Category Archives: Tools

The future of SCOM, learnings from the technical preview.

A question I’ve often posed regarding SCOM is, “Why do should we be using 3rd party utilities to perform certain functions?” and the one that comes up most frequently is scheduling maintenance mode.

Well it’s finally here and i’m not surprised to see it as the first feature cropping up in the community blogs, as it is exciting, we’re finally getting the ability to create maintenance mode schedules from inside the product.

You can find this feature under the administrators node in the console.

I for one am certainly looking forward to see what other surprises are in the System Center goodie bag, more to follow.

SCOM: Platform Ready Test Tool 1.1

A new tool released by Microsoft to help with MP Authoring.

The Microsoft Platform Ready Test Tool for System Center 2012 R2 is designed to help test your Operations Manager Management Pack for compatibility and compliance to best practices. Use this tool to achieve Application Logo Certification for System Center and qualify testing status as part of the Microsoft Partner Network Competency program. The MPR Test Tool is a wizard style tool that implements technical requirements described in the Microsoft Platform Ready Test Requirements Criteria document. • More information about the System Center Application Logo Certification Program can be found at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=241671

Download here

SCOM: Silect MP Author goes to SP3

Silect has released SP3 of their MP Author, the new version comes with a host of new features.

Product information page – here
Request a free download – here

New features:

  • Improved knowledge viewing and editing in multiple language environments
  • Improved XML editing
  • New feature to “Check for missing display names”
  • Added ability to use base classes other than LocalApplication when creating new classes
  • Additional MP elements are displayed
  • Added a drop down list of $$ parameters for alert messages
  • Schedule property grid made more user friendly
  • Improvements to memory usage
  • We’ve also fixed a number of bugs in this release.

SCOM: Oktagonal MM-Schedule v1.0.00

Oktagonal, a company that specialises in infrastructure automation has released a Maintenance Mode scheduler tool for SCOM 2012.

Go here for additional information and pricing. A 30 day trial is also available.

Features:

  • Browser-based scheduling, independent of OpsMgr console or web console
  • Ad-hoc, regular and recurring schedules
  • Embed scheduled reboots into maintenance mode schedules
  • Per-class scheduling and per-group scheduling
  • Flexible security model for delegation of targets and schedules through AD Group membership
  • Full audit and execution history, integrated with OpsMgr DB and DW

I particularly like the ability to convert the tech heavy SCOM object names into easy to identify object names and the ability to restrict who can schedule maintenance for which object without requiring console access and we all know how useful auditing is when it comes to maintenance mode.

Definitely a useful tool, I look forward to seeing later iterations.

SCOM 2012: Maintenance Mode Scheduler updated to v4

The Maintenance mode scheduler tool written by Tim McFadden has been updated to version 4.

Here are the new features:

  • Multi-select Computers  This has been the most requested feature as end users often want to schedule multiple computers at a time without having to create groups.
  • Multi-select Computers in Integrated dashboard  Now you can select multiple computers in the dashboards without getting an error
  • New Search in Computers and Groups  Now instead of scrolling up in down the list you can just start to type in the name of the group or computer and results will be filtered.
  • One Click MM now accepts parameters   Some environments One Click MM was not working as the client security was high or there were DNS issues.  Now you can just add the computer as a parameter.
  • New Configuration backup tool for easier upgrades  Now you can back your configuration and upgrade to the latest version of SCOM 2012 Maintenance Mode Scheduler with have to reconfigure all of your settings.

More information is available here

SCOM 2012: Survival Guide

I came across a great article on TechNet which is essentially a compilation of useful SCOM information, it includes everything from the basics and key concepts, to deployment guidelines and information on how to configure and use different features.

This is definitely one to keep in your favorites

Go here for the full article

Silect releases MP Author SP1

Silect has released the SP1 version of their MP Author tool.

It is a free product which enables wizard driven management pack authoring which means you no longer have to be a developer to create a Management Pack.

Go to http://www.silect.com/mp-author for more information.

“Complex. Multi-layered. Too many unnecessary rules and monitors. Applications without management packs. We get it. But you don’t have to be a developer anymore to build your own System Center Operations Manager management packs (MPs). With MP Author you get to be the author, designer and the developer. Our intuitive and intelligent wizard-driven designer lets you build completely new MPs or even customize existing MPs for single or distributed applications—without needing XML skills. And best of all, it’s FREE.” – Silect

SCOM 2012: Web based Maintenance Mode Tool

A new web based maintenance mode tool has been released by Tim McFadden and is available for purchase here (with a 30 day free trial)

From the site “The new web based scheduler simplifies the process of scheduling maintenance mode for SCOM administrators and IT staff.  You can easily schedule a computer group or any object to maintenance mode in seconds.”

The tool looks very polished and comprised a web based interface as well as a windows 8 app. There is also a really nice feature included which allows a shortcut to be placed on any server desktop which when used will place that specific server into maintenance, now that’s cool.

Cost:
Site License with one year free updates $99

Site License with two years free updates $149

SCOM 2012 – Maintenance Mode Tool V 1.0

We’re all familiar with the Maintenance mode tool created by Ryan Andorfer, well Stefan Roth has created a utility for SCOM 2012 using the same look and feel. Well done Stephan.

I do need to note that this utility comes with a disclaimer to use at your own risk.

I’ve included the tool below, if you run into any issues or unexpected results the utility page is here  leave Stephan a comment so he is aware of it.

MMToolV10