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:

image

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:

clip_image001[4]

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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Service Manager Discovery Report

I recently built a PowerShell script that creates a discovery report for System Center Service Manager. The idea behind the script was to have something that I could run to gather all of the information I would want about a Service Manager deployment. I searched online and could not find anything so that’s when I decided to put something together.

This report can be used by consultants doing assessments or SCSM admins as an easy way to document what you have in your environment. This is a first pass at the report so it is version 1.1. I plan to add more information/functionality to the report in the future. Keep in mind I am not a PowerShell expert so feel free to take the script tweak it and share your updates with the community.

When the script is run it will output a report of System Center Service Manager in HTML format. This script should be run on a management server within your Service Manager’s management group. The script should be run with an account that has administrative access to Service Manager and the local server it will be running on.

The script will run on Service Manager 2012 SP1 and above. It uses SCSM 2012 SP1/R2 CMDLETS along with SMLets. If you don’t have the SMLets installed you can download them here: https://smlets.codeplex.com/

Discovered in the report:

These are the sections of information in the report.

  • Management Server Name
  • Service Manager Version
  • Management Server HDD CPU Memory
  • Service Manager Management Group Name
  • Service Manager Data Warehouse Information
  • Users connected to Service Manager
  • Service Manager Run as accounts
  • Service Manager User Roles
  • Service Manager Notification Channels
  • Service Manager Connectors
  • Service Manager Email Templates
  • Service Manager Subscriptions
  • Service Manager Groups
  • Service Manager Queues
  • Service Manager Service Offerings
  • Published Service Manager Request Offerings
  • Draft Service Manager Request Offerings
  • Service Manager Views
  • Service Manager Tasks
  • Service Manager Un-sealed Management Packs
  • Websites local to the Service Manager Server
  • Last 10 Service Manager error event logs

Example Link:

This will take you to an online example of the report.

http://www.buchatech.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Service-Manager-Discovery-Report.html

Example Output:

Here is a screenshot of the report.

clip_image001

Download It:

https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Service-Manager-Discovery-a25c7d80

NOTE: The PowerShell report is provided AS-IS without warranty of any kind. It is recommended to run in a lab environment before running it in a production environment.

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Did you miss the #ITSM role in #Private Cloud webinar?

Did you miss my recent webinar with Savision about ‘Service Management’s Role in the Private Cloud’? This was co-hosted by Savision’s co-founder and VP of Product Management, Dennis Rietvink. If you would like to see it or watch it again, the on-demand version is now available.

SNAGHTMLbf2c6eSNAGHTMLbd5aea  SNAGHTMLbe64a9

Screenshots from the webinar

During the webinars, we covered the key factors in Private Cloud projects and why Private Clouds fail. We also covered the benefits of the Private Cloud, the many layers within which Service Management operates and how Savision’s flagship solution- Live Maps Unity, Business Service Management solution for System Center, ties it all together.

To view it visit:

http://www.savision.com/resources/webinar/demand-webinar-service-managements-role-private-cloud

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Service Manager PowerShell Extensions – SCSMPx

Recently a colleague of mine Rob Plank brought some new CMDLets for Service Manager to my attention. These are a part of a PowerShell module that can be installed on your Service Manager server. They are the System Center Service Manager PowerShell Extensions also known as SCSMPx. Here is the official description for them:

The ScsmPx module facilitates automation with Microsoft System Center Service Manager by auto-loading the native modules are included as part of that product and enabling automatic discovery of the commands that are contained within the native modules. It also includes dozens of complementary commands that are not available out of the box to allow you to do much more with your PowerShell automation efforts using the platform.

This module contains hundreds of new commands for Service Manager.

The module was built by Kirk Munro (@Poshoholic) and sponsored by Provance.

The System Center Service Manager PowerShell Extensions ( SCSMPx) module can be found here: https://github.com/KirkMunro/ScsmPx.

The module requires:

  • PowerShell 3.0
  • SnippetPx module

The module is very easy to install and can be done so by running this syntax from PowerShell on a Service Manager management server:

& ([scriptblock]::Create((iwr -uri http://tinyurl.com/Install-GitHubHostedModule).Content)) -ModuleName ScsmPx,SnippetPx

Running that will download and install the SCSMPx and SnippetPx modules. This is for all users and requires being run from an elevated PowerShell console. This module will auto-load (PowerShell 3.0 and above) so there is no need to run Import-Module to load it.

Once this module is installed on a management server it also enables auto-loading of the native Service Manager CMDlets for Service Manager 2012 and later.

The commands included in the module are:

Get-ScsmPxAdGro...

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Webinar: Understand what it takes for a successful Private Cloud project

Learn what you can do to ensure a successful Private Cloud project. Attend one of my webinars this week. Details about the webinars include:

-“Service Management’s role in the Private Cloud“- hosted by Microsoft MVP Steve Buchanan. The webinars will be co-hosted by Savision’s co-founder and VP of Product Management, Dennis Rietvink.

SMRoleInPrivateCloudWebinar

During these webinars you will find out the right tools that IT professionals and management need to provide clean and mature processes that will enable them to become more agile and move down the path of realizing the benefits of Private Cloud. The webinars will also define the Private Cloud, the layers of the Private Cloud, and those layers within which service management operates.

The webinars will be held on two different dates, so register now for the one that will be more convenient for you:

Register for the US webinar: Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 | 2 PM EST / 8PM CET
Register for the EU webinar: Thursday, February 26th, 2015 | 9 AM EST / 3 PM CET

P.S. If you still haven’t, download the Service Management’s role in the Private Cloud whitepaper here.

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PowerShell script for Windows Server Activation

I recently was helping a client that needed to activate over 50+ servers after an OS upgrade. I did not want to do this one by one and they did not have a KMS. PowerShell to the rescue. I was able to put together a script that loops through an OU in Active Directory and activate all computers in that OU. This script will find only computers with “Windows Server” in the name. This script could be modified to find client operating systems instead.

When you run this script it will prompt you for the domain name, organizational unit, and Windows Server product key. I was able to use this in my new lab build as well. Here is the script:


<#
Name: ActivateWinComputersfrAD.ps1
Author: System Center MVP – Steve Buchanan
Date: 2/15/2015
Version: 1.0
Website: www.buchatech.com

Description:
This script can be used to loop through an OU in Active Directory and activate all computers in that OU.
This script will find only computers with “Windows Server” in the name.
Run this script using: powershell.exe -executionpolicy unrestricted -command .\ActivateWinComputersfrAD.ps1
#>

# Load the Active Directory PowerShell module
Import-Module -Name ActiveDirectory

# Prompt script runner for information to create variables
$domain = Read-host ‘Enter domain to be used. Format as such (DOMAINNAME)’
$computersou = Read-host ‘Enter the name of the OU to be searched.’
$Productkey = Read-host ‘Enter product key. Format as such (XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX)’

# Create a variable that holds all of the computers from Active Directory
$results = (Get-ADComputer -LDAPFilter “(OperatingSystem=*Windows Server*)” -SearchBase “OU=$computersou,DC=$domain,DC=com”)

# Loop through the results variable and activate all computers in that variable.
# NOTE: Dont forget to replace the $key variable with your own Windows key.

foreach ($i in $results)
{
$computer = gc env:computername
$service = get-wmiObject -query “select * from SoftwareLicensingService” -computername $i.Name
$service.InstallProductKey($Productkey)
$service.RefreshLicenseStatus()
}

Write-Host “The following servers have been activated:” -ForegroundColor Green
$results | Format-Table DNSHostName -HideTableHeaders

Pause


It can be downloaded here: https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Windows-Server-Activation-f1c534b6

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Desired State Configuration (DSC) Training

On February 25th Microsoft will hold a free all day training on Desired State Configuration (DSC). This will be from 9AM to 5PM PST on Microsoft Virtual Academy.

Here us the

Course Outline:

Getting Ready for DSC
Performing a Push Deployment
Configuring Pull Servers for Deployment​
Deploying Configurations Using a Pull Server
Resource Roundup
Writing Better Configurations
DSC and Linux

Instructors are:

Jeffrey Snover | Microsoft Distinguished Engineer and inventor of PowerShell| @jsnover

and

PowerShell MVP Jason Helmick | Concentrated Technology Senior Technologist | @theJasonHelmick

For more information and to register visit:

http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/liveevents/getting-started-with-powershell-desired-state-configuration-dsc

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Whitepaper – Service Management’s Role in the Private Cloud

I am happy to announce that today Savision just published a new whitepaper authored by me. It is titled:

Service Management’s Role in the Private Cloud
Dispelling the Myopic Perception

 Service-Management's-role-in-the-private-cloud-600x188

This whitepaper sets out to define Private Cloud, the layers of Private Cloud, and those layers within which service management operates.

The whitepaper also explores having ultimate visibility into your organization’s business services. Business services discussed in this paper consist of configuration items (CIs), monitoring, and application maps; they are underpinned with incident, change management, and modern day self-service. In addition, the whitepaper explores the integration between Operations Manager and Service Manager, and the role Savision Live Maps Unity plays in this area. Here is an excerpt from the whitepaper:

“Technology needs of the business are changing, often faster than can be addressed by most internal IT departments.

It is critical for IT departments to shift away from the image of black box cost centers and slow moving dinosaurs that are hard to work with and become viewed as revenue-generating centers that are agile, fast moving, and business enablers with modernized IT services.

From the perspective of internal IT, there are some key steps that can be made to prepare and deliver “modern IT services” – with service management being a critical component of those services. This whitepaper explores these key steps from a Microsoft technology perspective as it applies to System Center.”

A huge thanks to both Kerrie Meyler and Sam Erskine for doing the technical review on this whitepaper!

To download visit:

http://savision.com/resources/white-paper/free-whitepaper-mvp-steve-buchanan-service-managements-role-private-cloud?utm_source=Twitter&utm_content=Whitepaper+by+MVP+Steve+Buchanan&utm_campaign=General

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