Sunday, May 26, 2013

SCOM - New MP Available for the DHCP Role on Windows Server 2012!

Microsoft have just released the new management pack (MP) for the DHCP role on Windows Server 2012. This MP has support for DHCP clustering and failover functionality that Windows Server 2012 brings to the table.

You can download this new MP here:

System Center Management Pack for Windows Server 2012 DHCP

Note: Unfortunately this new MP won't discover your older Windows Server 2003/2008 DHCP servers so you'll be stuck with the original (and badly written in my opinion). If that's what you're looking to monitor, then click here to download the DHCP 2003/2008 MP.

This new MP follows hot on the heels of the recently released MP's for:

These recent releases along with the change in MP quality control are coming to us thick and fast now thanks to the internal initiative in Microsoft led by Daniel Savage and his team. You can keep tabs on all of the MP's currently available as well as the ones that are soon due for release on the TechNet MP Wiki here:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New System Center 2012 and Windows Server 2012 Downloads Available

There's been a surge in new downloads available from Microsoft on Windows Server and System Center 2012 over the past few days. Here's a sample of some of my favourites:

Tools and Whitepapers

Technical Documentation Download for Technical Scenarios for System Center 2012 SP1

Microsoft Operations Readiness Toolkit

Capacity Planner for Hyper-V Replica

Enabling Hybrid Cloud Today with Microsoft Technologies Whitepaper


Server & Cloud Blog - Partnering Through Disruptive Change

SCVMM Engineering Blog - Logical Networks (Part III) – Network Isolation

SCOM Engineering Blog - New Video: System Center 2012 Operations Manager Dashboards: Visualizing Alert Data

SCOM Engineering Blog - KB: Operations Manager agents with teamed network adapters fail to be discovered and monitored

SCOM Engineering Blog - Local Resolution Time monitor in the OpsMgr DNS Management Pack may show unexpected results

DPM and System State Backup Explained

MVP Pro Speaker Series - (These are seriously excellent and a must-watch for anyone serious about System Center 2012)

Backup that really works using multiple members and functions of the System Center 2012 SP1 family (Level 300)

Building Workstation and Application Deployment Automation with Service Manager and Orchestrator (Level 300)

Operations Manager Evolution: Taking Your Environment to the Next Level with Operations Manager (Level 300)


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

SCOM 2012 - Exchange 2013 Management Pack Is Now Available!

Microsoft have just made available the new Exchange 2013 MP for SCOM. The big news with this MP is that the Microsoft Exchange Correlation Service that was present in the Exchange 2010 MP is now no more!

I haven't had a chance to give this a good test run (that chance should come next week hopefully), but for now, you can take a look at the official TechNet Blog Post on the release here:

The technical documentation for the MP can be reviewed here:

Finally, download the MP here:

Microsoft are always interested in peoples feedback on their MP's so if you have any 'constructive' feedback to give, add a comment to this post and I'll pass it onto the team who've developed it.

Recordings from our Windows Server 2012 Deep Dive and Mini-MMS Event, April 22-23, Dublin

A few weeks back we delivered two days of Windows Server 2012 Deep Dive sessions out in Microsoft Ireland and I've just received a mail that the session videos are now available.

For me, I totally enjoyed listening to the other guys present and definitely learned some new tips and tricks along with gaining a better understanding of Windows Server 2012 features through the content delivered.

I did a lightning roundup of some of my favourite sessions that were presented at MMS 2013 - unfortunately I couldn't get all of the ones I wanted in there but hopefully it gives people an idea of what they can see if they go and download the videos from Channel 9.

Dave Northey has done an excellent job in co-ordinating the event and overseeing the final recording content so if you have some time to learn about some of the new enhancements that you get with Windows Server 2012, then go check out the Deep Dive videos from here:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

SCOM - Updated Windows Server Management Pack Released (version 6.0.7026.0)

Just seen an e-mail coming in notifying us that the SCOM Windows Server MP has received an update. Here's what's changed since the last release:

  • Fixed a bug in where the performance information for Processor was not getting collected.

