New KB: How to add a product key to an eval version of System Center 2012 Operations Manager

SCOM, System Center, SCOM Tricks, SCOM 2012 Send feedback »

A few days ago Microsoft released a KB article which explains how to add a product key to an evaluation version of SCOM 2012. It is a simple procedure. You can find the KB article here:

How to add a product key to an eval version of System Center 2012 Operations Manager

You can check if you are using an eval version of the product by opening the SCOM Console and going to Help -> About.

SCOM eval

Good luck with that!
Bob Cornelissen

SCOM Biztalk 2010 Noise Reduction MP

SCOM, System Center, SCOM 2012 8 feedbacks »

Lately I have been working to tune a BizTalk 2010 management pack, because it was creating a lot of alerts whenever something went wrong (hundreds and sometimes thousands). I have found in the past with a BT 2006 MP that that one has the same behavior and how to get around it. While I was working on this noise reduction this week, we also got some questions and remarks from others in the community who were running into the same thing. So I thought I can generalize it a bit for this mp and post it for others to use. I did it the easy way, so anybody will see which rules were disabled and re-created.

Below is a description and an important note (which states to first test it!!) and a download link from the TechNet Gallery:

BICTT BTNR Biztalk 2010 management pack

This management pack is created in order to reduce the noise in a multitude of alerts some people see after importing the Biztalk Server 2010 management packs.

This management pack has the same version as the management pack it is meant to reduce noise from (which is 7.0.389.0 for this release).

The Microsoft management pack for Biztalk Server 2010 can be found here:
The BICTT BTNR management pack is depending on those management packs for their use.

What happened was that a number of rules check for events in the event logs of these BizTalk Servers for messages that got stuck. This would create one SCOM alert for every message that got stuck in a channel, because the message ID was specified in the alert and thus seen as unique. In multiple cases this caused hundreds or thousands of alerts in a very short time period if this happened on large volume systems. This thus caused the SCOM console to become very slow and operators could not scroll through the long list of alerts anymore to see what was going on. In some cases this resulted in a select-all and close action of operators in trying to clean up and thus throwing away other alerts as well which happened to be in their screen.

What this management pack does is to override the original rules which seem to cause this behavior and it holds exactly the same rules with one small change. It doesn’t check the contents of what we see as the Alert Description to see if it is the same. So if one of these rules is triggered multiple times on the same machine on the same channel it will give you one alert and increase the repeat counter on it.

One additional note:
Always test management packs in a test environment and see if they work as expected. This management pack is made available as-is because we got a few requests for it, but we do not provide any special support for it. Just make sure you test it yourself.

Download the BICTT BTNR Biztalk 2010 Management pack here from the TechNet Gallery.

Good luck and enjoy your monitoring!
Bob Cornelissen

Upgrading DPM 2010 to DPM 2012 RTM

DPM, System Center 5 feedbacks »

So after playing around on test machines, I found it time to upgrade our (small) production DPM 2010 installation to DPM 2012. With the RTM bits of course. Yeah! We have a few domain controllers, Exchange servers, file shares, web servers, a SharePoint server, SQL databases, System States on it.

This is a kind of step by step of what I encountered during the upgrade and you will find that I did hit some snags causing me to do something first before continuing. If you are trying to replicate these steps it is best to first read ahead to see if there is something you need to do first!

Alright, so first things I checked again was to see if protection groups are working. This seemed to be fine. Next to check the agents. I had two old agents in the list which were not protected either, so I removed them. There were no agents waiting for upgrades or unavailable.

Next thing to check is if we have the latest QFE for DPM 2010 (this is a QFE from March 2011):
If you still need to run this QFE, remember to upgrade the server components, the agents and I would advise a consistency check on the protection groups.

