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...

Read More

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.

Read More

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...

Read More

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:

Read More

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

Read More

Speaking @ MMS as one of the 3 International System Center Chefs

I am excited to be co-presenting a Service Manager session at MMS 2014 on November 10th. The Midwest Management Summit is a 3-day conference purposely capped to just 500 attendees so that nobody gets lost in the crowd. Almost 60 Microsoft MVP’s will be presenting on System Center topics and more.

Areas the speakers will be presenting on are Operations Manager, Configuration Manager, Orchestrator, Service Management Automation, Service Manager, Data Protection Manager, Azure Pack, PowerShell, Desired State Configuration and more.

The session I will be co-presenting in is titled: 900 Degrees of Service Manager with 3 International System Center Chefs. I am lucky to be co-presenting with:

image

image

Here is what you can expect from the session:

“In this demo-packed session, you explore the depths of customizing Service Manager with Samuel Erskine, Dieter Gasser and Steve Buchanan (MVP). We will walk you through real-world scenarios of using advanced customization techniques such as the Authoring Tool, PowerShell, and Visual Studio to build and customize classes, forms, workflows and console tasks in Service Manager. We also discuss best practices, recommendations and processes you follow when customizing Service Manager. You will learn how to plan for customizing Service Manager for business processes. Transform your plans into custom solutions using the advance authoring tools. Finally the session is delivered by 3 deep experts with vast real world deployment and authoring experience.”

Here is a video from the MMS site with us talking about the session:

image

About me:

image

Full details about this session can be found here: 900 Degrees of Service Manager with 3 International System Center Chefs

UPDATE:

MMS has extended reduced conference registration until Friday, October 17th. So go and register today to keep from paying the higher conference and hotel rates!

Read More

Hot off the press: Service Manager 2012 Unleashed book

The System Center 2012 Service Manager Unleashed book is finally done! I received some copies of it on Friday. It is set to publish on Monday October 6th 2014. Here is the link for it and a picture below.

http://www.amazon.com/System-Center-Service-Manager-Unleashed/dp/067233707X

SCSM 2012 Unleashed

There was a great team of people behind this book consisting of well-known folks in the Service Manager community from MVP’s, MCT’s, expert consultants, and even Microsoft staff. Authors included me, MVP Kerrie Meyler, MVP Kurt Van Hoecke, and MCT Sam Erskine. Contributors include MVP Jakob Svendsen, Microsoft employee Kathleen Wilson, MCT Kenneth Surksum, Oskar Landman, MVP Patrik Sundqvist, and Peter Quagliariello. Even the foreword was done by former Microsoft program manager and now MVP Christian Booth and Service Manager program manager Srikanth Ranganathan.

This book is packed with tons of “why” and “how to” content for Service Manager. If you have Service Manager deployed or you are about to embark on a Service Manager project add this book to your library. Here is an overview of the content in the book:

This comprehensive resource will help you automate and optimize all facets of service management with System Center 2012 Service Manager.

Expert consultants offer deep “in the trenches” insights for improving problem resolution, change control, release management, asset lifecycle management, chargeback, and more. You’ll learn how to implement high-value best practices from ITIL and the Microsoft Operations Framework.

The authors begin with an expert overview of Service Manager, its evolution, and its new capabilities. Next, they walk through overall planning, design, implementation, and upgrades. Then, to help you focus your efforts, they present stepwise coverage of all topics in each feature area, linking technical information about Service Manager with essential knowledge about the technologies it depends on.

Whatever your role in deploying or running Service Manager, this guide will help you deliver more responsive support at lower cost and drive more value from all your IT investments.

• Leverage MOF and ITIL processes built into System Center 2012 Service Manager
• Plan and design your Service Manager deployment
• Install Service Manager or upgrade from earlier versions
• Efficiently administer work and configuration items
• Use connectors to integrate with Active Directory, Exchange, and System Center components
• Create service maps
• Enable end user access through Service Manager’s self-service portal
• Implement incident, problem, change, and release management
• Utilize workflows to automate key support processes
• Create service level agreements with calendars, metrics, and objectives
• Provide quick access to a standardized catalog of services
• Use notification to ensure that Service Manager items are promptly addressed
• Secure Service Manager and its data warehouse/reporting platform
• Perform maintenance, backup, and recovery
• Manage Service Manager performance
• Customize Service Manager

http://www.amazon.com/System-Center-Service-Manager-Unleashed/dp/067233707X

Read More

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.)

clip_image001.png

 

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:

clip_image002.png

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.

clip_image003.png

Read More

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.

Read More

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

Read More