SCOM 2012 R2 Technical Preview – A Box of Chocolates?

image

I was asked few times during my engagements what has changed in the System Center Operations Manager Technical Preview. Microsoft released few weeks ago a first technical preview of Windows 10, Windows Server and System Center. You can download Windows 10 here , for Windows Server and System Center you need to have a MSDN subscription to download the sources or test it in Microsoft Azure. But was has now changed in SCOM 2012 R2 Technical Preview? Is it like a box of chocolates, a box filled with many sweet things and surprises? Well, not really.

Continue reading

SCSM – Apply SMA Runbook Template Using SMA / PowerShell

In my previous post I have written about adding activities to a service request using PowerShell SMLets. Well this just added the “empty” activities / “framework” but the activities were not configured yet.

As an example I want to add a SMA runbook activity (using this method) and then apply a pre-configured SMA runbook template in SCSM. This template has all the configuration  defined like the connection settings / credentials, the SMA runbook to start, parameters to pass to the SMA runbook etc.

Lee Berg has provided a very detailed post about how you would apply a service request template to a service request. I used his principle to do the same for a SMA runbook activity. Cireson provides so far the only SMA connector for Service Manager and because of that this example is built on that product.

Continue reading

SCOM 2012 – PowerShell Grid Widget & Web Console Pitfall

In the past posts I have blogged about the new dashboard widgets primarily about PowerShell Grid & Web Widget. As in every technology there are cases were you stumble on some errors. This happens to me while playing with the PowerShell Grid Widget.

The following code should list all processes which have a CPU value and display them in the PowerShell Grid Widget. Displaying few processes is not a fancy thing and it worked in the SCOM console itself but as soon I opened the SCOM web console I faced an ugly error.

The script looks like this…

image

In my opinion a nice simple script, which should run without any problem in the widget. Well, in the SCOM console it works without any issue…

image

But how does it look in the web console? Well, not as pretty…

image

Continue reading

SCSM – Adding Activities Using SMA / PowerShell Workflow

For the past couple of weeks I have been doing some automation stuff using Service Management Automation (SMA) and therefore PowerShell in conjunction with Service Manager. I like PowerShell very much, especially if I can interact with other systems. As you might know in the “old” days you would use Orchestrator and Service Manager to start your datacenter automation project.  This was very handy because you already had all parts delivered by Microsoft like Orchestrator Integration Packs to build your runbooks and also a connector to integrate the runbooks into Service Manager. In the current days you have SMA and Service Manager but no connector unless you use the SMA Connector from Cireson  combined with their Self-Service Portal to unleash the full power of all components (SCSM, SMA, PowerShell).

Depending on your automation / process you will sooner or later need to find a way to add dynamically activies (manual, review, parallel, sequential etc.) to your service request in Service Manager. Just to understand what I am talking about, here a screenshot of my service request…

image

I had the requirement to add dynamically a sequential activity into a given parallel activity and the sequential activity should contain a review activity followed by a SMA runbook activity. It should look like this…

image

In my case dynamically means, to trigger a PowerShell script / workflow (a certain number of times) which will create this basic activity framework. To fulfill this task I installed / will use the smlets from codeplex on the SCSM server.

Continue reading

Jalasoft – Xian SNMP Device Simulator V5

At some point in your SCOM career you need to have quick access to a network device because you either need to show the SCOM network monitoring capabilities, develop a SNMP management pack or you might need to build some custom SNMP monitors or rules. I think it is always a pain to carry a switch / router with me :) or to get access in a customer environment. For such and more reasons, companies like Jalasoft created a SNMP Device Simulator.

image

This May Jalasoft released version 5 of their software and I would like to give you a short overview of this clever and mature software.

Continue reading