Kevin Holman's System Center Blog

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  • Blog Post: WINS Management Pack, revisited

    I had a request from a customer recently, for an updated version of the WINS Management pack. Microsoft’s WINS MP is currently an old MOM 2005 converted MP, and only supports NT4.0, Windows 2000 Server, and Server 2003. My customer still relies on WINS for some legacy requirements, and they use...
  • Blog Post: Updated Active Directory ADMP Management Pack released – Version 6.0.7065.0

    This is now available on the catalog. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/opsmgr/cc539535.aspx   Changes in this update: Support for monitoring Windows Server® 2008 R2 server operating systems as well as Windows® 7 client operating systems Support for monitoring the Active Directory Web Service ...
  • Blog Post: Quick tip – using regular expressions in a dynamic group

    Here is a quick tip on using a regular expression when creating a group.   OpsMgr dynamic inclusion rules are case sensitive. If I have a group that I want to contain all computers that START with “OM”…. I can use the following expression:     The “^” tells regex to start a new line… without...
  • Blog Post: What’s the diff? Or – how to see exactly what is new with an updated MP

    Back in MOM 2005…. we had some really cool reskit tools to look at differences in Management Packs.  In the MOM 2005 reskit, there was a tool called MP2XML.exe which would take an AKM MP, and convert it to XML.  Then, you could run another reskit tool, MPDiff.exe, which could graphically show...
  • Blog Post: Some things to know about the DHCP MP version 6.0.6709.0

      A new DHCP Management Pack recently released, version 6.0.6709.0 on 7/9/2010.  One of my customers asked me to review this MP because of some questions he had about it.  There are some interesting things worthy of pointing out about this MP.   You can download it from the MP catalog...
  • Blog Post: What is a group anyway?

    So – this is a first part, of a multi-post series on creating groups.   The most common reason we create groups in OpsMgr… is to scope Notifications, Views, and to use for overrides. Most of the groups my customers create are dealing with Windows Computer objects.  The reason for this, is that...
  • Blog Post: How to find all possible event ID’s for a given event source

    I recently got this question from a customer… and felt it would be good to blog about this. The customer wants to create an Alert, anytime there is a event in the System event log, from a USER32 event source:   HOWEVER – it is a best practice in SCOM – to create our event matching criteria to be...
  • Blog Post: Why do my group memberships for Windows Computers have machines that don't belong there?

    Here is a little tip if you find that your Windows Computer Groups (and state views scoped by groups) contain computers that should not be there.   Have you noticed that you have state views or Windows Computer Groups that contain servers that you don't expect?  Like Exchange Servers in your...
  • Blog Post: Using Event Description as criteria for a rule

    When we write rules and monitors to look at events in the event log.... typically the most common criteria are Event ID and Source.  We also have a list of other common event properties to choose from: However, this list doesn't always work.  For instance - if we add someone to a Global Group...
  • Blog Post: Logical Disk Availability is critical – what does this mean?

    You might have noticed a logical disk availability monitor, being red on some of your systems. In more recent MP’s – this monitor was renamed to “File System error or corruption” One of the challenges with this monitor – is that it has really good product knowledge, but the state change context doesn...
  • Blog Post: How do I delete an attribute in OpsMgr 2007?

    I notice - when viewing a custom attribute, there is no option to delete it... only view the properties? Apparently this is by design. There is no harm in having "extra" attributes in SCOM - that arent used. However, if you do want to delete an unused attribute - you will have to export your MP...
  • Blog Post: Keep your management pack names SHORT in SP1!

