Category Archives: System Center

Microsoft Monitoring Agent | New Update Rollup

Microsoft has unveiled a new update rollup 8.0.11030.0 for the Microsoft Monitoring Agent (MMA) that has fixed issues in the previous version of MMA. The fixes in this version includes below.

  • Improved logging for HTTP connection issues
  • Fix for high CPU utilization when you’re reading a Windows event that has an invalid message description
  • Support for Azure US Government cloud

How to get update rollup version 8.0.11030.0 for Microsoft Monitoring Agent (KB3206063)?

This package is available as a manual download in the  Microsoft Update Catalog. You can search for Microsoft Monitoring Agent and list down the available updates will appear in the search results.

Hotfix 1 for SCVMM 2016 Update Rollup 1

Microsoft has published a new Hotfix 3208888 for those who are running SCVMM 2016 Update Rollup 1. This includes a fix for the issue where when you use VMM to live migrate a VM from one host that’s running one version of Windows Server 2016 to another host that’s running a different version of Windows Server 2016, the placement page assigns a zero rating to the target host.(i.e Datacenter edition to Standard edition). This issue happens only when you try to live migrate between two version of Windows Server 2016 but not when you are trying a live migration between hosts that are running 2012 R2 and 2016.

This leads to block the live migration with below error message:

Unable to migrate or clone the virtual machine VM_name because the version of virtualization software on the host does not match the version of virtual machine’s virtualization software on source version_number. To be migrated or cloned, the virtual machine must be stopped and should not contain any saved state.

Installing KB3208888

Note the this is applicable only to those who are running SCVMM 2016 Update Rollup 1.

  • Download the KB package from here.
  • Use an elevated Command Prompt to install the KB manually.

msiexec.exe /update kb3208888_vmmserver_amd64.msp

 

Rolling back to a previous version of a SCOM Management Pack

In Operations Manager sometimes you may need to revert back to an older version of a Management Pack for a particular workload. The Operations Manager UI allows to delete and re-import MPs from the “Installed Management Packs” screen. The problem happenes when there are multiple and multi-level dependencies on the MP that you are trying to delete.

However now there is an enhanced version of a script available at TechNet  (developed by MSFT employee Christopher Crammond) that will help you to revert Management Packs with a single command.

Using the Script

  • Open the Operations Manager Command Shell prompt as an Administrator.
  • Download the script to remove a management pack with dependencies from here.
  • Execute the script as below. 

 .\RecursiveRemove.ps1 <ID or System Name of the MP>

  • For an example if you want to remove the SQL 2014 Disocvery MP run the script as below.

 .\RecursiveRemove.ps1 Microsoft.SQLServer.2014.Discovery

How to get the  the ID or System Name of an MP?

  • Selecting the MP that you want to delete in the Installed Management Packs view by clicking Properties in the Actions pane.
  • Copy the content in the ID : text box in the General tab.

Fix It | October 2016 Cumulative Windows Updates Crash SCOM Console

In my last post I’ve shared the console crashing issue you face after installing the security updates in  MS16-118 and MS16-126. Now Microsoft has published a new KBs to fix the console crashing issue in SCOM after applying these updates.

Individual hot fixes are available for the following list of Operating systems which you can download from here.

  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008R2
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2

For Windows 10 and Server 2016, the fix was applied to the latest cumulative updates.

October 2016 Cumulative Windows Updates Crash SCOM Console

It seems like the October 2016 cumulative Windows updates (KB3194798, KB3192392, KB3185330 &KB3185331) cause the SCOM consoles 2012/2016 in all Windows versions from Windows Server 2008 R2 up to 2016 and Windows 7 up to 10 Windows 10 to regularly crash without any doubt.

According to Microsoft Germany’s SCOM PFE Dirk Brinkmann  who has blogged about this issue here, the SCOM team is working on a fix for this as of now and no ETA for an resolution has been provided yet.

Once a fix is available you will be able to see it via SCOM team blog.

Removing SCOM MPs like a Boss

It’s not like everyday you might want to remove certain management packs from your SCOM management group. The most  painful task is removing the dependent MPs as you need to manually track all of those and delete them first in order to successfully remove the parent management pack.

Microsoft Senior Software Engineer Chandra Bose has written a PowerShell script that can  identify and remove all of the dependent management packs automatically in such situations. Lets explore that script a little in this post.

How to get started?

First of all you need to run the Operations Manager Command shell as an administrator,  which should be a member of the Operations Manager Administrators group as well.

When you execute the script you can either provide the ID or the System Name of the parent management pack as below. You can find the MP ID by visiting Administration > Management Packs > Right click the desired MP and select properties > Look for the ID field in the General tab which shows the MP ID. The System Name is the unique name of the MP (i.e Microsoft.SQLServer.2012.Discovery)

 .\RecursiveRemove.ps1 <ID or System Name of the MP>

You can download the RecursiveRemove.ps1 script from here.

Update Rollup 9 for SCOM 2012 R2 now available

Microsoft has published the update rollup 9 for System Center Operations Manager 2012 R2 yesterday. Overall this update rollup focuses on significant fixes to Application Performance Monitoring in SCOM.

Fixes for following issues are included in this update.

  • SharePoint workflows fail with an access violation under APM
  • Application Pool worker process crashes under APM with heap corruption
  • Some Application Pool worker processes become unresponsive if many applications are started under APM at the same time
  • MOMAgent cannot validate RunAs Account if only RODC is available
  • Missing event monitor does not warn within the specified time range in SCOM 2012 R2 the first time after restart
  • SCOM cannot verify the User Account / Password expiration date if it is set by using Password Setting object
  • SLO Detail report displays histogram incorrectly
  • APM Agent Modules workflow fail during workflow shutdown with Null Reference Exception
  • AEM Data fills up SCOM Operational database and is never groomed out
  • The DownTime report from the Availability report does not handle the Business Hours settings
  • Adding a decimal sign in an SLT Collection Rule SLO in the ENU Console on a non-ENU OS does not work
  • SCOM Agent issue while logging Operations Management Suite (OMS) communication failure

This update rollup introduces the APM support for IIS 10 and Windows Server 2016. This requires an additional management pack Microsoft.SystemCenter.Apm.Web.IIS10.mp which can be found in “%SystemDrive%\Program Files\System Center 2012 R2\Operations Manager\Server\Management Packs for Update Rollups” with its dependencies once you install the update rollup.

Important

The Microsoft.Windows.InternetInformationServices.2016.mp which is a dependency, is not included in the UR9 package so you should download and install that separately before you enable APM for IIS 10 & Windows Server 2016.

You can download the binaries from here.

Savision Free Whitepaper – Born in the cloud | Monitoring Linux Workloads with OMS

I have recently authored a whitepaper titled “Born in the Cloud: Monitoring Linux workloads with OMS” published by Savision. This whitepaper focuses on Linux workload monitoring capabilities of Microsoft OMS born-in-the-cloud management suite which is capable of managing and protecting heterogeneous on-premises, cloud and hybrid data centers.

Following are the key areas of discussion in my whitepaper.

  • What Microsoft Operations Management Suite is and how it can simplify data center management.
  • Leveraging OMS Log Analytics to analyze, predict and protect your Linux workloads.
  • Integrating System Center Operations Manager with OMS for extended monitoring.
  • Harnessing the power of Business Service Monitoring of Savision Live Maps Unity in Microsoft OMS.

You can download this FREE whitepaper from here.

About Savision

Savision is the market leader in business service and cloud management solutions for Microsoft System Center. Savision’s monitoring and visualizing capabilities bridge the gap between IT and business by transforming IT data into predictive, actionable and relevant information about the entire cloud and datacenter infrastructure. You can visit  www.savision.com for more information about their product portfolio.

Salvaging SCVMM 2012 R2 with an existing database

Recently I was working in a SCVMM 2012 R2 deployment project and came across a DEFCON 1 situation. I was ready to uninstall everything and re-deploy VMM from scratch but I wanted to minimize the post installation configuration tasks after that. I came across a great post by the SCVMM team on how to achieve this with two SQL stored procedures and here is how I managed to save couple hours of the deployment time with that.

