MMS 2012: Travel Guide: Hints

On this post I’ll keep track of all the hints I gave in the different posts. This can be handy to get all the hints in a glance or even print them for your reference: Post 1: MMS 2012 Travel Guide Part 1: Getting settled in Vegas Check your travel docs. Make sure you have a passport which is valid for at least 6 months after your stay and if your are from outside of states make sure to fill in your ESTA. More info here: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/ Don’t forget your travel adapter power socket. Buy it upfront of your trip. They tend to overcharge for it at airports. Pack also an extension cord with multiple sockets of your home plug. You only have one adapter but want to charge your phone, laptop, tablet, camera overnight to hit the next day of the MMS madness well prepared The Venetian Conference center is hosting the event but the Venetian Hotel and Palazzo Hotel are forming...
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MMS 2012: Travel Guide Part 3: Scheduling your MMS agenda

This blog post is part of a series. The other parts can be found here: How to survive MMS 2012. In the previous post I’ve highlighted all the different types of sessions and what to expect from them. Now I’m going to give you some tips and tricks to book your week at MMS. First of all head over to the official page of mms at http://www.mms2012.com and select the login button on the top right of the page and login. Note: Make sure you have your login and password combination ready when you’re at MMS. More info on this subject later on. So you’ve successfully logged on and are now on the splash page of the MMS site: Select the tab Sessions & Labs in the top bar to access the MMS Schedule Builder: TIP: My approach is not to check on speaker, topic whatsoever but book by slot. If you select the timeslot you’ll get a nice overview of the different sessions in that...
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MMS 2012: Travel Guide Part 2: The session types

This blog post is part of a series. The other parts can be found here: How to survive MMS 2012. So you are heading to Vegas for the System Center event of the year: Microsoft Management Summit! But what can you expect and how are you going to get the most out of the event. This blog post in the series will guide you through the different types of sessions and how to effectively plan your days at MMS. There’s a huge spectrum of different sessions provided, opportunities to meet with peers, check the latest solutions of partners (and get some gadgets along the way),… So let’s get started to give you some hints on the “official” part of MMS: the keynotes + session. The different sessions: Instructor Lead Labs: These sessions are basically big classrooms where you can get hands experience with the new software in predefined scenarios. It’s instructor led but also has a manual for each attendee to get you started. You’re working...
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SCOM 2012: Pass data to custom fields with monitors

During the “ask the experts” session on SystemCenterUniverse 2012 (which was the dress rehearsal for MMS2012) I had the privilege to ask a question about a many used feature at some of my clients: Fill in the custom fields when alerting in SCOM. My question: “Will it be possible to update the custom fields using a monitor like you do with a rule? Answer: “We know this is a many requested feature but unfortunately it will not be possible” The issue is that the architecture to raise an alert is fundamentally different for rules and monitors. With rules it’s possible to pass parameters through the GenerateAlert module while for monitors this is not possible. So there are 2 possibilities: Either create an alerting rule for the monitor which passes the parameters to the alert. But this is from a manageability point of view very difficult. The only thing I came up with is running...
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SCOM 2007: Dynamically populating a group from txt file

At one of my clients they are using a custom build problem management tool + cmdb tool. This means there’s not much flexibility of getting data in and out of these systems. At one point the question came to make a division between either critical servers and non critical servers to adapt the level of monitoring accordingly. The only possible way to get the server list in was by supplying me with a txt file of all the critical servers. So well… you can go and click away daily to compare the list with the group or automate the process… Of course I choose the second option. By creating a new custom management pack that basically will read in the txt file on a regular basis and populate the group by deleting the servers which were removed and adding the new ones. So let’s get going. The management pack can be downloaded here: Download management pack here Things to adapt to your needs: Line 52: The interval...
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SCOM2007: How to backup your Reporting

This blog post is part of a series how to backup your SCOM environment. You can find the other parts here: How to backup your SCOM environment How to backup your SCOM dbases How to backup your SCOM encryption key How to backup your SCOM IIS settings How to backup your unsealed management packs How to Document your SCOM installation How to Backup your Reporting Another part in the process of backing up your environment and thus making sure that all the data is available to restore your environment is backing up the Reporting services dbase which basically contains all your reports. The standard report can be easily recreated when reimporting the management pack but if you made custom reports they...
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SCOM2007: How to document your SCOM Installation

This blog post is part of a series how to backup your SCOM environment. You can find the other parts here: How to backup your SCOM environment How to backup your SCOM dbases How to backup your SCOM encryption key How to backup your SCOM IIS settings How to backup your unsealed management packs How to Document your SCOM installation How to Backup your Reporting     After we have backed up all the other necessary bits of our environment in the previous blog posts just a little more bits remain to make sure we can successfully restore our environment when there has been a disaster. Document your Scom installation This can save you a lot of time and can even be useful when you just have to pull up a report on what actually get’s monitored in the environment. I’ve based my script on a nice blog post of Kristoper Bash which can be found here: http://operatingquadrant.com/2009/08/19/scom-automating-management-pack-documentation/ I’ve adapted the script so it will be in line with...
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SCOM 2007: Automated Backup of Unsealed Management packs

As part of my series how to back up your SCOM environment I ‘ve created a backup strategy for my unsealed management packs. The setup I choose is to use a PowerShell script with error handling included which is run by the Task Scheduler on the RMS and monitored by a management pack in SCOM. The advantages of this setup are: No additional load on the RMS (although this script is light you never know what will happen) Better control over when the script is running. The PowerShell script I used is based on the UnsealedMPbackup management pack which is posted here: https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=397bb61b75cc76c5&id=397BB61B75CC76C5%21217# Although this is an excellent script I modified it to have Error handling in there. If you look at the script there’s also a mailer included in the script but it’s commented out for now. If you would like to use this as a standalone script without the monitoring of SCOM over the process you can easily switch on the email function and...
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Start to SCOM: Phase 1: The design doc

So now that you normally have a clear view on the assessment and what people expect you can start writing your design document. I’ll be pointing out how I usually write my design docs. You can use these guidelines or create your own totally different layout + structure. Feel free to do so. NOG AANVULLEN The different components in a design doc First of all you need to write a design doc for people who are not familiar with the product. You already have some insights in the technology / product but be aware that most of the managers do not have these insights so you have to educate a little bit as well. Therefore it’s a good thing to explain all the different components of your SCOM structure briefly before pointing out your decision concerning the component. This is a brief overview of my framework for my design doc. Again...
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SCOM 2007: Start to SCOM.

Everybody who has been working with SCOM remembers his first time when he opened the console. It can be overwhelming and you just got passed the experience of designing and installing the SCOM system. So you lean back and ask yourself… Where do we go from here. Where to start. Where to get the info needed… So many questions and so many answers to find online posted by user groups, team blogs, white papers,… Overload…   In the next series of blogs I’ll try to set up a step by step guide to get things going to a level where you can already showcase the environment and further fine tune. I’m working 2 years with SCOM 2007 so the memory of the start is still fresh but fading fast when you dig deeper in the program. First things first. The different phases of a SCOM project and the different trap holes they bring along: ...
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