Monthly Archives: April 2016

SCOM 2016: TP 5 new features Updated 03/05

This posting will be updated as more features come to light

Install splash

At first glace there isn’t a whole lot new floating around, the administration pane has the following, Tune Management Packs and Partner Solutions:

Tune Management Packs

This feature will show which management packs are generating the most noise.


Once alerts are populating the Tune Management pack view will give you an overview of how many alerts are being generated by each management pack, filtered by a date range you specify. Unfortunately you cannot choose a filter such as “previous week”


Clicking the Tune Alerts task will display a list of the alerts from that management pack with count, location, type and name. You can access the rule / monitor settings directly from this location to make it easy to reduce noise.


Partner Solutions

This feature is actually from one of the later 2012 UR’s but I’ll keep it here due to it being relatively unnoticed. Partner solutions gives a nice view into the 3rd party management packs that are available, it’s easier to than the marketplace and less hassle then trawling through search engines. I’d like to see more from this feature.


Console optimization 

Some improvements have been made to the console this should be especially noticeable in environments with heavy load on the databases. Hopefully this mean less “busy” in the bottom left corner.

  • Alert view is optimized to load efficiently
  • Alert tasks and alert details in alert view is optimized to load efficiently
  • Context menus of an alert in alert view is optimized to load efficiently

Improved scalability for Unix/Linux Agents monitoring

A nice addition for those with large *nix environments is that the supported amount of cross platform agents per management server has been effectively doubled.

This has been achieved by using the new Async Windows Management Infrastructure (MI) APIs instead of WSMAN Sync APIs. By default, Operations Manager would use the sync APIs. To switch to the new method you need to create a new Registry key “UseMIAPI” to enable Operations Manager to use the new Async MI APIs.

To enable the new Async MI APIs – create a Registry key “UseMIAPI” under HKLM:\Software\Microsoft\Microsoft Operations Manager\3.0\Setup


SCOM: Database Status Report version 4

I’ve made some amendments to the Database Status Report that I posted about in 2015, Version 4 is now more streamlined and cleaner.

Sample screenshot:


Feel free to contact me for information on this report or the questions about the RDL.

I would be interested to hear from anyone who has any comments or suggestions on this report or ideas for future ones.



SCOM: Understanding Grooming and Aggregation

This posting is a continuation of my basics series, this one deals with Understanding Grooming and Aggregation, two very important concepts which can have great impact on your environment if they are not functioning properly.

First you need to understand the different between these two concepts, at their most basic, Grooming is the method where data older then a specific period, called the retention period, is deleted. Aggregation is the method where raw data, which is collected on short intervals i.e. 5 minutes, are averaged into hourly and daily time intervals used for reporting purposes.

The Operations Database


A stored procedure, called p_PartitioningandGrooming is run by a SCOM rule on a once a day schedule. The retention settings for each data type can be set in the console under Administration > Settings > Database Grooming.


You can see the history of the OpsDB grooming jobs with the following SQL query:

select * from InternalJobHistory order by InternalJobHistoryId desc

A Status of 1 indicates a successful completion.


The Operations Data-warehouse

The Data Warehouse is more complexyou cannot change data retention settings from the console, they exist in a table called StandardDatasetAggregation, which contains the grooming and aggregation retention periods, intervals and other related data.


Data in the DW database moves through several tables as part of the aggregations process as the data is collected it is written to a Raw Data table, from there is will move to a Staging table where it will be aggregated and then moved to a relevant aggregated data table (Hourly / Daily) where it will be available to the reporting services.

Then once the data in these tables is older then the data retention period it will be groomed out of the database.

So why is it important for aggregation to work?

Reports use the hourly and daily data in order to generate, this means that if your aggregations are not working or slow there will be gaps in your reporting. Example below:


And there you have it. the basics behind aggregation and grooming, I hope this has been informative.


SCOM: MP for Skype for Business Server 2015 v9319.247

The newly released  Skype for Business Server 2015 management pack version 9319.247 is available for download here.

This MP guide is not included in the download but is available on a separate technet page.

New in this version:

  • Automatic discovery for Client Sign-In Client applications that sign-in to Skype for Business Server 2015 often automatically discover the server to sign-in to. Synthetic transactions now support verification that automatic discovery is configured correctly.
  • Customized synthetic transaction run intervals To simplify the set up process of Watcher Nodes, synthetic transactions can share user accounts. This slows down the frequency at which the tests are run as the tests are serialized to avoid conflicts. By default, synthetic transactions run every 15 minutes to ensure all tests have time to run. Administrators who choose to use more users or fewer tests per user may now reduce the run interval, as well.
  • Video Interop Services synthetic transaction Customers who are migrating to Skype for Business Server 2015 from other vendor solutions often desire to continue using the video teleconferencing devices (VTCs) from these other vendors. Video Interop Server is a new Skype for Business Server 2015 server role that enables customers to continue to use Cisco VTCs in their conference rooms by connecting to Cisco CUCM via a video SIP trunk. This feature also adds a synthetic transaction to help verify that the Video Interop Server is up and can handle incoming connections over a video SIP trunk.
  • Application Sharing Conferencing synthetic transaction End-to-end scenario validation for Application Sharing Conferences is now supported.


As noted from Marnix wolfs blog There is an issue with the sealing of this MP, the following error occurs when importing.

“‘…This management pack cannot be imported.: Cannot load the management pack from the specified sealed assembly file: C:\Program Files\Skype for Business Server 2015\Management Packs\Management Packs\ This assembly is not fully signed. Cannot verify the strong name signature of the file: C:\Program Files\Skype for Business Server 2015\Management Packs\Management Packs\…’”


Management Pack Recap – March 2016 Wave

This is a summary of the wave of Management Packs that were released in March 2016. Information and download location in the links provided:

SQL Management Packs v6.6.7.6here
OpsLogix VMware MP V1.3.2.10 – here
Windows Server Technical Preview MP v10.0.0here
SQL Server MP Community Technical Preview 1 – here
SCCM MP v5.00.8239.1008 – here

If you know of any other Management Packs that have been released recently that I may have missed leave me a note in the comments and I’ll add them