Monday, December 28, 2015

Cross Post: ‘How to discover a Windows Computer as a Network Device in SCOM 2012’

Kevin Holman has written an excellent posting about how to modify SCOM 2012x in such a manner that Windows Computers are treated as network devices. In SCOM 2007x this was a ‘no-brainer’ but in SCOM 2012x impossible.

When following Kevin’s posting, SCOM 2012x will be able to discover Windows Computers as network devices.

HOWEVER, be warned in advance as Kevin states in the same posting:
‘…Technically – making this change isn't tested by the product group, and therefore isn't supported.  I am not aware of any issues caused by this, and since we fully allow SNMP monitoring of Linux devices, it makes perfect sense to work with Windows SNMP devices as well…’

Go here for the posting.

SCCM 1511 & SCOM Monitoring

As it turns out, SCCM 1511 is perfectly discovered and monitored by the latest SCCM 2012 MP, version 5.00.7804.1.

Some screenshots from one of my labs:

Hierarchy Diagram:

Servers and Site System Roles:

Site Servers State:

Notice the highlighted Version number in the previous screen dump, which matches with SCCM 1511:

So this is great news for organizations running SCOM 2012x and SCCM 1511. The latest version of the SCCM 2012 MP covers the SCCM 1511 infra as well. Of course, the latest Site System Role (Service Connection Point) with the extension Updates & Servicing isn’t covered yet, since it’s new to SCCM 1511.

But still the latest SCCM 2012 MP covers most critical SCCM 1511 components and infrastructure, so there is NO black box, which is great Smile. I expect an update of the SCCM MP to be published soon, which will cover the newest features of SCCM 1511 as well.

SCCM 1511: Where Is The Revamped Software Center?!

For a customer I implemented a brand new SCCM 1511 environment. This went pretty smooth, with no glitches what so ever. Even though I’ve SCCM 1511 already running in one of my labs, deploying it in production is a different story all together.

As with any other SC deployment, preparation is key here. But when all the preparations are made and all requirements met, the deployment is a rather straight forward process.

However, when the hierarchy was set, the boundaries defined and the Discovery Methods properly configured and enabled, the SCCM Client automatically pushed (as required), a challenge arose. One of the changes in SCCM 1511 is the revamped Software Center. NO MORE Silverlight! Yeah baby!

But when I started Software Center on any SCCM 1511 client, this is what I got:
?! The OLD Software Center? But why?

Time for some investigation. After some time I found this setting under \Administration\Overview\Client Settings, Default Client Settings / Computer Agent / Use New Software Center:

Normally I don’t touch the Default Client Settings. Per group of (User/Device) Settings, I create a new entity and deploy it as required.

This way it’s far more easier to manage those settings and have a better grip on what’s happening and why. But in this case I decided to modify the Default Client Settings so the new Software Center is enabled by default for ALL managed systems:

After a refresh of the machine policy all managed clients run the updated Software Center:
That’s more like it!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

A few days from now and it will be Christmas.

Therefore I wish all the visitors of my blog a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year.

Monday, December 21, 2015

New Year: New Events

With just a few days to go, 2015 is almost over. Nothing to be sad about. Simply because Christmas is still ahead of us, as New Years eve! So still many good things ahead.

And even when those special days lay behind us, there are other good things to look forward to, like System Center Universe 2016, SCU 2016!

This event is co-organized by a fellow MVP and much respected friend of mine, Cameron Fuller. To me this man is totally awesome, since he has an awful lot of experience with SCOM, OMS and Azure. So I know, when he co-organizes an event about those technologies, it’s not just a little bit good, it’s the BEST one can get!

So whenever you’re in to SC related technologies, or already in ‘da cloud’ based on Azure powered technologies, SCU 2016 is the place to be.

Want to know more? Here are some good resources about the kick ass event (excuse my french!):

Spread the word!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Silence (Please?)

For many years I used Windows Live Writer (WLW) to write my postings, or even better, to DESIGN them. Simply because I use many screendumps and so on. Without WLW blogging becomes much harder or even - when using many screenshots - nearly impossible.

The Blogger web based interface doesn't work nicely at all. It's a challenge to cut & paste screenshots, size and allign them as required.

Sadly WLW stopped working a few days ago when Google (TOTALLY understandably) pulled the plug on an old authorization mechanism. This authorization mechanism is outdated, buggy and therefore very vulnerable for all kinds of exploits and attacks. So I totally understand Google.

HOWEVER, WLW is just as old so it uses the very same authentication mechanism in order to sign in to Blogger. Since Google stopped that kind of authentication WLW simply doesn't connect anymore to my Blogger account :(.

GLADLY there is a new fork of WLW, Open Live Writer (OLW) as stated before. However, the current release (0.5) doesn't work with the new authentication mechanism Google uses, OAuth 2.0. BUT the people behind OLW are working hard in order to get this issue solved. For this I am very grateful. Totally awesome that people are working so hard in their own free time to make OLW a worthy successor of WLW.

Until the new version of OLW sees the light, which is expected to support OAuth 2.0, my blog will be a bit silent. Not because I've got nothing to share (DUH!!!!) but simply because writing/designing a new posting without WLW or OLW is like a #$@! in the proverbial backside...

Hope to post soon here. Bye!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Windows Live Writer Is Open Source Now!

For a long time I use Windows Live Writer 2012 (WLW) as my blogging tool. And as far as I know, many other people use it as well. Simply because it works like a charm. With this tool it’s super easy to write postings for my blog. It’s really a totally awesome WYSIWYG editor.

However, much of the code base is ten years old and something's required attention. Like lacking support of OAuth 2. But there wasn’t any effort to update WLW 2012. Gladly a Microsoft employee (Scott Hanselman) decided to give WLW a new whole new life.

Not as a Microsoft product but as an open source product. Scott got support from many people in order to address many challenges, not only a technological level but also on a legal level since WLW is a 100% Microsoft product.

As time passed, it got more traction and from yesterday on the first version (0.5!) became available for the public to test/use it. This open source product is a fork of WLW and goes by the name Open Live Writer (OLW).

Thanks to Scott Hanselman, Microsoft and many other people OLW is alive and kicking! Many new features will be added soon, like OAuth 2 for instance.

Want to know more? go here for Scott’s posting about OWL and here for the OLW website.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

VSAE 2015 Is Out!

Visual Studio 2015 is available for some time now. However, System Center Visual Studio Authoring Extensions (VSAE 2015) for it weren’t planned.

Gladly many people voted for it on Visual Studio UserVoice and Microsoft LISTENED! So VSAE 2015 was put back on the agenda. And as of today it’s available for download!

A BIG word of thanks for all the people who voted for VSAE 2015 AND for Microsoft who listened. This for me proves Microsoft takes their UserVoice websites seriously.