Friday, August 31, 2012

New Challenge!

From the 1st of September 2012 (tomorrow) I’ll be working for another company, PQR.

Why? IMO for real personal growth (on both a personal and technical level) it’s good to step outside your comfort zone every now and then. By meeting new colleagues, working hard in order to become a respected member of new teams, learning new skills and technologies one is really challenged and thus given the proper incentives to grow to the next level.

With PQR I have found that company, so I am really looking forward to start there on the 3rd of September.

While I am at it, I want to say a BIG word of thank you to my former employer, Conclusion FIT. They gave me all the opportunities and possibilities to grow to who I am today. They gave me all the support I needed and provided me all the tools required.

Also a BIG word of thanks to all my Conclusion FIT colleagues for all the projects we worked together on. Learned a lot and also had some good fun as well.

See you all the next time. Cheers!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

OM12 Dashboard Widgets: The Hidden Feature & The Workaround

With OM12 the dashboards are hugely improved. Now one can easily create a dashboard and put Widgets in it, like these:

These Widgets work fast and intuitive enabling you to create the dashboards your organization asks for in a fast and decent manner without having to take a deep dive in XML...

However, the widget I highlighted in red, Objects by Performance has some issues which almost renders it useless. Which is bad since that Widget is something many customers of mine, using SCOM (R2) asked for:

‘…Please give us any means to show the Top N of any item, like the servers with the highest CPU loads, highest memory utilization and so on…’

But with a proper workaround, this widget can still be used and with success. For what I have heard this workaround won’t be needed anymore when SP1 for OM12 comes out, (expected Q4 2012) since it will be fixed in that SP.

Please note:
This Widget is also used in the Summary Dashboard, which uses 4 Widgets in total. The first cell on the left (Top N) in that dashboard is based on the Objects by Performance Widget. This dashboard isn’t that much customizable as any other dashboard you build yourself so this workaround won’t work for the Summary Dashboard. Therefore it’s better to skip that dashboard and build your own ones.

The ‘Hidden Feature’
When you create a dashboard using the Objects by Performance widget, it will soon be populated. But when you go through the wizard and accept all defaults, this will be shown:

An empty path! So, OK we know now that for a particular Logical disk C the Current Disk Queue length is 0,22. But exactly WHAT server?! So basically you’re looking at a nice average value which might be alarming but you haven’t got a clue which server is showing that behavior… Ouch!

And this ‘hidden feature’ is present in all Dashboards using this Widget. When you have the free Windows Server 2008 Dashboards in place, provided by the OpsMgr Team, you’ll find the exact same behavior.

The Workaround
As stated in the title of this posting, I don’t presume to have the fix for it, but I know a good workaround which is accepted by all of my customers who run OM12. It’s simple and straight forward but it works since the information required (WHAT server is showing this particular behavior like a loaded disk for instance) is neatly shown.

  1. When creating a dashboard add an additional cell or column for one more widget. So basically when you need a dashboard with four widgets, create a dashboard with five cells/columns;
  2. Use this extra cell/column to add the Details Widget. This Widget is really easy to configure: all you’ve to do is to give it a proper name, like ‘Details’;
  3. When this Widget is activated it won’t show much:
  4. Which is perfectly normal. As it states: ‘Select an item to display its details’ this action has to performed in order to show some data;
  5. Now click on the C drive which shows a current disk queue length of 0,22 and let’s check the Details Widget again:
    (Please don’t mind the zero values since this is one of my test environments…)
  6. As you can see, the details related to that particular object are shown now! This works perfectly, also for the Alert Widget and State Widget.


  1. Don’t use the Summary Dashboard because it can’t be tuned that much like the dashboards you make your self (when SP1 comes out the Summary Dashboard will work very well);
  2. Create your own Summary Dashboards (trial and error here, but it’s easy to understand far more easier than making filled reports in some cases Smile);
  3. When you create a dashboard, always add that extra cell/column for the Details Widget.

Some other advices as well:

  1. Yes, you can create a dashboard with cells/columns and add per cell/columns new cells/columns as well. Almost like a matryoshka doll. But not very nice to look at;
  2. Many times is a Dashboard with 5 cells/columns enough and good to be displayed on any screen. Try to stay away from dashboards with too many cells/columns;
  3. IMO, the column layout isn’t used that much since one tends to get ‘pipes’ on the screen which aren’t nice to look at either. The grid layout is the one I use 99,9% of the time;
  4. Two other ‘hidden features’ I bumped into:
    1. When a Widget is created and saved you might want to change it. Like the name for instance, or the time frame. When you change those values and save it, it seems like nothing changes. When you open the properties of the Widget you’ll see the old values. However, when you close the OM12 Console and reopen it and look at the properties of the Widget you modified, you’ll see the new values…

      Have seen this behavior in ALL OM12 environments I worked with so far.
    2. Sometimes a name change of a Widget doesn’t land at all. My guess here is that is because of the underlying XML code having some issues with the NLD language sections as described in this posting of mine.

      So this issue isn’t related to the Widget itself but more to the underlying XML structure and the way it’s handled in OM12.

Hopefully this posting provided some tips and tricks how to workaround the nagging issue with the Objects by Performance Widget and get the most out of it since it’s a good Widget after all and will get better when SP1 comes out.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Server OS MP version 6.0.6972.0: New Logical Disk Free Space Monitoring Explained

With the latest version of the Server OS MP, version 6.0.6972.0, the monitoring of the free space on the logical disks of those servers is changed as well. Even though Kevin Holman wrote an excellent posting about those changes, I bump into customers asking many questions about those changes.

This posting is a wrap-up of those changes. However, all credits for this posting should go to Kevin since this posting is based on his article.

The 3 Logical Disk Free Space Monitors
When the latest version of the Server OS MP is imported, you’ll find per Server OS type (2003/2008) three Monitors for monitoring the logical disk free space. In this screen dump I only have the Server OS MP for Windows Server 2008 imported so only those three Monitors are shown:

Let’s break them down:

01: Logical Disk Free Space

  1. This is the monitor we all know from all previous Server OS MPs. One per Server OS type (2003/2008).
  2. This Monitor is rewritten in order to reduce noise, but…
    • Now the Alerts don’t show anymore how many MBs and percent of free space is still available;
    • In order to address that, Kevin and Larry Mosley created addendum MPs containing the previous versions of those Monitors and disable the newest versions. The blog posting about the new Monitors and also containing the addendum MPs can be found here.
  3. This monitor is enabled by default in order to guarantee backward compatibility for organizations who have SCOM/OM12 for some time in place. Many times  organizations like these do have many overrides in place for this monitor.
  4. Things to reckon with this Monitor:
    • It measures two conditions: available free space measured in MBs AND percentage. Only when BOTH conditions are met an Alert will be triggered!
    • By default it will trigger an Alert when it’s in a Warning or Critical state. Even though it might sound good there is a drawback here: Suppose a Warning Alert is triggered for a certain logical disk because the free space is too low but yet not critical. So a Warning Alert is shown in the Console. When the amount of free space becomes critical the current Warning Alert will be set to a Critical state. This WON’T create a new Alert nor will a notification be send out, nor will it be picked up by any Connector (if in place) to any Service Desk tool…
  5. This Monitor runs every 15 minutes

02: Windows Server 2008 Logical Disk Free Space (%) Low

  1. This is a new Monitor introduced in this version of the Server OS MP;
  2. This Monitor is disabled by default;
  3. This Monitor only raises an Alert when ONE condition is met: when the percentage of free disk space is below a certain level;
  4. This Monitor only raises an Alert when a CRITICAL condition is met;
  5. This Monitor runs every 15 minutes;
  6. The Alert generated by this Monitor also shows the percentage of free space left;
  7. This Monitor can be customized on many Parameters in order to reflect the requirements of your organization:
    Advice: Don’t change the Alert on State parameter since you’ll bump into the same issue as described for the Logical Disk Free Space monitor, Item 4, second bullet…

03: Windows Server 2008 Logical Disk Free Space (MB) Low

  1. This is a new Monitor introduced in this version of the Server OS MP;
  2. This Monitor is disabled by default;
  3. This Monitor only raises an Alert when ONE condition is met: when the amount of free MBs is below a certain level;
  4. This Monitor only raises an Alert when a CRITICAL condition is met;
  5. This Monitor runs every 15 minutes;
  6. The Alert generated by this Monitor also shows the amount of free MBs left;
  7. This Monitor can be customized on many Parameters in order to reflect the requirements of your organization:
    Advice: Don’t change the Alert on State parameter since you’ll bump into the same issue as described for the Logical Disk Free Space monitor, Item 4, second bullet…

OK, now what monitor do I use?
This is up to you, or better the requirements of your organization. Personally I wouldn’t be too much surprised to see the monitor Logical Disk Free Space to be phased out in a future version of the Server OS MP. But these are just my personal thoughts and isn’t based on anything else.

