Kevin Holman's System Center Blog

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  • Blog Post: Using the “sync time” property in workflows and overrides

    We use the scheduler datasource in SCOM for workflows for all kinds of purposes. Most workflows have some concept of a schedule in the datasource to tell how often to inspect for something, like a service running, or to look at perfmon data, or to run a script. The most common property would be the Interval...
  • Blog Post: Creating Groups of Computers based on Time Zone

    I have written several posts over the years dealing with authoring groups. See many examples here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/kevinholman/archive/2010/07/27/authoring-groups-from-simple-to-complex.aspx This post will deal with the concept that we might want to create groups in SCOM, of Windows Computer...
  • Blog Post: New MP Authoring tool released – “MP Author”

    A new MP authoring tool was announced today. Read the release at http://blogs.technet.com/b/momteam/archive/2014/01/13/mp-blog-the-right-tool-for-the-right-job.aspx This is a FREE tool which Silect is releasing. This tool essentially replaces the functionality of the previous “Visio Management Pack Designer...
  • Blog Post: How to create workflows that wont go into Maintenance Mode

    I had an interesting request from a customer. They wanted to collect events that would still continue to be collected, even when the monitored server was in maintenance mode. This presents an interesting challenge. When we place the “Windows Computer” object into maintenance mode, this starts a chain...
  • Blog Post: How to use Snippets in VSAE to write LOTS of workflows, quickly!

    One of the powerful authoring capabilities of Visual Studio Authoring Extensions, is the use of “Snippets” to create lots of monitoring workflows with minimal effort. Snippets can be input manually, or they can use a CSV file with the input data already prepared. I had a request from a customer who needed...
  • 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: Targeting workflows to Resource pools

    Resource Pools in SCOM 2012 are an advancement over SCOM 2007, where a resource pool can be used to host instances, that have targeted workflows, and make them highly available. This allowed the “All Management Servers Resource Pool” to host the instances that the RMS used to run in SCOM 2007. This allowed...
  • Blog Post: Using a recovery in OpsMgr - Basic

    This is a simple overview of using a recovery for a custom Monitor in OpsMgr Lets say we create a simple service monitor in OpsMgr... for this example - I will use the Print Spooler service: Create a new monitor, unit monitor, and choose windows services - Basic Service Monitor: Choose an...
  • 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...
  • Blog Post: Using a Generic Text Log rule to monitor an ASCII text file – even when the file is a UNC path

    There are several examples in blogs on how to create a generic text log rule to monitor for a local text file (Unicode, ASCII, or UTF8). This will be a step-by-step example of doing the same, however, using this to monitor the log file on a remote UNC path instead of a local drive.  This is useful...
  • Blog Post: 101: Using custom scripts to write events to the OpsMgr Event Log with MOMScriptAPI.LogScriptEvent

    This is very basic 101 stuff.  I provide some links to some much deeper articles.   When converting MOM 2005 scripts…. on of the common things to do is to change the way events are written. In MOM 2005, we would most commonly use a custom method, ScriptContext.CreateEvent, which would create...
  • Blog Post: Writing monitors to target Logical or Physical Disks

    This is something a LOT of people make mistakes on – so I wanted to write a post on the correct way to do this properly, using a very common target as an example. When we write a monitor for something like “Processor\% Processor Time\_Total” and target “Windows Server Operating System”…. everything is...
  • Blog Post: Authoring rules for Windows 2008 events, and how to cheat

    So…. with the introduction of Server 2008 into OpsMgr… as a monitored agent, you might need to re-evaluate some of your old rules.   Almost all (if not all) of the basic event ID’s and parameters, in the security event log, have changed.    For instance, I had a rule to alert me on every...
  • Blog Post: Making groups of logical disks – an example from simple to advanced

    I have been seeing this question come up a lot lately – as customers try and create groups of their disks – in order to create overrides for “certain” disks.  So – I am creating this post to give some real world examples.   Well – I will start this simply.  Say we want to create a group...
  • Blog Post: Creating custom dynamic computer groups based on registry keys on agents

    I have had a few requests now for this, so I thought I would take the time to write up the process.     Lets say I have three support levels of servers:   Level 1 – servers critical to business operations (ex: customer facing web applications, SQL back-ends) Level 2 – important servers...
  • Blog Post: Adding custom information to alert description (s) and notifications

    This is just a dump of some alert description variables I pulled from several other bloggers: Custom Properties for Alert Description and Notification: Alert Description Variables:   For event Rules: EventDisplayNumber (Event ID):            ...
  • Blog Post: A cool way to use a web page view in the console - run a report!

    Here is a unique way to use web page views in the OpsMgr console. You can create a web page view in the Ops Console for pretty much any HTML - whether local to your hard drive - or a real web page. When you run an SRS based report, you can drop this link into a web page view. Here is an example: ...
  • Blog Post: Are your Alert Descriptions Ugly?

    When you create an Alert Description in OpsMgr 2007 for alerting rules and monitors.... you might have noticed there is no way to add a line break in between each parameter output you want... so the Alert Description is all jumbled together and hard to read.   For instance... I created an Alert...
  • Blog Post: Cleaning up the Default MP

    The Default management pack that ships with OpsMgr 2007 is used to store very specific information for the management group.  It is a widely known best practice to NOT write any custom rules, monitors, groups, views, or overrides to this MP.  Even customers who know this - and try to enforce...
  • 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: How do I collect data from a multi-instance object – like a SQL DB instance?

    How do I collect data from a multi-instance object – like a SQL DB instance? This was a common question in the RTM version of the product. If I wrote a rule to collect performance data against a SQL DB engine – I needed to specify the “instance” name. The most common approach, using...
  • Blog Post: Using WMI Event rules

    This is just a quick example of using a WMI Event rule in OpsMgr. There are some kinds of events that are not easily captured by Perfmon or the Windows Event log.  For many things, we can use WMI and WMI Events.   For some solid background, I suggest reading Brian Wren's article on using these...
  • Blog Post: How to create a monitor to inspect the value of a registry key

    In my previous post similar to this topic , we discussed how to check for the existence of a registry key or value, and alert/change state if it was missing. But what if you want to inspect the contents of a registry value for specific data? For instance – what if we want to inspect a specific...
  • Blog Post: How to monitor a process on a multi-CPU agent using ScaleBy

    The business need: It is a very common request to monitor a process on a given set of servers, and collect that data for reporting, or monitor it for a given threshold. One thing you might notice when trying to monitor some performance counters, is that not all perf counters in perfmon behave the way...
  • Blog Post: How to monitor events logged by another computer or cluster

    Or – How to use the <AllowProxying> XML item.   When you monitor the event log in OpsMgr, there is some built in security that the agent modules perform.  Normally this wont affect you, except for unique situations where events are logged from/by another computer, or in the case of MS...