• OpsMgr SQL Full or Differential Backup Check

    I helped a customer creating a OpsMgr Monitor for checking if the there has been a SQL Full or Differential Backup within a specified number of hours. David Scheltens created the SQL query.

    Remark: Please read information on System Center Central for more info on this article.

    This is how you could create this kind of monitor in your own environment.


    1. Create a Timed Script Two State Monitor.
    2. Save Monitor in other MP than Default MP.
    3. Give the Monitor a Name, like “Custom – SQL Full or Differential Backup Check”.
    4. Target the Monitor to SQL Database.
    5. Select a suitable Parent Monitor like Availability.
    6. Disable Monitor (enable by an Override later).
    7. Configure how often this Monitor should run (default is 15 mins, but you could change this depending on the time your SQL backups run)
    8. Copy script from here.
      The script uses three parameters (or arguments)
      - Param 0: The SQL connection string for the server
      - Param 1: The Database to use
      - Param 2: The threshold (in hours) to use
    9. Configure the Parameters.
    10. Configure Unhealthy Expression.
      Property[@Name='NumHours'] Greater Than 1 (threshold when your backup should have been run)
    11. Configure Healthy Expression
      Property[@Name='NumHours'] Less than or equal to 1 (threshold when your backup should have been run)
    12. Configure Health.
    13. Configure Alerting
      I used the Reason, BackupType and Number of Hours in the Alert Description.

    14. Open the MP XML file and change the data type in the xml configuration from string to integer. Since making this change, the alerts and state changes seems to occur when at the correct time.
      More info here: (thanks to Daniele Grandini)



                    <XPathQueryType="Integer">Property[@Name='NumHours'] </XPathQuery>











                    <XPathQueryType="Integer">Property[@Name='NumHours'] </XPathQuery>








    15. Enable the Monitor via an Override.

    Remark: You may need to Use a Run As Account with the right permission for this Monitor.




    Some time ago I created a Tutorial How to Associate a Run As Account to a Monitor.


    In Operations Manager 2007, Run As Profiles and Run As Accounts are used to select users with the privileges needed for running rules, tasks, and monitors. Management Pack authors create a rule, task, or monitor, and then associate it with a Run As Profile. The named Run As Profile is imported along with the Management Pack into Operations Manager 2007.

    The Operations Manager 2007 administrator creates a named Run As Account and specifies users and groups. The administrator then adds the Run As Account to the Run As Profile and specifies the target computers that the account should run on.

    The goal in this short tutorial is to create a Timed Script Two State Monitor and associate a run as account to this monitor and save it all in a Management Pack. The Timed Script Two State Monitor is a vbscript that uses WMI to check if BizTalk orchestrations are not started.

    I’ve got some great help from Jakub Oleksy (http://blogs.msdn.com/jakuboleksy/default.aspx) and Steve Wilson (http://www.authormps.com/dnn/)

    You can download the tutorial here.

  • Old MP Catalog view Update

    As you all know the old MP Catalog site website is replaced by the new PinPoint website. And not everybody is used to the new way of searching for Management Packs yet ;-) And today I got a question about finding an overview of the latest Management Packs ordered by release date. As I was not able to create such a view on the new PinPoint MP Catalog website I turned to our good old Microsoft Download website.

    WARNING: Today I found out that my previous search on the Microsoft Download site not returned all expected results. I changed some of the search options and this is the best search result I can get at the moment. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/results.aspx?freetext=management+pack&sortCriteria=Date&sortOrder=Descending&stype=ss_rr&displaylang=en&nr=10

    Disclamer: please use your own search strings also, to check if the above search is returning all your MP searches!


    It’s still not completely the same experience as our old MP Catalog website (no third-party MP's as you can imagine) but you can easily order by release date. Because this is something that’s missing on the PinPoint Website.

    Remark: I know you can find the latest Plugin’s on the PinPoint Website, but you still not see the release date immediately.

    I created an easy to remember URL for your good old Microsoft Download website: http://tinyurl.com/oldmpcatalog

    Please use this search as a starting point for your MP searches: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/results.aspx?freetext=management+pack&sortCriteria=Date&sortOrder=Descending&stype=ss_rr&displaylang=en&nr=50

    Have fun searching for your Management Packs!

  • Demo videos of Opalis

    Source: internal email

    Microsoft has acquired Opalis Software, a Toronto-based private company that is a leader in IT process automation software. Opalis will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Microsoft. This acquisition will deliver great new functionality to the System Center family and will help win more datacenter deals by offering a more complete solution to our customers.

    Check out these 4 demo videos of Opalis :

  • Reblog: Find Database Sizes With Operations Manager

    Source: Thomas LaRock

    Thomas LaRock has published a SQL query I had not seen before, about finding the OpsMgr Database Sizes. Could be handy to know.

    [Thomas LaRock] “I was asked last week if  knew a query that would return the size of the databases that have been discovered by Operations Manager. I went about digging through some old queries I put together and found the information thatw as requested.

    Inside the OperationsManager database look for a view named MTV_Database. All discovered databases will be there. There should be a column for DatabaseSize, but the column will have a GUID at the end of the name.

    Now, I forget where I found it, but a while back I came across one of the view definitions that helped me to return a lot of other information, such as SQL version. The view that has SQL version is named MTV_DBEngine, but in order to join the MTV_Database to the MTV_DBEngine I needed to add in a handful of relationship tables and filter on the BaseManagedTypeID. I was going mad trying to make everything work until I found that specific view definition and I don’t recall which one it is, but what I do have is the end result which I can share (your GUIDs will be different, I imagine):”

    Read more at source.

    Time to at this new query to your OneNote SQL database queries, just like I did ;-)