(Hopefully) Useful Information on Microsoft System Center, Hyper-V and Cloud

SCSM – General Use SR Extensions

Good Advice

As you start to build your service catalogue in SCSM, and the number of Request Offerings grow and grow, the need for additional properties to store data also grows. For example, if you take my Create Announcement request offering (RO) example, there are six questions asked in order for the workflow to create the announcement.  All the answers to these questions will need to be mapped to properties in the.. Read More

SCSM & Cireson Portal – Announcements

Announcement

Being able to publish announcements in the Cireson Portal is a great way to get information out to the people, whether it is just to IT, or certain parts of the business, or the whole business. It’s particular useful to notify users of new request offerings when they become available, and when there are major IT outages!   What isn’t so great is that in the current portal version, only.. Read More

Updated System Center Visual Studio Authoring Extensions

VS2015 Banner

Today, Microsoft has released an updated version of the System Center Visual Studio Authoring Extensions, which includes support for Visual Studio 2015!!  I know a lot of people who have been waiting for this for a long time, so it’s great news that you can now download the latest version of VSAE from, http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30169 It’s the same straight forward 2 minute installation as it always has been, and provides everything you.. Read More

SCOM – Windows Event Log Data Mining Management Pack

Stalin

The Data Mining management pack, written by my friend Stelian Postea, is great management pack to help you investigate issues and to improve the general health of your servers.  We all look at the evnt logs on our servers to investigate individual issues, however we very rarely take a look at the number, and type, of events being created to gain an overall status of health…. That’s where this MP.. Read More

SCOM – Monitor Power Plan Setting

Power Plan Setting

All Windows computers have a power plans that affect how the computer behaves, and this should be set appropriately for each individual computer.  For example, on a laptop you may select the “Power saver” plan which will save as much energy (battery life) as possible, but will also decrease the performance of the system.  But, on a server, you would probably want to select the “High Performance” power plan, to.. Read More

SCSM – Custom Postpone Activity

Workflow

A number of requests I have had of late have been to build in a time delay into the workflow of a service request in SCSM.  An example of this was building a server de-provisioning workflow, which needed to have a two week delay between powering off the server, and completely deleting it.  The workflow I put together for this involved Orchestrator runbooks to perform tasks such as removing System Center agents.. Read More

SCSM – Preventing MPSync Issues

DW MP's

Within a Service Manager environment, there are two management groups, one operational management group and one data warehouse management group.  In order for data to be committed to the data warehouse correctly, management packs (sealed only) that are in the operational management group need to be sync’d over to the data warehouse management group, and the versions of the management packs needs to be the same in both.  This sync.. Read More

SCOM – Pending Reboot Management Pack

Alerts

Today, I put together another management pack for SCOM, and this time this management pack monitors if servers need a reboot. The management checks for a pending reboot requirement in four places…  These three registry locations are checked for values that indicate a reboot is required: HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing And, Microsoft.Update.SystemInfo is queried for a requirement to reboot. After testing though, I did notice that some applications.. Read More

SCSM – Assign Reviewer to Review Activity Automatically

Service Manager

  Within Change Request templates in SCSM, it is common to add a Review Activity to the workflow to ensure the relevant people are aware of, and agree the change can taking place.  Placing a review activity at the beginning of a workflow (as in the image below) ensures that no other activities to actually do any work take place, and provides an audit trail for the change. If you.. Read More

SCOM – Auto-Enabling Agent Proxying

When deploying agents in SCOM, it is often required to enable agent proxying in order to achieve full monitoring. Common servers that require agent proxying are AD servers, cluster servers, Exchange servers etc. The reason for enabling agent proxying is to allow the agent to pass data about a computer name other than itself, such as another AD server that is being replicated.  For most SCOM administrators, managing agent proxying.. Read More