Hello Readers/Viewers!

Today we take a look at some new functionality within the VMM Self-Service Portal 2.0 SP1 Release.

BACKGROUND

If you haven’t already heard, Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal 2.0 SP1 was recently released.

In the long list of new features, one in particular stood out to me:

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It now has the ability to natively trigger OIS Policies, leveraging the existing OIS Operator Console Web Service!

Excited about this new feature, I decided to install the update and give it a try. The following “8-Minute-Demo” video illustrates my trial experience of OIS & VMM Self-Service Portal 2.0 SP1:

As you may imagine, once I had this up and running I couldn’t just stop there… In fact, I decided to create a bunch of OIS policies that would enhance the VMM Self-Service Portal experience, leveraging its ability to trigger and pass data to OIS.

NOTE: At timestamp 00:10:40, I mention the Example Workflows shown below. At the time this video was recorded, there were only four (4) use case categories, as of its release (07/29/2011), the “OIS - VMM SSP 2.0 SP1 Use Case Workflow Kit 1.0” has five (5) use case categories and 21 workflow examples.

SOLUTION COMPONENTS

EXAMPLE SOLUTION OIS POLICY LISTING

Here is a listing of the OIS policies (20) I have created for five (5) synergistic use case categories:

  1. Cloud Management
    • Cloud Management | VM Checkpoint Management | 1.1.1 Create Checkpoint
    • Cloud Management | VM Checkpoint Management | 1.1.2 Manage Checkpoint
    • Cloud Management | Virtual Disk Management | 1.2.1 Update Virtual Disk Drive
    • Cloud Management | Virtual Network Management | 1.3.1 Update Virtual Network Adapter
  2. Service Management
    • Service Management | Change Management | 2.1.1 Create Change Request | VM Tasks
    • Service Management | Change Management | 2.1.2 Update and Close Change Request
    • Service Management | CI Management | 2.2.1 Create VM CI
    • Service Management | CI Management | 2.2.2 VM Assignment
    • Service Management | CI Management | 2.2.3.1 CR User Assignment
    • Service Management | CI Management | 2.2.3.2 IR User Assignment
    • Service Management | CI Management | 2.2.4 IR to CR Assignment
    • Service Management | Incident Management | 2.3.1 Create Incident
  3. Configuration Management
    • Configuration Management | 3.1 Create A Collection
    • Configuration Management | 3.2 Add Computer To Collection by Name
    • Configuration Management | 3.3 Create Advertisement
    • Configuration Management | 3.4 Deploy Software Update
  4. Data Protection
    • Data Protection | 4.1 Protect Data Source
    • Data Protection | 4.2 Create Recovery Point
  5. Administrative Tasks
    • Administrative Tasks | 5.1 Add or Delete User to or from Admin Group
    • Administrative Tasks | 5.2 Add or Delete BAT File for Mapped Network Drive

NOTE: Also included is the “8-Minute-Demo | 0.1 Opalis Example” (renamed to fit the convention).

EXAMPLE SOLUTION OIS POLICY IMAGES

The following are images of the policies listed above:

8-Minute-Demo | 0.1 Opalis Example
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Cloud Management | VM Checkpoint Management | 1.1.1 Create Checkpoint
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Cloud Management | VM Checkpoint Management | 1.1.2 Manage Checkpoint
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Cloud Management | Virtual Disk Management | 1.2.1 Update Virtual Disk Drive
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Cloud Management | Virtual Network Management | 1.3.1 Update Virtual Network Adapter
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Service Management | Change Management | 2.1.1 Create Change Request | VM Tasks
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Service Management | Change Management | 2.1.2 Update and Close Change Request
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Service Management | CI Management | 2.2.1 Create VM CI
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Service Management | CI Management | 2.2.2 VM Assignment
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Service Management | CI Management | 2.2.3.1 CR User Assignment
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Service Management | CI Management | 2.2.3.2 IR User Assignment
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Service Management | CI Management | 2.2.4 IR to CR Assignment
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Service Management | Incident Management | 2.3.1 Create Incident
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Configuration Management | 3.1 Create A Collection
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Configuration Management | 3.2 Add Computer To Collection by Name
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Configuration Management | 3.3 Create Advertisement
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Configuration Management | 3.4 Deploy Software Update
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Data Protection | 4.1 Protect Data Source
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Data Protection | 4.2 Create Recovery Point
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Administrative Tasks | 5.1 Add or Delete User to or from Admin Group
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Administrative Tasks | 5.2 Add or Delete BAT File for Mapped Network Drive
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EXAMPLE SOLUTION OIS EXPORT RELEASE

Because this solution includes quite a few policies, Virtual Machine Manager, Service Manager, Configuration Manager, and Data Protection Manager object configurations, as well as error handling, I have packaged it all up as a CodePlex project release (sanitized the OIS_EXPORT). If you are interested, you can find the export here: http://opalis.codeplex.com/releases/view/70069 (OIS - VMM SSP 2.0 SP1 Use Case Workflow Kit 1.0)

Pre-requisites for Example:

VMM SSP 2.0 SP1 Error Resolution (when querying to OIS Policies from SSP):

As mentioned in the video (timestamp 00:06:13), you may receive an error when you go to “Select an Opalis Policy”:

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If you receive an error like this when attempting to query for the available OIS Policies, this is likely due to a large number of Policies within the target OIS deployment.

You can resolve this issue by increasing the following values within the %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self Service Portal 2.0\Portal\Web.config file:

  • maxReceivedMessageSize
  • maxBufferSize

I made the following change (increasing both to: 2147483647):
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Once you make your changes to the Web.config file, save and attempt to query the available OIS Policies, you may then receive the following error:

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You can resolve this issue by increasing the following value in the %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self Service Portal 2.0\Portal\Web.config file:

  • maxStringContentLength

I made the following change (increasing it to: 2147483647):
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Once you make this change to the Web.config file, save and attempt to query the available OIS Policies, you should see something like the following (only with your Policies):

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NOTE: Information about this issue is available on page 18 of the “VMM08R2_VMMSSPOperationsGuide.docx” (documentation that ships with VMM SSP 2.0 SP1).

CONCLUSION AND DISCLAIMER

I want to be clear, you should use these policies as examples. Though they are extremely generic, you likely will not be able to simply import them and click “Start”. The export is from the working set of policies that I created for a specific the environment. I have made them as dynamic as possible, but still, your mileage will vary. In fact, the environment that I currently run (and ran this in) is OIS 6.3 installed on Windows Server 2008 R2. All policies were built to automate/orchestrate against Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual machines running RTM versions of the respective System Center components.

DISCLAIMER: The project artifacts within the above referenced CodePlex project is currently compatible and tested against OIS 6.3 installed on Windows Server 2008 R2. Newer versions of OIS and/or the Windows OS where OIS is installed may require that these artifacts need to be updated to accommodate. This solution is AS IS, is not specifically supported and you should use it at your own risk. Please be aware of the impact each policy has on the intended targets before testing. ALWAYS use a test environment to vet your OIS projects.

Anyway, I hope this was useful. If anything it should give you yet another idea on how you could use OIS in your datacenter. :)

enJOY!