Category System Center Essentials

4th time System Center MVP

This morning I received an email from Microsoft that I am awarded System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP for the 4th year. Here is the email I received:


The System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP’s are a great lively bunch of folks. It is an honor to still be a part of this group. I have made many friends at Microsoft, with other MVP’s and in the community during my time as an MVP...

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System Center Universe Jedi finalists

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.


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New System Center book & SC troubleshooting tool

This is an exciting week for System Center. First there is a new tool released by Microsoft called System Center 2012 SP1 Configuration Analyzer (SCCA). The System Center 2012 SP1 Configuration Analyzer works these System Center products in the stack:


  • Operations Manager
  • Virtual Machine Manager (VMM)
  • Service Manager
  • Orchestrator (plus Service Provider Foundation)
  • Configuration Manager
  • Data Protection Manager (DPM)



    It can be...

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    Install and Configure System Center Essentials 2010 Part 2

    ~ How to Configure System Center Essentials 2010 ~

    We already covered How to install System Center Essentials 2010 (SCE2010) in part  1:

    It has been a while as I had to find the time to draft this post. In part 2 we will cover basic configuration of SCE2010. As you already know SCE2010 is a combination of several System Center products so there are a fair amount of settings that need to be configured. When you first open up SCE2010 a wizard opens that you use to configure it. Here is the list of what is in the initial configuration:

    • Group Policy Settings (Use Local or Domain Group Policy)
    • Computer Discovery (A scheduled job that adds new computers to SCE2010.)
    • Email Notifications (What email server and account is used to send out notifications.)
    • Proxy Server
    • Monitoring Configuration
    • Error Monitoring and Forwarding


    • Microsoft Updates (Update Languages, Update Classifications, and Update Deployment)

    Here is a screenshot of the initial configuration wizard.


    In this post we will basically go through the options in the wizard and some other basic settings you may want to configure.

    Group Policy Settings

    This gives you two options for Group Policy. You have domain or local. Domain is the recommended option as this will automatically make changes to computers that you add to SCE2010 such as directing computers to use SCE2010 for Windows updates. If you do not have a domain account that has privileges to create objects in the domain group policy then you will have to go with the local option. This will work just fine but changes are made to the local group policy of ever computer that is managed by SCE 2010 rather then pushed down through domain group policy.

    When the SCE 2010 agent is installing on a computer a SCE_ConfigureAgentCertPolic...

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    In SCE 2010 you put in a set of Active Directory account credentials when you first install. This account is used by default when installing SCE 2010 agents on computers and when SCE 2010 scans Active Directory for newly added computers. Sometimes the wrong account is used for your “Run As” account when SCE 2010 is setup and needs to be changed to a different account later.

    Here is how you can do this:

    • Open the SCE 2010 console
    • Click...
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    System Center Center Essentials 2010: Cannot initialize report.

    When trying to access “Essentials Reports” in System Center Essentials (SCE) reporting you get this error: Cannot initialize report. This error is because your System Center “Run As” account does not have SQL select permission on the SUSDB database.

    To fix this you simply need to give this account the proper permission. To do this follow these steps.

    • Logon to your SCE server or SQL server that hosts your “SCE” instance.
    • Open SQL Mana...
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    Remove a computer from System Center Essentials 2010 that is no longer available

    So we all have run into this or done it at one point. You decommission a server or workstation and forget to uninstall agents that where on that system. Well System Center Essentials installs an agent on your Windows server and or clients. So now your managed computer has been removed from the domain but the SCE 2010 agent still shows it in the console. How do you remove it? The SCE 2010 agent can be manually deleted from the SCE 2010 console to do this follow these steps:

    • Open the SCE 2010 Console:
    • Go to Administration space:


    • Select Device Management then select Agent Managed:


    • Select the machine that is no longer available (Its “Healthy State” will be grayed out):
    • Right Click on it and select “Delete”:


    That is it the machine will be removed from System Center Essentials after that.

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    Install and Configure System Center Essentials 2010 Part 1

    ~ How to Install System Center Essentials 2010 ~

    I recently had the opportunity to setup Microsoft System Center Essentials (SCE 2010) in my network environment. Microsoft System Center Essentials is a management solution for small to mid sized business network environments. It is a combination of a few System Center products including Operations Manager, Configuration Manager, and Virtual Machine Manager. It also includes windows update services. This solutions puts all of these solutions in one interface so an IT professional can efficiently manage their IT environment from physical and virtual servers to clients and other network devices. In this two part post I am going to walk through installing SCE 2010 and some basic configuration.

    Software Used:

    Below is the list of software you will need for your deployment.

    • OS is Windows Server 2008 R2
    • SQL Server 2008 R2
    • System Center Essentials 2010

    Install of SQL:

    First thing we need to do is install SQL server. SCE 2010 has a database on the backend and you need somewhere to store this.

    You can use a local SQL instance or a remote SQL instance on an existing SQL server. I will walk you through installing this on the same server you will install SCE2010 on.

    • Launch your SQL install and click next on the “Setup Support Rules” and “Setup Role” screens accept the defaults.
    • You will then come to the “Feature Selection” screen select the same features as the image below.


    • You can chose to use the default instance. SQL will give it a name for you. I like to use named instances. Chose one of the options and click next.


    • This screen shows you how much disk space will be used. Review it then click next.


    • Here you can chose Windows Authentication or Mixed Mode. Windows Authentication will use the account you are logged onto the server with to access SQL. With Mixed Mode you will need to add the accounts you want to have access to the SQL instance. Enter a password for the SA account and click next. Chose an option configure your settings and click next.


    • Chose default for Reporting services and click next.


    There are three more screens accept the defaults and click next. When you get to the “Ready to Install” screen click install to install your SQL instance.


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