Friday, September 19, 2014

Core OS MP Version 6.0.7230.0: Undocumented Change

Already some people pointed it out to me, so the credit of this posting go to them. However, I did not find the time to double check it. But it’s true: the latest version of the Core OS MP (Server OS MP), version 6.0.7230.0 has some changes which AREN’T documented but can affect your monitoring of available free disk space.

What’s happening?
Some versions of the Core OS MP back, there were those really good free disk space Monitors which when they fired an Alert told you directly what’s going on. So the Alert told you exactly how much disk space was still left (in MBs and %).

However, those Monitors were replaced by new ones (for some good reasons). BUT now the Alerts didn’t tell you anymore how much disk space was left Sad smile. Kevin Holman made a special MP which fixed this annoying issue.

But now with the latest version of this Core OS MP (version 6.0.7230.0) these Monitors are back and turned on by default! The previous ones are disabled now by default.

Another thing to reckon with is the time frame in which they run. The reinstated Monitors runs once per hour (3600 seconds) by default. Of course by using an Override you can modify it as required.

More details
In order to make it more clear what I am talking about, I give you more details.

  1. In total there are 4 logical disk free space monitors per OS version now. In this screenshot I’ve 12 of them (WS 2003x, 2008x and 2012x):
    Only ONE per OS version is enabled by default.

  2. The PREVIOUS ONE with the Alert lacking good information is turned off now by default,
    the Logical Disk Free Space Monitor:

    This one ran once per 15 minutes:

    But the Alert showed nothing about how much disk space was left:

  3. The ONLY Monitor which is enabled by default is the
    Windows 20xy Logical Disk Free Space Monitor. This is the 2012 server OS version:

    It runs once per hour (3600) seconds:

    AND it generates an Alert with GOOD information about how much disk space (MBs and %) is left:

So check your environment and overrides when this MP is in place. Hopefully the MP guide for this MP will properly updated.

SCCM 2012x: The package data in WMI is not consistent to PkgLib

I’ve bumped into this issue quite a few times now. The DPs seem to be fine BUT in the monitoring pane of the SCCM 2012x Console the DPs have a warning icon. When looking in the relevant log file (smsdpmon.log) on the DPs involved this entry points to the cause of it: The package data in WMI is not consistent to PkgLib.

As it turns out, it happens when some packages are removed but their entry still ‘lives’ in WMI of the DPs involved. Already the SCCM Team posted an article how to solve it, to be found here. Even though it works, it’s time consuming. So I searched for another solution and found it on the TechNet Forums.

In this thread member JT_DPS posted some powerful PS scripts, helping to solve this issue really fast. His PS scripts come in three parts.

Part I: This PS script shows you what packages are in WMI and not in the Content Library AND vice versa.

$WMIPkgList = Get-WmiObject -Namespace Root\SCCMDP -Class SMS_PackagesInContLib | Select -ExpandProperty PackageID | Sort-Object
$ContentLib = (Get-ItemProperty -path HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SMS\DP -Name ContentLibraryPath)
$PkgLibPath = ($ContentLib.ContentLibraryPath) + "\PkgLib"
$PkgLibList = (Get-ChildItem $PkgLibPath | Select -ExpandProperty Name | Sort-Object)
$PkgLibList = ($PKgLibList | ForEach-Object {$_.replace(".INI","")})
$PksinWMIButNotContentLib = Compare-Object -ReferenceObject $WMIPkgList -DifferenceObject $PKgLibList -PassThru | Where-Object { $_.SideIndicator -eq "<=" }
$PksinContentLibButNotWMI = Compare-Object -ReferenceObject $WMIPkgList -DifferenceObject $PKgLibList -PassThru | Where-Object { $_.SideIndicator -eq "=>" }
Write-Host Items in WMI but not the Content Library
Write-Host ========================================
Write-Host Items in Content Library but not WMI
Write-Host ====================================

Part II: This PS script removes the package from WMI (using the list from Part I):

Foreach ($Pkg in $PksinWMIButNotContentLib){ Get-WmiObject -Namespace Root\SCCMDP -Class SMS_PackagesInContLib -Filter "PackageID = '$Pkg'" | Remove-WmiObject -Confirm }

Part III: This PS script removes the INI file (using the list from Part I):

Foreach ($Pkg in $PksinContentLibButNotWMI){ Remove-Item -Path "$PkgLibPath\$Pkg.INI" -Confirm }

When you revalidate the content on your DPs they should turn to green icons again.

All credits for the PS scripts in this posting go to JT_DPS.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tool: SMART Documentation & Conversion 2.0 Helper For Orchestrator Runbooks

Already some months ago Microsoft released an updated version their tool to document your Orchestrator Runbooks, Orchestrator Visio and Word Generator.

However, as it turns out, this is just more than an update of the tool since it incorporates an update of the tool SMART Runbook Conversion Helper as well. This results in the tool SMART Documentation and Conversion Helper 2.0.

The tool itself – with a long description about how to use it with some good examples – can be found here.

So far, so good. But since I’ve used this tool I want to share some of my personal experiences:

  1. Icons please?
    Bumped into it just once. Visio and Word output ended up without icons, even though the export PS script for Runbook icons (this is a 32 bits PS script!) had run successfully and all icon files (jpeg) were present in the same folder the script was run from. Only fix for me was to remove all the icon files, rerun the export PS script for Runbook icons again. Afterwards Visio and Word output had icons again. Don’t know whether this was a one time glitch.

  2. Output to Word is dead slow
    On a well dimensioned server it took a long time to convert some Runbooks to Word format, especially compared to the conversion to Visio. Something which I couldn’t solve and just had to ride it out.

  3. Running multiple PS instances on the same computer doesn’t work for conversion to Word
    Tried to run two PS instances in order to make the conversion go faster. For Visio and PS this works great, but when converting Runbooks to Word documents, it doesn’t work. Somehow the document gets corrupted and only the last line is kept. The rest is overwritten by newer output of the conversion. No title, no table. Just a single line of text.

  4. Configure Visio before you start the conversion
    Visio needs some additional configuration before you start your first conversion to it. In my case Visio was installed on the D:\ drive, so I had to modify the path referring to a specific Visio startup file.

  5. Be patient
    The tool works, but has some quirks, one of them is lacking speed. Also when you click something, sometimes there will be a lag. Just be patient and wait. Until now the tool didn’t crash on me which is far more unwelcome.

  6. Placement of the tool window
    When running the tool and starting a conversion (especially to Word), don’t forget to place the window of the tool to a place which doesn’t ‘eat away’ most of your screen. Because when a conversion is started, this windows can’t be dragged to another position. Just something to be aware off.

Besides this I am happy with the tool since it allows me to gain a good insight in an Orchestrator environment and more important, the Runbooks present. But don’t forget that this tool is the START of your journey in how the Runbooks are made, and not the end of it.

Having a cup of coffee with the persons who built the Runbooks provides tons of information as well, which can’t be captured by any tooling. But than of course, those people must be still around AND available…

Updated MP: Service Manager 2012x, version 7.5.3079.183

Yesterday Microsoft released an updated version of the Service Manager 2012x MP, version 7.5.3079.183.

This MP requires SCOM 2012x. MP can be downloaded from here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

SCOrch: What SQL Server & Database Is Being Used?

Bumped into a System Center 2012 – Orchestrator (SCOrch) environment where it was unknown what SQL server and database was being used. Nowhere this information was found in the registry. So where to look now?

As it turned out, the solution was a simple one (even though it still eludes me why this information isn’t stored in the registry, but apparently it’s stored in the SQL database as well….).

  1. Start the tool Deployment Manager (System Center 2012 R2 Orchestrator Deployment Manager);
  2. Right click on Orchestrator Management Server > select Properties;
  3. Go to the second tab Orchestrator Management Server. On this tab the Database Server and Data Store Name (SQL database) are shown:

I found the solution to this relative simple question in
this posting of the blog Kick That Computer.

Friday, September 12, 2014

SCOM 2012x & UX Monitoring. Guided walkthrough for troubleshooting UNIX and Linux agent discovery

KB2993901 is a comprehensive troubleshooting guide for anyone having issues with UNIX/Linux Agent discoveries and installations.

Glad to see Microsoft puts this kind of effort in it since monitoring UX systems with SCOM 2012 is still a challenge Smile.

SCCM 2012: ‘System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager UNLEASHED’ Is Out!!!

YES! The book System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager UNLEASHED is out! Awesome!

I am a BIG fan of the UNLEASHED series since they go so deep. And the ConfigMgr 2012 books aren’t any different in that respect. Even better, I learned SCCM 2012 from it. So I am very happy this book is out. Bought it right away for my Kindle.

You can buy it anywhere of course, and you can find it here on Amazon.

For anyone working with SCCM 2012 R2 this book is a MUST HAVE!!!