The SCOM 1807 Story

A few months ago SCOM 1807 was released at the end of July 2018. It was a release we had been waiting for due to some fixes and due to some features.
Let’s discuss a few things about this release according to this agenda:

• New Features in SCOM 1807
• Issues Fixed in SCOM 1807
• Where to get SCOM 1807
• The migration from earlier versions of SCOM to 1807

I fear it is going to be a bit of text to bring all of this together, but I have been asked questions about these subjects several times and by now I have done a few upgrades and I can say I am happy with the progress.

Here we go…

New Features in SCOM 1807

SCOM Agent and APM

Since SCOM 2016 and 1801 we have seen several issues with the APM component of the SCOM agent (an add-on automatically installed and set to disabled really) in combination with certain IIS web servers. It would cause the application pools to have problems and crash. Because everybody has been waiting for the App-Insights team to fix the APM agent bits for good and it taking too long there have been several workarounds. One of those was to simply uninstall the APM component of the SCOM agent in case you were not using APM monitoring for this server anyway. The other method was to disable a rule (Apply APM Agent configuration) which turns on the RTIA Profiler even for machines with disabled APM agent, and that was the actual cause of the problems.
In SCOM 1807 the agent install and repair options from the SCOM console now have an additional checkbox where you can remove the APM component from the agent. Also the PowerShell cmdlets install-scomagent and repair-scomagent now have the -NoAPM switch so you can avoid or remediate any issues you may have. In some cases where a customer of mine was not using APM and was not looking like they were going to use it in any near future I also removed the APM management packs from SCOM. Keep in mind that with some of the upgrades and pack installs you might see some packs appear again and to clean up afterwards.

Support for SQL 2017

Once you have SCOM 1807 installed you can upgrade your SQL backend for SCOM to SQL 2017. Keep in mind the order this is stated in. First get your SCOM 1801 on SQL 2016 and upgrade SCOM first to 1807 and next upgrade your SQL to SQL 2017. No fresh installs on 2017 yet here. The reason will be clear soon below at the installation and upgrade scenarios section. More information on how to upgrade SQL backend to SQL 2017 when running SCOM 1807 is included here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/system-center/scom/upgrade-sqlserver-2017-opsmgr-1807?view=sc-om-1807

Cross-plat agent

There have been some issues in the past where a lot of activity on the cross-plat (xplat, Unix/Linux) agent caused its log file to fill up and fill the disk it is on. Now the SCX cross-plat agent has rotating logs so it will not fill up the disk it is on. Some more information on how to change default settings for the size and such read the release notes at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/system-center/scom/release-notes-1807?view=sc-om-1807

Also for Linux platforms the older OpenSSL 0.9.8 support has been dropped and support for OpenSSL 1.1.0 has been added.
Ubuntu 18 and Debian 9 support has been added to the support matrix now.
And for Unix/Linux the agent can detect pseudo file system dynamically and ignore enumeration.

SCOM Console

In the past the installation of the SCOM console and the Service Manager consoles on the same system has been a problem. Now as long as you have both on the 1807 version you should be able to install both consoles on the same system as well as their PowerShell modules.

SCOM Web Console

Several things were added and changed in the HTML5 based SCOM Web console. It is very nice to see the work being done in there.

• It is now possible to create Maintenance Schedules from the web console, so you do not need the full console for that purpose.
• Users and Operators can create dashboards in My Workspace.
• A PowerShell widget has been added with more information on how to work with it listed here https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/system-center/scom/manage-create-web-dashboard-posh?view=sc-om-1807 . This should give you some nice possibilities here.
• An effective configuration widget in the monitoring objects detail page showing the running rules and monitors and the override settings applied.
• Network node and interface drill-down as a tab when you select a network device, in much the same way as you would from the SCOM console.
• Alert widget enhancements including improved layout and presentation of alert details. You can modify the resolution state and check the monitoring object details page for the selected alert source.
• The monitoring tree can be hidden when a dashboard is integrated with SharePoint.
• The size of the health icon can be changed in the Topology widget between small and large. This is helpful depending on how many of those icons you have on the map for instance.

The Web Console still does not work well with Internet Explorer Compatibility View. This is known.

Issues Fixed in SCOM 1807

The list of fixed issues can be found in KB4133779 at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4133779/system-center-operations-manager-version-1807 , I will include the current listing below as well:

• Fixes an issue that sometimes cause the Performance widget in the web console to throw an ArgumentException message.
• Fixes an issue that prevented the Alert view URL in the notification channel from to pointing to the new drill-down Alert page.
• Fixes an issue that causes the web console to throw an ArgumentException message when the state widget is added to a dashboard or scoped to a specific group.
• Improvement to the web console so that is now supports nondefault ports.
• Fixes an issue that causes the pseudo file system to be enumerated.
• Fixes an issue that caused the DNS 2016 Management Pack to throw false alerts for “DNS unused Zone Detected.”
• Fixes an issue that caused the MySQL version to be listed as “for,” “on,” or NULL in Detail view for some platforms.
• Improvement that enables Monitoring Solaris 10 Agents (x86) to provide heartbeat alerts and configuration errors about the SSL certificate.
• Fixes an issue that prevented the Operations Manager console, the Service Manager console and PowerShell modules to coexist on the same server. Note Both Operations Manager and Service Manager must be upgraded to version 1807 to resolve this issue.
• Fixes an issue in which Active Directory Integration rules were not visible or editable in an upgraded 2016 Management Group. This issue prevented the ongoing management of Active Directory integration assignment in the upgraded Management Group.
• Fixes an issue that caused the system and MonitoredBy information to be displayed incorrectly in the Unix/Linux Computers view when the UNIX host name on the server is lowercase.
• Fixes an issue that caused Active Directory integrated agents not to display correct failover server information.
• Fixes an issue in Performance views in the web console that caused the selection of counters not to persist after a web console restart or refresh.
• Fixes an issue in which the PowerShell cmdlet Get-SCXAgent fails and returns a “This cmdlet requires PowerShell version 3.0 or greater” error.
• Fixes an issue in which a group name is changed through the operations console, the Get-SCOMGroup cmdlet does not retrieve the group data that includes the changed group name.
• Fixes an issue that causes error HTTP 500 to occur when you access Diagram view through the web console.
• Improvement in which the SQLCommand Timeout property is exposed so that it can be dynamically adjusted by users to manage random and expected influx of data scenarios.
• Fixes an issue that caused the MonitoringHost process to crash and throw the exception “System.OverflowException: Value was either too large or too small for an Int32.”
• Fixes an issue when company knowledge is edited by using the Japanese version of Microsoft Office through the Operations Manager console, you receive the following error (translated into English): “Failed to launch Microsoft Word. Please make sure Microsoft Word is installed. Here is the error message: Item with specified name does not exist.”
• Fixes an issue that causes Microsoft.SystemCenter.ManagementPack.Recommendations to log errors on instances of Microsoft SQL Server that have case-sensitive collations.

Thus far the list. Keep in mind by the way that if you are coming from SCOM 2016 (or earlier) the whole list of features and fixes is larger because 2016 and 1801 both also had lists of new features and fixes included. I have written and presented about those at several events. I will be happy to tell you about those, but lets not include all of that in this blog post.

Where to get SCOM 1807

The SCOM 1807 version is not a clean install CD (ISO). This means that SCOM 1807 is basically a set of update files to install on top of SCOM 1807. You could say a rollup on top of SCOM 1807. We will talk about that below as well. The downloads for the several roles can be found here:
http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Search.aspx?q=4133779

And for the Unix/Linux packs (and agents): https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29696 and select the correct version you need!

Also you will see the updates in WSUS, meaning you can use WSUS and ConfigMgr (SCCM) as well to get things updated. Keep in mind the SQL Scripts and management pack updates and Unix/Linux and Nano items still need to be applied manually through the manual process! If you use WSUS and such to move from 1801 to 1807, please do not forget to do the SQL script and pack update manually as soon as possible after doing the management server updates on those servers.

The migration from earlier versions of SCOM to 1807

I regularly get asked about what is possible in migrating from one version of SCOM to another. Talking about how to get from 2012 or 2012 R2 or 2016 or 1801 as source to the destination 2016 or 1801 or 1807 is usually asked. Since we are talking about 1807 as the destination in this blog post the migration scenario is ALWAYS 1801 to 1807. So if you are not running 1801 right now and want to go to 1807 you first need to get to SCOM 1801. From 2012 to 2012 R2 to either 2016 or 1801 or from 2016 to 1801 is possible given the correct rollups are installed for the 2012/2012R2 type of configurations. Anyway, if you want to make use of what SCOM 1807 has to offer in the Semi Annual Channel, you first need to get to SCOM 1801.

Once you are at SCOM 1801 and you download the files mentioned above to upgrade to SCOM 1807, the supported installation order is:

1) Upgrade the SCOM infrastructure components
a. Management Servers
b. ACS
c. Web Console
d. Gateway
e. SCOM Consoles
f. SCOM Reporting
2) Apply the SQL Script ( %SystemDrive%\Program Files\Microsoft System Center\Operations Manager\Server\SQL Script for Update Rollups\ Update_rollup_mom_db.sql )
3) Manually import the management packs you need ( %SystemDrive%\Program Files\Microsoft System Center\Operations Manager\Server\Management Packs for Update Rollups )
4) Apply the SCOM agent updates
5) Apply Nano agent updates
6) Update Unix/Linux MP’s and agents (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29696 )

Check out https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29696 for the download links and install order as well.

I must make this additional remark, because I get this question a lot for both these and Update Rollups on SCOM 2012/2016 and so on. Do we need to finish the upgrades of all gateways and SCOM consoles before we can continue to steps 2/3 and further mentioned above? No this is not a problem. Usually after upgrading the SCOM management servers I apply the SQL scripts and management packs. Do not let one SCOM console sitting on some terminal server stop your deploy of the other components for instance. Also a few down-level SCOM agents should not stop you either.

Common errors:

The good news is that I have not seen any errors yet in the upgrade from 1801 to 1807. Thank you to the MSFT product team!

What could happen are errors when you do not have enough rights on the SQL server and SCOM server to run the updates. Also see the following tip which is connected to rights as well.

Tip:

What also helps is if you start up an administrative cmd prompt of PowerShell (Run as admin) and from there go to the folder where you downloaded and extracted the msp update files and run them from that prompt.
Same goes for the msp files belonging to update rollups in 2016 for instance.

Conclusion:

SCOM continues to innovate and add features. The semi annual channel versions bring us new features every 6 months together with the fixes we get in the update rollups to the LTSB versions as well. We are only a few months away from looking at what SCOM 1901 and SCOM 2019 are bringing to the table. I know hard work is being done for those versions coming up.
Also the upgrade from older versions of SCOM to 1801 and 1807 have been going rather smooth so far, so I am happy with that process.
The upgrade from 1801 to 1807 is very easy, so go for it!

Keep on monitoring everything!
Bob Cornelissen