Jalasoft released the new Xian SNMP Device Simulator v4.
This is a grrrrreat SNMP network device simulation tool which was and still is free of charge. It is great for instance for playing around with network monitoring in SCOM. I have been playing with previous versions a lot for testing and demo purposes. The great and innovative engineers at Jalasoft have now created a new version of this tool (v4) with some architectural changes and new possibilities and an expanded set of default available devices to simulate. It is now based upon agents which get installed on Windows machines with multiple IP addresses; and one console of this tool in the same network will manage these agents and start the devices you want on the IP addresses you select. It is very easy and quick. I will write more about this soon and provide some examples.
But for now here are the announcements:
This will improve our possibilities to play around with network monitoring and for demo purposes. Thank you very much Jalasoft!
As announced a month ago the UR2 update rollup for SCOM 2012 SP1 was released. One of the known issues of this update was that the gateway servers did not get their agent distribution folders updated. This was because there were no fixes for the bits of the gateway role itself. However of course the gateways do have the agentmanagement folder where the SCOM agents and their latest update can be found. This caused that folder to not be updated with the latest agent fixes. Simple workaround was to copy those newest files from an updated Management Server. Meanwhile Microsoft worked on a fix. A week ago Microsoft released through WSUS the UR2 update package for SCOM Gateway servers.
This was one highly requested MP that we have been waiting for. The Exchange 2013 Management pack for SCOM is now released. It works on SCOM 2007 R2 and SCOM 2012. The released version today of this management pack is 15.00.0620.030
For those who knew the Exchange 2010 management pack and its special correlation engine: the correlation engine is gone now! (Yes, I am happy with that!!).
A Quote from the post:
“If you are familiar with the Exchange 2010 Management Pack, you know that it had a service called the correlation engine that ran on the Root Management Server. It basically correlated health data from all monitored Exchange components. In the Exchange 2013 Management Pack, the correlation engine is no longer used”
This is the TechNet blog post:
The download can be found here:
The Management pack guide online version can be found here:
Exchange 2013 Management Pack Guide
We will probably write more about this mp later when we had more experience with what it looks like in real life. It looks like they have kept the number of views very low at least.
If you are monitoring DPM 2012 through SCOM 2012 and you have multiple DPM servers setup you might want to gain more insight into the status of the backup service as a whole and point to the issues at hand from a central location. In that case I would like to bring to your attention a blog post (and more to come) from my good friend and fellow System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP -> Steve Buchanan.
In his post he shows us how we can take advantage of the Distributed Application feature of SCOM, whereby you can link the health status of separate objects together into one Distributed Application. This creates a single location where your application can be viewed and the status of the objects is combined and can be reported on with Service Level Agreement views and availability reports. A good entry for any higher level dashboards where you can see the status of other central services as well.
Go and see Steve's blogpost here:
Enjoy your backups and your monitoring at the same time!
Yesterday the Windows Server Management Pack got a new update to version 6.0.7026.0 .
Changes in This Update
The April 2013 update (version 6.0.7026.0) of the Windows Server Operating System Management Pack contains the following changes:
- Fixed a bug in Microsoft.Windows.Server.2008.Monitoring.mp where the performance information for Processor was not getting collected.
- Made monitoring of Cluster Shared Volume consistent with monitoring of Logical Disks by adding performance collection rules. (“Cluster Shared Volume - Free space / MB”,”Cluster Shared Volume - Total size / MB”,”Cluster Shared Volume - Free space / %”,”Cluster Disk - Total size / MB”,”Cluster Disk - Free space / MB”,”Cluster Disk - Free space / %”)
- Fixed bug in Microsoft.Windows.Server.ClusterSharedVolumeMonitoring.mp where the Cluster disks running on Windows Server 2008 (non R2) were not discovered.
- Fixed bug 'Cluster Disk Free Space Percent' and Cluster Disk Free Space MB' monitors generate alerts with bad descriptions when the volume label of a cluster disk is empty.
- Added feature to raise event when NTLM requests time out and customers are unable to use mailboxes, outlook stops responding, due to the low default value for Max Concurrent API registry Key (HLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Netlogon\Parameters) , which is a ceiling for the maximum NTLM or Kerberos PAC password validations a server can take care of at a time. It uses the “Netlogon” performance counter to check for the issue.
A few weeks ago I posted an article about some of my lessons learned for SCOM 2012 SP1 command line installations. It contained a very long Lesson 4 talking about creation and placement and naming of mostly the Datawarehouse database. I discussed the difference of SQL 2008 R2 and SQL 2012 in default file paths for databases and log files and its effect on the placement of the datawarehouse files. And of course the remaining effect that the created files have no name. As I explained for the GUI based setup there is a workaround by adding the datawarehouse database name as a folder name in the installation path of the database (basically this is using the bug in the install script ). SO lets go for the addendums to the lessons because there is hope:
Lesson 4 addendum 1:
Now I have been informed that there are a few additional install switches, until now not documented on the TechNet pages. This enables us to use the same trick as in the GUI. And of course this also enables us to change the paths for the opsdb and DW db separately, which was what I needed as well. These are listed below together with an example using a shorter path name:
/DatabasePath: "D:\Program Files\SQLstuff\Data"
/DatabaseLogPath: "E:\Program Files\SQLstuff\Data"
/DWDatabasePath: "D:\Program Files\SQLstuff\Data"
/DWDatabaseLogPath: "E:\Program Files\SQLstuff\Data"
Thanks to Byron Ricks for sending me these additional switches.
So what do we do if we want to make use of the trick to get the datawarehouse to be installed in the right directory and also for it to use the name we want? We append the database name we want to both the DW install paths.
/DWDatabasePath: "D:\Program Files\SQLstuff\Data\OperationsManagerDW"
/DWDatabaseLogPath: "E:\Program Files\SQLstuff\Data\OperationsManagerDW"
In my case this now created an empty folder with that name on my SQL box with that name, but the DW database was installed one level higher (where we wanted it) and with the right name (what we wanted). Now I can expand the script to have it clean up that empty directory later in the install process after checking for succesfull installation of the product.
Note: This happened to be a test with a SQL 2008 R2 SP2 backend server.
Lesson 2 addendum 1:
The previous post talked about the correct syntax of the /AcceptEndUserLicenseAgreement installation switch. And it talked about this only being needed for the first management server. However I have heard from a friend of mine that this is true for SCOM 2012 RTM, but that for a clean install of SCOM 2012 SP1 this switch is needed for all management servers. It will take a few more days until I can claim and clean a larger test environment for the clean deployment of a larger number of servers and components and I will write back with an update if I can confirm this story. In any case, if installing without this switch on a second management server gives you an error you can try to add this switch with a value of 1 and see if it works.
Update 10 June 2013: I can confirm this is needed also for other scripted installs. I ran into this requirement as well with the installation of a stand-alone Web Console server. So from now on I always add the /AcceptEndUserLicenseAgreement:1 to any install.
As soon as I claim and clean that other test environment I will be deploying a lot more components and will see what we run into and blog it back here. Keep in mind that this is just one of the possible setups, as you can have several prerequisite setups. For instance, are you installing on Windows 2008 R2 SP1 and SQL 2008 R2 SP2, or are you installing on Windows 2012 and SQL 2012 SPx? These can have diverse and sometimes unexpected effects as I have shown with the path variable inside SQL in my previous post. But never be discouraged
Released yesterday was the Update Rollup 2 for System Center 2012 SP1. Keep in mind this is not the one for System Center 2012 RTM version (got released yesterday as UR5), Only update rollups for SP1 below!
This release contains updates for: App Controller, SCOM, Service Manager, DPM, Orchestrator.
It is a long list of updates, so here is the link to check out what got fixed and where to dowload the separate components (if you are not using WSUS, where it should appear as well).
Hope this helps fix some issues for you and happy manageing of your datacenters!
Yesterday Update ROllup 5 for System Center 2012 was released.
It contains fixes for VMM 2012 and SCOM 2012. Keep in mind that this does not include the 2012 SP1, who have their own set of update rollups. From the KB site:
Issues that are fixed in Update Rollup 5
Virtual Machine Manager (KB2824618)
A host that is put into maintenance mode does not load-balance virtual machines in a cluster during evacuation. This causes host reserve saturation.
Operations Manager (KB2831729)
The Solaris agent could run out of file descriptors when many multi-version file systems (MVFS) are mounted.
Logical and physical disks are not discoverable on AIX-based computers when a disk device file is contained in a subdirectory.
Rules and monitors that were created by using the UNIX/Linux Shell Command templates do not contain overridable ShellCommand and Timeout parameters.
Process monitors that were created by using the UNIX/Linux Process Monitoring template cannot save in an existing management pack that has conflicting references to library management packs.
The Linux agent cannot install on a CentOS or Oracle Linux host by using the FIPS version of OpenSSL 0.9.8.