When you have a SCOM R2/OM12 MG in place with many overrides for the Logical Disk Free Space Monitor, it isn’t that easy to move to ONE of the new Monitors. Planning is required here.

Tips & Tricks for the Logical Disk Free Space Monitor

  1. Another approach could be to to alter the Logical Disk Free Space Monitor so one of the two conditions (percentage or amount of free MBs) is already in a warning/critical state. This way only the other condition requires a warning/critical state and an Alert is triggered.

    This can be done easily by adjusting the condition you don’t want to use to such a level (like 80% for instance when you don’t want to use the percentage condition) so it’s already in a warning/critical condition. Now only the other condition (amount of free MBs) must met in order to trigger an Alert.

  2. Change the Alert on State setting for this Monitor so ONLY an Alert is created when a Critical condition is met. This way an Alert won’t be missed in the Console, nor as a Notification nor by the Connector. 

    Now you could argue that a Critical condition won’t give you enough time to solve the issue before the server stops functioning.

    HOWEVER, this monitor can be modified on many other parameters as well in order to trigger a Critical Alert at an earlier stage, when the logical disk isn’t too full (Error Mbytes Threshold for Non-System Drives and Error Mbytes Threshold for System Drives).

    By bumping up those thresholds you’ll have enough time to remedy it when a Critical Alert comes in Glimlach.

As you can see, this MP offers many possibilities for monitoring logical disk free space on your Windows Servers. Combined with all the parameters which can be modified this kind of monitoring can meet the requirements of your organization as well.

OM12 Core Monitoring Functionality Tuning Guide

When OM12 is cleanly installed it will contain – out of the box – a set of MPs. These MPs are divided in subsets where each subset delivers a particular functionality, like the core monitoring functionality.

This subset is the foundation for many other MPs which will be imported when you start rolling out OM12 into your organization. In other words, they depend on it, like this example, the Active Directory Server Common Library MP, part of the AD MP:
All MPs highlighted in yellow are part of the subset of OM12 MPs which deliver the core monitoring functionality.

However, this same subset delivers another crucial functionality as well: monitoring the health of the Operations Manager infrastructure, its components and services.

In order to get that crucial functionality just right, additional tuning is required here. However, unlike SCOM R2, there is no guidance here how to do that. I have searched every where, read the Deployment and Operations guides many times, but didn’t find anything about it.

Hence this posting in order to point out some important things you’ll need to know about how to configure this subset of MPs in order to get the monitoring of your OM12 environment just right. So let’s start!

Spoiler Alert
The information about tuning the monitoring of your OM12 environment is based on the MP guide (OM2007_MP_OpsMgrR2.doc) delivered with the
SCOM R2 MP, version 6.1.7695.0. Only the information relevant to OM12 is described and tailored to OM12 in this posting.

Tuning the monitoring of your OM12 environment
High level overview of the steps we’re going to take:

  1. Configure automatic agent management.
    • Create a Run As account with administrator access on the target computers.
    • Add a Run As account to the Automatic Agent Management Account Run As profile to enable automatic agent recovery.
  2. Create a new management pack for customizations.
  3. Enable recovery for the Health Service Heartbeat Failure monitor.
  4. ONLY WHEN REQUIRED: Add a Run As account to the Validate Alert Subscription Account Run As profile.

Detailed steps:

  1. Configuring automatic agent management
    Why? This enables automatic remediation for OM12 Agents which are having issues. The actions to remediate can be a restart of the OM12 Agent service (healthservice) or even – only when you have configured it(!) – an automated reinstall of the OM12 Agent.

    In order to get this up and running, two additional actions are required:
    > Create a Run As account with administrator access on the target computers;
    > Add that to the Automatic Agent Management Account Run As profile to enable automatic agent recovery.

    1. In the OM12 Console, go to Administration.
    2. In the navigation pane, expand Administration, expand Run As Configuration, click Run As Configuration, and then click Profiles.
    3. Double-click Automatic Agent Management Account, and then click the Run As Accounts tab.
    4. Click Add, and then in the Run As Account drop-down menu, click an existing account that has administrator access to the agents or click New to create a new AD account to use.
    5. For This Run As account will be used to manage the following objects, ensure All targeted objects is selected, and then click OK.
    6. Click Save.

  2. Create a new MP for customizations
    In the next steps we’re going to set some overrides which need to be stored in a dedicated unsealed MP. In this case this MP is named: Overrides OM12 Core. No I am not going to explain how to create such a MP since this is basic knowledge.

  3. Enable recovery for the Health Service Heartbeat Failure monitor
    Why? This monitor contains some recovery options as well, which can be configured according the company policies:

    1. In the OM12 Console go to Tools > Search > Monitors
    2. In the search box type Health Service Heartbeat Failure > Search
    3. The Monitor will be found. Click on it and in the Monitor Details pane the details of this Monitor will be shown (now you might hit one or two bugs: at Step 1 the OM12 Console might crash (restart it) and at Step 3, the Monitor Details pane might stay empty. For the latter, just select the Monitor a few times more and suddenly the details of that Monitor will be shown…).
    4. In the Monitor Details pane click on the link View Knowledge and the properties of that Monitor (Health Service Heartbeat Failure) will be shown. Go to the tab Overrides
    5. In the list, under Recovery, click Enable and Restart Health Service, click Override, and then click For all objects of class: Health Service Watcher
    6. Under Override-controlled parameters, in the Override column, select the check box next to the Enabled value that appears in the Parameter Name column.
    7. In the Override Value column, in the drop-down box, click True.
    8. In the Select destination management pack section, select the management pack that you created earlier (Main Step 2 – Creating a New MP for customizations), and then click OK.
    9. Repeat steps 5 through 8 for:
      > Restart Health Service;
      > Reinstall Health Service (triggered from Diagnostic);
      > Resume Health Service;
      > Set the "Computer Not Reachable" monitor to success because the "Ping Computer on Heartbeat Failure" diagnostic succeeded.

    Additional advice
    When you hover the mouse over a recovery task a pop-up will appear giving additional explanation about that particular recovery task. This way you know better what a certain recovery task does:


  4. ONLY WHEN REQUIRED: Add a Run As account to the Validate Alert Subscription Account Run As profile
    Why?  Validates whether the Notification subscriptions are in scope. Needs administrator access within OM12 and admin access on the OM12 Management Servers.

    !!! Additional warning !!!
    By default this Run As Profile is already populated with the Local System Windows Account, targeted against the OM12 Management Server which was first installed in the new Management Group. Many times this is sufficient and DOESN’T need any modification. When it works SKIP THIS STEP!!!

    Only in locked down environments an AD account – instead of the local system account - might be required here. Then you’ll need to follow this step. 

    1. In the OM12 Console, go to Administration.
    2. In the navigation pane, expand Administration, expand Run As Configuration, click Run As Configuration, and then click Profiles.
    3. Double-click Validate Alert Subscription Account, and then click the Run As Accounts tab.
    4. Click Add, and then in the Run As Account drop-down menu, click an existing account that has administrator access to the agents or click New to create a new AD account to use.
    5. Remove the Local System Windows Account.
    6. For This Run As account will be used to manage the following objects, ensure A selected class, group or object is selected.
    7. Select the OM12 Management Server(s) which send out the notifications and then click OK.
    8. Click Save.

Hopefully this mini guide helped you out with fine tuning OM12 itself. See you all next time. There is a lot more to share!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

IPD Guide (Beta) For OM12 Is Available

Infrastructure Planning and Design (IPD) Guides are documents which describe the infrastructure design elements of the related products in detail so a successful implementation of those very same products is possible.

IMO these guides are awesome material and when followed one will most certainly run a successful design/implementation of the products involved, tailored to the requirements of the organization. These IPD guides are available for free, so there is no excuse NOT to read nor use them…

Yesterday Microsoft published the Beta IPD Guide for OM12

Taken directly from the webpage: ‘…This guide outlines the infrastructure design elements that are crucial to a successful implementation of Operations Manager. It guides you through the process of designing components, layout, and connectivity in a logical, sequential order. You'll find easy-to-follow steps on identification and design of the required management groups, helping you to optimize the management infrastructure…’

IPD Guide for OM12 can be found here. (Please note: You need to be registered in order to download the IPD Guide. Registration is free.)

I got many comments from my readers not being able to download this IPD Guide. As a service to my readers, and as long as Microsoft allows me to do so, I share this guide from my SkyDrive. It can be downloaded from here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

SCOM/OM12 Agent Consume 100% CPU For MonitoringHost.exe Process

Sometimes I bump into an issue with one ore more SCOM/OM12 Agents consuming way too much CPU, even up to 100%. Investigation shows it happens by the MonitoringHost.exe process. This behavior happens on Windows 2003 and Windows Server 2008 servers as well.

Therefore it’s good to know Microsoft has published a KB article about this issue, it’s cause and how to solve it. KB974051 tells you more about it.

Monday, August 13, 2012

SCOM R2 To OM12 Upgrade: Migrating SCOM R2 Network Monitoring

08-14-2012 Update
Alexey Zhuravlev contacted me since this posting wasn’t 100% correct. Thanks Alexey for pointing it out to me. The posting is updated now and 100% correct.

Network monitoring has changed significantly in OM12 compared to SCOM R2.

Even to such an extend that the base class module for the network devices is changed as well. It may sound a bit like mumbo jumbo to the non MP authors among us, so let me translate it.

It means when an OpsMgr R2 environment is migrated to OM12, and the OpsMgr 2007 R2 environment used the xSNMP MP to monitor your network devices, the xSNMP MP will work for old (migrated) devices ONLY. Which basically means the xSNMP MP becomes static in your OM12 environment. All newly discovered devices will NOT be discovered by the xSNMP management pack due to the different base class.

Even though I am not a MP author, I have met many people who took a deep dive and got really far with it. People with hobbies like these love to extend existing MPs or create their own.

Some time ago the Operations Manager Engineering Team posted an article all about the differences between network monitoring in SCOM R2 and OM12 and how to go about migrating network device monitoring from SCOM R2 to OM12.

Any one with a deep passion for XML will love that posting. And for people like me, not a real MP author but yet deeply interested in the mechanisms which make OM12 tick it’s a very interesting posting as well:

SCOM R2 DBCreateWizard.exe Upgrading To OM12. Something To Reckon With

Bumped into this blurp of information which is rather crucial when upgrading your existing SCOM R2 environment to OM12.

The SCOM R2 installer doesn’t recognize SQL 2008 (R2) instances. So the installation of SCOM R2 will fail when a SQL 2008 (R2) server is being used. This situation is elevated by using the DBCreateWizard program which is present on the installation media of SCOM R2.

This program allows one to create both SCOM R2 databases in advance so the installer of SCOM R2 doesn’t has to create the SCOM R2 databases itself. Now SCOM R2 can be installed using SQL 2008 (R2) instances which is a good thing.

But now it turns out that when upgrading such a SCOM R2 environment, many times the OM12 Widgets, displaying the performance or availability details won’t work as intended and one or more of the following symptoms may be experienced:

  1. While creating Performance widgets, none of the performance objects/counters are shown in the wizard.

  2. You are unable to retrieve availability details using OpsMgr state widgets.

  3. Network dashboard views are not showing any availability details or performance details.

  4. The Reset Health State task fails with the exception below shown under the task status view:
    A module reported an error 0x80070490 from a callback which was running as part of rule "System.Health.ResetState" running for instance "<instance name>" with id:"{GUID}" in management group "<Management Group Name>".

    Error Code: -2130771918 (Unknown error (0x80ff0032)).

Gladly there is a KB article about how to solve this issue, KB2711375 .

All credits go to Daniele Grandini who posted this issue on his blog among other things to reckon with when upgrading SCOM R2 to OM12.

OM12 Agent Push Installation Fails While Running The Discovery: The <SDK Account> does not have sufficient permission to perform the operation.

Bumped into this strange issue at a customers location. While trying to push several OM12 Agents to some Windows Servers, an error message was thrown stating the SDK account didn’t have sufficient permissions.

This puzzled me since everything was in place and configured accordingly. The OM12 service accounts had the proper permissions as well.

None the less, the Discovery kept on failing with the same message, stating the SDK account not having sufficient permissions: The <SDK Account> does not have sufficient permission to perform the operation.

In order for Discoveries to run properly the SDK Account (aka Data Access Account) requires admin permissions in OM itself. By default the Group BUILTIN\Administrators is added to the User Role Operations Manager Administrators:

When this Group is removed and replaced by an AD Global Group containing all the accounts which are allowed Admin access to OM12, the OM12 Service Accounts need to be part of that Global Group as well.


In this particular case this was done as well, so THEORETICALLY all was well. And yet, it didn’t work as intended. Somehow OM12 didn’t enumerate this Global Group properly…

A reboot of an OM12 Management Server is too drastic. But a restart of the OM12 related services (SDK/Data Access & Configuration Service) will make OM12 to enumerate this Global Group in a proper manner.

After restarting these two OM12 services, the Discovery just run fine without any error now.

Whenever your Discoveries run wild showing the above mentioned error related to the SDK Account and you’re sure this account has been given the proper permissions, restart the OM SDK and Configuration services and you’ll be just fine.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Updated MP: Exchange 2010, Version 14.03.0038.003

08-09-2012 Update
It appears this MP is pulled as well since it doesn’t support updates meaning the previous version has to be removed prior to importing this version. Since Microsoft doesn’t want to put organizations through such an ordeal the MP will be updated in order to support updates.

As stated before there were some issues with the previous version of the Exchange 2010 MP (version These issues were pretty serious which forced the Exchange Team to pull the MP.

Yesterday Microsoft published the newest version of this MP, version 14.03.0038.003 in which the issues are fixed.

MP can be downloaded from here.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Installing OM12 In Secured Environments: Using The Tool MomCertImport.exe

Bumped into this issue when running the tool MomCertImport.exe on a secured OM12 Management Server. This message was shown: ‘…I want to complete this action by entering my credentials on the authentic Windows logon screen…':

Normally this isn’t an issue and when encountering such a message in a RDP session, one can select the option I want to complete this action by entering my credentials on the authentic Windows logon screen, hit <CTRL> <ALT> <END> and enter the required credentials.

However, in this case the RDP session was a ‘double-hop’ AKA a RDP session in another one. So when I hit <CTRL> <ALT> <END> I got the logon screen related to my first RDP session and not the one which mattered, the second one.

Starting the on-screen keyboard (osk.exe) didn’t work here as well.

This one is really SIMPLE only when you know it. When you don’t you’re looking everywhere for an answer. Gladly a systems engineer of the customer pointed this one out to me which saved me a lot of time.

After having selected the option I want to complete this action by entering my credentials on the authentic Windows logon screen, you go to the start button and select the option Windows Security, as depicted here:

Now all is well and MomCertImport.exe will continue to function Glimlach.

As you can see, live is never dull and an installation of OM12 never the same…

OM12 Management Server Installation Fails: The user account <domain>\xyz cannot be verified. Please verify the domain, username, and password to continue.

Bumped into this issue while installing a second OM12 Management Server in a brand new OM12 MG:

This really puzzled me since the accounts being used (Action account and Data Access account) were really OK and the correct syntax was being used <domain>\<account>. And yet, setup kept on throwing that error.

Finally it turned out that security was tightened for the OM12 service accounts and the accounts were only limited to logon to a certain set of servers.

When the OM12 service accounts were modified in ADUC so these accounts were allowed to logon to the second OM12 Management Server as well, setup continued.

Friday, August 3, 2012

SCOM/OM12 Console: Make Some Noise!

Found an interesting discussion on FB all about adding sound to Alerts in the SCOM/OM12 Console.

Up to now I thought only commercial third party software could make this happen. However, as it turns out, with some free software and a small VB script this can be done as well.

Want to know more? Go here.

Windows 8 Release Preview Hyper-V Error: Error Applying Memory Changes

My employer has given me a state of the art laptop for which I am very grateful. It makes my life so much easier.

The laptop runs a powerful quad core CPU alongside with a SSD drive, used for my VMs. In conjunction with plenty memory it becomes a great platform to run VMs.

With Windows 8 client (Release Preview) one can enable the Hyper-V functionality which is an awesome feature for any desktop client operating system. No more need for third party hyper visors like Virtual Box (which is an awesome FREE solution).

However, since the version of Windows 8 installed on ‘my’ laptop is still in beta, there are still some bugs. Today I bumped into this one while trying to extend the allocated memory of one of mine VMs:
Error Applying Memory Changes

No matter what I did nor tried, nothing helped. Cold boots included. Also Bing (or the ‘Other Bing’) revealed nothing. So it was time for another approach, just Trial & Error. And soon I got it working again! I want to share this since I can imagine many people are running Windows 8 Release Preview with Hyper-V enabled.

  1. Enable for the VM experiencing these issues Dynamic Memory, setting the Minimum RAM and Maximum RAM options equal to the option Startup RAM and  and click Apply
  2. Disable the Enable Dynamic Memory option by removing the checkmark from the selection box and click Apply
  3. Now you can modify the Startup RAM option as required and save the changes without any error messages:

Don’t ask me why this helps but it solved my nagging issue none the less Smile with tongue out.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Windows 2012 is RTM! How about System Center 2012 and the Private Cloud?

08-03-2012 Update:
This posting written by Beth Pariseau shares some plausible reasons why SP1 for SC2012 is lagging behind.
 Thank you Marcel for mentioning this posting.

Jeffrey Snover of the Windows Server Team announced yesterday that Windows Server 2012 is RTM! It will be GA (General Available) on the 4th of September this year, for which an online launch event will be organized.

This is great news since Windows Server 2012 is an awesome Server OS and 100% cloud ready and therefore an cloud enabler as well. So in conjunction with the System Center 2012 product – and all of its related components – they make up an awesome team for any kind of Private Cloud any organization could wish to have, blowing all competition out of the water.

However… as it is at this moment, SC2012 isn’t really ready to take full advantage of all the awesome new features Windows Server 2012 has to offer. In order to make SC2012 fully aware and capable of managing Windows Server 2012 systems, SP1 for SC2012 is required.

And SP1 for SC2012 is yet not released. CTP 2 for SC2012 is just available for a mere two weeks. And CTP 2 isn’t supported in any production environment. The related EULAs don’t allow that:

Many rumors are to be found on the internet when SP1 for SC2012 will be RTM/GA. IMHO it can’t be soon enough, as long as it’s stable and production ready. Some people state it will the end of Q4 this year where others state it will be the beginning of Q1 2013…

So when SP1 for SC2012 comes out it will – in conjunction with Windows Server 2012 – rock the boat named Private Cloud!

When will OM12 updates be available through Windows Update?

About more then a week ago Update Rollup 2 for OM12 was released. The installation of UR#2 is relatively easily done, compared to applying the Cumulative Updates for SCOM R2.

However, for certain SC2012 components (App Controller, Orchestrator and Virtual Machine Manager) these UR#2 updates are offered through Windows Update, which makes updating those SC2012 components way much easier:

Two examples:

  1. Orchestrator server (with the SCVMM2012 Console installed as well)

  2. SCVMM2012 server

IMHO, it would be great to see that OM12 would be updated through Windows Update as well, since the setup screen of OM12 offers this option – like other SC2012 components – as well:

When one has one or more Private Clouds in place based on SC2012 technology it would save organizations lots of time when updating their SC2012 components.

IMPORTANT: HP-UX PA-RISC computers monitored by Operations Manager will experience heartbeat and monitoring failures after an upcoming Windows update

This posting is a cross post of a blog article posted on the OM Engineering blog.

Soon a Windows update will be released (August the 14th) which will block the use of RSA keys less than 1024 bits in length for any Windows computer where the update is installed. When this update is installed on Operations Manager Management Servers or Gateways that are managing HP-UX PA-RISC computers, the HP-UX computers will generate heartbeat and SSL certificate alerts, and all monitoring of the computers will be interrupted until remediation is performed.

So anyone monitoring HP-UX PA-RISC computers with SCOM R2 / OM12 should be aware of this.

The same posting of the OM12 Engineering Team contains two methods to solve this issue. Posting is to be found here.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

OM12 & SPN’s

With SCOM (R2) SPN’s could be a challenge. With OM12 this hasn’t changed. Good SPN’s are really required for a healthy OM12 environment.

Gladly there are enough postings out there in the community to guide you in order to get the SPN’s just right. This posting is a small overview of those postings.

  1. Stefan Stanger: A visual presentation about how the SPNs should look. This posting also contains many links to articles and other postings all about SPN’s.
  2. Kevin Holman: What should the SPN’s look like? This posting describes what has changed compared to SCOM (R2).

Free VMM 2012 Dashboards MP for OM12

The OpsMgr Unleashed Team has published a MP which contains dashboards which provides information for System Center 2012 Virtual Machine hosts and guests.

The MP is discussed in Chapter 11 of the upcoming System Center 2012 Operations Manager 2012 Unleashed book, available for preorder at Amazon, for which I am a contributing author Smile.

For more information about this MP go here. The MP itself can be downloaded from System Center Central (only registered users may download, registration is free).