Thursday, April 28, 2016

SQL MP: No Pain, No Gain. But NOT Anymore!

Wh00t! For many years I am a follower of the blog written by Kevin Holman. This blog is a HUGE resource for in-depth information about SCOM and has aided me in resolving many issues. It also helped me to get my own blog on a good level.

So yesterday I was more than happy to find a nagging issue to be resolved. This is all about the SQL MP.

On one side I really love this MP since it shows what SCOM can do for any environment, but in the same time it can be a pain in the preverbal backside in order to get it up and running.

Why? Because you need to configure the Run As Accounts in a proper manner. Without it, no SCOM monitoring of your SQL instances and related workloads. It always took a lot of time to get the SQL MP configured properly and many times involved many talks and even discussions…

But those days are GONE! Thanks to Kevin AND a colleague of his, Ralph Kyttle! Awesome!

So whenever you run SCOM AND the SQL MP is imported, go to his blog and read the posting all about how they solved this nagging issue!

A BIG thanks to Kevin and Ralph!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Office 365 MP & Proxy: The One & Only Solution For ‘Connection to EndPoint Service failed’ Alert

Even though the Office 365 MP isn’t that good (duh!), there are still some organizations who require this MP in their SCOM environment. The import and configuration of this MP is straight forward and quickly the Alerts (AKA noise?) come in…

However, when there is a proxy required for internet access, it can be a challenge to make sure all works fine. Otherwise the Office 365 MP can’t connect to the Office 365 Endpoint, resulting in an Alert like this one:

Even when the proxy is correctly configured in IE for the correct account used by the Office 365 MP Run As Profile, on the SCOM Management Servers participating in the Resource Pool used by the Office 365 MP, it doesn’t work.

Underwater the HealthService.exe process spawns a new MonitoringHost.exe process, under the credentials defined in the Office 365 MP Run As Profile. But it doesn’t pick up the proxy settings defined in IE for the same account.

Instead it doesn’t use a proxy at all, resulting the previous mentioned Alert.

First an foremost, ascertain there is a working internet connection on the MS servers who are member of the Resource Pool used by the Office 365 MP:

  1. Log on to the related MS server(s), open IE and configure the proxy as required;
  2. Try to open this website:
  3. When all is okay, you’ll get an 403 - Forbidden: Access is denied message:
  4. Repeat these steps on ALL SCOM Management Servers participating in the Resource Pool used by the Office 365 MP.

At least you know now the internet connection to the Office 365 Endpoint is functional. Time to move on to the next phase, editing the MonitoringHost.exe.config file, found on the Management Server in folder C:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center 2012 R2\Operations Manager\Server.

Mind you, even though these actions could be limited to only the SCOM Management Servers participating in the Resource Pool used by the Office 365 MP, it’s Best Practice to modify ALL SCOM Management Servers of the related SCOM Management Group. This way all your SCOM Management Servers are configured in the same manner. Also Change Management should be applied here. So make sure to log this change and to follow the change procedures required by the company you’re working for.

Action PER SCOM Management Server:

  1. Start a RDP session and log on with local admin permissions;
  2. Locate the file MonitoringHost.exe.config (on a SCOM 2012 R2 MS server: C:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center 2012 R2\Operations Manager\Server), make a copy of it and store it in a safe place. This way there is always a way back;
  3. Open the file in an editor like Notepad++, and add these lines just below the element <configuration>:
  4.   <>
        <defaultProxy enabled="true" useDefaultCredentials="true">

  5. Modify the entry http://proxyaddress:8080 as required by your proxy configuration. Now the file looks like this:
  6. Save the file;
  7. Restart the Health Service;
  8. Repeat these steps on ALL SCOM Management Servers.

Now the Office 365 MP will be able to connect to the Office 365 Endpoint.

Used sources
Based on these sources I found the solution as described:

  1. TechNet Forum, comment posted by MMF1971. So all credits should go to him/her.
  2. KB3026285, which didn’t help at all Smile.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Beware: MP Catalog Contains Old Versions Of SharePoint 2013 MPs

A customer of mine reported an error with their SharePoint Foundation 2013 MP. Somehow it couldn’t upload a Report to the SSRS instance. This Alert was shown in the SCOM Console:

This made me wonder. Since I had seen this error in the past, related to an OLD version of the SharePoint Server/Foundation 2013 MP. But this bug had been fixed in later releases of these MPs…

Time to investigate
So I asked what version they used. And to my surprise, they used the old version (15.0.4420.1017). They told me they downloaded it from the MP Catalog, accessible from the SCOM Console. And indeed, this OLDER version (with the bug!) is offered by the MP Catalog:

When you look at the normal TechNet download pages for these MPs, they contain the latest version (15.0.4557.1000):

SharePoint Foundation 2013 MP:

SharePoint Server 2013 MP:

Whenever needing the SharePoint Server 2013 MPs, DO NOT use the MP Catalog. I’ve already notified Microsoft about it. When it’s solved I’ll update this posting accordingly.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Skype for Business Server 2015 MP (9319.247) Issues

Yesterday Microsoft updated the Skype for Business Server 2015 MP to version 9319.247.

However, it looks like the sealing process went wrong, because this error is thrown when one tries to import this MP:

‘…This management pack cannot be imported.: Cannot load the management pack from the specified sealed assembly file: C:\Program Files\Skype for Business Server 2015\Management Packs\Management Packs\ This assembly is not fully signed. Cannot verify the strong name signature of the file: C:\Program Files\Skype for Business Server 2015\Management Packs\Management Packs\…’


This error can be reproduced in other (test) SCOM environments as well. I’ve already notified Microsoft about this issue. So I hope it will be fixed soon.

When it’s fixed, I’ll update this posting accordingly.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Incremental Update For MAS TP1

Yesterday Microsoft released the first (?) incremental update for Microsoft Azure Stack (MAS), aka MAS Update 1.

Improvements are (taken directly from the website):

  • Faster VM deployment times;
  • Better performance in VM-related actions such as stop, start, delete;
  • Incremental stability and reliability improvements to the portal experience;
  • Updated extensions for Desired State Configuration and Docker (for purposes of Azure alignment).

For anyone running MAS it’s recommended to roll out MAS Update 1.

Please know that a REBUILD of your MAS environment is required since – like any other TP build – an inplace upgrade/update isn’t supported.

Some useful links: