Monday, October 3, 2011

Windows Server OS MP updated to version 6.0.6956.0: Some things you should know

Last Friday Microsoft released the newest version of the Windows Server OS MP, version 6.0.6956.0.

But hold your horses! Don’t import this MP right away since there are some issues with it.

You have to know these issues before you import this MP. So read this whole posting and don’t forget to visit Kevin Holman’s blog as well in order to get a clear picture about this MP.

None the less, this MP adds some new functionality which is good.

The Good News
  1. Two new very cool Reports are added to this MP. These are THE Reports many customers of mine asked for.

    Beware though, these two new Reports aren’t found in the MP Catalog accessed by the SCOM Console, but put into the msi-file containing the new MP, to be found here. When you run the msi-file, the MPs will be extracted, among them the MP containing these Reports:

    Really, these Reports are MUST have! Finally, we see the performance of a server in a glance! And now we can add Groups as well which will be enumerated in the Report. So no more aggregation (all servers thrown together on a pile per graph like CPU) but PER server the performance overview, like this where I have chosen the Group Windows Computers and yet per server an overview is created:
  2. Cluster Shared Volume Monitoring (amount of free space and availability) is added. Customers of mine who run Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 R2 will love this one!
  3. BPA (Server Manager Best Practices Analyzer). Put into a MP of its own ( So you can decide yourself whether or not to use that MP which is also a good move of Microsoft.

    Personally I have a feeling this MP looks a bit like the Server OS MP used in SCA (System Center Advisor), a cloud based solution for companies who want to check whether their Windows based systems and enterprise applications like the Server OS, SQL, AD and Hyper-V are in line with the Best Practices as advised by Microsoft.
  4. Noise is cut down. Many Rules/Monitors are modified in order to cut down on the noise they created earlier.
  5. Performance Collection Rules are disabled by default. Which is good as well since too much performance collection was taking place with the old version of the MP. So this saves a lot of space in the databases of SCOM. And network bandwidth as well.

    How many Rules are disabled you ask? The MP Guide lists them all in the appendix ‘Windows Server 2008 Rules and Monitors Disabled by Default’. I have counted about thirteen(!) pages…
The Not So Happy News
  1. Well, check out Kevin Holman’s posting about this MP and don’t forget to read the comments. There are some issues (some minor, some a bit nastier) to reckon with. Until now it seems there are workarounds for it.
MP and the related guide can be found here.

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