neilp - System Center Premier Field Engineer
System Center – Automation and Integration
2007 2012 Migration
Cluster Aware Updating
IT as a Service
Operating System Deployment
Right Click Tools
SCCM Reboot PowerShell
Service Management Automation
SQL Cluster Patching
System Center Orchestrator
System Center PFE
System Center Virtual Machine Manager
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neilp - System Center Premier Field Engineer
system center orchestrator
SMA Runbook Sample: Monitoring SCOM and Reacting to SCOM Alerts
Update: Ryan Andorfer has posted some good information over at the Building Clouds blog on his experience with continuous running SMA monitors, some issues encountered, and how he has mitigated these issues. Check it out here - Automation - MVP Spotloght Series - SMA: DFS Share Creation Request Walkthrough...
4 Feb 2014
VMM Service Deployments in Depth: Deploying System Center Orchestrator as a Service Part 4 – Service Template Configuration and Deployment
During this post, I will be wrapping up this in-depth look at VMM service deployments. Over the last three postings we have examined the following items: Post 1 – Introduction to service deployments Post 2 – Prerequisites for creating a multi-tier instance of Orchestrator Service...
28 Jan 2014
VMM Service Deployments in Depth: Deploying System Center Orchestrator as a Service Part 3 – SQL Server and Application Profiles
Quick Blog Description : In the two previous postings of this blog series I’ve introduced VMM Service Templates as well as demonstrated a VMM Service deployment using System Center Orchestrator as the example service. Blog posting 2 detailed all prerequisites needed in order to deploy Orchestrator...
18 Jan 2014
System Center Orchestrator Query: Identify Long Running Runbook Executions
As I work in different Orchestrator environments I find it very helpful to monitor for jobs that have been in a running state for a long period of time (excluding any Runbook that begins with a monitor activity). This ultimately help identify Runbook logic issues, infinite loops, and other environmental...
10 Jan 2014
Runbook Commander – An Orchestrator Console Extension for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager
Updated 10/26/2012 - Runbook Commander 2.0 has been released. Information can be found and the following links. Download Location - http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Runbook-Commander-20-116ec91c Runbook Commander 2.0 Overview - http://blogs.technet.com/b/neilp/archive/2012/10/19/runbook-commander...
12 Jun 2012
MMS2013 Session Now on Channel 9 – Patching a Hyper-V Cluster with Orchestrator / Configuration Manager - Including Downloadable Runbook Exports!!!
Good day all – if you were able to attend MMS2013 hope you had a great time, if not, no worries you are in luck. All MMS2013 sessions should now be available on Channel 9. Check out my session ‘Complex Maintenance Using System Center 2012 Configuration Manager and Orchestrator: Patching...
15 Apr 2013
System Center Orchestrator – Real Time Reporting and Runbook Summary Email Examples.
Continuing on with the automated SQL Cluster patching process, let’s examine some creative ways in which we can provide real time and summary feedback. At a high level we will see how to write data from the orchestrated process into an external database, and then use this data for reporting purposes...
25 Feb 2012
Building Intelligent Delay Within Orchestrator Runbook Solutions: Activity Looping
Often times when automating a multi-step process, there is a need to build into this automation a certain amount of delay. For instance, if I have rebooted an application server, we not only need to wait for the OS to come back online, but also the application host services to come back online before...
18 Apr 2013
System Center Orchestrator Custom Interface – C# / ASP.NET
Welcome to another System Center PFE blog post. In this publication I will continue to highlight how the System Center Suite of products can help manage and automate complex processes. If you’ve read my first post in this series, you will recall that the process being detailed is the graceful application...
14 Feb 2012
System Center Orchestrator Query: Execution Count Per Activity
Good Day - I am currently traveling from Texas to Florida with my family, a half froze turkey, and the makings of a Thanksgiving dinner that will not be beat. I’m coming to you now from rainy New Orleans were we have stopped for some Beignets, Chicory Coffee and a Central Market Muffaletta for...
26 Nov 2013
System Center 2012 Configuration Manager: Determine Reboot Pending State Using WMI / PowerShell / Orchestrator Runbook
While recently working on a Runbook solution for patching Windows Failover Clusters, I ran into the need of detecting if the Software Update installation process had placed the target system into a reboot pending state. After doing some research, I found many ‘loose’ methods for reboot detection...
12 Feb 2013
System Center 2012 Configuration Manager and Orchestrator – Using Status Message as a Runbook Trigger Mechanism.
I love the integration of System Center 2012 Configuration Manage and System Center Orchestrator . Any day in which I get to work in a mutual space between these two technologies is a good day. As seen in some of my previous blog postings I have written an application that allows for the manual execution...
8 Aug 2012
Configuration Manager SP1 PowerShell in Orchestrator Part 2: The Rest of the Story
Well I thought I was Mr. Smarty Pants and had the whole ‘running 2012 Configuration Manager cmdlets from an Orchestrator Run .Net Script activity’ figured out ( as documented in this post ). As it turns out, there is bit more to the story. Everything documented in the initial post is valid...
11 Jan 2013
Determine if a Configuration Manager Distribution Point is a Distribution Point Group Member – PowerShell
As I am working with the 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 (and CU1) PowerShell CMDLETs, the potential for automation around both the management and deployment spaces of Configuration Manager are expanding. That said, I have run against a few automation solution requirements that could not be met using...
25 Mar 2013
Runbook Commander – An Orchestrator Console Extension for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager - Part 2
UPDATED 5/26/2012 Download location – http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Runbook-Commander-An-dba1fd33 Update 1 Additions - http://blogs.technet.com/b/neilp/archive/2012/06/27/runbook-commander-update-1-5-an-orchestrator-console-extension-for-system-center-2012-configuration-manager.aspx...
17 Jun 2012
System Center Orchestrator Query: Mapping Invoke Runbook Activities to Destination Runbooks
If you have attended any Orchestrator training, best practices session, read any book, blog, or article about design practices, you have most probably been advised to keep your Runbooks small and modular. So for example, instead of having one large Runbook which includes an activity to place a computer...
19 Nov 2013
System Center Orchestrator: Get Current Date / Time using the NOW() Variable and Automate Outlook Calendar Scheduling
Hi Ho – Neil Peterson here, the in-laws have invaded my house, so I am coming to you today from the corner booth at my local coffee shop. I have a quick little treat this morning, nothing to complicated, but pretty cool and important never the less. Quite recently I have begun work on some runbook...
6 May 2013
Invoking Orchestrator Runbooks during a Virtual Machine Manager Service Template Deployment
Not only does System Center Virtual Machine Manager have the ability to deploy complete multi-tier services with flexible capacity, SCVMM also provides flexibility in terms of automating the configuration of these service deployments. That said, there is some room to tack on additional deployment, configuration...
14 Nov 2013
System Center 2012 Configuration Application Request / Approval – Deep Dive and Automation
Introduction - Approaching my ten-year of systems management using SMS / Configuration Manager I can reflect back on many scripts, applications, and in some circumstances full systems I’ve implemented in order to facilitate a ‘self-service / approval friendly’ software delivery mechanism...
18 Sep 2012
Updating a SQL Cluster using System Center 2012 Configuration Manager and System Center Orchestrator (System Center 2012 Updated)
Current Runbooks and recorded MMS session can be found here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/neilp/archive/2013/04/15/mms2013-session-now-on-channel-9-patching-a-hyper-v-cluster-with-orchestrator-configuration-manager-including-downloadable-runbook-exports.aspx I have been asked many times about...
4 Jul 2012
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