerts and health states I am interested in. Even if there are no alerts configured for a certain health state change which impacts my applications nonetheless. It notifies you if the state of one or more of the maps changes.
In general I use Live Maps to create overall dashboards to use in the NOC and helpdesk and for managers to look at. These are always multi layered dashboards where you can zoom into maps/lists/dashboards one or more levels underneath which reflect specific services or applications or distributed applications. Some IT staff only needs to be notified about a limited set of these IT services and this mobile access also gives the possibility of only selecting those maps and be notified only for those and find related alerts for only these services.
A very nice product and addition to your toolset!
The Mobile access feature is part of the Enterprise license of Live Maps 2012. However if you run Standard and still want to be able to use this feature without upgrading to the Enterprise version, because you have no use for the rest of the Enterprise features (such as Bing Maps integration and SC Service Manager integration), just send me an email.
BICTT is a long time Gold Partner of Savision and always deeply involved in feature requests, testing, troubleshooting, promoting and teasing the people at Savision.
Much thanks to Michiel Rens from Savision Support for working through some tests with me. Thanks to Dennis Rietvink for letting me use his architecture picture. And thanks to Savision for creating great stuff and always taking and giving direct feedback and applying it into their products!