So the next step is to of course download the DPM 2012 iso file from wherever you get your Microsoft bits. In my case the machine is a physical server, so I used another box to unpack the files from the iso to a local path, in my case “D:\DPM12”. Its is a 3 GB file containing about 2954 files so had to give it a few minutes. And a few minutes more. Alright, my hardware is not the fastest!

While we are waiting for this it might also be a good time to backup the DPM database!
So let’s start rolling with the upgrade by starting the setup from the DPM 2012 media!

Click the Data Protection Manager to install. Accept the following agreement.
After waiting a while for the installer to unpack we get an error as follows:

Alright, so we need to download that fix from here first:

After installation of this hotfix and restarting the DPM server and updating all the agents, we can go for the next step which was the previous step… Running the installer for DPM 2012 again!

And that brings us up to the welcome page of the DPM 2012 setup.

This brings us to the prerequisite check and the question what SQL to use.

I will go for the first option and press the Check and Install button.

The check went fine, so let’s go to the next step.

Alright we need the product key from the back of the DVD. In my case that will be the back of the downloaded ISO file. After entering the product key we move on to the next step:

I had all components on the C drive already and there is sufficient space available there, so we can move ahead.

DPM creates a local user for you and you need to enter a password for this account.

We are asked whether to opt-in to Microsoft Update. So at the moment of this writing Microsoft is slowly adding the System Center 2012 products into Microsoft Update (and WSUS). I will use the opt-in setting here to connect to Microsoft Update, in order to be ready for future updates coming through that channel.

We are asked whether we want to enter into the CEIP. I click Yes and see the magic Upgrade button at the bottom of the screen. Let’s go for it.

This starts to install SQL 2008 R2. This took a while.
After this step it went into installing DPM 2012 and it gave a fail.

Alright, it looks like it had a problem copying over de old DPM 2010 database. Probably had a locked file due to SQL services stopping a bit too slow. So I went back and ran the installer again. And the result was positive!

Next on the agenda is the reboot, so did that immediately.
After the reboot I open the DPM 2012 console. Great!

So first thing I want to do is update the agents.
On the left side menu go to Management and find the agents with the following status:

We can select these agents and use the Update Available link to start updating them.
After all agents have been updated we move on to the Protection pane.
You can select a protection group and click the Consistency check button in the top menu.
All of them need to get a consistency check.

After some time you should be seeing those nice green icons again!

Of course check everything that doesn’t turn green in the console. And we now need to update DPM monitoring in SCOM as well, but that is out of scope for today!

So in all we needed to check the latest DPM 2010 update was installed and we needed another update as well before we could move ahead with the full upgrade. In this case we ran into another snag during the upgrade, but we went for it again and everything was alright.

Another update done. On to the next!
Bob Cornelissen

Technical documentation for System Center 2012 for download

SCOM, System Center, SCOM 2012 Send feedback »

Yes, we have even more new downloads for System Center!
For a number of products the technical documentation has been made available for download.
Here is a list of links:

Operations Manager 2012 :

Virtual Machine Manager 2012 :

Service Manager 2012 :

Orchestrator 2012 :

Unified Installer 2012 :

More will follow soon I guess!
Bob Cornelissen

Operations Manager 2012 Sizing Helper Tool released

SCOM, System Center, SCOM 2012 Send feedback »

Got the message that the Operations Manager 2012 Sizing Helper Tool has been released on the first of April and that this is not a joke. :roll: Have been using the SCOM 2007 sizing tool before, so now we can use the SCOM 2012 sizing tool as a reference.

The description:
The OpsMgr 2012 Sizing Helper is an interactive document designed to assist you with planning & sizing deployments of System Center 2012 Operations Manager. It helps you plan the correct amount of infrastructure needed for a new OpsMgr 2012 deployment, removing the uncertainties in making IT hardware purchases and optimizes cost. A typical recommendation will include minimum hardware specification for each server role, topology diagram and storage requirement.

Go to the Technet blog post where you can download the Excel sheet (this is the sizing helper tool) over here:

Here are some screenshots from the first page with the options and scenarios and a second one with some data from a sample I just entered.

