Monthly Archives: December 2014

Happy holidays and thank you for the support!

As 2014 comes to a close I’d like to wish everyone a safe and happy festive season.

2015-written-in-sand-image-927x548

I would also like to thank everyone for all the support over the past year, it’s encouraging to see the traffic to OpsMan increasing every month. Also with all the innovation throughout 2014 I for one am excited to see what 2015 has to offer.

See you all in the new year!

SCOM – Updated Veeam Report Library MP Version 7.0 R2

Veeam has released a new version of their popular Report Library for System Center, this version, 7.0 R2 follows the release of the hyper-v enabled Veeam Management Pack v7 for System Center and is available for download here.

The Veeam Report Library for System Center includes:

  • Veeam Alert Statistics Report– shows alert statistics for selected filter parameters.
  • Veeam Alert History Report – shows information on alerts raised for infrastructure objects across a time range.
  • Veeam Performance Report – aggregates historical data to show performance counter values on one or more charts and tables.
  • Veeam Performance Details Report – aggregates historical data to show performance counter values with drill down for data.
  • Veeam Generic Performance Top (Bottom) N Report – aggregates historical performance data to show top or bottom N infrastructure objects, performance counters, or both, for a specific rule.
  • Veeam Relationship History Report – allows you to choose a specific type of relationship between infrastructure objects and track changes for this relationship over a time interval.
  • Veeam State Summary Report – shows the time in healthy/unhealthy state for selected infrastructure objects’ monitor across a time range.

SCOM: Updated IBM Storage Management Pack v 2.3.0

December is quite an eventful month for Management Pack updates, IBM has just released version 2.3.0 of their IBM Storage Management Pack. As always it is available for download on the IBM Fix Central website (www.ibm.com/support/fixcentral).

This update adds support for the XIV multi-tenancy feature:

Enhancement: Added support for the XIV multi-tenancy feature, which applies only to XIV microcode version 11.5 or later (non-domain users have access only when the access policy is set to “Open”).

Fixed: For SAN Volume Controller and Storwize systems, cluster monitoring is dependent on FlashCopy® consistency group unit monitoring, while single system monitoring is dependent on array unit monitoring. If either of the required unit monitoring is not used, the cluster or system monitoring returns to the uninitialized state.

Fixed: Updated the IBM Storage Solutions External Runtime Components (previously named “XPyV”) to version 1.4.4 to resolve man-in-the-middle (MITM) security attacks.

As always test, test, test and read the guide before implementing, especially if you are upgrading from version 1.1.1.

SCOM: Updated SQL MP version 6.5.4.0

An updated version of the SQL Server Management Pack was released this week, the new version is 6.5.4.0. This updated focuses on minor improvements and fixes.

They are available for download at the following links:

SQL Server 2005, 2008, 2008 R2 – here

Changes in this version:

  • Added Mirroring monitoring scenarios for SQL Server 2012 product
  • SPN monitor now has overridable ‘search scope’ which allows the end user to choose between LDAP and Global Catalog
  • Fixed the error with blocked discovering DBs on Windows 2003
  • Fixed Timeout error in CPU utilization monitoring scenario
  • Monitoring SQL Server Instances on the same server with their own network interfaces and default port is now available
  • SQL Server instances with underscores and other allowed special symbols in names can be monitored
  • Minor fixes.

SQL Server 2014 – here

Changes in this version:

  • Added Mirroring monitoring scenarios for SQL Server 2014 product
  • SPN monitor now has ‘search scope’ parameter which allows the end user to choose between LDAP and Global Catalog
  • Fixed Timeout error in CPU utilization monitoring scenario
  • Monitoring SQL Server Instances on the same server with their own network interfaces and default port is now available
  • SQL Server instances with underscores and other allowed special symbols in names can be monitored
  • Minor fixes.

SCOM: Updated Exchange 2010 MP version 14.3.210.2

A new version of the  Exchange 2010 MP was released during this months wave of updates, the new version is 14.3.210.2 and it is available for download here. It addresses a particular issue related to Exchange 2010 servers running Powershell 2.0 side by side with Powershell 3.0+.

Updated in this version:

  • Added a new MSI(Exchange2010PowershellFix) that should be used if the management pack doesn’t work on an Exchange 2010 server that has Powershell 2.0/3.0+ installed side by side. Please refer to the “Changes included in 14.3.210.2 (PS 3.0+ Update)” section for more information.

The Exchange2010PowershellFix.msi is also available for download at the same location here.

Extract from the guide:

Exchange 2010 MP versions 14.03.0038.004 and earlier required ONLY Powershell 2.0 to be installed on the Exchange server for it to work. When Powershell 3.0 or higher is installed on Exchange 2010 servers that were working with only Powershell 2.0 installed, Exchange MP stops working.

The new MSI (Exchange2010PowershellFix.MSI) that has been included in this release enables Exchange 2010 MP to work on servers that have Powershell 2.0 installed side by side with Powershell 3.0+. This new MSI should be used only if your existing Exchange 2010 MP isn’t able to monitor your Exchange 2010 server that has Powershell 2.0 and Powershell 3.0+ installed side by side. This will NOT work if the server has only Powershell 3.0 or higher installed.

 If you already have 14.03.0038.004 installed, please execute the 14.3.210.2 “Exchange2010PowershellFix” MSI and import the MP’s contained within it.

 Note:  You must install the 14.03.0038.004 package (Exchange2010ManagementPackForOpsMgr2007-x64.msi/ Exchange2010ManagementPackForOpsMgr2007-x86.msi) prior to applying the 14.3.210.2 update (Exchange2010PowershellFix) in order for the Exchange 2010 MP to function correctly.

SCOM: Supercharge console performance

I came across a recent article by Marnix Wolf and S.Carrilho regarding a little known SQL setting known as Max Degree of Parallelism (MDoP)

When SQL Server runs on a computer with more than one microprocessor or CPU, it detects the best degree of parallelism, that is, the number of processors employed to run a single statement, for each parallel plan execution. You can use the max degree of parallelism option to limit the number of processors to use in parallel plan execution.

This becomes an issue on servers with hyper-thread enabled processors, as by the nature of hyper-threading the system thinks that there are more cores available then there physically are.

This setting can be found under SQL Server advanced properties:

mdop

In order to calculate the recommended value for this setting we need to use the MDoP calulator which makes use of two queries:

1. Output of following query from the SQL Server instance: 

SELECT COUNT(DISTINCT memory_node_id) AS NUMA_Nodes FROM sys.dm_os_memory_clerks WHERE memory_node_id!=64

2. Launch Powershell and get the output of following PS command:
Get-WmiObject -namespace “root\CIMV2” -class Win32_Processor -Property NumberOfCores | select NumberOfCores

3. Input these value into the calculator:

mdopcalc

In this example the SQL query returned a value of 1 and the PS returned a count of 4 cores, the calculator recommends an MDoP setting of 4.

I’ve had situations in the past where no amount of tweaking seemed to improve console performance and this certainly a factor I will be taking into account in the future. Definitely give Marnixs’ article a read as he covers the topic in more detail with additional findings from his field experience.

There are other ways to improve console performance, I will combine them together in a future blog post about complete console tuning.

SCOM: Updated Exchange 2013 MP version 15.0.663.19

Microsoft has just released a new version of the Exchange 2013 MP it is now on version 15.0.663.19 and is available for download here.

This version seems to contain primarily bug fixes. Hopefully is an indication of the quality of management packs we will be receiving in the coming year. It’s good to see MS stepping up their game.

Changes in this version:

Added support for 2012 SP1
Fixed a bug on visualization error when localized Operations Console is used
Added details to the ‘Stored Procedure Not Found’ exception for additional context

 

SCOM: Free eBook Extending Operations Manager Reporting

A new free eBook has been released about Extending Operations Manager Reporting, it is available for download here.

Introduction

The System Center Operations Manager data warehouse stores many objects, making it
possible to report on performance, availability, configuration, and security. You can use data
collected by Operations Manager for issue tracking, awareness, planning, and forecasting, all of
which are important factors for maintaining and managing your environment. But
understanding what to report on and how to do so is what actually contributes to the stability
of your infrastructure. If you’re not using the data you collect about your environment, you’re
simply wasting space. If you use Operations Manager to monitor your environment, whether
your infrastructure or a public, private, or hybrid cloud, this book is a good resource to help
you understand the basics of reporting and how to build queries and stored procedures for
your reports. It can also help you understand the various elements of Operations Manager
management packs that are used when you create reports.
This book assumes that you have a good understanding of Operations Manager and the
management pack structure required to create custom reports. It also assumes that you have a
good working knowledge of SQL Server and tools like Report Builder, Business Intelligence
Development Suite, and SQL Server Data Tools.

 

ebook

 

SCOM: Base OS MP update 6.0.7279.0

A new version of the Base OS MP has been released, it is now on version 6.0.7279.0 and is available for download here. The fixes in this version primarily center around mount points.

Changes in version 6.0.7292.0

  • Mount point Names have been changed from GUIDs to a friendly drive letter name
  • Fixed performance collection workflows that were failing for some mount points
  • Fix was made to include Mount points without a drive letter name

SCOM: Agent health and you

I often find it interesting, particularly among younger engineers how little emphasis is placed on this icon greyagent , discussions usually center around phrases like “it’s only one grey agent” and there is little urgency in fixing that agent.

I use one agent as my example because what does that one agent really mean. Well it of course does depend on each environment and requires some understanding of the clients business. For example it’s the end of the month and greyagent is the payroll server, or perhaps you are supporting a web based business such as an online retailer and greyagentis their web front end. Management servers may be the heart and soul of Operations Manager but without the lifeblood of the agents you don’t have much to work with.

Agents watch data sources on the monitored computer and collect information according to the configuration that is sent to it from its management server. The agent also calculates the health state of the monitored computer and objects on the monitored computer and reports back to the management server. When the health state of a monitored object changes or other criteria are met, an alert can be generated from the agent. This lets operators know that something requires attention. By providing health data about the monitored object to the management server, the agent provides an up-to-date picture of the health of the device and all the applications that it hosts.

 

Below is a diagram of the data flow from the agent to the management server and from there through to the Ops and DW databases.

 

Agent Flow

 

I posted an article earlier in the year about agents not submitting performance data that shows how to pickup agents that may not be working even if they show green in the console. It just emphasises that just because agents look like they are working it doesn’t mean they are 100%

Hopefully this article helps to raise awareness of the importance of greenagent2 happy SCOMing.