Backup First

Although you seriously know what you are doing, it is wise to back up the VMM database first. Just in case if you manage to screw up the entire database you can always restore from a copy.

The Process

The entire process is clearly explained in this TechNet article so I’m going to skip the lecture. But there are few things that I followed based on my gut feeling to make it work in a single attempt.

  • Stopped the VMM Server service before executing the first stored procedure and backing up the VMM database.
  • I restored the backup VMM  database using a dummy name and tested the stored procedures first to see there are any exceptions thrown during execution. Luckily it was successful. This is optional but it doesn’t hurt to try.
  • After installing the secondary VMM server I made sure to install the relevant UR version that was installed previously in the old VMM instance. This is critical or otherwise the database will not be useful at all.

Now if you have a Highly Available VMM environment things might look a little scary (VMM service fails most of the times) but the article explains how you can safely use the existing database by stopping at starting the VMM service manually before and after proceeding with the setup.

 

 

Hotfix released for SCSM 2012 R2 HTML Self Service Portal

When Microsoft released the Update Rollup 8 package for Service Manager 2012 R2 everyone was so excited to get hands on with the new HTML Self Service Portal replacing the SilverLight dependency. However there were number of issues with this release preventing customers from upgrading to new HTML portal. Recently Microsoft has released a hotfix (KB3124091) to overcome these issues in the UR8 package and to provide a much smoother user experience in the new HTML portal.

Bugfixes in KB3124091

  • Affected user and Created by user is getting set to the service account
  • Query type form element is not working for the Incident and User classes
  • Request Offering forms are failing to load if a Query type form element is part of the form
  • Username token is not passing values to the mapped field
  • Cancelling request form does not work
  • Text is overlapping for long strings inside the list in the middle pane
  • Related activities inside My Requests always show state as active
  • Filters inside My Requests and My Activities is not working for some languages
  • Announcement is showing “Invalid Date” in Expired Date column for some languages
  • Comments in the request are using incorrect class
  • Required (mandatory) restriction is not working on query type form element
  • Query form element allows multiple selection even when it is configured for single item selection
  • Scroll bar does not work on some lower screen resolutions
  • Double scroll bar appears while browsing Help Articles
  • Some areas of portal are not rendering in Mozilla Firefox web browser
  • My Activities shows 0 instead of removing the notification sticker when no activity is in progress
  • With SSL enabled, the browser regularly prompts the message “Only secure content is displayed” with a button to “Show all content” while browsing the portal
  • “Added by” inside the action logs show domain\username instead of the display name of the user

New Features

  • Nested enumeration lists are now supported inside the Request offering forms
  • Portal now allows you to share and access different objects inside the portal with direct URLs. You can refer individual items inside the portal with following URL formats –
    • Request Offerings:
      https://[website_name]/Home/Makeform?BMEID=[bme_id]
    • Incident type requests:
      https://[website_name]/MyRequests/RequestDetails?type=IncidentRequest&id=[incident_id]
    • Service Request type requests:
      https://[website_name]/MyRequests/RequestDetails?type=ServiceRequest&id=[service_request_id]
    • Manual Activities:
      https://[website_name]/ MyActivities/ActivityDetails?type=ManualActivity&id=[manual_activity_id]
    • Review Activities:
      https://[website_name]/ MyActivities/ActivityDetails?type=ReviewActivity&id=[review_activity_id]
    • Help Articles:
      https://[website_name]/KnowledgeBase/article/[id_of_knowledge_article]

Installation Procedure

  1. Before you apply this hotfix  you should backup any customizations made in the portal sidebar. (Views\Shared\Sidebar.cshtml file). To learn more about side bar customization, please refer Customizing the left menu bar
  2. Download and install the hotfix on the server machine which hosting your Self Service Portal. Run the installer with administrative privileges.
  3. If the installation was successful you should be able to see Hotfix for Microsoft System Center Service Manager R2 Self Service Portal (KB3124091) listed under View Installed Updates in Control Panel > Programs and Features
  4. If you had any portal sidebar customizations as in step 1, then merge the required changes in the updated Views\Shared\Sidebar.cshtml file.
  5. Finally restart the server which is hosting your portal IIS server.