SCOM sizing helper

And with a sample of data entered into the sheets we get for example an estimate of the database sizes:

SCOM sizing helper

Have fun sizing your SCOM 2012 deployments!
Bob Cornelissen

New SQL management pack released

SCOM, SQL, System Center, Active Directory, SCOM 2012 Send feedback »

Yesterday a new version of the SQL management pack for SCOM was released. Yes we are now on a roll with releasing new stuff! The fresh version of the SQL mp is now
The new version supports also monitoring of SQL 2012 now and will work for SCOM 2007 and 2012.

AN excerpt of some of the new stuff added taken directly from the mp downlaod page:

SQL MP version changes

Looks like a good update to the MP B)

You can download the new SQL management pack version here:

More new downloads to come!
Bob Cornelissen

New AD management pack released

SCOM, Active Directory, SCOM 2012 1 feedback »

A few days ago a new Active Directory management pack was released for SCOM. It is now version 6.0.7822.0.

The changes in the version can be seen below as taken directly from the download page:

AD MP version changes

The AD management pack is generally a good MP and it is good to see that improvements are being made every time.

You can downlaod the management pack from here:

Enjoy your monitoring!
Bob Cornelissen

nworks 5.7 automation error

SCOM, System Center, SCOM Tricks, SCOM 2012 Send feedback »

A few days ago I was playing around with auto installation of one of my favorite products, nworks 5.7, and ran into a small bug. nworks 5.7 has an installation guide with good guidance on how to use command lines to install the different components, such as EMS, WebUI and VIC.

In our case the scenario we were testing was an upgrade from nworks 5.6 to 5.7, which is supported and generally works very well. You see if you manually run the installers for EMS, UI and VIC they will auto-detect that there is a previous version installed and it will upgrade it for you with only a few questions (most have been pre-populated already for you). Got to love that product!

However when doing the upgrade through the command line we found out that only the UI installer had a problem. The EMS and VIC will run fine and continue automatically without popups when using the fully populated command line command. However the UI installer did give a popup to ask whether you want to upgrade or not. We have talked with support about it and found that this was a bug. It will be fixed in the next version.

So unfortunately we can not automate that installer as easy in this version, but we will survive. I thought it was useful to mention though that in the combi of automated command line installation with an upgrade scenario that you can run into this one on the UI installer.

Lucky that due to the upgrade recognition the upgrade process by hand is easy-peasy!
Still love nworks and the monitoring and possibilities it provides.

Good luck!
Bob Cornelissen

Blogging 3 years

Uncategorized, SCOM, System Center 1 feedback »

I just noticed that I have been blogging for three years now. Around 265 posts until now.
The last few weeks have been a bit more quiet as I got swamped with work and some other things.
I will be picking up again these weeks and am looking forward to that.
I want to thank all my readers who come regularly or just by accident or through a link to this site. Hope some of this helps.

Bob Cornelissen

SCOM Close alerts from rules

SCOM, SCOM Tricks 11 feedbacks »

Was looking at a SCOM console with a lot of alerts today at a customer site. I did not feel like going through it all, so I wanted to clean out all alerts created by a rule, which had not been modified for at least 24 hours. This is because alerts coming from rules will not auto-close like the ones from monitors generally do.

So had to create a one-liner for it B)
This is for SCOM 2007.

get-alert -criteria 'ResolutionState=''0'' AND IsMonitorAlert=''False''' |where {$_.LastModified -le (Get-Date).addhours(-24)} | resolve-alert -comment "Close old alerts generated by rules" | out-null

This will look for alerts with a New resolution state and coming from a rule, where the last modification to this alert was more than 24 hours ago, and close that alert with a small comment.

I have posted an extended script on Technet Gallery at

Sure cleaned out hundreds of old alerts :>

Allways comes in handy.
Bob Cornelissen

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