Operations Management Suite in SCSM Console

Today I was playing around with Service Manager and decided to add a view for Operations Management Suite in the Service Manager Console. I have placed it in a management pack for use in other Service Manager environments. I have uploaded the management pack to TechNet Gallery. Once you load the management pack an Operations Management Suite folder will show up within Work Items.

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NOTE: The first time you open Operations Management Suite inside of Service Manager you will see compatibility mode warning just click on continue.

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Here are some screenshots:

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Download the management pack here:

https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Operations-Management-10f68429

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Cant change SCOM agents Primary Management SVR in SCOM Console

Problem:

When in SCOM you go to change the primary management server on a SCOM agent but you cannot. It is grayed out.

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More details about this issue referenced on the following links:

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/systemcenter/en-US/c5214222-0cc3-4da5-a40e-64cbeff91573/r2-cannot-change-primary-management-server?forum=operationsmanagergeneral

http://www.systemcentercentral.com/forums-archive/topic/moving-agents-from-one-gateway-server-to-another/

I built a quick script to help with this. It can be used in any SCOM environment. Details are as follows:

Script:

MoveAgentSCOMMgmtServer.ps1

Description:

This script can be used to move agents from one management server or gateway server to another.

There is a common issue “Cannot change SCOM agents Primary Management via the GUI (SCOM Console)”. This script can be used to help with this issue.

This script should be run in an administrative PowerShell console on a SCOM management server. You can run this script using: powershell.exe -executionpolicy unrestricted -command .\MoveAgentSCOMMgmtServer.ps1

How to run:

Step 1: Copy the MoveAgentSCOMMgmtServer.ps1 script to a SCOM management server.

Step 2: Open an elevated PowerShell and navigate to the script. For example: CD “C:\SCOM Scripts”

Step 3: Run powershell.exe -executionpolicy unrestricted -command .\MoveAgentSCOMMgmtServer.ps1

You will be prompted to enter the name of the management server you want the SCOM Agents set to. You need to enter in the servers full FQDN. This can be a management server or a gateway server.

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Step 4: A window will pop up with a list of your SCOM Agents. Select the SCOM Agents you want to change the primary management server for. Click the OK button.

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Step 5: Once the SCOM Agents are set you should see a similar output.

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Download from TechNet Gallery:

https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Move-Agent-SCOM-Primary-9927d7a3

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System Center Futures 2016 and Beyond

Last week I was able to attend the first ever Microsoft Ignite conference in Chicago. There was a lot of exciting news announced at this conference around the many Microsoft products and technologies. Everything was covered from SharePoint, Exchange, Unified Communications, Office, Windows server, Windows 10, all things Azure and more. This post is focused for any System Center professional that was unable to attend the MS Ignite 2015 conference but what’s to know what’s up with System Center. If you had any concern about System Center going away or just want to know about the future of System Center in general this post is for you.

During conference there were many sessions related to the various System Center components however there were a couple of critical sessions that covered the future of System Center. These are the Platform Vision & Strategy sessions. These are titled:

Windows Server & System Center Futures—Bring Azure to your Datacenter (Platform Vision & Strategy)

And

Platform Vision & Strategy (6 of 7): What’s New in System Center for Management

These sessions are important because they featured System Centers top guy Jeremy Winter and he talked about future direction of the management solutions. In this post I will sum up key information from each of these sessions.

NOTE: This post is my perspective on the Platform Vision & Strategy sessions from Ignite and do not represent the opinions of Microsoft.

Traditionally System Center has been a complete management stack for IT Operations. This is not going to change but will continue to get better. The stack consists of: Managing endpoints (PC’s/Mobile device/servers) – *SCCM/Intune* | Monitor – *SCOM* | Automation – *Orchestrator (SMA)* | Provision – *VMM* | Service Management – *SCSM* | Protection – *Data Protection Manager* | Self-service – *Azure Pack* also represented in the following screenshot from one of the session slides.

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So we are now in the year 2015 and have not had a new major version of the entire stack since 2012. However since the release of System Center 2012 we have seen a steady progression of enhancement to the stack. We have seen it move from SP1 to R2 and now updates and new features through update rollups.

These update rollups have been released on a faster cadence at a speed we have not seen from Microsoft before. In fact we have recently seen a round of new features in update rollup 6 and more announced at Ignite. Below is a list of key features that stuck out to me along with slides from one of the Platform Vision & Strategy sessions giving insight into where the System Center components are headed next.

SCCM: Support for Windows 10 and a plethora new MDM features.

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Automation: Graphica...

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Streaming Enterprise Backup Ignite 2015 Session

My Enterprise Backup session with Microsoft PFE Islam Gomaa and System Center MVP Robert Hedblom from Microsoft Ignite is now on Channel 9. Here is what we covered in the session:

  • Offline seeding to Azure Backup
  • Monitoring and the new enhanced reporting
  • Custom reporting
  • Real-world deployment best practices

and

  • The all new Backup as a Service in Azure Pack powered by DPM

You can watch it here:


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Early look DPM BaaS in Azure Pack

I am very excited about something new with Data Protection Manager (DPM) that I was able to announce during my Enterprise Backup session @ Microsoft Ignite (http://meme.ms/d5gpbrq). It is DPM Backup As A Service (BaaS). I wanted to blog about it with even more information about this new functionality in DPM.

Well what is DPM BaaS? In a nutshell it is Backup as a Service in Azure Pack powered by Data Protection Manager. This is a new resource provider built by the DPM team. It lights up the functionality for tenants to protect VM’s in Azure Pack. Here is a screenshot of what the new BaaS in Azure Pack looks like for a tenant:

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DPM has always had a role in the Microsoft Private Cloud story. This role has been on the backend through backing up the Private Cloud fabric components that power Private Cloud (Windows Server, Hyper-V, System Center). The following image is the framework of Microsoft Private Cloud:

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DPM has also been used for protection of front end tenant workloads such as websites, SQL databases and virtual machines. However protecting tenant workloads had no visibility or control by the tenants themselves. This story changes with the introduction of BaaS for Azure Pack giving the control for tenants to choose if they want to protect their virtual machines from their cloud!

NOTE: As of now BaaS for Azure Pack can only protect virtual machines in tenant clouds. If you would like to see BaaS extended to protect other areas of the Private Cloud such as SQL databases or websites feel free to reach out to me.

Now let’s pick apart this new DPM BaaS to gain a better understanding of it in the rest of this post.

DPM BaaS in Azure Pack Architecture

So what do you need for this new BaaS? The following components make up BaaS:

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You can deploy many DPM servers for scale as your Private Cloud grows. The rest of the components are standard with a Private Cloud so if you already have Azure Pack running you simply need to add DPM and the DPM BaaS Resource Provider.

As previously stated BaaS only protects virtual machines. A DPM agent needs to be installed to Hyper-V hosts. The BaaS in Azure Pack does not do this for you. The DPM agent will not be required inside VM’s. The agent will be installed on Hyper-V hosts only.

Admin Perspective

Now let’s take a look at what can and admin do with BaaS. NOTE: The BaaS is still under development so some of these features may change. If you have any feedback about the features and functionality you would like to see feel free to contact me. Let’s explore the BaaS admin perspective through a series of screenshots.

Here is a shot of the VM Backup within the Azure Pack admin site. Here is where you would register the resource provider with SPF, you could also add a DPM server, or create a server group. Note that you still need to deploy your DPM servers before you can add them to BaaS. BaaS will not deploy the DPM servers for you.

A server group allows you to logically group DPM servers and then add DPM servers to the group and you can set settings based on a group and then add this to a plan for a tenant. An admin of the Resource Provider will set the Protection Group policy settings that will be used for all subscriptions to a particular plan.

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The next two screenshots show creating a new group.

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This screenshot shows the registration of a DPM server. Notice you have the ability to add the DPM server to a group. Adding the DPM server to a group is optional.

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The next three screenshots give you an idea of what settings you can set for a group. These settings will help you apply limits to the tenant that will be assigned this group via a plan. Notice that some of the settings will look familiar to what you see in DPM when setting up a Protection Group.

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This final screenshot is of the Usage & Metering within for the Resource Provider. The cool thing about this is we do not have a dashboard like this in DPM. This monitoring can be scoped per VM or All Up of the BaaS Resource Provider. Here is what you can see as the part of this monitoring:

  • Retention Days
  • Number of Restore Points
  • Size used

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Tenant Perspective

So we walked through what and administrator can do in the BaaS let’s look at the tenants perspective. Here is what a tenant can do with BaaS?

Ability to add a VM under protection. This essentially adds the VM to a DPM protection group on the backend. If a Protection Group does not exist for this tenant’s subscription yet one will be created.

Ability to back up a protected VM. This creates a Recovery Point in DPM on the backend. An admin of the BaaS resource provider has the option to allow this or not allow this to tenants.

Ability to restore a protected VM. This will restore a VM from a Recovery Point in DPM on the backend. Self-service restore of a deleted VM that is protected is out of scope as DPM doesn’t have VMM information (cloud, etc.) to correctly reassign it to a tenant. However an administrator with direct access to DPM could still go and restore the VM.

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Ability to remove a VM’s protection. The protection group for the tenant subscription will be created when the first VM is protected and destroyed when the last VM is removed.

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For more information:

My Microsoft Ignite session on this:

http://meme.ms/d5gpbrq

Download the DPM BaaS Resource Provider:

Coming Soon!!!

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Deploy & Configure DPM Enhanced Reporting

A while back I posted about the enhanced reporting for DPM here: http://www.buchatech.com/2014/11/dpm-2012-r2-reporting-improvements/ I wanted to create another blog post on how to deploy and configure the new enhanced reporting for Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2012 R2 and as a follow up to my Enterprise Backup session @ Microsoft Ignite (http://meme.ms/d5gpbrq). Here is a diagram of the new DPM reporting framework:

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This new reporting for DPM is a part of Operations Manager (SCOM). SCOM can monitor your DPM server/s so it only made sense to build this new reporting framework in SCOM. Data from your DPM server/s is brought over to SCOM through the monitoring and placed in SCOM’s data ware house database. This data is then accessed via a new set of DPM SQL views and served up to the reports.

Following is a breakdown of what you need to get the new reporting framework put in place and configured.

What do you need?

  • Need SCOM 2012 R2 deployed w/ DW working.
  • DPM management packs must be imported to SCOM and central console must be deployed.
  • DPM 2012 R2 and Central console must be on UR5.
  • Must configure SLA’s on your DPM servers using Set-DPMProtectionGroupSLA CMDLet to get SLA data in reports. More on this later.
  • The FileServices MP is a pre-req of the DedupReporter MP.

You must be careful about how you install/upgrade the DPM central console and management packs on SCOM as you can run into problems if you do not pay attention. I have had to re-deploy a SCOM server once in a lab to get this to work. Here is the order I follow and have had the best success with:

How to deploy the reporting?

1st: Import RTM 4.2.1126 MP’s in SCOM (You may already have these loaded. They are DPM 2012 R2 RTM MP’s and are named:

         - Microsoft.SystemCenter.DataProtectionManager.2012.Discovery.MP

         - Microsoft.SystemCenter.DataProtectionManager.2012.Library.MP

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2nd: Install Central console (This is DPM 2012 R2 RTM)

- You will find this on the DPM media

3rd: Apply UR5 to your DPM server/s.

For a list of DPM version build numbers and download links visit:

         - http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/4058.list-of-build-numbers-for-system-center-data-protection-manager-dpm.aspx

          - UR5 is version 4.2.1292.0. UR5 with the latest hotfix is version 4.2.1297.0.

4th: Apply UR5 to Central console.

NOTE: When updating the DPM Central Console be sure to run the correct .exe.

See the following screenshot that highlights the correct one for the Central Console.

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5th: On your SCOM server import the new DPM management packs version 4.2.1276 MP’s. These will automatically upgraded the RTM DPM 4.2.1126 MPs.

         - The System Center Management Packs for Data Protection Manager 2012 R2 Reporting, DedupReporter, Discovery and Monitoring can be downloaded from here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=45525.

           NOTE: With the new DPM MP’s there are two additional MP’s that were not part of the DPM RTM MP’s. There is the    Microsoft.SystemCenter.DataProtectionManager.2012.Reporting.mp which is required for the new reporting and there is the Microsoft.SystemCenter.DataProtectionManager.DedupReporter.mp that is optional if you want to get reporting around de-duplication on your DPM servers.Here is a screenshot of importing the new DPM MP’s and the File Services MP:

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After you import the new DPM MP’s you should have the following management packs loaded in your SCOM:

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In SCOM if you navigate to the Reporting workspace you will have System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager Reporting. Here you will find the DPM Executive Summary Report.

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The following screenshot is what the DPM Executive Summary Report looks like.

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6th (Optional): Configure SLA’s on your DPM server/s using Set-DPMProtectionGroupSLA CMDLet to get SLA data in reports. This has to be done on each DPM server per each protection group that you want to receive SLA reporting on. The steps to do this are:

Launch the DPM Management Shell. Run Get-ProtectionGroup -DPMServerName YOURDPMSERVERNAMEHERE to get a list of Protection Groups.

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Run Get-DPMProtectionGroup | where {$_.Name –ieq ‘Exchange Mailbox Databases’} | Set-DPMProtectionGroupSLA –SLAInHours 24 to set the SLA on a protection group.

That is it. Now you have set an SLA for your protection group. The SLA is defined in hours. DPM will check the SLA once a day and an event is written to the DPM backup event in the event log.

That’s all for the setup and configuration. Stay tuned for a post on how to build out custom reporting in the enhanced reporting framework in the near future.

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Enterprise Backup Session @ Ignite

I will be presenting with some good friends Microsoft PFE Islam Gomaa and System Center MVP Robert Hedblom @ Microsoft Ignite next Tuesday, May 5th 05:00PM – 06:15PM.

The session is Enterprise Backup: Custom Reporting, BAAS and Real-World Deployments in Data Protection Manager. Here is what we will cover in the session:

This session covers the recently released enterprise-grade reporting framework in Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager for IT admins to build custom reports and dashboards for monitoring and managing their entire backup operation. It also will cover offline backup to Azure and will highlight real-world deployment best practices for protecting applications in a hybrid environment using Microsoft Azure Backup.

Enterprise Backup Event

We also will have announcement about something new with DPM in the Microsoft Private cloud story!

For more info on the session check out:

http://meme.ms/d5gpbrq

and

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Tech Reviewer of New SCOM 2012 R2 Book

I was fortunate to be a Technical Reviewer on another System Center book. This one is about Operations Manager 2012 R2. It is titled Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager Cookbook. Authors include a fellow System Center MVP Steve Beaumont (http://systemcenter.ninja | @StevybSC ), a colleague of mine Chiyo Odika (http://mrchiyo.com | @MrChiyo ), Jonathan Horner, and Robert Ryan (http://scnuggets.blogspot.com). Here is a screenshot of the cover:

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It contains 50 recipes that you can use with your SCOM deployment. The recipes in this book will help you:

  • Optimize SCOM
  • Build out monitoring for business applications, infrastructure and more
  • Work through tuning
  • Build and use dashboards along with reporting
  • Author management packs using MP studio or Visual Studio
  • Overall gain deeper insight into your SCOM environment

The book can be found here:
http://www.amazon.com/Operations-Manager-Deployment-Administration-Cookbook/dp/1782176241

and here:
https://www.packtpub.com/virtualization-and-cloud/system-center-2012-r2-operations-manager-deployment-and-administration-cook

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Book dedicated to System Center Reporting

A new System Center book is set to publish this Friday March 27th. This one has me very excited because the focus is on reporting in System Center. And it is not just one or two System Center components they cover them all. This book dives in and gives you recipes’ as to how to build reports that are useful so you can start producing them in your environment today. What I love about this book is that it was developed with the IT pro in mind. The IT pro with no SQL background. Most System Center folks dont have a past in SQL but after some time working with the product they know SQL well. :-) This book will help those that want to get going with reporting for System Center and those that want to pick up some new skills. The title of the book is Microsoft System Center Reporting Cookbook. I was approached to be a technical reviewer on this book and jumped at the opportunity. The authors of this book are Samuel Erskine, Kurt Van Hoecke, Dieter Gasser, Nasira Ismail.

This is a book you will want to add to your collection!

Here is the cover for the book and some links with more information:

SCReportingBook

Amazon link to the book:

http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-System-Center-Reporting-Cookbook/dp/1782171800

Interview with Sam Erskine about the new Microsoft System Center Reporting Cookbook:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmmthUYszxw&feature=youtu.be

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Update to the SCSM Discovery Report

I have made a couple of updates to the Service Manager Discovery report. The first one is that the report will now display the update rollup level within the report along with the version number.

This was courtesy of Samuel Erskine and Natascia Heil. Thanks for contributing the the report! They have recently built a SCSM version checking script and this was essentially added to the report’s PowerShell. More about the SCSM version checking tool can be found here: http://itprocessed.com/2015/03/869/ . Here is what it now looks like on the report:

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Second the report will now include the last 20 Service Manager errors from event viewer.

Third and last the report will now automatically open in your default browser after the script is finished running.

The original post about the repor...

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