I have updated the DPM-save-create-Config to work with DPM 2012 SP1/R2. The script can be used to save your DPM settings to an .xml file and then import the settings in from that .xml file.
This script was originally created by a Microsoft employee Ruud Baars (Rest in Peace). If you don’t know who Ruud Baars is go read about him here: Rest in Peace, Ruud Baars. He is responsible for a lot of the tools and information we have for DPM today.
The DPMsaveConfig.ps1 script has been updated to work with DPM 2012 SP1/R2 and
was renamed to DPMsaveConfig2012.ps1. It still contains DPMcreateConfig and that works with DPM 2012 SP1/R2.
When you run DPMsaveConfig2012.ps1 it creates a DPMsaveConfig.XML in the same folder it was run from. For example if you run it from C:\Tools\DPM-save-create-Config-2012 the .XML file will be created in the C:\Tools\DPM-save-create-Config-2012 directory.
Then when you run DPMcreateConfig.ps1 it will automatically search for the DPMsaveConfig.XML and import the DPM settings from here.
Run both DPMsaveConfig2012.ps1 and DPMcreateConfig.ps1 from the DPM management shell.
You can download the scripts from TechNet Galley Here:
Thanks to MVP Flemming Riis, Enrique Lima, and John Brodhurst for testing the scripts.
NOTE: These scripts are FREE and un-supported. They should be tested in a lab environment before using in any production environment. Use at your own risk.
Earlier this week System Center Universe announced the 3 finalists for the SCU Jedi contest.
If you don’t know what the contest is here is the description for it:
System Center Universe has a contest to give one lucky presenter the opportunity to present at the next System Center Universe conference. This lucky presenter will receive free airfare, room and board, and ticket to our in-person Houston event.
The finalists are:
- Dieter Wijckmans
- Lee Berg (Concurrency Inc.)
- Garth Jones
Each finalist has made a video explaining why they should be the lucky presenter. The videos are very creative! The videos can be voted on by "liking" the video. The finalists video with the most votes will win he contest. Check them out here:
Voting stops 12/15/2013
There are plenty of blogs out there about issues with Microsoft products and focus on when something in them needs to be fixed. I wanted to post about a recent positive experience using SCOM and show a real world scenario of how SCOM served as more than just a monitoring tool.
On a SCOM project I was configuring and tuning Dynamics AX monitoring. As a part of the project the client had a long time issue they were trying to solve. The problem was that the Dynamics AX developers needed access to the Dynamics AX servers with the ability to stop/start services so they could deploy new code and the ability to see when AX was back online. The only way to accomplish this was for the developers to have administrative access to the AX servers. The system administration team did not want to give the developers administrator access to the AX servers. The solution to this problem was simple but a big win!
Within SCOM we created a new role for the development team, scoped the security to the Dynamics folder, and gave them access to the SCOM web console. When the development team logged in all they could see were objects for Dynamics AX. When in the instances view the development team was able to view real time up/down status of the AX instances, start/stop the AX services, see how many users were online with AX in real time and more. Doing this enabled the development team so they could stop an AX instance, push the new code to that AX instance and start the AX instance again when they were done. They could do all this after hours on their own without any staff from the system administration team and without administrator access to the server.
This solution was a huge win because it satisfied both the develop teams need and the administrative teams need. Let’s just say both teams and IT management were very happy with the outcome and SCOM had a chance to shine!
Recently at a client of mine I was building a new hire Request Offering for them. I ran into a roadblock because they needed a software list to be able to select software from that list that needed to be installed for certain users only. Yes they had SCCM and OSD with standard builds. The software on this list however was on a case by case basses and not a part of the main build. This information needed to be communicated through the Request Offering form so that the team member building the new computer would know what software outside of the main build needed to be installed.
The problem is that when you create a user prompt with prompt type list on a Request Offering you can add the list of software but this cannot be a multi-select. You can only select one item in a prompt type list.
An alternative is to use a prompt type of query results. This prompt type allows multi-select. The query results prompt type queries Service Managers CMDB and presents a list of configuration items (CI’s) to a user on the actual Request Offering form like in the following screenshot.
I had the SCCM connector setup and was already pulling software into the CMDB. The problem here is that there are 2,000+ software CI’s and there is no way anyone wants to sift through that many CI’s when filling out a form.
There are only 10 software products that were needed on the build list for new hires. What I needed to do was get these 10 software products into the CMDB as CI’s or flag existing ones and expose only these 10 on the Request Offering for a user to select from.
Here is what I did to get around this problem. Essentially I needed to accomplish two things and they were:
- Bring or flag the 10 software products in the CMDB.
- Create a Query Results prompt type that is filtered to the 10 software CI’s to be exposed in the Request Offering.
This month the Minnesota System Center User Group will have System Center MVP Cameron Fuller presenting "Monitoring and tuning System Center with SCOM".
For those of you not familiar with Cameron, he is a Operations Manager Most Valuable Professional (MVP). A Principal consultant for Catapult Systems, an IT consulting company and Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.
Cameron is the co-author of:
- Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 Unleashed,
- System Center Operations Manager 2007 Unleashed
- System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 Unleashed
- System Center 2012 Operations Manager Unleashed
- Contributor to System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2 Unleashed
Cameron presents at the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) and TechEd, writes for various technical blogs, and has written articles for Windows IT Professional and TechNet magazines. This is a great chance to ask any SCOM monitoring question to one of the best MVPs on the subject!
The meeting will be Thursday November 14th at 5:00 PM in Edina at the Microsoft Technology Center, 6th floor.
For more info on the meeting: http://www.mnscug.org/meetings/286-november-mnscug-meeting
Cameron’s Blog: http://blogs.catapultsystems.com/cfuller/default.aspx
I received an email today from a SCORCH guru about a script that he recently made for Orchestrator. He made this available for download today. The tool allows you to select a SCORCH server when launching designer. His name is Mark Monson and here is the official description on what the tool does.
We all know that the Runbook Designer always connects to the server you were last connected to, and has no built-in memory of servers you’ve used. I finally got tired of running the designer, disconnecting, then reconnecting to the environment I wanted. So, I wrote a little PowerShell script that pops up a basic input box to choose the environment, and then launches the designer.
It can be downloaded here from TechNet Gallery: http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Customized-Orchestrator-e9afe777
I thought I would share this on my blog. I will definitely be using it in the future.
Thanks for sharing Mark!
I just found out about some free training from Microsoft. It is free online virtualization training November 19 & 20. The training also includes a free voucher to take a Microsoft certification. Details from the site:
Get the Microsoft Virtualization Certification.
Train up, receive a free certification exam voucher, and validate your skills
You’ve learned and tried. Now it’s time to certify. The new Microsoft virtualization certification (exam 74-409) proves your expertise goes beyond VMware and that you’re ready to conquer today’s multi-hypervisor world. This new certification is based on Microsoft’s latest product releases.
Take free online training on Microsoft Virtual Academy to prepare for your certification exam, or take instructor-led training with a Microsoft Learning Partner, and you’ll receive a voucher to take the certification exam – normally $150 USD – for free.* The number of free exams is limited, so get started today!
Sign up for our free online training on November 19 & 20 – then receive a voucher to take the new Microsoft virtualization certification exam for free!*
The URL: http://www.virtualizationsquared.com
There is an issue that has been around for some time were you cannot delete items from the Service Request Area list in Service Manager 2012. You can do this to the Incident Classification and Change Area but not the Service Request Area.
See references to this issue here:
Incident Management, Change Management, and Service Requests were developed at different times by different groups. The Service Requests were built with the Area list in a sealed management pack making it so that the items in this list cannot be removed only renamed. Renaming these items does not work for every Service Manager deployment. The Service Requests was built that way and this won’t be changing. There are ways around this issues through customizations.
The typical IT professional does not want to learn the authoring tool, or how to edit SQL directly or pick up Visual Studio for a simple task such as clearing out a list. The typical IT professional just wants an easy way to make the modifications they need to the list and continue on with their Service Manager project.
I had to jump in an customize this list. What I wanted to do was make this portable so that other IT Pros in the community do not have to learn how to customize Service Manager for a simple task like this. I have packaged my customization. I called it Custom Service Request Area (CSRA) and made it available for download on TechNet gallery here:
I packaged this in a way that allows you to back up your custom list in the event something happens to Service Manager and you need to re-deploy you can just import back in and not lose anything. I also tried to package this in a way that it future proof on newer versions as they come out.
It comes with a setup guide that consists of 5 steps on how to drop this customization into your Service Manager. After dropping this in you will have a list that you can control that will look like this:
Special thanks to some of my System Center friends for letting me bounce ideas off you around this.
- Sam Erskine Author of System Center Service Manager 2012 Cookbook
- Andreas Baumgarten System Center MVP and Author of System Center Service Manager 2012
- Rob Ford System Center MVP and Developer at Cireson
Please keep in mind this is a FREE un-supported community effort and should be tested in a lab environment before using in any production environment. Use at your own risk.
If you have any feedback please leave a comment.
The Service Manager Management Group name is not shown in the console. The Service Manager Management Group name can be found in the registry on a Service Manager Management Server. This is easy enough to do, but as a consultant working in different SCSM environments I need to get this information all the time for various reasons.
I put together a simple PowerShell script that can be run to display this so you don’t have to jump into the registry. This is what it looks like.
It can be downloaded here: http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Display-Service-Manager-da78e557
Microsoft recently released System Center 2012 R2. I wanted to post about my experience upgrading System Center 2012 Service Manager SP1 to System Center 2012 Service Manager R2.
The official upgrade steps for this can be found here on TechNet:
Release notes for System Center Service Manager R2 can be found here:
Before we get into Service Managers upgrade process we need to cover some housekeeping items. First off if you are using multiple System Center components (two or more) you need to upgrade them in a specific order. If you only have a single System Center component in your environment then don’t worry about this order. Here is the upgrade order:
- Service Management Automation (SMA)
- Orchestrator (SCORCH)
- Service Manager (SCSM)
- Data Protection Manager (SCDPM)
- Operations Manager (SCOM)
- Configuration Manager (ConfigMGR)
- Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM)
- Service Provider Foundation (SPF)
- Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server
- Service Bus Clouds
- Windows Azure Pack (WAP)
- Service Reporting
- App Controller
Here are links to upgrading all System Center components except for Service Manager because upgrading SCSM is being covered in this blog post.
Describes the sequence for upgrading Orchestrator.
- Data Protection Manager
Describes the sequence for upgrading Data Protection Manager (DPM).
- Operations Manager
Describes the sequence for upgrading Operations Manager.
- Configuration Manager
Describes the sequence for upgrading Configuration Manager.
- Virtual Machine Manager and App Controller
Describes the sequence for upgrading Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) and App Controller.
NOTE: Some System Center components are not included on that list such as Service Management Automation .
This is because they will typically be new additions to your environment.
The upgrade order also applies if you plan on introducing new System Center components into your environment. For example if you plan to deploy DPM 2012 R2 at some point be sure to deploy this after Service Manager 2012 SP1 has finished being upgraded to R2.
More about this can be found here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn521010.aspx.
Backup of Service Manager
Before any upgrade is started be sure to back up Service Manager and any customizations.
- Backup encryption keys on the Self-Service Portal and management servers.
- Export and backup all unsealed management packs these will include any customizations.
- Backup management server and data warehouse databases. Here are the databases:
Service Manager Databases:
- Backup the SSRS database & RDL files.
- Document any security that is setup.
- Backup and document SharePoint web parts and customizations.
Before upgrading it is recommended to upgrade to the latest UR first… For example from SP1 –> UR4 –> R2 RTM. You need to be up to at least SP1 with UR2 or the upgrade will not run. If you don’t have a minimum of UR2 you will get the following message.
After the latest UR has been applied this is the order we will upgrade Service Manager in:
- Data warehouse server/s first
- Management server/s second
- Self-Service Portal server last
There is more detail for each server upgrade that we will go through in the following sections.. Now let’s jump into the Service Manager upgrade process.