Wednesday, April 20, 2016

New OMS and Azure Hybrid Worker PowerShell Module Available

Today Tao Yang (the scripting and toolkit ninja from down-under) has just released another free PowerShell module - this time for the OMS and Azure Automation Hybrid Worker role.

Combining ideas from recent blog posts by Pete Zerger and Kevin Holman with some added knowledge based on real-world experience thrown in for good measure, Tao's HybridWorkerToolkit contains the following three PowerShell functions:

  • Get-HybridWorkerConfiguration - used to get the Hybrid Worker and Microsoft Monitoring Agent configuration.
  • Get-HybridWorkerJobRuntimeInfo - retrieves the following information about the Azure Automation runbook and the job run time.
  • New-HybridWorkerRunbookLogEntry - used to log event log entries.

Check out Tao's blog post for detailed information on each of these functions and if you're using Hybrid Workers with either OMS or Azure Automation, then I'd strongly recommend you download this module and give it a test drive.

It's available for download on both Github and the PowerShell Gallery.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The New SCOM Partner Solutions Area is Now Live!

Late last year, Update Rollup 8 for SCOM 2012 R2 introduced a new Partner Solutions area into the Administration workspace (shown below).

This was the first step to delivering an integrated overview of Microsoft's preferred partner solutions directly within the SCOM console. However, clicking into this area would just return a message asking that you come back soon for more information.

In the past week, this feature has now gone live and when you click on it you'll notice a number of already well-known third-party vendors such as NiCE, Comtrade, OpsLogix and Silect.

For each partner, you can see a description of the solution they have on offer, along with the version, release date and a link to their website. Interestingly, all of the current solutions listed here are offered for free - though I would imagine paid-for solutions will creep in once the feature matures.

Either way, when you need to recommend third-party solutions to your customers (or boss), this area can serve as a useful vote of confidence to show that vendors listed here have been endorsed by Microsoft to run their products on SCOM.

Over the coming months, I expect this feature to become much more populated as additional preferred partners are brought on-board.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Upcoming Webinar: Log File Monitoring in SCOM Made Easy

Next Thursday (April 21st), I'll be taking part in a webinar with well-known MPx Alliance member NiCE IT Management Solutions.

Update: The full recording for this webinar is now available for viewing here.

What you'll learn..

In this webinar we'll show you how to drastically enhance your log file monitoring capabilities with SCOM using the free Log File MP from NiCE. If you haven't already deployed this management pack, then you're missing a trick and I'd suggest you download and start playing with it now.

The management pack takes the initial (and fairly basic) out-of-the-box idea Microsoft had for monitoring log files with SCOM and turbo-enhances it with some seriously cool features that delivers many more new and interesting monitoring scenarios for your SCOM environments.

Sounds great, what's the catch?

Thankfully, there's no catch. When I initially spoke with NiCE about collaborating on this with them, I was curious to know why they wanted to deliver a webinar based solely on a free product that people can download and fully deploy without any obligation (as opposed to running a webinar that promotes any of the awesome paid-for management packs they have in their portfolio).

Unsurprisingly (given how focused a company NiCE have always been with their free contributions to the SCOM ecosystem), they want this webinar to serve two main purposes:

  1. Spread the word to anyone who hasn't yet worked with their Log File MP and encourage them to deploy it.
  2. Educate people who have previously imported the MP on new scenario's and capabilities that they probably aren't aware it has.
The second point is where they've found the biggest challenge with this management pack as they have noted the majority of users working with it simply aren't leveraging it to the best of its abilities. I can personally testify to this point too as every time I work with this management pack on a customer site or in our own environment, I find something new that it can do - which is always an added bonus when working with free stuff!

Agenda and Takeaways

We'll have a number of different presenters during the webinar including NiCE Product Director (and all-round good guy) Christian Heitkamp, myself and also the guys from the Log File MP development team will be on hand to answer any real deep-dive log file monitoring questions that you might have.

Here's how things should pan out on the day:

  • Learn new best-practices on how to use the NiCE Log File MP
  • Popular use cases explained and demonstrated by MVP Kevin Greene
  • Sneak preview of upcoming new features and road-map
  • Download access to the free management pack along with some free examples after Webinar
  • Chance to ask NiCE experts all your questions

Date and Times

Date:         Thursday April 21st, 2016

Place:         Microsoft ‘Skype for Business’ – Online Webinar

Times: 16:00-16:45 – Central Europe Time Zone
                 10:00-10:45 – North American Eastern Time Zone
                 15:00-15:45 –  UTC/GMT

Register Today

If you're managing or deploying SCOM environments and this sounds like something you'd be interested in, then you can register for the webinar via the NiCE IT Management Solutions website here: