Monday, July 27, 2009

RTFM (Read The Friendly Manual) and other advises when importing MPs

27-07-2009 Update: By accident I gave the wrong hyperlink to the online MP guides of Microsoft (Advise # 5). This is corrected with this update.

Importing a new MP or updating a MP which is already present, is not something to be taken lightly. When this is not properly done it can cause the OpsMgr administrators many additional hours of work.

With OpsMgr SP1 one had to download a msi-package containing the needed MP, unpack it and than import it. Even though it seems like a lot of work, there is one advantage: the related MP guide is also to be found in this msi-package. Of course, one still has to READ it.

With R2 MPs can directly imported from the Console itself. But this way, no MP guide is to be found. So this new functionality can cause a lot of additional work when not done properly.






Here are some advises how to go about importing new MPs or updating existing ones. These advises are viable for OpsMgr SP1 and R2 environments.

  1. Does the MP work in your OpsMgr environment?
    With the release of R2 there are two versions of OpsMgr now: OpsMgr SP1 (with certain hotfixes) and OpsMgr R2. Certain MPs work only with R2 (native MP for Exchange 2007) or with R2 and SP1 with certain hotfixes applied. (newly released MP for SQL). So always ascertain yourself that the MP to be downloaded/updated works with your environment as well. 

  2. First thing sfirst 
    Importing/updating a MP is always the LAST step in the process of deciding whether or not to use a certain MP. So do not use the import MP functionality lightly. Do not import a MP because ‘you can’ or ‘because it sounds nice’ or ‘it seems to look good’. Use a MP because the organization needs it and is ready to invest the needed time for it.

  3. Second phase 
    When a MP is imported a new chain of processes will start: configuring the MP in order to make it match your environment. This process isn’t done within a couple of hours. Depending on the MP, the complexity of the environment where it is applied, the monitoring needs of the organization, the skills of the people working with OpsMgr and so on, it can take some days.

    This doesn’t mean that one is working a couple of days only with this MP, but after the initial configuration process, additional configuration is needed when certain Alerts do get in.

  4. One by one
    Always import MPs one by one. See advise #3 why. When the last imported/updated MP is properly configured and running as it should, the next MP can be imported. 

  5. Import a MP when you are familiar with it
    For this the guide of the related MP is needed. However, when importing directly from the Console there is no way to download the guide as well. There are two ways to go about it: go to the website where the guides are to be found of the most common MPs of Microsoft, or download msi-file containing the MP and guide from the catalogue, unpack it as I described in an earlier blogposting of mine, and RTFM.

  6. Updating already imported MPs
    Even when already imported MPs are to be updated, handle it in the exact same way as new MPs: RTFM.

  7. Change Management
    Document changes of the OpsMgr environment in order to get and maintain a good solid grip on it.

No comments: