Friday, June 22, 2012

IPD Guide for System Center 2012 - Virtual Machine Manager (BETA)

The new Infrastructure Planning and Design Guide (IPD) for System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) is now available for BETA review from the Microsoft Connect Site.

The IPD guides are invaluable when designing a technology solution for your clients or own internal business and are the first port of call for me anytime I'm carrying out a new type of deployment for our customers.

This one is 40 pages long and deep dives into the VMM 2012 architecture, sample scenarios and design best practices.

You can register and download the VMM 2012 IPD from here:

Friday, June 15, 2012

MCSE Private Cloud Exam - Monitoring & Operating a Private Cloud with System Center 2012 - Passed!

After seeing some of the other attendees of MMS 2012 updating their blog's with news that they had passed the BETA MCSE Private Cloud exams that they had tested on over in Vegas, I dreaded the worst this morning when I went to check my own results.

Before I left for Vegas back in April, I had booked myself in to sit exam number 071-246 - 'Monitoring & Operating a Private Cloud w/System Center 2012' on the Thursday. I had picked the Thursday intentionally because after attending MMS 2011 last year, I knew that the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning's would be filled with hangovers from the parties being held the nights before - I know, it's a tough life! With the MMS 2012 closing party being held on the Thursday night, I figured for sure that the Friday morning would be a no-go so Thursday afternoon seemed the best choice to sit the exam.

After attending an excellent Exam Cram session by UK System Center MVP Gordon McKenna during the day on the Wednesday  and taking it nice and easy that night with a meal and a couple of quiet drinks out with the Irish contingent (honest!), I felt I'd be ready to take the exam no problem the next day........How wrong I was!

I didn't take into account that during the day over there at around 16:00, due to the jet lag and total lack of sleep during the early part of the week, just as I was sitting the exam, my body decided it wanted to go to sleep! I spent the next two hours trying to literally keep my eyes open while doing the exam and I'm sure at one stage, the exam attendent caught me closing my eyes too!

The fact that out of a total of 60 questions on the exam, I counted 21 of them that were asked on Service Manager - which is not part of my Kung Fu just yet, I was full sure I'd failed the exam at that point and couldn't argue with the impending result.

Fast forward to this morning again and I've just found out that despite everything, I managed to pass the exam!

It turns out that I must know a little bit about System Center 2012 after all!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

TechEd 2012 North America - Download the Sessions Offline

Stefan Roth has been at it again with his offline viewing scripts but this time, instead of giving us a quick and easy way to download MMS 2012 sessions, he has modified his script to enable the download of the TechEd 2012 Orlando sessions in much the same way.

Check out his blog posting here with instructions on how to download the script and what you need to do for it to work:

Thanks again Stefan!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

SCOM 2012 - More Free Stuff - Veeam Extended Generic Report Library MP

Following quickly on from my last post about the free dashboard authoring tool and samples that the OpsMgr product team have released, now it's Veeam's turn to offer up a free management pack for SCOM 2012.

Thanks to Chris Dearden of Veeam UK for bringing this one to my attention

Although the reporting functionality inside SCOM 2012 is really excellent, the Veeam Extended Generic Report Library (GRL) includes the following reports:
  • Veeam Alert Statistics Report - Analyze alert statistics in two modes – per rule/monitor and per object
  • Veeam Generic Performance Top (Bottom) N Report - Show infrastructure objects, performance counters, or both, for a specific rule
  • Veeam Performance Report - Visualize performance counter values on one or more charts and tables
  • Veeam Performance Details Report - Analyze trends with drill down to performance details

The cool thing about this reporting extension is that it DOES NOT require any Veeam products or other Veeam management packs to run. The reports can be targeted at any of the objects in your SCOM environment that the standard Generic Report Library that comes out of the box with SCOM can run against.

The GRL is compatible with both SCOM 2012 and SCOM 2007 R2 but a pre-requsisite is to ensure you are running SSRS 2008 upwards for your reporting engine.

Check out the link below to register and download the free management pack and accompanying guide:

SCOM 2012 - Free Dashboard Authoring Tool from the OpsMgr Product Team

The OpsMgr (SCOM) product team have yesterday just released a really cool tool and some management packs that allow you to customise and author SCOM 2012 dashboard widgets and then save them into an unsealed Management Pack for export to a different Management Group.

This is a huge benefit in that normally, if you have created your customized dashboard widgets and have them deployed in your Management Group (such as Pre-Production), then you want to move these dashboards to another Management Group (Production for example), it won't work because the original dashboard widget has dependencies on the GUID reference for your first management group.

You can also create a console task that launches your pre-configured dashboard from the Navigation view every time you select a computer - another handy feature.

There are two dashboard templates that this solution offers:

Summary Dashboard

  • Ability to create a custom template layout
  • Use any widgets available in the product
  • Can be hosted under any MP folder view

Task Pane Dashboard

  • Ability to create a custom template layout
  • Use any widgets available in the product
  • Shows up in the task pane when you select a particular target

Have a look at the link below to get a full overview of what's on offer and how to download and configure it: