Category Archives: Microsoft

Tips for Applying Update Rollup 2 on System Center 2012 R2 and Windows Azure Pack

I’ve been applying UR2 across almost all System Center 2012 R2 components so I’ve decided to share some tips with you:

  • You can apply UR2 directly on RTM version. It is not needed to apply UR1 first.

SCSM

  • I’ve stumbled on error applying the update. More here.

SCSPF

  • Applying the SPF Update will require stopping IIS.
  • After applying the update you might need to reconfigure the IIS binding again.

SCSMA

  • The Update for the Runbook Worker server has been pulled. It is stated here. You can update the web service and the PowerShell module but I suggest you to postpone until the update for Runbook Worker is also released.

SCO

  • You Management Server/Runbook servers might require restart after applying the update.

SCOM

  • There are two SQL scripts that you need to apply for SCOM. Scripts are located in %SystemDrive%\Program Files\System Center 2012 R2\Operations Manager\Server \SQL Script for Update Rollups\. Update_rollup_mom_db.sql is applied against OperationsManagerDB and UR_Datawarehouse.sql is applied against OperationsManagerDW. The second script is not described in the installation instructions

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  • When you apply the scripts above better stop SCOM services on all SCOM management servers. Otherwise scripts might be applied partially and you will need to run them again.
  • SCOM agents have update but after updating agents version remains the same.
  • On servers where you have applications with APM monitoring enabled upon update of the SCOM agent restart is requested. You can see that request only if update the agent manually. The console probably suppresses that restart.
  • Do not forget to import new versions of the MPs located in %SystemDrive%\Program Files\System Center 2012 R2\Operations Manager\Server\Management Packs for Update Rollups

SCVMM

  • Do not forget to apply SQL script after update. SQL script is located here.

WAP

  • Some WAP updates require stopping the IIS service.
  • In my case PowerShell API update requested server restart

Appling Update Rollup 2 on System Center 2012 R2 Service Management Server Fails With An Error Occurred While Executing a Custom Action:_PatchMP

I’ve been applying Update Rollup 2 on Service Manager 2012 R2 as per the instructions here but in the middle of applying the update in the management server I’ve received the following error:

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An Error Occurred While Executing a Custom Action:_PatchMP

Installation failed. I’ve took a close look of the setup log. A saw that this was caused by MSI Error 1603 and I’ve deiced to restart the server.

After restart the update was fired up again and this time installation completed successful:

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System Center 2012 R2 Update Rollup 2 and Windows Azure Pack Update 2 are Now Available

Time flies by and Update Rollup 2 for System Center 2012 R2 is now available. Almost all components are receiving update. There are a lot of nice fixes in this update that you will want to squash. Before doing that in production make sure you test them in your dev environment.

Here are the fixes:

Service Manager

  1. For users who have both smpt and sip endpoints, Service Manager picks up the Lync “sip” endpoint even when emailing users from the console
  2. After selecting “Service Requests with Service Level Warning”, an error occurs about one hour later
  3. After selecting the “Assigned to me” view, a FullAdapter Exception occurs about one hour later
  4. Service Manager console maximized mode fixes
    • The console when maximized is slow / laggy and constantly has upwards of 30% CPU utilization when running in maximized mode
    • Context menus in the SM console don’t render where expected and instead show up at the top-right hand corner of the main window
    • Scroll bars for the work items preview pane do not render when running in full screen mode, and even if they do, they are inactive and cannot be used (the slider refuses to move)
    • Forms/Wizards don’t always render properly and only have the left navigation pane rendered with the right area blank
    • When editing / creating Request Offerings User Prompts are not rendered properly
    • Scrolling on an open work item or configuration item form does not work unless the mouse is held over the scroll bar when scrolling
  5. Concurrent PowerShell workflows fail to run, although they show as successful in the Console
  6. An exception is raised in the console when the user attempts to open an already opened attachment from a work item form
  7. The attachment and associated details of the Release Record cannot be retrieved after it is marked as ‘Closed’
  8. Request Offerings form takes a long time to render when creating Service Requests from Request Offerings
  9. Console crashes when attempting to create a Service Request from a template on which the analyst is set using the “Assign to Analyst” task
  10. When creating a Service Request using a request offering that maps user input to a property on an activity, the Service Manager console encounters an error and closes
  11. SM console shows a generic SQL exception instead of the detailed Data Collision exception when running in a non-English environment
  12. The Configuration Manager Connector does not handle updates to DeviceHasSoftwareItemInstalled correctly causing a divergence in the data synchronized between the SM and CM databases
  13. When grooming a call to the p_DataPurging sproc results in an 8623 error with message: The query processor ran out of internal resources and could not produce a query plan
  14. Adding multiple RegEx’s to a group definition causes a SQL exception when adding / executing the group
  15. MPImporter does not import MPs from OM if SM has any MPs from a previous version already present when importing Chargeback MPs

Data Protection Manager

New features in this update rollup
  • Support for Windows Server 2003 workloads
    DPM 2012 R2 now supports backup and recovery of Windows 2003 servers. In Update Rollup 2, you can now protect Windows Server 2003 by using DPM 2012 R2. The following workloads are also supported in Windows Server 2003:

    • Microsoft SQL Server 2005, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
    • Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007

    Update Rollup 2 includes an agent for Windows Server 2003. For detailed instructions, see the “Installation Instructions” section.

  • Protection of SQL AlwaysOn with Clustering
    Protection and recovery of availability groups that are built by having or not having clustered instances is now supported and works seamlessly in the same manner that it does for non-clustered availability groups.Primary/Secondary
    Clustered
    Standalone

    Clustered
    Supported in UR2
    Supported in UR2

    Standalone
    Supported in UR2
    Already supported

Issues that are fixed in this update rollup

This update fixes the following issues that were not previously documented in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

  • Catalog generation fails for SharePoint 2013 sites that contain app store parts.
  • DPM does not display Recovery Point Volume Used Space. It is always set to 0 KB.
  • SetBackupComplete called prematurely causes SetBackupSucceeded to be called and 0×80042301 in VSS.
  • SharePoint item level recovery fails when the first part of the site URL matches another site in SharePoint.
  • Status reports say DPMDB is not being protected even though it is protected and there are valid Recovery Points on tape for it.
  • Invalid Trace Message format string causes second chance System.FormatException and termination of DPM Process.

Operations Manager

Issue 1
This update rollup makes the stored procedure performance aggregate more robust against out-of-range values.
Issue 2
Adding multiple regular expressions (RegEx) to a group definition causes an SQL exception when the group is added or run.
Issue 3
Web applications fail when they are monitored by the System Center Operations Manager 2012 R2 APM agent.
Issue 4
Service Level Objectives (SLO) dashboards sometimes load in several seconds and sometimes take minutes to load. Additionally, the dashboard is empty after it loads in some cases.
Issue 5
Operations Manager Console crashes when you try to override the scope in the Authoring pane.
Issue 6
The System Center Operations Manager console is slow to load views if you are a member of a custom Operator role.
Issue 7
This update rollup includes a fix for the dashboard issue that was introduced in Update Rollup 1.
Issue 8
SQL Time Out Exceptions for State data (31552 events) occur when you create Data Warehouse workflows.
Issue 9
This update rollup includes a fix for the Event Data source.

Operations Manager – UNIX and Linux Monitoring (Management Pack Update)

Issue 1
All IBM WebSphere application servers that run on Linux or AIX computers are not automatically discovered by the Management Pack for Java Enterprise Edition (JEE) if multiple application servers are defined in a single WebSphere profile.

Orchestrator

  • Orchestrator: SNMP issue
  • Orchestrator: SNMP issue
  • Orchestrator: Monitor Service issue
  • SMA: Module Caching Issue
  • SMA: Inline invocation of runbooks fail if the child runbooks contain a signature

Service Provider Foundation

  • When you resize dynamic memory of virtual machines to a new maximum memory size that exceeds the original maximum memory size, an error occurs, and the resizing fails.
  • When a high volume of subscriptions are created or edited at the same time, the subscriptions can end up in an out-of-sync state.
  • The Add-UserRoleProperties.ps1 script does not prevent a VMNetworkQuota object from being created that has a null stamp ID. Then, a failure occurs in the Windows Azure portal during the synchronization of the subscriptions.
  • When you update a customer quota through SPF, if one of the artifacts that is being updated is missing in Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM), an exception is thrown.
  • The Get-SCSPFVMRoleGalleryItem cmdlet does not populate the ResourceExtensionProperty property.
  • You cannot create a virtual machine from a Windows Server 2012 R2 VHD by using Windows Azure Pack. This issue occurs because the product key of the VHD is not specified.

Virtual Machine Manager

  • Files cannot be found on a network-attached storage device that uses NetApp storage and Server Message Block version 3 (SMBv3) protocol.
  • After an account’s password is changed, the Scale-Out File Server provider goes into a “not responding” state.
  • VMM wipes the System Access Control List (SACL) configurations on ports.
  • When an uplink profile’s name contains the “or” string, VMM console cannot show its details when it adds the uplink profile to a logical switch.
  • Dynamic disks cannot be used as pass-through disks.
  • When you create a standard virtual switch on a host without selecting the Allow management operating system to share this network adapter check box, the virtual switch is created. However, the virtual switch still binds to the host unexpectedly.
  • Network address translation (NAT) uses port number 49152 or a larger number, which Windows prohibits from being used by NAT.
  • When a virtual machine IP address type is static Out-of-Band and there is no IP address pool that is associated with the virtual machine network or the logical network, migration is complete with multiple errors.
  • If a highly available virtual machine is migrated from one node to another node by using Failover Cluster Manager, you receive an error message that indicates the absence of VHD files.
  • Some performance issues in VMM.
  • Connection with Operations Manager fails in a non-English environment.
  • After you upgrade VMM from System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1) to System Center 2012 R2, VLAN settings disappear and cannot be saved in the virtual machine.
  • Virtualization gateway could not be discovered by management packs.
  • The New-SCPhysicalComputerProfile Windows PowerShell cmdlet fails with a NullReferenceException exception.
  • Assume that you put a host into maintenance mode. When any highly available virtual machines cannot evacuate successfully, they are put into a saved state instead of into task failures.
  • Assume that you have a computer that is running VMware ESX Server to host virtual machines. Additionally, assume that cumulative progress for many applications, scripts or actions (that is reported by guest agent) becomes large. In this situation, all deployments time out, as the guest agent cannot communicate to the server successfully.
  • You cannot deploy a service template to VMware ESX 5.1 hosts. Additionally, you receive an error 22042 and a TimeoutWhileWaitingForVmToBootException (609) exception.
  • When you migrate a virtual machine together with Out-of-Band checkpoints, database corruption occurs.
  • Pass-through disks are not updated correctly in the database after they are refreshed from an Out-of-Band migration.
  • Assume that hosts establish a Common Information Model (CIM) session that can send policies to the host after the Hyper-V Network Virtualization initialization. Additionally, assume that a policy-sending activity is initiated before the CIM session creation is completed. In this situation, policies are stuck in the sending queue, and the host does not receive any Hyper-V Network Virtualization policies.
  • Communication is broken in Hyper-V Network Virtualization.
  • When you use a same user name for Run As Accounts in guest customization, a conflict occurs.
  • You cannot use a parameter together with .sql scripts for a Run As Account during a service installation.
  • You deploy a template that uses empty classification to a cloud. However, the template does not respect storage classifications that are set on the cloud.
  • When Windows Server fast file copy cannot deploy files successfully, the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) fallback task continues using the fast file copy credentials.

Windows Azure Pack

Issue 1
The PowerShell cmdlets Get-MgmtSvcSubscription, Get-MgmtSvcPlan and Get-MgmtSvcAddOn cannot retrieve a Subscription, a Plan, or AddOn through a specific Subscription, Plan, or AddOn ID, respectively.
Symptoms When you use these PowerShell cmdlets to retrieve any of these three objects, you notice that the command allows only the retrieval operation through the specific name of the objects, that you cannot retrieve base on a specific ID.
Resolution Now the parameter with a corresponding ID can be used to retrieve the corresponding object.
Issue 2
Usage Collector Service loses its configuration after Windows Azure Pack Update 1 is applied.
Symptoms When you deploy Update 1 over an existing deployment by having the Usage Collector Service configured and fully functional, you notice that the Usage Service stops working.
Resolution This issue does not occur in Update 2. The Usage Service configuration is preserved and no manual steps are required.
Issue 3
The Plan Creation Event provides NULL for the Plan Display Name to Services registered to receive this notification.
Symptoms For any Service that is registered to receive notifications, the Plan Display Name is passed as NULL when a Plan Creation event is generated.
Resolution In Update 2, the Display name value is passed instead of NULL.
Issue 4
The Web Application Gallery Service generates a large amount of temp files in its Temp folder.
Symptoms Every time that the WebAppGallery service restarts, it creates a new temp folder. The temp folder stores the cached feeds that contains the Metadata of the available gallery applications and their dependencies and the actual application packages. The service is scheduled to restart every 1,740 minutes. This causes the growing number of temp files over time.
Resolution In Update 2, the Display name value is passed instead of NULL.
Issue 5
Resizing dynamic memory virtual machines through machine profiles causes an error when the new maximum memory exceeds the original maximum memory. Also, changing between static to dynamic or vice versa in the machine profile results in an error.
Symptoms When a tenant user sets the value of the dynamic memory virtual machine to a value that is greater than the original maximum value, an error is generated and the operation fails.
Resolution This process is now possible in Update 2 and no errors are generated.
Issue 6
Active Directory was not enabled for Windows Azure Pack WebSites Resource Provider.
Symptoms Administrators had no way to configure WebSites Clouds to use Active Directory. Tenants have no way of enabling Active Directory Account Management and Authentication for their websites.
Resolution In Update 2, this functionality is available for Administrators to configure and for Tenants to use.
Issue 7
It is difficult to discover how to create Co-Administrators for an existing subscription.
Symptoms Tenant users typically go to “My Account” and “Subscription” drawer and pane, but do not see an option there to create Co-Administrator.
Resolution In this Update, a new link is added to the “My Account” drawer set of options.
Issue 8
Error messages in Administration Site that refer to un-configured services in a Plan do not specify the problems.
Symptoms When you try to update a Plan, such as when you make it public, an error is generated if any of the Resource Providers it contains are not configured. This message does not specify the problem or which Resource Providers are affected.
Resolution In Update 2, the messages are more informative, and the user can take corresponding actions.
Issue 9
Subscription Update Events are provided in the Pending Approval state instead of the Acknowledge state.
Symptoms Billing System receives the Subscription Update Event in the Pending Approval state.
Resolution In Update 2, the Billing System receives the Subscription Update Event in the correct state.
Issue 10
An obscured error is returned when a Tenant creates a database by using a security token whose corresponding password does not meet the SQL Server domain policies.
Symptoms The user receives an unrelated SQL error about a SELECT statement that contains an invalid column.
Resolution In Update 2, the tenant sees the correct error and can resolve it by changing the credential password.

 

As far as I can see a lot of my bugs are fixed after being reported so let’s start testing.

The main KB article for System Center 2012 R2 UR2 you can find here.

Remember to read the instructions carefully as there are some components that require applying SQL scripts to the databases.

SCSM Maximized Console CPU Issue Will Be Fixed in SCSM 2012 SP1 and SCSM 2012 R2

There is a nasty issue with the SCSM console that when it is maximized it can consume a lot of CPU. This issue has been around since SCSM 2012 and it can be annoying in environments with Terminal Servers. As I’ve reported this issue a couple of times and pushed hard to be fixed I am proud to announce that this will happen very soon for SCSM 2012 SP1 and SCSM 2012 R2. This will happen in the next rollup updates for System Center 2012 SP1 and R2 and you can read more about here along with many other improvements and fixes. I hope you will be glad that this issue is fixed and that it will bring you on new perspective about the SCSM console performance.

Updated: Hybrid Cloud with NVGRE (Cloud OS) Whitepaper V5

Our whitepaper received a new version (version 5) and now more looks like a book. Book is not the right word in these modern times so I will call it Whitepaper as a Service (WaaS). We’ve included the Windows Azure Pack (WAP) experience in it. The reason for that is because if you build your Hybrid Cloud you need a front end that your customers can see and what better way than using Windows Azure Pack. No other words are necessary just grab the latest version from here and start reading.