Kemp LoadMaster #scom Management Pack v2

We have a new release of the Kemp LoadMaster Management Pack. You can read all the details on Daniele Grandini’s blog.

Tips From the Field: Applying Update Rollup 4 to System Center 2012 R2 and Windows Azure Pack

So we have another Update Rollup available for System Center 2012 R2 and Azure Pack. This is the last one for the year. The main KB is here.

The following components are updated:

Along with some new features on some components there are also some important bugs fixed. I’ve managed to try updating SCOM, SCSM, SCSPF, VMM and WAP and here are some tips I have for you:

  • After you apply SCVMM update you have to update the DHCP extension. In the KB you will find info where to find the extension. Remember that you will need to remove previous version and install the new one. That does not introduce downtime on VMs.
  • When you update VMM there is a new version of the VMM Management Pack. You will find it in your VMM installation dir. In the KB it is not mention that you need to update the MPs but if you look what files are changed you will see the MPs listed.
  • Remember to update your VMM console on other servers like SCSPF
  • VMM update no longer requires running Script against the DB – Wooohoooo. I guess that is implemented in the update itself.
  • Install the VMM console on the VMM server right after the update of VMM server update and after that start VMM server service.
  • SCSM requires running PowerShell script after you apply the update. During running of that script your OM CI connector should be disabled. Take a look at the KB for details.
  • SCOM still requires running scripts after you update you MG servers – one against the OperationsManagerDB and another on the OperationsManagerDW.
  • For SCOM you will need to update some MPs also. Check the KB.
  • There is update for Linux/Unix. Check KB.
  • Now you can update your SCOM agents by just approving them in Pending Management in the console. With previous update rollups that was not possible.
  • When you update SCSPF check your binding in for the SPF website in IIS. After the update I had two bindings which prevents from IIS website to start. You should delete one of them and on the other configure it with the certificate for your SPF server.
  • WAP has a script that you will need to download and execute. That script updates the WAP databases. In the script you will need to provide name of your SQL server and SA credentials. Script is execute on a server where you have Mgmt-Svc-PowerShellAPI module. Check KB for details.

Hope this will be helpful for you.

Microsoft Azure Operational Insights Preview Series – Connecting Directly with Microsoft Monitoring Agent (Part 8)

So far we’ve covered this:

At TechEd it was announced that Operational Insights now work with Agent directly without needing SCOM installation. Of course the agent used is Microsoft Monitoring Agent. The agent has some limitations that you can read more here.

So how to actually use only Microsoft Monitoring Agent to connect directly to Azure Operational Insights?

You go to https://preview.opinsights.azure.com and log with your Operational Insights (Advisor) account.

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When you are at the overview page click on the Servers and Usage tile.

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You will see that I do not have standalone agents configured. Click on the configure tile:

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You click on the agent to download it. When you download it you start installation on the server where you want to install it:

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As you can see .net 3.5 is required. You have to select the option for Microsoft Azure Operational Insights.

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Here you enter your Workspace ID and Workspace Key. You can see them on the page with the link to the MMA.

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After installation you can open the properties of MMA in Control Panel:

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In the Ops log you can see right away that is working:

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After a few minutes you will see it appear in the Usage page:

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Clicking on the tile opens the search:

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You can see data for protection and updates is being gathered.

A simple query shows me results:

Type=ProtectionStatus Computer=”WIN-FVVK194H5RI.test.local”

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Make sure you check this article here for standalone agents.

New/Updated MP: Exchange 2013 MP Reborn

So far we’ve seen very bad implementations of Exchange Management Pack for SCOM. Even with Exchange 2013 I thought will be initial version and updates will be released regularly to improve it but that didn’t happen for a long time. Until now. Microsoft released an updated version of the Exchange 2013 Management Pack. I would not just call it updated but significantly improved. I think this is the version for monitoring Exchange 2013 that we’ve been waiting for. Of course there always be room for improvements Smile. Anyway if you are using Exchange 2013 and SCOM I would suggest you to get on this version as soon as possible. Let me give you an overview of some of the major changes:

  • A lot of performance collection rules
  • Discovery of components
  • New views
  • New Group
  • Dashbaords
  • Diagram
  • Reports

Let’s go now into little more detail.

The following performance collection rules are now present:

Exchange 2013 Server
o    Exchange 2013 Database: I/O Database Reads Average Latency (ms)
o    Exchange 2013 Database: I/O Database Writes Average Latency (ms)
o    Exchange 2013 Database: I/O Log Reads Average Latency (ms)
o    Exchange 2013 Database: I/O Log Writes Average Latency (ms)
o    Exchange 2013 Database: Page Fault Stalls/sec
o    Exchange 2013 Server: Average Disk sec/Read
o    Exchange 2013 Server: Average Disk sec/Write
o    Exchange 2013 Server: Disk Free Space (MB)
o    Exchange 2013 Server: Disk Reads/sec
o    Exchange 2013 Server: Disk Size (MB)
o    Exchange 2013 Server: Disk Writes/sec
o    Exchange 2013 Server: Transport Queue Database Size (MB)
o    Exchange 2013 Server: Client Connections Count
o    Exchange 2013 Server: ActiveSync Pending
o    Exchange 2013 Server: Avg. Authentication Latency (ms)
o    Exchange 2013 Server: E2E Deliver <=90sec
o    Exchange 2013 Server: E2E Latency Percentile 95
o    Exchange 2013 Server: E2E Latency Send to External <=90sec
o    Exchange 2013 Server: EWS Response Time (ms)
o    Exchange 2013 Server: LDAP Search Time (ms)
o    Exchange 2013 Server: Messages Received/sec
o    Exchange 2013 Server: Messages Sent/sec
o    Exchange 2013 Server: Outstanding Proxy Requests
o    Exchange 2013 Server: HTTP Proxy Failure Rate (%)
o    Exchange 2013 Server: HTTP Proxy Requests/sec
o    Exchange 2013 Server: Queues by Type Count
o    Exchange 2013 Server: Queue Length
o    Exchange 2013 Server: Requests/sec
o    Exchange 2013 Server: Avg RPC Latency (ms)
o    Exchange 2013 Server: SMTP Bytes Received/Sec
o    Exchange 2013 Server: SMTP Bytes Sent/Sec
o    Exchange 2013 Server: SMTP Connections (Current)
o    Exchange 2013 Server: Store Messages Submitted/sec
o    Exchange 2013 Server: System Total Memory (MB)
o    Exchange 2013 Server: CPU Utilization (%)
o    Exchange 2013 Server: Private Memory Size (MB)
o    Exchange 2013 Server: Private Memory Size (%)

Exchange 2013 Windows Service
o    Exchange 2013 Windows Service: CPU Utilization (%)
o    Exchange 2013 Windows Service: Pool Non Paged Memory Size (MB)
o    Exchange 2013 Windows Service: Pool Paged Memory Size (MB)
o    Exchange 2013 Windows Service: Private Memory Size (MB)
o    Exchange 2013 Windows Service: Private Memory Size (%)
Exchange 2013 IIS Application Pool
o    Exchange 2013 IIS App Pool: Active Requests
o    Exchange 2013 IIS App Pool: Private Memory Size (%)
o    Exchange 2013 IIS App Pool: CPU Utilization (%)
o    Exchange 2013 IIS App Pool: Pool Non Paged Memory Size (MB)
o    Exchange 2013 IIS App Pool: Pool Paged Memory Size (MB)
o    Exchange 2013 IIS App Pool: Private Memory Size (MB)
Exchange 2013 Mailbox Database Copy
o    Exchange 2013 Mailbox Database: Available Space (MB)
o    Exchange 2013 Mailbox Database: Index Size (MB)
o    Exchange 2013 Mailbox Database: I/O Database Reads Average Latency (ms)
o    Exchange 2013 Mailbox Database: I/O Database Writes Average Latency (ms)
o    Exchange 2013 Mailbox Database: I/O Log Reads Average Latency (ms)
o    Exchange 2013 Mailbox Database: I/O Log Writes Average Latency (ms)
o    Exchange 2013 Mailbox Database: Transaction Log Available Space (MB)
o    Exchange 2013 Mailbox Database: Transaction Log Size (MB)
o    Exchange 2013 Mailbox Database: Database Page Fault Stalls/sec
o    Exchange 2013 Mailbox Database: Database Size (MB)

