Friday, July 18, 2014

Holiday – Vacance – Urlaub – Vakantie – Semester – праздник - Maintenance Mode

For the weeks to come this blog will be silent because I am on holiday. So no SCOM, SCCM, VMM, Orchestrator, Hyper-V.

How about clouds you ask? Well, the type of clouds I’ll be enjoying for the time to come are of a special kind:

Thanks everyone for visiting my blog and your comments. After my holiday I’ll be back with new energy Smile.

Friday, July 11, 2014

UR#2 SCCM 2012 R2 BREAKS Mulitcast (Again)

An issue which is already present in SCCM 2012 SP1 CU#2, is still present in UR#2 for SCCM 2012 R2. Already with UR#1 for SCOM 2012 R2 I bumped into this issue and blogged about it. Somehow I hoped this issue would be resolved with UR#2 for SCCM 2012 R2.

imageBut no. It’s still there Sad smile which makes me kind of sad.

I know Microsoft has priorities. But any update which breaks core functionality should be addressed with the next patch cycle. In this case however this issue is carried on to every next iteration of the update rollups…

Sure, the earlier reported workaround solves the issue here as well. But still it’s a pain in the #@!. Makes updating a SCCM 2012 R2 hierarchy unnecessary complex, especially when multiple DPs with Multicast enabled are being used. 

Hopefully Microsoft will find the time, resources and budget to fix this nagging issue for once and for all.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Tell Microsoft What YOU Think About The SCOM 2012x Web Console

It looks like Microsoft is working on an updated version of the SCOM 2012x Web Console. At least that’s what I think since they want YOUR input about what YOU think about the SCOM 2012x Web Console as it is today.

The OpsMgr Engineering Team has started a survey in order to understand how you use the SCOM 2012x Web Console today.

Want to know more? Go here and provide them with your experiences with the Console.

Friday, July 4, 2014

MMS is BACK!!!!

Well sort of. First of all this new MMS isn’t organized by Microsoft but by the Minnesota System Center User Group. Secondly MMS now stands for the Midwest Management Summit. And last but not least, it’s targeted at a MAXIMUM of 500 visitors.

Why? Taken directly from the website: ‘…Speakers have time to meet and talk to you. No rushing people out of a session to get the next speaker going. Time to absorb what you see and talk it over with speakers and other attendees…’

I am thrilled to see events like these being organized. IMHO Microsoft really dropped the ball by trying to shove MMS into Tech-Ed. With all the marketing mumbo jumbo taken away WHY Microsoft did that I am convinced that the real reason of this bad move was that Microsoft wanted to organize a BIG event like the ones organized by VMware. They hoped that it would create a buzz which would last for a few weeks at least.

So now the community picks it up and carries the flag. Which makes me proud of this community. Awesome!

Want to know more? Buy your tickets? Remember there is only place for 500 attendees! Go here.

SCCM 2012 R2: Task Sequence Best Practices Guide

Yesterday Microsoft published a Best Practices Guide for building Task Sequences in SCCM 2012 R2. This Best Practices guide consists out of a set of different documents, each one of them describing a different part of the whole process.

In order to make these documents work it’s scenario based. This way the contents of document are easy to relate to and to translate to your situation. I’ve used documents like these in the past and it really works.

So for anyone working with SCCM 2012 R2 and using Task Sequences (duh!), I highly recommend this Best Practice Guide.

SCOM 2012 R2 & SCA Integration: When Not Used Disable It

With SCOM 2012 R2 the integration with System Center Advisor (SCA) is default. For this an Advisor MP is in place which is imported when SCOM 2012 R2 is installed.

So far so good. However, when you don’t use SCA or you don’t want to integrate it with SCOM 2012 R2, it’s better to take some actions. For some obscure reason the Discoveries in this MP runs once per 10 minutes!

Normally a Discovery shouldn’t that often. Once per 24 hours is already a tight schedule. Even though most of these Discoveries of the Advisor MP are targeted against Objects which aren’t there when SCA isn’t integrated, there is one Discovery aimed against Windows Computers.

And that’s bad. As a Best Practice in MP authoring Microsoft(!) recommends NOT to target the Windows Computer object for ANYTHING. Simply because this object is far to generic, resulting in hitting way too many objects with Discoveries, Monitors, Rules and so on. And yes, this Discovery of the Advisor MP also runs once per 10 minutes.

The Discovery I am talking about is the Advisor Connector Discovery:


How to deal with it when you don’t use SCA integration
You don’t want ANY Discovery hitting your systems that often, even when you use SCA integration with SCOM. More about that particular scenario later on. In this case I am talking about the scenario where you don’t use SCA integration with SCOM 2012 R2.

There are multiple approaches:

  1. The BAD approach :Delete the SCA MPs;
  2. The FAST lane approach: Disable the Discovery Advisor Connector Discovery;
  3. The BEST approach:Disable ALL Discoveries, Monitors & Rules present in the Advisor MP.

Personally I opt for the third option. The second option will do the trick as well and will be done within a few seconds. Option 1 isn’t an option IMHO. Simply because Microsoft really pushes the integration with SCA and SCOM 202 R2. So it’s better to keep these MPs since they’re part of the core of SCOM 2012 R2 now.

So when using Options 2 or 3, always put those Overrides in a MP of their own. Whenever you choose to enable SCA integration with SCOM 2012 R2 you only have to delete the MP containing the Overrides for SCA and you can start configuring the integration as Microsoft describes.

When using Option 3 these are the Discoveries, Rules and Monitors you have to disable:



How to deal with it when you use SCA integration
No matter what, but ANY Discovery hitting a system once per 10 minutes is bad for those systems. So the Discoveries used by the SCA MP require some additional attention. Simply Override the frequency of these Discoveries and let them run less often, like once per 24 hours (86400 seconds).


Now these Discoveries won’t hit your systems that often any more.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Veaam: FREE Study Guide Exam 74-409

Veeam is a company with a big presence in the community. They’re dedicated to delivering added value to the IT Pro’s. Of course, marketing plays a big role here, but at least Veeam gives items away which are of true added value to the recipient.

In this case they’ve had the MVP and MCT Orin Thomas writing a study guide for Exam 74-409 all about Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center. I recently passed for this exam, without this FREE guide. Would love to have had it since every GOOD source of information was welcome while studying and prepping for it.

So now Veeam offers this guide to YOU for FREE! Want to know more and download it? Go here and be amazed. A big word of THANKS to Veeam for giving away things like these. Awesome!!!

SQL MPs: Updated & New

Some days ago Microsoft released updates for the regular SQL MPs BUT also NEW MPs for monitoring native SQL Server Reporting Services (Native Mode). For now I haven’t tested these new MPs but I’ll certainly do so and report back on them.

For now these are the updated SQL Server MPs:

  1. SQL Server 2005, 2008, 2008 R2, and SQL Server 2012 MP, version;
  2. SQL Server 2014, version

These are the NEW SQL Server Reporting Services Native Mode MPs:

  1. SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services, version;
  2. SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services, version;
  3. SQL Server 2014 Reporting Services, version

Check out the related web pages since the changes, fixes and improvements are impressive. The SQL Server team is really dedicated to delivering good MPs of high quality. Their MPs really stand out of the crowd and are a shiny example to other product team what MPs are all about.