Was surprised this morning with an email stating I had earned a certification for the System Center 2012 suite. Well, I did the exams in April 2012, so I went and had a look what happened in my transcript. And at first I did not see it, but with a little scrolling I found these:
MCTS System Center 2012, Monitor and Operate
MCTS System Center 2012, Deployment and Configuration
With an achievement date of the first of January 2013.
Until now there were no separate MCTS certifications for these exams, but they were of course taken together as two exams together with an MCSA 2008 or MCSA 2012 to attain MCSE Private Cloud. Seems they changed their minds and created the MCTS anyway now for the two existing exams 70-246 and 70-247.
Well, I guess thanks Microsoft for these two certs as a 2013 new year present
I just got the confirmation that I got renewed as MVP for SCCDM (System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management) for my second year!
I want to thank the whole System Center community for making this possible!
Lets have much more fun in 2013! There will be lots to do around System Center in this year as well.
In my lab I was looking at upgrading three SCOM 2012 instances to the SP1 RTM version. Upgrading the ones which already had a pre-release version of the RTM of SP1 turned out to be no work at all, so I was left with the one which was SCOM 2012 UR3 and upgrading that one. Lets see what happened.
First of all the System Requirements from the Supported Configurations page on Technet here http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj656654.aspx
Lets see, this computer is running Windows 2008 R2 SP1 and SQL 2008 R2 SP1 and of course has SCOM 2012 with UR3 installed. We should be fine.
I did give the machine a reboot and checked everything came back up again before I went ahead with the installation. Downloaded the SCOM 2012 SP1 ISO file and attached it to the machine.
There it is. It says Service Pack 1, so on to the Install link!
One thing I forgot to say is that this is an all-in-1 installation. So all roles are combined on one machine. It doesn't have that many agents connected to it, so thats fine. As we can see it found the installed components and it wants to upgrade them all. Of course the added tip of first creating a backup of your databases! The next screen asks you to agree to the license terms.
Select installation location. In my case the default installation location is fine, so moving on!
A prerequisite checker starts running which verifies the hardware and software configuration.
The System Center Configuration service and System Center Data Access service account. You have a choice for Local System or a domain account. If the database is running locally as is the case on my machine you can leave it at Local System. If the databases are remote it required to use a domain account. Because I might move some components out from this machine I will use a domain account anyway and proceed.
The next screen tells me it is ready to upgrade and it shows me again the installation location and config/das account setting I selected.
There it is, the upgrade button. Click!
In my case it took a while for it to upgrade all the bits and pieces and there is a progress indication for each. During the Operational Database Configuration phase it also imports a whole lot of management packs, so that takes some time. After upgrade finishes, just close the setup screen.
Start the SCOM console and go to Help -> About.
Looking good! Service Pack 1 and of course still activated.
Next up are our good friends the SCOM agents.
Go to the Administration Pane of the SCOM console and open the Pending Management node.
All the agents which were installed through the SCOM console which are manageable by the console are set to Pending Management with the note Agent Requires Update. Right-click them and select Approve. In bigger installations I would it about 30 to 40 at a time. Use the default action account or one you provide yourself and select Upgrade.
In my case all success and one fail. That was a machine which was turned off actually.
Next jump over to the Monitoring Pane, and on the left hand side go to Operations Manager -> Agent Details -> Agents by Version.
As you can see in this picture the process has started already. The first two have been upgraded and have reported back their new version already. The path list is empty again for the updated agents, because they dont have a patch installed now. Its a full SP1.
Next phase would be looking at management packs. On the installation ISO there is a Management Packs directory where you can select the ones you want/need. The upgrade should have upgraded the management pack you had installed already and for which it had an updated version. It could be that you want more things, like APM, and cross plat monitoring management packs for instance.
Well, all looks nice and well now.
This upgrade was relatively easy to do because the OS and prerequisites were in place already and it was just one upgrade step for the Service Pack. Also an all-in-1 machine is easier to upgrade of course, but generally its all the same story. Upgrade all the components following the same procedures as any SCOM update for SCOM 2012.
Update: One important thing to note is that you have to update the management servers one by one. SO do not even start the wizard on the second management server if your first has not completely finished updating to SP1! See http://blogs.technet.com/b/momteam/archive/2013/01/16/patience-is-a-virtue-with-the-system-center-2012-operations-manager-sp1-installation.aspx in case you were not patient and ran into error messages when opening alerts and such.
I'm done for today. Tomorrow is another day to play with System Center!
This weekend was a good time to upgrade my DPM server from DPM 2012 with UR3 to DPM 2012 Service Pack 1. I tried to capture the whole process in words and pictures; for anybody who is interested and as a reference when looking back later.
First of all check if the server was running alright. All protection groups in a green status. Nice one!
Next I checked the agents in the Management pane and found that two of them had an update waiting, so I approved the agent update and waited for it to finish. After this step the server and agents were running 4.0.1920.0 of DPM. This is the DPM 2012 UR3 version.
Meanwhile downloaded the SP1 version and because it was an ISO file and a physical server I just extracted the files to local disk before running the upgrade.
So lets see if the software configuration supports the upgrade.
The software requirements are listed here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj651645.aspx
- Windows 2008 R2 SP1 is running here. Good enough. Check.
- SQL 2008 R2 SP1 is running on this machine. Good enough. Check.
- MS .Net Framework 3.5 SP1. Check.
- MS Visual C++ 2008 reditributable. Check.
- Powershell 2.0. Check.
- Windows Installer 4.5 or up. Having V5 here, check.
- Windows Single Instance Store (SIS). Check.
- Microsoft Application Error Reporting. Check.
Don't forget that the DPM installer will be able to install or update a few of the prerequisites as well if they are missing or not at the right level. The installation/upgrade process will let you know if it encounters any blocking issues you need to install first. Seems good to go people. Lets rock.
And to be sure this is SP1 we are installing it says so at the bottom of the screen. Just for fun, I first run the prerequisite checker. This takes me to the website with the prerequisites. Well, I was there just before, so lets move on!
Select the Install Data Protection Manager option. Accept the license terms. And wait for the program to unpack itself.
Alright, so now we can see what steps the program will go through. Moving on.
As there already is a SQL instance on the machine I keep the default and click the CHeck and Install button.
Looking good so far. Of course it gives the good advice to backup the database before upgrading. Clicking the Next button.
Enter your product key for your DPM (System Center). In my case the Copy/Paste action of the complete key in one time worked in this field. Saves me typing.
It gives us a chance to change the folders where DPM is installed. Space requirements are all good it seems.
DPM creates a few local user accounts and requests us to provide a strong password for these accounts. So we enter something which it translates to dotdotdotdot again.
In my case it is nice to use Microsoft Update, so I select that one and move on.
Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP). Just select Yes and move forward. This option makes it possible for Microsoft to anonymously receive some base data on the use of DPM, in order to use this in improving the program for future minor and major versions.
There it is, the magic Upgrade button. Lets click it!
Aha, it installs SQL 2008 R2 Service Pack 2 (remember I had SP1 installed?). And after that it will move on to the DPM upgrade. It is time to go to the kitchen and get something to drink as this will take a while. It is not the fastest hardware and things like service packs tend to take a while.
Alright! The server components have been upgraded.
On to the next step, the agents. The warning tab in the screen above states the following:
To prevent protection jobs from failing, you must now update all previously installed DPM Replication Agents. To update Replication Agents, go to the Management task area in DPM Administrator Console.
Closing the screen first popped up the Windows Update screen. After that one was finished its on to the DPM 2012 SP1 icon and open the DPM console.
In the DPM console on the left-hand side go to the Management pane. This will show your agents. In my case it looks like this:
As expected it says there is an agent update available. Until you update these agents there will be errors protecting them as well.
Clicking the Update Available link will give a popup:
So first click Yes to upgrade and we will check the protection state later.
After a while most agents have the 4.1.3313.0 version (= 2012 SP1). There is only one who would like a reboot. Will do that later.
Next I move back to the Protection Pane and find all protection groups have a critical red state. The protection status says: Replica is inconsistent. This was expected, so lets resolve that.
Right click a protection group and select Perform Consistency Check.
All this takes a while. I just select multiple and perform this consistency check and wait for all of them to finish. Plus during the consistency check they al go from red to yellow state, which looks much less dangerous.
In any case, yet another point to eat and drink something, as this takes a while. Slowly there are more and more green Data Source Health states.
I know there are a few slow data sources in here, so seeing this I know things will turn out alright in about an hour. Time to wrap up this blog post.
Update from the next morning: Everything green!
The process of upgrading DPM 2012 UR3 to DPM 2012 SP1 was an easy one as expected, mostly because the hardware and software specs were already sufficient and of course its the smallest version difference for the upgrade (outside of beta versions of course). Good one!
Update March 2013: Around every quarter Microsoft brings an update rollup (UR) for System Center products. In January they released UR1 for SP1, also for DPM. It is recommended that after the update to SP1 you have a look at what Update Rollup is the latest and install it as well.
It was about 10 months ago since I published a simple script for SCOM 2007 R2 to close old alerts coming from rules. The reasoning is that: 1) alerts from rules do not close themselves, 2) they do have a last modified date of x days ago, so might not be current anymore. In some cases we just encounter environments where a lot of alerts have been created for whatever reason and/or have not been cleaned for some time. A script can make your life easier to quickly filter these out and close them before turning your attention to the more current alerts.
Of course we want to be able to do the same for SCOM 2012. Some months ago I looked into it for half an hour and could not understand why I could not simply adjust the command to the 2012 version of the cmdlets and have it working.
Today I looked into it again for some reason and found the problem was in the Resolve-SCOMAlert command.
When looking at the functioning of the command over here http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh920262.aspx we see the following quite clear statement:
Resolves an alert. This does the same action as Set-SCOMAlert -ResolutionState 255.
And of course the good thing about the Resolve-SCOMAlert command is that we can enter a comment in the alert history saying we closed it automatically because it was too old.
However I found again that this command does not close the alert. It simply does not change the resolution state to 255 (which is "Closed").
So I have worked around it by first having this command insert the comment and next feeding the alert back into the Set-SCOMAlert command in order to close it.
On the TechNet Gallery you can now find a script to close old alerts from rules in SCOM 2012.
In the script you will find a variable with the amount of hours we define as old (Alert Last Modified), which you can change from the default 96 hours to whatever your environment desires.
Also the script assumes you run it on a management server, so it connects to localhost by default. However there are commented lines defined already where you can enter the name of a management server and connect to it remotely from something other than a SCOM management server.
The script can be downloaded from here:
SCOM 2012 script to close old alerts coming from Rules
Enjoy your cleaning up!
This is a sort of guest post from my good friend Marius van de Ven. It is about a set of management scripts for Configuration Manager. He loves to PowerShell and make his SCCM life easier and better that way. The pack of scripts can be found on TechNet Gallery:
He explains what this set of scripts is all about below:
I created some sort of "Management Pack" for SCCM 2012. This pack contains quite some scripts which should ease up the management (and maybe implementation) tasks of SCCM 2012. The following scripts + example input files are present:
The names of the scripts pretty much explain what they do, but here is a short description for all of them.
This script will add all packages to all the available DP's, except the PXE's. DP's can be excluded by changing the select query.
This script will create collections that are described in the input file. A distinction in the collections can be made by giving a different CollectionType (device or user).
This will create all the folders, within the SCCM console, to make seperation for collections, packages, etc. This makes the whole more manageable for the SCCM administrators. A distinction can be made between folders for Packages, Advertisements, Software Metering Rules, Devices and Users. Just change the FolderType in the input file to the appropriate value (see the script for an overview).
This will create all the Software Metering Rules. Not much more to say about this. Check the script for a short summary of common LanguageID's that can be used.
This script will create all the packages that are described in the input file. The packages can also be created / moved to a folder that is described in the input file (and was probably created with the create_folders.ps1 script). If the folder doesn't exist, the package will be created / placed in the root.
This will create all the programs in the package that is described in the input file. This was purposely seperated from the packages, because in some cases the program wasn't known yet and the package was. They had to be created in advance.
With this script it is possible to move collections from one folder (location) to another. I had to do this for a lot of collections / applications, because new versions were released, but we wanted to keep the old. I decided to move it all to an _old folder. This script does it fast and clean.
Same functionality as the previous script, except for the metering rules.
You could have guessed what this does Move multiple packages to new folders, fast and clean.
Most of these scripts will also work (with some minor adjustments) with SCCM 2007, but I created them especially for SCCM 2012, since more and more customers want this. Find a short 'snippet' of the create collections script + input. If you have any questions / improvements / etc. please let me know.
Note #1: I made the scripts not really in 'PowerShell style', but more in a 'VBScript style'. This is to make them more readable and understandable, also for the less experienced scripters.
Note #2: I seperated all scripts / steps, because that gives me greater control of the total management. All these scripts could also be combined in one (which I have build previously in VBScript for SCCM 2007), but I like this better. Feel free to adjust it to your needs
Note #3: I ran all these scripts from the Management Point / SCCM Server! You probably want to do that too or write a small function that makes a connect to that server.
Note from Bob Cornelissen:
This looks like a very nice set of scripts to make your life easier. And of course I see more possibilities to bring this into a combination with other System Center products even.
Feel free to send me your suggestions for changes/improvements/additions and so on and I will pass them on to Marius.
You might have seen this out in the community already during some discussions and forum posts and such, but now we can tell you that the SP1 version of System Center 2012 is RTM (no not today, it was already at that stage an undisclosed amount of days ago). However today is the day it has been placed on TechNet and MSDN in order to download for people who have access to these. So now I can talk about it a bit more. Just to be clear, this does not mean everybody can download and use it yet, this is not GA. The GA date will be disclosed at a point in the near future when all the announcements will be made and everybody will have the pleasure of working with this great release!
Also the documentation is not at a final release on the internet yet, but this will also be updated soon.
There are lots of great things in this release for all the products. Of course the Windows 2012 support for both the System Center server backend machines and the managed/monitored systems is a big one. But there is a lot more in there!
Can't wait to install the latest bits and start using it in a final version.
For those who can not download and use it yet... well there is lots to do during the holiday season of these weeks! Enjoy the season and your family and friends and food and drinks and so on!
I want to congratulate the System Center Product Team with this achievement and of course to also extend seasons greetings to them!
Update 21-Dec: FAQ
Q: Is SP1 RTM?
Q: Is SP1 GA? Or when will it be GA?
A: It is not GA today. I do not know when it is going to be GA and/or can not say. Microsoft will let us know at the GA point in time that it will be GA. Thats how its gonna be.
Q: Can I download and use SP1?
A: If you are TechNet or MSDN subscriber and have the right access rights (perhaps all subscribers have those rights, I dont know), you will see it and be able to downlaod and use it. Many people/customers/admins who do not have access to these tools will not be able to download/get it until GA. But I guess this is also linked to availability of license keys (if you start all over with SC 2012 at that level), and documentation and all such things. In this way the people who are playing with the products and test and investigate can use it for a few days/weeks/?? until GA and can hit the ground running.
The Born to Learn team has posted a nice interactive graphic which shows you how to find training and get certified for Windows Server (2012). The linked picture below will take you there.
Enjoy your learning path!
Hi friends. Because I get this question more often, lets paste the commands again to license your SCOM 2012 server.
First check your license status.
Open an Operations Manager Shell and type/paste:
Get-SCOMManagementGroup | ft skuforlicense, version, timeofexpiration –a
If you on an eval version you will see something like the following
The word Eval gives it away, as well as an end-date within days to months.
What you need first it to find your System Center 2012 license somewhere. Once you have it you can apply it with another command - where the 99999 thing is of course to be replaced by your key:
Set-SCOMLicense -ProductId '99999-99999-99999-99999-99999'
Answer "Y" to confirm your action
Now you could get an error at this point looking like this:
In a text version the most important pieces is this:
Set-SCOMLicense : Requested registry access is not allowed.
If you encounter this, just open a normal Powershell, but use the right-click and Run As Administrator. Next, because it is not an Operations Manager Shell you need to import the SCOM module first and next enter the command again.
Set-SCOMLicense -ProductId '99999-99999-99999-99999-99999'
Answer "Y" to confirm your action
After this restart your SCOM server and check the license status again.
And there we go. It says retail and it is valid for a few more years, or at least longer than I expect to live Don't look at the version, I was too lazy to wait for the reboot so took it off another server.
Hope this helps, also if you get that nice registry error again
Reference the MS KB article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2699998
Windows Server 2012 Essentials management pack for SCOM 2012 has been released. I missed it a good week ago or so , but just in case... Here is the link to the
Windows Server 2012 Essentials Management pack