    I have seen this twice now… so I will blog about it.  It seems to be rare in the wild, but it will completely cripple a management group when this occurs.  So beware SP1 users!   This article does not apply to R2.  This is only an issue in OpsMgr 2007 SP1.   When you create your...
  • Blog Post: The Cluster Service will automatically restart itself

    Something I ran across with a customer. There aren’t many situations where service recoveries run automatically in Microsoft MP’s, but this is one case where they do.  The cluster service running is critical to a healthy cluster.  In the current cluster MP, the service monitor for the cluster...
  • Blog Post: A tidbit on tuning some Self-Tuning threshold monitors

    I wrote up a blog post long ago on loving and hating STT (Self Tuning Threshold) Monitors HERE   This is something I noticed in R2…. I don't remember seeing this in SP1 before…   I was getting some alert noise on my Windows Server 2008 Terminal Server – from the “Total Number of Active Sessions...
  • Blog Post: New Dell Hardware MP released, 3.1.1 A00

    Dell has updated their hardware management pack.  The old version was 3.1.0.118.  The new version is 3.1.1.3.  I blogged about the old MP HERE   So – first thing – I did the unthinkable .  I read the release notes .  Here is what Dell says is new:   #####################################################################...
  • Blog Post: Repeating event monitor alert description variables don't work

      This is current as of RC-SP1 version of OpsMgr 2007. When you create a repeating event monitor, and use the GUI to add in some Alert description variables, such as event ID, Description, etc... you will find that they do not work.  Below are the correct variables to use for repeating event...
  • Blog Post: Self Tuning Thresholds - love and hate

    ****** The references in this post to the Exchange Management Pack have been changed... many of these issues below have been addressed in the updated MP: http://blogs.technet.com/kevinholman/archive/2008/08/22/updated-exchange-2003-mp-released-version-6-0-6387-0.aspx Self tuning thresholds are...
  • Blog Post: How do I know if I have the latest Management Packs installed?

    This continues to be a common issue. Many people think they have the latest MP's but often don't. I will attempt to document the process to ensure you have the most recent MP and MP guides. There are two sources for Management Packs: 1. The original media (that you installed OpsMgr from) and...
  • Blog Post: What is config churn?

    There have been a couple good articles briefly covering this topic…. you might have read them.  I will reference some below.  Config churn is basically, when your RMS is in an almost never-ending loop of generating config.  This can be caused by “less than optimized” management packs,...
  • Blog Post: Tuning tip – turning off some over-collection of events

    We often think of tuning OpsMgr by way of tuning “Alert Noise”…. by disabling rules that generate alerts that we don't care about, or modifying thresholds on monitors to make the alert more actionable for our specific environment. However – one area of OpsMgr that often goes overlooked, is event overcollection...
  • Blog Post: Print Server MP updated - added support for Server 2008 to 6.0.6392.0

    The updated Print Server MP has been released, update version is 6.0.6392.0 http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/opsmgr/cc539535.aspx The monitors are loaded under the following classes: Print Server Windows 2008 Print Services Role The rules are loaded under the following classes: Microsoft Windows 2000...
  • Blog Post: Print Server management pack fills the Operational DB with TONS of perf data

    This is something I have noticed in MOM 2005, and seems to be the same in the conversion MP for OpsMgr 2007.  (Version 6.0.5000.0 of the Microsoft.Windows.Server.Printserver (Converted) MP).  When you import this MP, it will fill the Operational and reporting databases with performance data...
  • Blog Post: Creating a Group based on OU (Organizational Unit) in Active Directory

      Here is a really cool feature of Opsmgr:  the ability to create groups easily based on any discovered attribute of an object.   OU is something that is part of the Windows Computer object discovery.  If you examine a state view – you will see in the details pane discovered...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server MP update – 6.0.6569.0

    The SQL 2000, 2005, and 2008 MP’s have been updated.  If you arent running the latest version, you should give serious consideration to getting this tested in your lab environments, and then moved into production.   http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/opsmgr/cc539535.aspx   Changes in this...
  • Blog Post: Populating groups from a SQL server CMDB – step by step

    Boris wrote a cool article HERE on how to populate a group of computers in OpsMgr, from an external source…. such as active directory. In his published example – you run an LDAP query to AD, to return a recordset list if computers, in order to populate them into a group. This post will extend that...