Exchange 2013 Organization
o    Exchange 2013 Organization Synthetic: Mailbox Count
o    Exchange 2013 Organization Synthetic: Client Connections Count
o    Exchange 2013 Organization Synthetic: E2E Deliver <=90sec
o    Exchange 2013 Organization Synthetic: E2E Latency Send to External <=90sec
o    Exchange 2013 Organization Synthetic: Mailbox Database Size (MB)
o    Exchange 2013 Organization Synthetic: Messages Received/sec
o    Exchange 2013 Organization Synthetic: Messages Sent/sec
o    Exchange 2013 Organization Synthetic: Store Messages Submitted/sec

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All these perf collection rules will help you to make reports:

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The following components are discovered:

•    Exchange 2013 Server
•    Distributed applications:
o    Exchange 2013 Organization
o    Exchange 2013 Active Directory Site
o    Exchange 2013 Database Availability Group
•    Exchange 2013 Managed Availability objects:
o    Exchange 2013 Health Set
     Exchange 2013 Customer Touch Points
     Exchange 2013 Key Dependencies
     Exchange 2013 Server Resources
     Exchange 2013 Service Components
•    Exchange 2013 server components:
o    Exchange 2013 IIS Application Pool
o    Exchange 2013 Windows Service
o    Exchange 2013 Mailbox Database Copy

One new Group and others renamed:

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Dashboards:

Two new beautiful and very useful dashboards:

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Diagram:

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Views:

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So all these things makes monitoring Exchange with SCOM a lot more sense.

You can download the latest version here. I am very happy with this version and hope you are also. Remember to read the guide. There is a good detailed guide about the MP.

VMM WSUS Synchronization Gets Broken When You Install ASR Provider

Consider the following scenario:

  • You have VMM Server 2012 SP1 or R2 Installed
  • You have added WSUS server in your VMM Server to synchronize updates. The WSUS server is using Proxy to connect to Windows Update.
  • You’ve installed and configured Azure Site Recovery Provider on the VMM server. The Provider is configured to use the same proxy as WSUS server. Authentication to proxy is based on computer rather than user.
  • When you try synchronize VMM with WSUS, VMM tries to connect to the WSUS server trough the proxy used by ASR provider and job fails with the following text:

Error (24000)
Error connecting to the WSUS server: WSUS.contoso.com, Port: 8530. Detailed error: The request failed with HTTP status 502: Proxy Error ( Forefront TMG denied the specified Uniform Resource Locator (URL).  ).

 

Synchronization from VMM with WSUS is no longer working.

 

To workaround the issue the following steps needs to be executed:

  1. Logon to the VMM server/s with the Service account configure for the VMM Server Service.
  2. Open Internet Explorer. Configure the proxy used by ASR in the IE settings. Configure bypass list with settings to bypass servers in your internal domain.

  3. Logoff from the VMM Server using the VMM Server Service account.

  4. Logon to the VMM server with credentials that provide local administrator rights on the VMM server.

  5. Backup registry keys from HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager Server\DRAdapter\ProxySettings. Just in case if the workaround odes not work for you.

  6. Stop VMM Server  service.

  7. Delete registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager Server\DRAdapter\ProxySettings  and everything beneath.

  8. Start VMM Server service.

Update

——————————-

I realized that the above method does not work on VMM clusters and the ASR team helped me with better approach:

  1. Logon to the active node on the VMM server with the VMM Server Service account. The VMM Service Account also have to be local administrator on the VMM servers.
  • Configure proxy in IE with the VMM Server service account. Also bypass list.

  • Start installation of ASR provider.

  • When Installation completes re-register the provider. For connection to Azure select use system settings.

  • After the configuration you can log off. That will allow to use VMM, ASR and WSUS without issues.

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    After these steps the ASR provider connection to Azure should continue to work but you will be also able to synchronize updates in VMM with WSUS server. If in the future you reconfigure ASR provider you will probably need to repeat steps from 6 to 8.

    The solution was provider to me by Azure Site Recovery Team. Thank you guys!

    The solution is provided ‘AS IS’ with no warranties and confers no rights.

    Microsoft Azure Operational Insights Preview Series – SQL Assessment (Part 7)

    During the last couple of months System Center Advisor or as probably will be known as Microsoft Azure Operational Insights Preview after TechEd Europe 2014 has received a lot of improvements and feature so we are now to Part 7. With this blog post I am also renaming all other blog posts. Here is the full list:

    In this post we will have a quick look at a new intelligence pack called SQL Assessment:

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    After you add it to you Operational Insight account the following tile:

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    Keep in mind that the first assessment can take up to 4 hours before you see any data. After data is gathered and assessed you will see similar results. Lets click on the tile and see what surprise awaits us:

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    As you can see we have now the well known graphics in Advisor but you will notice a few differences compared to the other packs. While the other packs focus on providing you the information, so you can make easier assessment and decisions this one gives you a straight knowledge.

    During my deployments of System Center I know a thing or two about SQL but I do not consider myself expert. This Intelligence Pack not only can show you potential issues/problems but also can give you some knowledge about SQL. The reason why this pack is different because it tries to provide some continuum to the old Configuration Assessment which I didn’t covered in these series. May be I had the feeling that the old Configuration Assessment will probably be converted to something else. BTW I’ve showed this Intelligence Pack to a SQL MVP and received positive feedback.

    Now let’s click on graphic or recommendation and see what we will face:

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    As I’ve said you will be faced with a lot of knowledge just like the knowledge in the SCOM Management Packs. You will see that the knowledge has some rating. I guess that rating is a static number for every recommendation that is available in the IP. I couldn’t find if the rating rises up if you more affected objects. The good part about this recommendations are that they go down to database level making the results more granular.

    From here clicking on the affected object or on the graphic will lead you to the search query result:

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    As you can see there are a lot of properties that are collected to help you make interesting queries query. Here is a list of those provided by the Advisor team:

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    I will show you a little more. I want to see what are the recommendation result statuses  and how many are available for each of them:

    Type=SQLAssessmentRecommendation  | measure count() by RecommendationResult

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    Now rather seeing where I’ve failed I want to see where I’ve done good and for which servers:

    Type=SQLAssessmentRecommendation IsRollup=false  RecommendationResult=passed

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    As you will see the Intelligence Pack makes even some server checks that are valid for SQL servers.

    Let’s see which server passed most checks:

    Type=SQLAssessmentRecommendation IsRollup=false  RecommendationResult=passed | Measure count() by Computer

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    Let’s measure by affected object name which could divide results to granular objects like database:

    Type=SQLAssessmentRecommendation IsRollup=false  RecommendationResult=passed | Measure count () by AffectedObjectName

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    I am curious what those inconclusive results are:

    Type=SQLAssessmentRecommendation IsRollup=false  RecommendationResult=inconclusive

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    It is interesting that there is another status specific to the affected object:

    Type=SQLAssessmentRecommendation IsRollup=false  | Measure count() by AffectedObjectResult

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    Some last tips when you use queries:

    • Use RecommendationPeriod in queries to get more accurate results.
    • Use sorting sort RecommendationWeight desc to get more urgent recommendations on top

    Definitely interesting Intelligence Pack and I encourage you to try it. Happy searching.

    Tip from Daniele Muscetta:

    ‘inconclusive’ means that check wasn’t able to complete, hence it can’t really tell for sure if you are affected by an issue, or not. it is a way to mitigate false positives. Often this might have to do with permissions required to collect some config point, check the runas account info in the documentation http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn818161.aspx (we are updating this doc as there are a few more permissions currently not listed), and/or let me know if any specific check consistently does not work we can investigate – it’s like the previous alert rules – and escalate to the content owner.

    I will be using my SQL monitoring account for this:

    SQL Advisor Account

    Another tip from me if you want to disable Advisor SQL monitoring for certain servers override this rule for them:

    override

    System Center Universe (aka Community MMS) Europe 2014 Now Available on Channel9

    Just want to tip you that SCU Europe 2014 (aka Community MMS) sessions are now available on Channel9. All 60 sessions are available:

    1. Advanced Orchestrator Runbook Authoring and Management
    2. Author your own custom gallery item and deploy VM roles in Windows Azure Pack
    3. Building a Real self-service platform with SCSM, SMA PowerShell Workflows
    4. Building solid business continuity plans using System Center, Windows Server and Azure
    5. Compliance Management – the new orange in Client Management
    6. Configuration Manager 2012 R2 – a site review
    7. Creating awesome System Center Reports with PowerBI and PowerView
    8. Customer requirements first – Service Manager Customizations without limits
    9. Data Deduplication in depth
    10. Deploy the Microsoft Cloud OS in high available
    11. Deploy Windows Azure Pack across sites
    12. Disaster Recovery in a service provider cloud
    13. Disaster Recovery with Azure Site Recovery
    14. Enterprise Management Solution (EMS) – the full story
    15. How to build a service provider cloud
    16. How to deliver BaaS, RaaS and DRaaS in a modern datacenter using System Center & Azure
    17. Hybrid Cloud DevOps with APM
    18. Identity Management for Hybrid IT with Windows Azure and Windows Server 2012 R2
    19. Integrating the System Center components – your path to the galaxy
    20. Leaving the dark ages – Migrating from Configuration Manager 2007 to 2012 R2
    21. Manage your Azure through Service Manager and SMA
    22. Managing your IP Addresses the Easy Way with IPAM
    23. Microsoft Hybrid Cloud – Manage Azure with Microsoft System Center
    24. Microsoft Mobile Device Management from A to Z
    25. Multi-factor authentication for your clouds
    26. My top ten things in Windows Server 2012 R2 that will make your life easier
    27. OMI and DAL – Understanding the big picture
    28. OpsMgr Dashboards – new widgets and possibilities
    29. Optimize Azure Virtual Machines for performance and availability
    30. PowerShell’s Desired State Configuration – Resource authoring
    31. PowerShell’s Desired State Configuration – Notes from the field
    32. Self-service software provisioning with SCSM, SCORCH and SCCM
    33. Send your monitoring probes deep into unexplored space
    34. Service Management Automation – Introduction
    35. Service Management Automation (SMA) deep dive
    36. Service Manager – Performance and Scalability best practices
    37. Show me the reporting money with System Center
    38. Software Defined Networking – Comparison of different solutions
    39. Speed Lab – Deploy a Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 environment
    40. Sponsor Session OPSLOGIX & ITNETX – Conference Closing Note
    41. Sponsored Session BLUESTRIPE SOFTWARE – Using System Center and BlueStripe for dynamic application management across Azure and datacenter business applications
    42. Sponsored Session CASED DIMENSIONS – How to make Service Manager enterprise
    43. Sponsored Session CIRESON – Worldwide First – Unveiling Cireson Portal v3
    44. Sponsored Session CISCO – a Unified Data Center – Best integration for Microsoft Environments
    45. Sponsored Session COMTRADE – Deliver Citrix desktop virtualization confidently with Operations Manager
    46. Sponsored Session DERDACK – Never miss a critical IT incident again. Resolve IT incidents on-the-go. On-call duty redefined
    47. Sponsored Session MATRIX42 – Web Console for SCCM – easiness and delegation
    48. Sponsored Session NUTANIX – Automating Your Datacenter – Web-Scale Style
    49. Sponsored Session STEFFEN INFORMATIK – SCOM Manager
    50. Sponsored Session SYLIANCE IT SERVICES – Customizing System Center – Things you’ve never seen before!
    51. Sponsored Session VEEAM – Rock your Microsoft datacenter with Veeam
    52. Storage Spaces – Scale-out file server deep dive
    53. System Center Orchestrator – Runbook Design 101
    54. Unified Device Management – It’s all about the experience
    55. Upgrading to Configuration Manager 2012 R2
    56. VMware to Hyper-V Migration
    57. Welcome Note and Keynote Going beyond the borders – prepare yourself for the future!
    58. Windows Apps in the Cloud – Azure RemoteApp
    59. Windows Azure Pack – Usage Metering & Reporting Troubleshooting Guide
    60. Windows Azure Pack usage metering

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