  • Made monitoring of Cluster Shared Volume consistent with monitoring of Logical Disks by adding performance collection rules. (“Cluster Shared Volume - Free space / MB”,”Cluster Shared Volume - Total size / MB”,”Cluster Shared Volume - Free space / %”,”Cluster Disk - Total size / MB”,”Cluster Disk - Free space / MB”,”Cluster Disk - Free space / %”)

  • Fixed bug in where the Cluster disks running on Windows Server 2008 (non R2) were not discovered.

  • Fixed bug 'Cluster Disk Free Space Percent' and Cluster Disk Free Space MB' monitors generate alerts with bad descriptions when the volume label of a cluster disk is empty.

  • Added feature to raise event when NTLM requests time out and customers are unable to use mailboxes, outlook stops responding, due to the low default value for Max Concurrent API registry Key (HLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Netlogon\Parameters) , which is a ceiling for the maximum NTLM or Kerberos PAC password validations a server can take care of at a time. It uses the “Netlogon” performance counter to check for the issue.

You can download the new MP version and its associated guide from here:

Monday, May 6, 2013

SCOM 2012 - SP1 UR2 Web Console Error with Savision LiveMaps

Last Thursday, Marnix Wolf did up an excellent blog post about an error that started occurring after Update Rollup 2 for SCOM 2012 SP1 was deployed into environments that had Savision LiveMaps deployed. Essentially, when  SP1 UR2 and that particular release of LiveMaps don't like each other very much, you are presented with the following error details:

An Unexpected Error Has Occurred
System.Reflection.ReflectionTypeLoadException: [ReflectionTypeLoad_LoadFailed]

Check out the post by Marnix on what he did to determine the cause (take particular note of his technique for performing trace logging of SCOM 2012 as this is an invaluable way of determining root cause of issues inside your SCOM infrastructure):

Before you dig deep into troubleshooting this yourself or thinking that Savision haven't got a solution to the problem - fear not, they have now!

I've just seen this on their website while looking for a solution to this problem myself:

They've released updated versions of the LiveMaps Summary Widget MP's that will alleviate the error above.

Hopefully this will save some people a bit of time and effort if they come across this problem.

Friday, May 3, 2013

New Downloads: Microsoft IaaS Product Line Architecture Guides

Microsoft have just published two excellent guides to kick start your Friday morning coffee read ;) that are based on their Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas) Product Line Architecture (PLA). The first guide is mostly based on Windows Server 2012 storage and virtualization and the second guide is based around System Center 2012.

  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service Product Line Architecture Fabric Architecture Guide (Windows Server 2012)

  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service Product Line Architecture Fabric Management Architecture Guide (System Center 2012)

Go check them out and I'm sure you'll learn something new from them. Also, the Microsoft PLA team are keen to get some feedback on these documents so if you have any 'constructive' feedback that you want me to pass on, feel free to leave a comment and I'll do just that.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Winners of the Mastering SCOM 2012 Book Competition!

A while back I ran a competition on this blog that required people to download and evaluate System Center 2012 in return for the chance to win a copy of the 'Mastering System Center 2012 - Operations Manager' book that I was involved in last year.

We had a target of 250 downloads to reach and eventually a few weeks ago we hit that target. Due to work commitments (and authoring another book), I've been 'slightly' delayed in announcing the winners of the competition!

To pick the winners, I used the same method that Hans Vredevoort had on his excellent blog a while back  and asked my eldest son to pick two numbers from the full list of entrants that I had collated together into an Excel spread-sheet.

The result of his picks mean that Reidar Johansen...

and  Stanislav Zhelyazkov are the two lucky winners.

 Well Done Guys!

If you didn't win, I'd still highly recommend that you get your hands on the hard copy of the book from here or the e-copy from here. Adding it to your technical library will do you no harm at all if you're serious about System Center 2012 and want to ramp up your SCOM 2012 knowledge.

I'll be in touch shortly with the two winners and a massive THANK YOU to everyone who participated in boosting System Center 2012 awareness and evaluating it in their environments.