• Dutch Windows Management User Group event on 12 February 2014

    On the 12th of February 2014 the Dutch Windows Management User Group (WMUG NL) is organizing an event about Monitoring.

    I’ll also present a session about this topic Smile

    Session title: Using PowerShell with System Center Operations Manager 2012 R2

    Description:  Introduction on how to use PowerShell to manage System Center Operations Manager 2012 R2.
    In this session we walk through the PowerShell System Center Operations Manager 2012 R2 module and learn some basic PowerShell. We start with a short introduction to PowerShell and learn how to use the Operations Manager PowerShell cmdlets.

    If you are interested to attend this event please visit the Windows Management User Group website. (in Dutch)

    Hope to see you there or on some other event.

  • New Windows PowerShell Best Practices book by Ed Wilson

    Warning! This is a shameless plug to buy the latest version of Ed Wilson’s Windows PowerShell Best Practices book. Smile

    But I’ve a great reason because I made a very small contribution to the book and I’m pretty proud to say the least.

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    And to make it an even better deal you can get a discount on the eBook.

    Use discount code: WKPWERS
    This deal expires January 31, 2014 at 5:00am PT and cannot be combined with other offers. Offer does not apply to Print, or "Print & Ebook" bundle pricing.

    Go check it out on O’Reilly.

    Have fun!

  • Free System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager Management Pack training from MVA

    Want to expand your knowledge about service packs? In this course, Microsoft experts will drill down into the structure, implementation, and development of management and service packs and their tools. There will be a series of 28 modules with staggered release dates, so keep checking back for new modules to become available.

    Go to the Microsoft Virtual Academy and start this course.

    Have fun!

  • New tool for MP Authoring

    As may or may not have read on the MP Author website Microsoft has decided to partner with Silect to create a MP Authoring tool targeted to IT Pros. This tool is called MP Author and is completely free for all System Center Customers and will be the tool we recommend to IT Pros who need to do MP Authoring.

    It replaces previous tools we have piloted such as the Visio Authoring Tool which will be no longer recommended or supported.

    Software Prerequisites

    •   System Center Operations Manager Console 2012 or above must be installed

    In this blog post I walk you through the installation steps after you have downloaded the MP Author tool and some MP creation steps. You can also review the BridgeWays_MP_Author_Installation_Guide and BridgeWays_MP_Author_User_Guide PDF Guides that come with the installation.

    Steps:

    1. Unzip MPAuthor.zip file
    2. Run MPAuthorSetup.exe

    Step 1. Unzip File

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    Steps 2. Run MPAuthorSetup.exe

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    Click Yes

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    Click Next

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    Accept License Agreement and click Next

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    Enter Folder to store application and click Next

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    Click Install

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    Hit finish

    Open MP Author as an Admin

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    This will help you get started with the creation of your Management Packs.

    Let’s create a new Management Pack with an Event Monitor.

    Steps:

    1. Click on New in MP Author Console
    2. Follow the Wizard
    3. Save MP
    4. Import Management Pack

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    Click on Next

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    Enter the config needed for the Manifest section of the MP and click on Next.

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    Enter folder to store you MP and click on Next

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    Add needed references and click Next

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    Choose the Template you want to use for creating your MP and click on Next

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    Define the Role the MP will monitor

    Let’s only monitor Gold servers, which we retrieve from a registry value.

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    Click on Browse

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    Select Registry we want to use and click on OK.

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    Identify registry target and click on Next

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    Click on Next

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    Enter expression and click on Next

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    Enter Discovery Schedule and click Next

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    Click on Finish

    Continue with the Monitor creation

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    Click Next

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    Select Event Monitor

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    Click Next

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    Specify Unhealthy Event and click Next

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    Specify Health timer or Event and click Next

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    Click Next

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    Specify Health States and click Next

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    Specify if an Alert needs to be created and Click Next

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    Click Finish

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    You can add more monitors are click Next to continue

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    Choose Rollup Algorithm and click Next

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    Click Finish to finalize MP.

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    We can verify the MP using the tools and we can also run the Best Practices Analyzer.

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    Let’s import the MP

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    We can check in the Discovered Inventory for the Target we specified in the MP.

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    And finally an Alert is shown after creating the Event in the Eventlog.

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    Hope you enjoy this new tool.

    References:

  • Windows Azure Pack–Where to start?

    The Windows Azure Pack is a collection of Windows Azure technologies available to Microsoft customers at no additional cost. Once installed in your datacenter, the Windows Azure Pack integrates with System Center and Windows Server to help provide a self-service portal for managing services such as websites, Virtual Machines, and Service Bus; a portal for administrators to manage resource clouds; scalable web hosting; and more.

    If you want to learn more about Windows Azure Pack (WAP) where do you need to start? The best place to start is the Microsoft Technet wiki page for WAP

    And to make it even easier I would suggest you to watch the 1:14 minutes video Building Cloud Services with Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 and the Windows Azure Pack recorded during TechEd Europe 2013.

    It has some great demos about Azure Consistent Experiences, Virtual Machines, VM Clouds Administration,Automation (SMA), Usage Metering and Service Reporting.

    After watching this video you should be able to understand more about WAP and related concepts like Service Management Automation.

    The Windows Azure Pack is free if you have licenses for System Center and Windows Server.

  • First look at Dell’s Mobile IT solution with Operations Manager Mobile Pack

    Today I listened to the 252st Episode of the  PowerScripting Podcast with Chris Ashley and Dmitry Petrashev from Dell on Mobile IT and PowerGui and wanted to test their Mobile IT Solution with System Center Operations Manager.

    According to their website Mobile IT makes it easy to provide secure, easy-to-use, mobile access to everyday applications that enhance the productivity of your mobile workforce.

    With the product’s unique mobile connector, you can quickly enable your users to access applications from a broad range of mobile devices. Mobile IT delivers a native device experience without the need for either virtualization or custom development all without sacrificing security or usability. With Mobile IT, devices communicate through a secure HTTPS connection, and administrators can easily approve or disapprove devices attempting access as well as lock out devices reported lost or stolen.

    In this blog post I will walk you through the installation of the Mobile IT Components which was pretty easy if you have a simple scenario using Dell’s Gateway to connect to your Mobile IT Server and Agent.

    High-Level Installation steps:

    1. Download Dell Mobile IT bits
      1. Mobile IT x64 with Prerequisites
      2. Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (SCOM)
      3. Release Notes
      4. Administrator Guide
    2. Installation of Mobile IT Components
      1. Installation Mobile IT Server and Agent
        For pre-reqs see Administrator Guide
    3. Installation of Operations Manager Mobile Pack
    4. Installation of Windows Phone Mobile IT App and configuration
    5. Configuration of the Mobile IT Connector within Operations Manager

    Architecture of Mobile IT Solution:

    • Mobile IT Server
      Provides a connection between Mobile IT Agents and your mobile devices, and is usually installed on a dedicated computer with access to the Internet
    • Mobile IT Agent
      Works with the target system (such as GPOADmin, Server Management, TFS, etc.) and communicates with Mobile IT Server
    • Mobile Packs
      Mobile Pack includes functionality for working with a particular system
    • Mobile IT Client
      App for Android, iOS,Windows Phone, and Windows 8 devices that allows the user to communicate with Mobile IT Server

    Test Mobile IT Server\Agent Architecture:

    • Windows Server 2008 R2
    • System Center Operations Manager 2012 Management Server
    • SQL Server 2008 R2

    Simple Scenario

    Taken from Admin Guide

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    Installation of Mobile IT Server\Agent

    1. Unzip Quest_Mobile-IT-x64-with-Prerequisites_13.zip (439 MB)

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    2. Run QuestMobileIT_x64_1.3.2139.0.exe on Mobile IT Server\Agent (System Center Operations Manager Management Server)

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    Selected Full install

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    On the Management Server is already a SQL Server 2008 R2 Instance installed.

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    3. Install Mobile Pack by unzipping Quest_Microsoft-Systems-Center-Operations-Manager-SCOM_118880.zip file

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    4. Import SCOM Mobile Pack using the Mobile IT Console

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    Click on Add Instance

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    5. Connect Mobile Devices (Windows Phone) to Mobile IT Server

    1. Launch the Mobile IT application on your mobile device and tap Sign In
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    2. Approve device in Mobile IT Console

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    6. Configure the Mobile IT Connector
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    And now waiting for the Operations Manager Alerts being forwarded to my Windows Phone. And yes Alerts are showing up on my Windows Phone 8 Smile

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    Conclusion:

    Installation process of the Mobile IT solution was pretty simple and straightforward, but I was missing information about the configuration of the Mobile IT Connector within Operations Manager.

    I hope find some time to start creating my own Mobile Packs using PowerShell. The Mobile IT development team has released the SDK that can be used by other product development teams to create their own Mobile IT server connectors.

    References: