Point SCSM DW & WAP Request Management to new SQL server

I recently worked with a client that hosted the Service Manager database on a SQL cluster. They manually failed over the SCSM database to the other node in the SQL cluster. Request Management in Azure Pack and the SCSM data warehouse were still trying to communicate with Service Manager using the old node in the SQL cluster. We needed a way to manually flip both Azure Pack and The DW over to the new node in the SQL cluster. Below is how I did this. I am posting about this in case it saves anyone else time and for me if I need it for future reference.

GridPro Request Management in Windows Azure Pack Failover:

Navigate to: C:\inetpub\MgmtSvc-RequestManagementAPI

Open the “solidConnectionSettings.config” file in a text editor such as notepad.

Modify the highlighted value in the connection string to the name of the second node in the SQL cluster:

<connectionStrings>

<add name=”ServiceManagerCMDB” connectionString=”Server=SQLSERVER1,1433;Database=ServiceManager;Integrated Security=True”/>

</connectionStrings>

After this is modified an IIS reset is needed. After that the Request Management in Windows Azure Pack should now attempt to connect to Service Manager on the correct SQL node.

Service Manager Data Warehouse failover:

In regards to the data warehouse we needed to re-point this to the second node in the SQL cluster. To do this I:

Opened the DWStagingAndConfig database.

Open the MT_Microsoft$SystemCenter$ResourceAccessLayer$SqlResourceStore table.

And

Run Select * from MT_Microsoft$SystemCenter$ResourceAccessLayer$SqlResourceStore

Or

Right click on the table and Select Top 1000 rows. (Don’t worry there are only 10 rows in this table.)

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Note the 5th row column DataService_98B2DDF9_D9FD_9297_85D3_FCF36F1D016B has Service Manager listed. Further along in row 5 under column Server_48B308F9_CF0E_0F74_83E1_0AEB1B58E2FA it has the SQL server for Service Manager that it is pointed to listed. This is what needs to be changed. You can see this in the following screenshot:

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To change this run the following:

UPDATE MT_Microsoft$SystemCenter$ResourceAccessLayer$SqlResourceStore

SET Server_48B308F9_CF0E_0F74_83E1_0AEB1B58E2FA = ‘SQLSERVER2′

WHERE DataService_98B2DDF9_D9FD_9297_85D3_FCF36F1D016B = ‘ServiceManager’

NOTE: Be sure to replace SQLSERVER2 with the name of your new SQL node.

Now if you Run Select * from MT_Microsoft$SystemCenter$ResourceAccessLayer$SqlResourceStore

You will see row 5 in the Server_48B308F9_CF0E_0F74_83E1_0AEB1B58E2FA column will reflect the change.

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Thanks to SCSM Master and Concurrency co-worker Steve Seibold for help tracking down th...

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Online Orchestrator Clinic

The Windows Management User Group (WMUG.co.uk) – @WMUG presents the August 2014 Clinic in which System Center Orchestrator will be discussed with Sam Erskine (@samerskine) and a team of Orchestrator Guru’s. The team includes:

Steve Beaumont (MVP) – @StevybSC
Dieter Gasser@DiGaBlog
Steve Buchanan (MVP) – @Buchatech
Andreas Baumgarten (MVP) – @ABaumgarten

Sam Erskine has co-authored books on the subject as well as consulting in the deployment of Orchestrator for ITSM.

Details for the Event:

The event is held using Lync Online at 8PM BST on the 20th of August 2014.
Check your time zone here: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html

You can join the live session on the 20th off August 2014: https://meet.lync.com/smsmarshall/rob/D343FYNB

Attendee link is her...

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MVP Unplugged at TechED Video

Savision just released a video they put together of interviews with several MVP’s from TechEd NA 2014. MVP’s in the video include:

  • Robert Butler’
  • Cameron Fuller
  • Kevin Greene
  • Ahmed Nabil Mahmoud
  • Rick Heiges
  • Colin Smith
  • and me

The video was to gather our opinions on the following topics:

  • System Center & VMM
  • Security Concerns in the Cloud
  • The Future of IT
  • Savision solutions

You can watch it here: http://www.savision.com/resources/news/watch-video-mvps-unplugged-teched-na-2014.

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Thanks Savision for the opportunity to be a part of the video and for supporting community!

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Microsoft Private & Public Cloud Poster

On August 1st Microsoft released a new Cloud Ecosystem poster. Microsoft has a great Public and Private cloud story. With Microsoft technologies On-premises and public Azure and other Microsoft public cloud technologies such as Intune are really tied together. Microsoft Private and Public cloud consist of Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2 and Microsoft Azure. This new poster gives you a good visual reference for understanding these technologies and what role they play in the overall cloud story.

Here is a preview of what the poster looks like:

image

Here is the official description for the poster:

This document provides a visual reference for understanding key Microsoft private cloud and on-premises cloud technologies. This poster includes information about:

  • Microsoft Azur...
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MVP Award 3rd year

Today I received an email from Microsoft that I was awarded System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP for the 3rd year.

Here is the email I received:

image

Another huge thanks to everyone in the community and Microsoft. It is an honor to continue to be a part of System Center MVP’s! I look forward to another year with the greats I have made in this community.

Congrats to all the other new and renewed MVP’s! I hope to keep adding value to the System Center community for another year!

MVP Profile: http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/mvp/Steve%20Buchanan-4039736

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Error installing Service Manager with SQL Alwayson

Recently I was deploying a new Service Manager and I was placing the Service Manager database on a SQL 2012 AlwaysON Availability Group. I was specifying the Database server as Availability Group listener DNS name. This is supported with Service Manager. Here are two links the first shows it is supported and the second has install steps for deploying SCSM to a SQL 2012 AlwaysON Availability Group.

Link 1:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh495585.aspx

Link 2:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/servicemanager/archive/2013/02/25/how-to-install-system-center-2012-service-manager-sp1-with-a-sql-2012-alwayson-availability-groups.aspx

The Service Manager wizard did not see the Availability Group. I got an error that SQL services were not running. The following screenshot shows the error.

SCSM-AG-Error

I checked the SQL services and they were fine and my SQL Availability Group was not a named instance.

The strange thing is if I specified the Database server as the IP of the Availability Group or cluster name the wizard would not error out. I could not get Service Manager to install using the SQL Availability Group listener DNS name. Here is what I did to work around this issue:

    1. Installed the Service Manager database to one of the SQL nodes.
    2. Installed the rest of my management servers.
    3. Added the Service Manager database to the Availability Group.
    4. Re-pointed Service Manager registry key DatabaseServerName from the SQL node to the SQL Availability Group listener DNS name. To do this I followed the steps on this TechNet article:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/servicemanager/archive/2012/04/22/moving-the-service-manager-and-dw-databases.aspx#pi144248=2

After completing those steps the Service Manager database was running successfully on the SQL Availability Group. I was able to simulate a failover and everything worked as it should.

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Concurrency at TechED 2014

TechEd is coming up soon. Be sure to connect with all of us from Concurrency out there. All of our MVP’s and other experts will be there. The Concurrency team that will be at the event:

  • Lee Berg
  • Christopher Mank
  • MVP Shannon Fritz
  • MVP Annur Sumar
  • MVP Nathan Lasnoski
  • MVP Steve Buchanan

Here is a breakdown on where you can find us:

- TechEd Sessions -

System Center MVP Nathan Lasnoski will be presenting at two sessions.

DCIM-B224 ITIL Crash Course for IT Pros: Building to Operate

Monday, May 12 3:00 PM – 4:15 PM

Track: Datacenter and Infrastructure Management

Topic: Information Technology Infrastructure Library

Planning a Service Management project and barely know how to spell ITIL? Come to the ITIL Crash Course for IT professionals so you can engage in re-discovering how to deliver on IT better. Find out how to determine what to deliver to your customers, how to set expectations, and how to operate successfully. This crash course will help you interact with the business and successfully map process to technology.

DCIM-B370 Transform Fortune 100 IT Organizations Using IT Service Management with Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 and Office 365

Thursday, May 15 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM

Track: Datacenter and Infrastructure Management

Topic: Information Technology Infrastructure Library

Learn about a global deployment of IT Service Management for over 200,000 users and 30,000 servers, transforming the business for the cloud using System Center, Office 365, and Microsoft Business Intelligence. We walk through the approach, lessons learned, and the techniques for success. Get a glimpse of a Service Manager deployment processing millions of requests per year. These business and technology techniques will help you to plan your deployment, build the right technical framework, and deploy in a way which leads better IT visibility, process improvement, and automation. This session shows you how ITIL concepts will translate into a real-life implementation with stunning results

System Center MVP Annur Sumar will be presenting one session.

CIM-B416 Microsoft System Center 2012 R2: Continual Availability in the Datacenter

Wednesday, May 14 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM

Speaker(s): Annur Sumar, Symon Perriman

Track: Datacenter and Infrastructure Management

Topic: Microsoft System Center

Keep your services online by using System Center 2012 R2 high-availability features to dynamically and automatically manage your highly-virtualized datacenter. Attend this session and learn how System Center can leverage such technologies as service templates, clustering, load balancing, infrastructure monitoring, bare-metal deployment, VMware management, application performance monitoring, crash recovery automation, and service continuity through Microsoft Azure. This session explores many new features in Virtual Machine Manager (VMM), Data Protection Manager, Operations Manager and Orchestrator.

- Vendor/Booth Sessions -

On Monday May 12th @ 1:00PM Nate Lasnoski will be presenting @ the Cireson booth (#309).

Title: Visualizing CMDB Data with Microsoft PowerView and PowerBI

Description: You’ve gotten all sorts of data into your CMDB, now what? Many ITSM efforts focus on getting data in, but they don’t plan around how to get data out. We’ll show a technical walkthrough on taking data from the CMDB and presenting it in web based Microsoft PowerView dashboards for analysts, managers, and executives.

Check out the full line up of System Center experts that will be presenting at the Cireson booth here: http://cireson.com/teched2014/

System Center MVP Steve Buchanan will be doing an interview with Savision at their booth (#1236). For more information on Savision’s MVP interview sessions go here: http://www.savision.com/resources/news/savision-will-be-buzzing-mvps-teched-na2014

LeeBergYouTubeLogo

Lee Berg is planning some video sessions with the Concurrency team (Including everyone mentioned above) to keep you updated on what’s happening at TechNet. Keep an eye on Lee’s blog: http://www.concurrency.com/blog/author/lberg/ and his YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/LeeAlanBerg for more information on these.

Lee Berg @ the Microsoft booth:

You can also catch Lee Berg at the Microsoft booth during the conference. He will be at the Windows Information counter and the System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management counter. Be sure to stop by and say hi.

See you at !

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SysCTR 2012 R2 UR2 – SCSM fixes, DPM SRV 03 support, & new SCOM DB Widgets

Microsoft has release UR2 for System Center 2012 R2. There are many good fixes for the System Center products in this release.

For Service Manager a good amount of console issues are resolved including the annoying FullAdapter error. Here is the list:

  • Assume that users have both SMTP and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) endpoints. When you send email messages to these users from the Service Manager console, Service Manager uses the Lync SIP endpoint as the email address.
  • After you select the Service Requests with Service Level Warning feature, an error occurs about one hour later.
  • After you select the Assigned to me view, a FullAdapter exception occurs about one hour later.
  • When the Service Manager console runs in maximized mode, you encounter one or more of the following issues:When you run PowerShell workflows at the same time, the results are displayed as successful. Actually, the workflows fail.
    • You experience slow performance in the console, and the console consumes excessive CPU resources.
    • Context menus in the console are not displayed as expected, and instead it is displayed at the upper-right hand corner of the main window.
    • Scroll bars for the work items preview pane do not display when you run in full-screen mode. Even if the scroll bars display, they are still inactive and you cannot move the slider.
    • Certain forms or wizards do not display appropriately. Specifically, only the left navigation pane displays and the right area is blank.
    • When you create or edit on a User Prompts page in a request offering, the page is not displayed appropriately.
    • When you scroll on an open work item or a configuration item form, the scrolling does not work. In this case, you can have the mouse held over the scroll bar for scrolling.
  • When a user tries to open an already opened attachment from a work item form, an exception is thrown.
  • After you mark a release record as Closed, the attachment and associated details cannot be retrieved.
  • When you create service requests from Request Offerings, it takes a long time to display the request offerings form.
  • When you try to use a service request template, the console crashes.
  • When you try to create a service request, a NullReferenceException exception is thrown and the console crashes.
  • The Service Manager console shows a generic Microsoft SQL exception instead of the detailed Data Collision exception when you run in a non-English environment.

The DPM update includes support for Windows 2003 Servers. This from the KB article:

DPM 2012 R2 now supports backup and recovery of Windows 2003 servers. In Update Rollup 2, you can now protect Windows Server 2003 by using DPM 2012 R2. The following workloads are also supported in Windows Server 2003:

Microsoft SQL Server 2005, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2

Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007

Other highlights are:  SQL AlwaysOn with Clustering now supported and the ability to schedule backup and CC jobs defined by time windows on individual protection groups. There also are a number of issues that are resolved.

Some highlights from the Operations Manager UR 2 are:

Service Level Objectives (SLO) dashboard load times will be more consistent. When member of a member of a custom Operator role views load slow. This is resolved. There also has been updates to the Unix and Linux monitoring and SQL issues resolved. Something else to note that is new with this SCOM UR is new widgets for the dashboards. Very exciting! Here is a blog specifically about this http://blogs.technet.com/b/momteam/archive/2014/04/24/new-widgets-and-dashboard.aspx and a wiki article http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/24133.operations-manager-dashboard-widgets.aspx with details on them. Here are screenshots of some of the widgets:

NewSCOmWidget1  

NewSCOmWidget2  NewSCOmWidget3

UR downloads and full details can be found here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2932881

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DPM Backup Summary Report

For some time DPM reporting has been an area within DPM that has needed improvement. Since DPM version 2007 the community has asked for improved reporting or an easy way to create custom reports to fit their needs. A quick search will yield many forum threads discussing the need for better reporting in DPM.

Backup administrators need to get detailed reports on Data Protection Manager (DPM) backups. The reports that are included with DPM are not enough and do not contain the data that is often needed for reporting within organizations. Management of IT departments need to know if backup SLA’s are being met and need backup health trend reports. Backup reports and charts need the functionality to be printed, exported and scheduled. DPM already contains some of this functionality through SQL Reporting Services but as aforementioned the out of the box reports do not contain the needed data or charts.

There has been several blogs in the community on how to build your own custom reports for DPM using SQL Report Builder and the DPM SQL views (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff399120.aspx) that are default in the DPM SQL database. See these the following links on creating custom reports for DPM:

http://www.buchatech.com/2011/01/building-custom-reports-in-dpm/

http://blogs.technet.com/b/dpm/archive/2013/01/22/how-to-create-a-custom-report-in-system-center-2012-data-protection-manager.aspx

Even with the ability to create custom DPM reports the need for better reporting within DPM has not gone away. Creating custom reports is not a solution that is viable for all backup administrators out there in the community.

The solution is not viable for several reasons. The DPM SQL views are limited in the data that they allow someone to pull into a report. Therefore the person building the custom reports would need to write SQL queries to pull the data they need. The second reason is that most backup administrators do not have the SQL skills required to go in and build SQL queries. Backup administrators generally do not have the design skillset to build a report with the right charts, graphs and data using tools like SQL Report Builder or Business Intelligence Design Studio (BIDS).

I have teamed up with a buddy of mine that is a business intelligence expert. His name is Brooks Lindall and he is one of the smartest guys I know. A HUGE thanks goes out to him for joining me in trying to solve this problem. Together we created a solution that is the DPM Backup Summary Report. This report was designed with the community in mind. One goal was to make the report portable to any DPM environment so backup administrators could easily drop it in their environment and start reporting on their DPM data right away. With that in mind this report was built in a generic way so that no modifications to SQL are needed when it is installed. We also set out to incorporate as many of the data points that we could that DPM admins in the community have been asking for. We wanted to fit all of the data in a single view. The last goal was to give this report to the community for free.

This report works with DPM 2010 and DPM 2012/R2. For now the report is only for disk and tape based backups. In the future we are looking to extend this in the future to show online (Azure) as well. The features and data points contained in the report are:

  • Ability to select day, week, month (Time range)
  • Ability to select a single server or many
  • Ability to select a single protection group or many
  • Ability to select disk, tape or both backup type
  • Summary of the backup success and failures with a percentage of the successes (Success Rate/SLA)
  • Health trend of backups (day, week, month)
  • Backup detail including:Individual data sources (What was actually backed up)
    •      The status including the error (if there is an error)
    •      Date and time the backup was created
    •      How much data was transferred during the backup
    •      Total time it took to backup to complete

SAMPLE OF REPORT:

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New SCOM DPM Dashboard Download Link

A company named AIO Technology published a SCOM DPM dashboard a while ago. They recently removed it as they no longer offer this. I was the one that built this dashboard. I am posting about it here for anyone that may be looking to download it. You can now find this on TechNet Gallery here: http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/SCOM-DPM-Dashboard-8eef9b58

Information about the dashboard:

OVERVIEW

This dashboard shows the overall health of your Data Protection Manager (DPM) backups. It includes all DPM servers in your environment in a central location. Great for daily spot checking of your backup health and getting to the root of any problems faster.

Installing is as simple as importing into your Operations Manager (SCOM) server. You do need DPM management packs and central console deployed to your SCOM before installing this dashboard.

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FEATURES

  • Centralized health of all DPM servers
  • Protection Group health aggregate
  • Protected Data Source health aggregate
  • Storage Pool health aggregate
  • Tape/Tape Library health aggregate
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