(Hopefully) Useful Information on Microsoft Azure, System Center & Hyper-V

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

SCSM – Console Performance

Service Manager

UPDATE (03/12/2015):  It seems as if Microsoft has pulled or moved the article I reference for this post.  Here are the screenshots of the post when it was available!   —–   One of the main complaints with Service Manager has been the performance of the console, which hasn’t really improved much even with all the latest updates applied.  Whilst it is logical to believe that console performance is directly.. Read More

SCSM – Grooming

Computer Health

Data grooming in Service Manager is extremely important, yet most of the time it happens in the background and few people know what grooming is being done, and how it is being performed.  Due to it’s importance, for both data consistency and performance, Scott Walker (Senior Support Escalation Engineer at Microsoft) has posted three articles on why grooming is needed, what grooming is performed, and how it can be checked!.. Read More

System Center 2012 R2 – UR8 Released!

Out Now

For those that missed it, UR8 for System Center 2012 R2 is now available and brings fixes and features to Operations Manager, Service Manager, Orchestrator, Virtual Machine Manager, SPF and WAP.  The descriptions and download links for the updates are available here, https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3096378. However, the Service Manager UR seems to be missing from this page but is available here, https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3096383. Happy updating!! David

SCSM – Exporting Work Items with Action Log

SCSM Action Log

It is a fairly regular occurrence that I get asked to export a selection of work items from SCSM into a CSV, or something similar, so they can be reviewed.  What isn’t so regular is that I get asked to include the full Action Log with the export of the work items! I did get this request recently however, as an auditor required it for a number of random incidents,.. Read More

SCSM – Service Management on an iPad

IT Monkey

As we know, the SCSM console can only be installed on Windows computers with certain pre-requisites installed, which limits what devices SCSM can be used on.  Even the SCSM self-service portal has a Silverlight plugin requirement, which also limits the devices on which it can be used.  This may not be a problem for many people, however in this more mobile, agile, and Service Management centric world there is often.. 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 – Changing the Workflow Management Server

CMDB Source

Recently, I had to upgrade the infrastructure for a Service Manager management group, and as part of this upgrade I had to change the workflow management server to a newly built management server.  At first, this looked like a straight forward process as defined on Microsoft TechNet. https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh524221.aspx I prepared the new management server, run the SQL query, and restarted the System Center services, and everything was completed successfully.  After.. 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

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