All this good stuff including separate download links can be found here:
Great news! Veeam released the newest version of their SCOM 2012 management pack, what used to be known as Nworks, and is now called Veeam Management Pack. Version 6 is yet another big step forward in the evolution of this management pack.
The news release can be found over here:
I am very excited, as I have always been excited about this specific product, as it provides great insights into your VMware infrastructure and adds great value to any SCOM monitoring solution where VMware is being used in an infrastructure.
I will probably blog more about this later. However I have to fly soon, so no more time left for today
For one of my customers I have been fooling around with a clean SCOM 2012 SP1 install through command line. I ran into some issues and workarounds that you might want to be aware of. There are probably more to come, but I thought it better to post this piece first.
First of all we would start with the TechNet page about installing operations manager by using the command prompt window:
Also pay attention to the end of the article where there are specific references to different scenario's, such as installing on a single server, installing first management server, the web console and so on.
Of course there are prerequisites we can script as well, such as .net Framework 4 installer and the Report Viewer 2010 installer and the IIS prerequisites. Take them along.
When installing the FIRST management server (or when it is the only one..) you need to accept the end user agreement. This is done through the "/AcceptEndUserLicenseAgreement" switch. However the documentation is currently wrong (as are the examples in the referenced example pages). The option you should use is "/AcceptEndUserLicenseAgreement:1".
I still do not know where this came from, but I had a few runs during the initial testing where it did not want to accept
multiple entries for the "/components:" switch, but I attributed that to the environment and the script. Because later after having re-written the script anyway, it did not give these errors anymore. When in doubt just type the commands again on a separate line and throw out the old one.
This is a longer lesson, as it is multi part
When using the command line install, there is no option to change the database and log paths for each database. These options are available in the setup wizard. Of course we ran into this because of a known issue (read release notes!!) where setup tries to create files without a file name and only an extension for the datawarehouse database (so ".mdf" and ".ldf" are created).
There is a solution to this if the files are created already by using a solution as mentioned here:
And when using the setup wizard GUI you can work around this by "using the error" in the script to circumvent this by adding the file name you want without a trailing "\" at the end of the line as blogged here:
However, as stated earlier the command line does not give an option for this. So what happens? Well, that depends on your settings in SQL and rights and the version of SQL as it turns out!
First of all if you can not specify the database and log paths, it will take the default paths defined on your SQL instance. For fun open the SQL Management Studio and take a look at the properties of the server and go to the "database settings" tab. Near the bottom you will see the default paths. This should be where the command line wizard tries to place the files for both databases. Now take a look at the very end of those paths and determine if your SQL is using a "\" at the end of the line. I found that SQL 2008 R2 is not using it and that SQL 2012 is using it. And I can not change the bahavior by manually adjusting this setting (remember that this is a registry setting in the end, so you need to restart SQL to get it active).
This has an effect, due to the error in the sql creation script for the datawarehouse. That script looks at the path variable, either from the setup wizard GUI or from SQL default settings as discussed above. Due to the error in the script it expects the last thing in the path to be a trailing "\", otherwise it will see the last characters after the last "\" to be the file name you want for the datawarehouse. In many cases this would be something like "X:\Program Files\blabla\blabla\MSSQL\Data" and for the SQL 2008 R2 version I found the path to be like this without the trailing "\". So what does it try to do in this case? It tries to create a database file called data.mdf in the MSSQL folder one level up. In my case this gave an immediate access denied and of course a roll-back of the whole installation.
In SQL 2012 the above problem does not exist as far as I know, because it keeps adding a trailing "\" to the end of the folder path. So in that case we are back to http://www.bictt.com/blogs/bictt.php/2013/01/25/scom-2012-sp1-strange-file
In SQL 2008 R2, if you run into this you could work around this by assigning the SQL service account enough rights (lets go for full control for now) in the folder one level higher. Run the installer again and it will create data.mdf and data.ldf in my example in the MSSQL folder. And from there you can also both move and rename the file as in http://www.bictt.com/blogs/bictt.php/2013/01/25/scom-2012-sp1-strange-file
Of course you can script the moving and renaming of these files as well, however it depends on the environment you are in to determine how to do those things. Stuff like paths and if you first want to check those paths and such require some thinking script-wise, but it can be done.
Yeah, it seems I can still install SCOM faster by hand *grin*.
I will probably have more lessons learned soon, but thought to post this set first.
Update 7 May 2013: Lessons learned addendums to Lessons 2 and 4 are posted in the post "SCOM 2012 SP1 command line install lessons learned update 1". The update to lesson 4 contains additional switches to manipulate the database file paths!