SCOM – Extensible Network Monitoring Management Pack Generator Tool


Microsoft just released the Extensible Network Monitoring Management Pack Generator tool which allows you to build custom SNMP management packs. In my previous post SCOM 2016 TP5 I have written a post about the prototype of this tool which was command line driven. I addressed some missing parts like a GUI, custom SNMP components and handling more complex SNMP values. Guess what?! Microsoft listened and released a GUI based (and also a command line based) tool to create your own SNMP management packs..

Both tool have the following features:

  1. SNMP_MPGenerator tool has an inbuilt MIB browser. Users can load MIB files, search through the Object Identifiers (OIDs) of the component they wish to add workflows for and create rules and monitors.
  2. Users can add monitors and rules for device components such as Processor, Memory, Fan, Temperature Sensor, Power Supply, Voltage Sensor and Custom device components.
  3. This tool would also support custom devices in addition to already supported devices like Switch, Router, Firewall and Load Balancer.
  4. Users can define monitors and rules for multiple devices in a single project file and generate a single Management Pack for all of their devices.
  5. As mentioned above, this tool would also include the command line executive NetMonMPGenerator.exe for users who wish to generate MP through command line interface.

The tool is free and comes with a detailed documentation how to build an MP. I just have clicked through the tool and it seems to be very self-explaining. The GUI has basically two parts, the MIB browser which let’s you import MIBs and browse/search through the MIB tree and the editor part were you can add components, rules and monitors. The MIB browser is just for finding the proper OID for each component and then you are able to copy/paste the value to the proper place in the editor. For the command line tool you need to configure a XML file as input.

I think it is a very nice approach and let’s see how it will perform in some upcoming projects download the tool here.

SCOM 2016 RTM – What’s (REALLY) New


Up to the final release of SCOM 2016 it was not clear what will be within this box. There were even some surprises, like the new web console (almost) without Silverlight. I thought I will write a post, were I put all this information together and link it to blog post which I have previously written or other community members provided, so you will have a single spot to find detailed information. I used the TechNet overview from here and pimped it with additional information. I hope you find it useful.

Improve desktop console performance

  • With the release of System Center 2016 – Operations Manager, we have made performance improvements to state and diagram views in the Operations console to improve load performance (these improvements are in addition to the alert view optimizations).

[Stefan Roth] I have not tested SCOM 2016 in a large environment, but in my lab in feels like Microsoft improved these experiences drastically.

Send E-mail notifications with external authentication

  • Operations Manager now supports sending notifications from an e-mail server, either within the organization or external and configuring a Run As account to authenticate against an external messaging system.


[Stefan Roth] If you check your Channel configuration you can find a new setting, which allows you to specify a RunAs Profile to specify an account for authenticating against external mail server.

Non Silverlight Web console (except Dashboard views)

  • With the release of System Center 2016 – Operations Manager, we have removed the Silverlight dependency from all the Web console views except Dashboard views. This feature provides the following value:
    • No more Silverlight prerequisite to access Operations Manager Web console
    • Operations Manager Web console can be accessed from multiple web browsers like Edge, Chrome and Firefox
    • Performant experience
    • Dashboard views are still dependent on Silverlight, which can be accessed through Internet Explorer with Silverlight plug in.

[Stefan Roth] Fellow MVP Marnix Wolf has already written a blog post about. I hope this console gets updated and finally all Silverlight parts will be replaced with some upcoming URs.

Access Schedule Maintenance Mode from Monitoring pane and maintenance mode from client side

  • Schedule Maintenance mode is a feature released in System Center 2016 – Operations Manager to suspend monitoring of an object during regular software or hardware maintenance activities, such as software updates or hardware replacements. Entities can be put to maintenance in older versions of Operations Manager, but they cannot be put into maintenance mode at a future time. The newly created Maintenance Mode Scheduling wizard gives the ability to choose different types of entities to put into maintenance and to schedule maintenance at a future time.
  • With the release of System Center 2016 – Operations Manager, Operators can access the “Maintenance Schedules” feature from the monitoring pane without the dependency on administrators to schedule maintenance at a future time. We now supports allowing a server administrator to set the agent-managed computer in maintenance mode directly from the computer itself, without needing to perform this from the Operations console. This can be performed with the new PowerShell cmdlet Start-SCOMAgentMainteannceMode.


[Stefan Roth] Microsoft moved the Maintenance Schedules to the Monitoring section so Operators are able to set schedules. In previous TP versions it was placed within the Administrator section which would not have allowed to schedule maintenance modes other than administrators.

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Quick Post – Linux + PowerShell + DSC Blog Posts @ Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog


I would like to make you aware of a 3-part blog post series, which I have written for THE Microsoft Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog .  Because I really like these blog post series and of course the blog itself a lot , I want to share it with you.

The first part shows you, how to use Bash on Windows 10 and how you can connect to a Linux server to install OMI CIM server and the DSC for Linux packages. The second part installs .NET Core and PowerShell for Linux on the system using DSC for Linux. In addition, I show you how to connect via PowerShell and WSMan protocol from your Windows 10 to the OMI CIM server. The last post is applying a DSC configuration from Azure Automation DSC to Linux and executing a PowerShell script to send user data to Azure Log Analytics HTTP Data Collector API .

You can find the post here:

Part 1 – Install Bash on Windows 10, OMI CIM Server, and DSC for Linux

Part 2 – Install .NET Core and PowerShell on Linux Using DSC

Part 3 – Use Azure Automation DSC to Configure Linux and Executing PowerShell Script (Not yet published)


I hope you like it as much as I do, have fun!

E2EVC – Session “Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) meets Citrix”

I am very happy to have a session with my buddy MVP Stefan Johner, at the Experts 2 Experts Virtualization Conference 2016 which will take place from November 18th-20th in Rome. E2EVC is a non-commercial, virtualization and Citrix community event. The main goal of the event is to bring the best virtualization and Citrix experts together to exchange knowledge and to establish new connections. After speaking at E2EVC Lisbon in 2015 I am very happy to be back at E2EVC Rome 2016!

The session will take place place on Saturday 19th from 5:45pm till 6:20pm.

Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) meets Citrix. Operations Management Suite (OMS) is the new born star from Microsoft. OMS is a suite of solutions for different Microsoft technologies, but it provides also platform for injecting data via different interfaces. The injected data can be visualized and used for deep data analysis. Stefan and Stefan will give you and overview what OMS can do in terms of Citrix and how it might deliver some ideas how a Citrix administrator can benefit using OMS.

In our session, we will show you what happens if Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) meets with Citrix and VMware. Microsoft OMS is a suite of solutions for different Microsoft technologies, but it also provides a platform for injecting data via different interfaces. The injected data can be visualized and used for deep data analysis. We will give you an overview what OMS can do in terms of Citrix and VMware and how a Citrix or VMware administrator can benefit from using Microsoft Operations Management Suite.

Hope to see you there!

OMS – HTTP Data Collector API 403 (Forbidden)

Few weeks ago Microsoft released the Azure Log Analytics HTTP Data Collector API, which allows you to shoot JSON data into OMS Log Analytics. This is awesome news, because now anything is possible. This means, you are able to use (m)any script languages to send any data to OMS for further analytics and you are able to use all the nice OMS goodies like alerting, view designer for building awesome dashboards, query language for some deep dive into your data etc. I had been playing with this API on my Linux box to see what it is capable of. I use a PowerShell test script on Linux, which I knew worked before. All of a sudden I received this error…


I was wondering, because I was sure this script and my workspace is working fine. Actually I modified the script from this blog post here Azure Log Analytics HTTP Data Collector API. If I check the error code it says that workspace ID or connection key needs to be valid.


After a minute I got an idea and compared the time on my Linux box…


..and the one on my client…2 there is a deviation of 40 minutes. I corrected the time on my Linux machine and all of a sudden the data submission worked fine. I was wondering, what the maximum allowed deviation will be . I went back in time in 5 minutes steps and after I reached a 15 minute time difference I received the same error. If I put the time back just 14 minutes, the script worked fine.

Conclusion: If you are playing with the Azure Log Analytics HTTP Data Collector API  make sure your clock is set correctly otherwise you will receive a 403 error.

SCOM 2016 – What’s New UNIX/Linux Series: File System Discovery e.g. Exclude /tmp

A little pain in SCOM 2012 R2 was, that as soon you installed the UNIX/Linux management packs for your distribution all UNIX/Linux folders were discovered on the file system. This could be lead to a huge list of monitored directories e.g. /tmp, /var… which was not intended to be. To overcome this problem, you would have needed to create a group, add the objects and disable the discovery rule for this group. The override parameters in SCOM 2012 R2 looked like this…

…the discovery itself…


…and the properties…


In SCOM 2016 there is a new option which let’s you exclude directories using regular expressions. The override parameters in SCOM 2016 look like this…


As you can see there are two options, either override by file system name or by file system type.

How does this work? Let’s see…

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SCOM 2016 – What’s New UNIX/Linux Series: Monitors and Rules Running (Any) Script e.g. Perl

One new feature I am very excited about is to run any sort of script on the UNIX/Linux agent. In SCOM 2012 R2 you had the option to run shell commands for performance rules and monitors. In SCOM 2012 R2 the monitor dialog looks like this…


…and the rules wizard shows options for creating shell command based alert and performance rules…


The problem was, that you were restricted to “one-liner” command which executed either the full command or you used the command to execute a script on the host. Now, in SCOM 2016 the awesome news are, that you are able to put any sort of UNIX/Linux scripts into your monitors and rules. The new wizard for monitors looks like this…image

…and the additional script options for alert and performance rules…image

As you can see,  we got these new options:

  • UNIX/Linux Script Three State Monitor
  • UNIX/Linux Script Two State Monitor
  • UNIX/Linux Script (Alert) Rule
  • UNIX/Linux Script (Performance) Rule

I think this a really awesome step for SCOM. In the past I had a few cases where I would have needed such new capabilities. How does it work? Let’s see…

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