A WordPress.com site dedicated to System Center and Cloud Management

Upcoming Articles


Hello All,

I thought I would add a sticky post to the home page, to list/show what articles ans series I am preparing to post. Hope this keeps you coming back for more. Here is the list of upcoming articles (in no particular order).

MiCloud Upcoming Articles

  • Applying SCVMM 2012 R2 Update Rollups To Perimeter Hyper-V Hosts
  • Monitoring Linux with SCOM 2012 R2 (multi-part series)
  • Patching Hyper-V Hosts with SCVMM 2012 (multi-part series)
  • SCSM Dashboard – Expit EnSight (multi-part series)
  • SCVMM 2012 R2 Compliance Scan Fails With Error 2927
  • SCOM SNMP Monitoring
  • SCUtils Knowledge Base For SCSM 2012 (multi-part series)

If you have an idea or request for an article/post, or would like an existing article to be expanded upon, please send me an email via the About Me page and I will do my best to accommodate. Please note that, when suggestions/requests are received, they are queued as draft posts. This means that there may be a delay before a requested post is written and made available, but rest assured, I am working on it.

Don’t forget to rate, comment, subscribe, and share any articles you found helpful or interesting.

Thank you to all my followers.


In our last post, we went through the Installation and Configuration of a Linux Virtual Machine. In this part, we will configure System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) to be prepared to monitor UNIX / Linux systems. To accomplish this, we will need to setup a Resource Pool, import the appropriate Management Packs, Configure Name Resolution, and Configure/Assign RunAs Accounts. Let’s get started.

Create A Resource Pool

Log on to the Operations console with an account that is a member of the Operations Manager Administrators role.

Click Administration.

Create Resource Pool - 01 - Administration

In the navigation pane, click Resource Pools.

Create Resource Pool - 02 - Resource Pools

In the Tasks pane, click Create Resource Pool.

Create Resource Pool - 03 - Create Resource Pool

In the Create Resource Pool wizard, on the General Properties page, enter a name and, optionally, a description for the resource pool, and then click Next.

Create Resource Pool - 04 - Resource Pool Wizard - General Properties

On the Pool Membership page, click Add.

Create Resource Pool - 05 - Resource Pool Wizard - Pool Membership

In the Member Selection window, enter text to filter the search results if desired, and then click Search. If you click Search without entering anything in the filter field, all available management servers will be displayed.

In Available items, select the servers that you want in the resource pool, click Add, and then click OK.

Click Next.

Create Resource Pool - 06 - Resource Pool Wizard - Member Selection

On the Summary page, review the settings and then click Create.

Create Resource Pool - 07 - Resource Pool Wizard - Summary

When the wizard completes, click Close.

Create Resource Pool - 08 - Resource Pool Wizard - Completion

Import UNIX and Linux Management Packs

The UNIX and Linux Operating Systems Management Packs enable discovering, monitoring, and managing UNIX and Linux computers with System Center Operations Manager. They provide both proactive and reactive monitoring of the UNIX and Linux operating systems.

In the SCOM Console, navigate to the Administration workspace.

Create Resource Pool - 01 - Administration

Right-click on the Management Pack item in the navigation pane, and choose ‘Import Management Packs’. This will cause the Import Management Packs wizard to launch.

Import MP 02

In the Import Management Pack wizard, click the Add button. You will be presented with 2 options, ‘Add From Catalog’ and ‘Add From Disk’. The ‘Add From Catalog’ option will enable you to search the catalog directly, however, most Production systems don’t have an Internet connection, which this option requires.

Import MP 03

Therefore, we will demonstrate and choose the ‘Add From Disk’ option. When you select this option, you will immediately receive the following prompt. Since, in Production, your server probably will not have Internet access, we will choose ‘No’.

Import MP 05

Now, you will see the File Explorer dialog. From here you need to navigate to the location of the Management Pack files. You can find the UNIX and Linux Management Packs on the SCOM Source Media.

In my lab example, I have the SCOM ISO mounted to my DVD Drive as D:\, so the location of my Management Packs is: D:\ManagementPacks\

NOTE: As of this writing, there is an update available (version 7.5.1025.0) to the existing Management Packs from the source meida, which can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/download/details.aspx?id=29696.

The specific .MP files that you want to import will depend on what version of UNIX or Linux you want to monitor. To start, you will want to import the “Microsofot.Linux.Library.mp”. You will also want to find the appropriate Library and Version MP files for the edition of Linux you are monitoring.

In my lab example, since I am monitoring SUSE, I will also be importing the “Microsoft.Linux.SUSE.Library.mp” and “Microsoft.Linux.SUSE.11.mpb” files.

Import Linux MPs

Once the Management Packs are displayed in the import list, click Install.

Import Linux MPs 02

After the Management Packs have been imported, click Close.

Import Linux MPs 03

NOTE: You may have to restart the following Services on the Management Server:

  • System Center Data Access Service
  • System Center Management Configuration

Configure Name Resolution

The SCOM Management Servers needs to be able to communicate with the Linux server. This means it needs to be able to resolve the FQDN of the Linux system, and the Linux system needs to be able to resolve the SCOM Management Server(s) FQDN.

To simplify this process in my lab, we’re going to modify the HOSTS file. On the Management Server(s), navigate to C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\ETC and edit the HOSTS file. Note that there is no file extension on this file. The easiest way to edit the file is in Notepad.

Name Resolution - 01 - Hosts FileWhen you have the HOSTS file open in Notepad, we need to add an entry for the Linux system so that the SCOM Management Server(s) can resolve it. Once you have added the entry, save the file.

Name Resolution - 02 - Modified Hosts File

Now from the SCOM Management Server(s), ensure that you can successfully PING the name of the Linux server.

Name Resolution - 03 - PING From Management Server

Also from the Linux server, ensure that you can successfully PING the name of the SCOM Management Server(s).

Name Resolution - 04 - PING From Linux Server

Configure Run As Accounts and Profiles for UNIX and Linux

You must create Run As accounts for agent maintenance operations, and for health and performance monitoring. These Run As accounts must then be associated with the Run As profiles defined in the UNIX and Linux management packs, so they can access the agents on UNIX and Linux computers.

We need to create 3 accounts:

  • UNIX/Linux Action Account
  • UNIX/Linux Privileged Account
  • UNIX/Linux Agent Maintenance Account

UNIX/Linux Action Account

In the Operations console, click Administration.

Create Resource Pool - 01 - Administration

In Run As Configuration, click UNIX/Linux Accounts.

Linux RunAs - 01 - UNIX Linux Accounts

In the Tasks pane, click Create Run As Account.

Linux RunAs - 02 - Create Run As Account

On the Account Type page, choose the Monitoring Account option, then click Next.

Linux RunAs - 03 - Account Type

On the General Properties page, provide a name and description for the account, then click Next. The description is optional.

Linux RunAs - 04 - General Properties

On the Account Credentials page, provide account credentials that can be used for the Run As account type that you selected, then click Next.

NOTE: This account does not necessarily need to exist on the Linux system yet, and you can create it later if need be.

Linux RunAs - 05 - Account Credentials

On the Distribution Security page, select the More Secure or Less Secure option, then click Create.

Linux RunAs - 06 - Distribution Security

Once the wizard is complete, click Close.

Linux RunAs - 07 - Next Step

UNIX/Linux Privileged Account

In the Operations console, click Administration.

Create Resource Pool - 01 - Administration

In Run As Configuration, click UNIX/Linux Accounts.

Linux RunAs - 01 - UNIX Linux Accounts

In the Tasks pane, click Create Run As Account.

Linux RunAs - 02 - Create Run As Account

On the Account Type page, choose the Monitoring Account option, then click Next.

Linux RunAs - 03 - Account Type

On the General Properties page, provide a name and description for the account, then click Next. The description is optional.

Linux RunAs - 04 - General Properties

On the Account Credentials page, provide account credentials that can be used for the Run As account type that you selected, then click Next. Ensure that the elevation option is set to “Elevate the account using sudo for privileged access“.

NOTE: This account does not necessarily need to exist on the Linux system yet, and you can create it later if need be.

Linux RunAs - 05 - Account Credentials

On the Distribution Security page, select the More Secure or Less Secure option, then click Create.

Linux RunAs - 06 - Distribution Security

Once the wizard is complete, click Close.

Linux RunAs - 07 - Next Step

UNIX/Linux Agent Maintenance Account

In the Operations console, click Administration.

Create Resource Pool - 01 - Administration

In Run As Configuration, click UNIX/Linux Accounts.

Linux RunAs - 01 - UNIX Linux Accounts

In the Tasks pane, click Create Run As Account.

Linux RunAs - 02 - Create Run As Account

On the Account Type page, choose the Agent Maintenance Account option, then click Next.

Linux RunAs - 03 - Account Type

On the General Properties page, provide a name and description for the account, then click Next. The description is optional.

Linux RunAs - 04 - General Properties

On the Account Credentials page, select the “User name and password” option, and provide account credentials that can be used for the Run As account, then click Next. Ensure that the privileged access option is set to “This account does not have privileged access“.

NOTE: This account does not necessarily need to exist on the Linux system yet, and you can create it later if need be.

Linux RunAs - 05C - Account Credentials

On the Elevation page, select the Use ‘sudo’ elevation option, then click Next.

Linux RunAs - 06C - Elevation

On the Distribution Security page, select the More Secure option, then click Create.

Linux RunAs - 07C - Distribution Security

Once the wizard is complete, click Close.

Linux RunAs - 08C - Completion

Configuring Run As Profiles for UNIX and Linux

Now that you have created the Run As accounts, you must add each Run As account to the applicable profile.

In the Operations console, click Administration.

Create Resource Pool - 01 - Administration

In Run As Configuration, click Profiles.

Linux Profiles - 01 - Profiles

In the list of profiles, right click and then select Properties on one of the following profiles:

  • UNIX/Linux Action Account
  • UNIX/Linux Privileged Account
  • UNIX/Linux Agent Maintenance Account

Linux Profiles - 02 - Profile Properties

In the Run As Profile wizard, click Next until you get to the Run As Accounts page.

Linux Profiles - 03 - Run As Accounts

On the Run As Accounts page, click Add to add a the Run As account that you created. Select the “All targeted objects” option, then click OK.

Linux Profiles - 04 - Add Run As Account

Click Save.

Linux Profiles - 05 - Run As Accounts Added

On the Completion screen, you may see a warning message about the More Secure accounts (if you chose this option when creating the accounts).

Linux Profiles - 06 - Completion

If you click on the Linux Action Account link, the Run As Account Properties dialog will appear. Click the Add button.

Linux Profiles - 07 - Run As Account Properties

On the Computer Search screen, search for the Resource Pool, and add the Linux Resource Pool that we previously created, then click OK.

Linux Profiles - 08 - Computer Search

Back on the Run As Account Properties screen, click OK.

Linux Profiles - 09 - Run As Account Distribution

Back on the Completion screen, the Warning icon will now have changed to a green checkmark. Click Close.

Linux Profiles - 10 - Completion (Distributed)

Repeat these steps for each of the UNIX/Linux Run As Profiles.

Wow! That was a lot of work, but SCOM is now ready to monitor Linux. In the next part of this series, we will install the SCOM Agent on the Linux server.


I wanted to write a post/series on something that I knew about, but never had the opportunity to actually do in a Production environment; monitoring Linux/UNIX servers using System Center Operations Manager (SCOM).

All of my experience has been in a Windows-based environment. Even though the environments I have worked in did have some Linux/UNIX systems, these were not within my realm of jurisdiction, and therefore I could not install the SCOM Agent on these servers.

So, what better way to gain experience with something, than doing some research, and trying it out. Here it goes. Let’s start with setting up a Linux server. In my lab I’m running Hyper-V, so I will setup a Linux VM to work with.

The first thing that you need to do is choose an appropriate Linux/UNIX distribution. System Center Operations Manager supports multiple versions/editions of Linux/UNIX, but it doesn’t support ALL versions. Here is the link for the Supported UNIX and Linux Operating System Versions, specific to System Center 2012, 2012 SP1, and 2012 R2 Operations Manager.

Review the list, and choose a version you would like to work with. If you are not familiar with UNIX or Linux at all (like myself), I have read that it SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 is easier to work with because it has setup wizard, which we Windows-IT folk are more used to.

Now that we have chosen a Linux distribution to use, SUSE 11 in my lab example, we have to obtain the files necessary. Go to the SUSE webpage and navigate to the SUSE Downloads page. In their Basic Search tool, select the appropriate options to find the download. At the time of this writing, the latest version of SUSE is version 11 SP3.

IMPORTANT: You will need to register for a free account before you will be allowed to download the ISOs.

Monitor UNIX - 01 - SUSE Download

After you have downloaded  the ISOs, we need to create a VM to install it onto. I’m not going to detail how to create a Virtual Machine (VM) in Hyper-V; but if you do need me to detail/document that piece, please email me and I will add it. On my VM, I have mounted the first ISO, and then powered on the VM.

Setup/Installation of SUSE Linux

NOTE: Within the SUSE VM, use the up and down arrows and the Tab key to navigate around, and the Enter key to accept or confirm a selection.

On the setup screen, highlight the Installation option, and then press Enter.

Install SUSE - 01 - Start Screen

Once the OS loads, on the Welcome screen, change the Language and Keyboard Layout options as desired, then click Next.

Install SUSE - 02 - Welcome

On the Media Check screen, click the Start Check button to check the files contained on the ISO. Once the check has completed successfully, click Next.

Install SUSE - 03 - Media Check

After the System Analysis runs, you will be on the Installation Mode screen. Choose New Installation and then click Next.

Install SUSE - 04 - Installation Mode

On the Time Zone screen, make the appropriate selection for Region and Time Zone, then click Next.

Install SUSE - 05 - Clock and Time Zone

On the Server Scenario screen, select the “Physical Machine (also for Fully Virtualized Guests” option, then click Next.

Install SUSE - 06 - Server Scenario

One the Installation Summary screen, review the information displayed, and then click Install.

Install SUSE - 07 - Installation Summary

On the Confirm Package License screen, review the information displayed, then click I Agree.

Install SUSE - 08 - Confirmation

On the Confirm Installation screen, click Install.

Install SUSE - 09 - Confirm Installation

Now we can watch the installation being performed. But we’re not done yet.

Install SUSE - 10 - Installation In Progress

Configuration of SUSE Linux

After the installation has been completed, we have to perform some configuration steps.

The first configuration you will be prompted with is for the Password for the System Administrator “Root” account. Provide a password and then click Next.

IMPORTANT: This is the most important thing to provide (and remember). The “Root” user account is equal to the Windows Local Administrator account.

Config SUSE - 01 - Root Password

On the Hostname screen, provide a name for the computer, and also provide a domain name, then click Next.

IMPORTANT: The domain name provided must NOT be a valid Active Directory domain name. Also ensure that the “Change Hostname via DHCP” option is NOT selected.

Config SUSE - 02 - HostName

On the Network screen, make the appropriate changes as you require, then click Next.

In my lab example, I disabled the Firewall, enabled VNC Remote Administration,

Config SUSE - 03 - Network

On the Test Internet Connection screen, you can choose the option to “Yes, Test Connection to the Internet” or “No, skip this test“, then click Next.

In my lab example, my VMs are not connected to the Internet, so I chose to skip the test.

Config SUSE - 04 - Test Internet Connection

On the Network Services Configuration screen, click Next.

Config SUSE - 05 - Network Service Configuration

On the User Authentication Method screen, you can choose the Authentication Method that you want to use, then click Next.

In my lab example, I used the “Local (/etc/passwd)” option, since this setup is similar to the Windows “Workgroup” type setup.

Config SUSE - 06 - User Authentication Method

On the New Local User screen, I am going to create a new account to use with SCOM monitoring, then click Next.

Config SUSE - 07 - New Local User

On the Release Notes screen, review the information, then click Next.

Config SUSE - 08 - Release Notes

On the Hardware Configuration screen, click Next.

Config SUSE - 09 - Hardware Configuration

Now the installation/configuration is finally complete! Click Finish.

Config SUSE - 10 - Installation Completed

Now you can login to the new Linux installation. Login with the Root account that we setup.

Config SUSE - 11 - Login

If everything is setup and configured correctly, your home screen should look something like this.

Config SUSE - 12 - Home Screen

Now that we have a UNIX / Linux system setup, in our next post of this series we will setup SCOM to be able to monitor Linux systems.


Install System Center Service Manager Technical Preview

In my Lab example, I am using the following:

  • Windows Server Technical Preview
  • SQL Server 2014

These have been setup as per my previous guides for the OS and SQL setup.

IMPORTANT: In order to evaluate the System Center Technical Preview, youMUST be using the Windows Server Technical Preview, and SQL Server 2014; as per the following TechNet article: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn806369.aspx.

Install SCSM Management Server

Start by copying the EXE file into the SCSM VM. As of this writing, the Technical Preview EXE is labelled as “en_system_center_technical_preview_service_manager_x86_x64_5650108“.

Start by running the EXE, on the first screen, click Next.

SCSM vNext - 01 - Setup Wizard

On the Location screen, choose the location to extract the installation files, then click Next.

SCSM vNext - 02 - Location

On the Ready to Extract screen, click Extract.

SCSM vNext - 03 - Ready To Extract

On the completion screen, click Finish.

SCSM vNext - 04 - Extract Complete

Once the files are extracted, start the installation by running Setup.exe.

On the splash screen click the Install link.

SCSM vNext - 05 - Splash Screen

On the Product Registration screen, enter the applicable information, including reading and accepting the license terms, and click Next.

SCSM vNext - 06 - Registration

On the Installation Location screen, you can change the install location if you want to, or accept the defaults, then click Next. From my personal experience, I have seen setups in Production environments have a dedicated HDD for the Operating System, and another for middleware.

SCSM vNext - 07 - Installation Location

The Prerequisite check will run, and inform you of any issues found. If there are issues detected, resolve them as indicated, and then click the Check Prerequisites Again button. Until everything passes (or if there are only Warnings left), you will not be able to continue with the installation. Once the prereq check passes, you can click Next to continue with the installation.

SCSM vNext - 08 - Prerequisites

On the Service Manager database screen enter the SQL server name and select the appropriate instance, then click Next.

For this lab example, we are installing the Service Manager database on the same server as the Service Manager Management Server.

SCSM vNext - 10 - Database

NOTE: You may encounter the following error when you get to the Service Manager Database screen. To understand more about this, see this TechNet article. According to Microsoft: “You can bypass this warning message and continue to install using the SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS.” Read the article so that you are aware of why this occurs, etc.

This is particularly important if you plan on using Service Manager’s CMDB in connection with System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) and/or System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM).

When you encounter this Warning, just click OK.

SCSM vNext - 09 - Warning

On the Management Group screen, provide a Management Group Name, and also add Group Administrators. It is easier if you create/add an Active Directory Security Group and add it as the Management Group Administrators, so that all you have to do is add users to the Security Group. Then click Next.

SCSM vNext - 11 - Management Group

On the Service Manager Services screen, either accept the default of Local System Account, or choose to provide a Domain Account.

NOTE: If you choose to use a Domain Account, the Next button will be disabled until that account is successfully tested (via the Test Credentials button).

Make your applicable choice, and then click Next.

SCSM vNext - 12 - Services Account

On the Service Manager Workflow Account screen, either accept the default of Local System Account, or choose to provide a Domain Account.

NOTE: If you choose to use a Domain Account, the Next button will be disabled until that account is successfully tested (via the Test Credentials button).

Make your applicable choice, and then click Next.

SCSM vNext - 13 - Workflow Account

On the CEIP screen, you can choose to join the program or not. There may be concerns about sending Production-type data to Microsoft, however, I recommend joining the program as this is how Microsoft improves their software. If no one sent their experience information, then the tools we use would never be improved. Mark your choice and then click Next.

SCSM vNext - 14 - CEIP

The Microsoft Update screen is new to System Center. Make your choice and click Next.

SCSM vNext - 15 - Microsoft Update

Review the information presented on the Summary screen, and click Install.

SCSM vNext - 16 - Summary

Once the installation in complete, ensure that the ‘Open the Encryption Backup or Restore Wizard after Setup Closes’ checkbox is selected. It is recommended to backup the encryption key as part of your disaster recovery planning.

SCSM vNext - 17 - Setup Complete

Encryption Key Backup

When the Encryption Key Backup wizard launches, read the Introduction information and then click Next.

Encryption Key Backup 01

On the Backup or Restore screen, select ‘Backup the Encryption Key’ and click Next.

 Encryption Key Backup 02

On the Provide A Location screen, it is recommended to store the Encryption Key backup in a secure location (i.e. a file server that is regularly backed up). Enter an applicable UNC path, along with a filename, and then click Next.

Encryption Key Backup 03

On the Provide A Password screen, provide a password for security purposes (and keep it in a secure location), and click Next.

 Encryption Key Backup 04

Once the backup is complete, click Finish.

 Encryption Key Backup 05

That completes the installation of Service Manager’s Management Server Technical Preview.

As you can see from the About screen, the version of SCSM, even though it shows “System Center 2012 R2″, the version is: 7.5.4108.0 (whereas the actual 2012 R2 product is version 7.5.3079.0).

SCSM vNext - 18 - About

At this point, I haven’t noticed anything new/different with the product. However, as the product is updated, I will keep you informed of any interesting and important changes.

NOTE: The following features have been removed from the System Center Technical Preview, as per the following TechNet article: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-ca/library/dn806370.aspx.

  • Microsoft ITGRC Process Management PackSP1 for System Center Service Manager
    • Status in System Center Technical Preview: Removed.
    • Replacement: We recommend that you engage with proactive governance partners that can integrate into your current System Center investments.
  • Service ManagerCSPP
    • Status in System Center Technical Preview: Removed.
    • Replacement: Use Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server.

Release Note Issues (as per http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn806369.aspx)

See the referenced TechNet article for workarounds.

  • Manual steps to configure remote SQL Server 2014 Reporting Services
  • Service Manager console Installed on a VMM Server Causes VMM Connector Failure
  • Self-Service Portal Installation
  • Data Warehouse Setup Might Fail if the Database or Log Path Includes a Single Quotation Mark Character
  • Setup Might Fail if the Service Manager Authoring Tool Has Been Installed
  • Setup Does Not Install the Report Viewer Language Pack
  • Service Manager Setup Fails if a SQL Server Instance Contains a $ Character
  • Orchestrator Connector Account Password Cannot Contain $ Characters
  • Information Linked from Setup Might Not Display Localized Content
  • Full Text Search Does Not Work for Some Turkish Language Characters
  • Unassigned Virtual Machines Appear in Reporting Information
  • Virtual Machine Component Aggregation Is Misleading
  • Reassigned Virtual Machine Values Might Be Erroneously Calculated
  • Values in Price Sheets Are Effective Starting on the Next Day
  • After the Display Language Is Changed, the Wizard Text Might Display an Incorrect Language
  • Errors Might Occur When You Modify or Delete Service Request Template Items
  • Double-Byte Characters Might Not Display Correctly if a Knowledge Article Is Created from a TXT File
  • Shortcut Keys Have Limited Functionality
  • Configuring the Reporting Server Might Take a Long Time
  • Double-Byte Characters Are Sent Incorrectly to Search Provider
  • Sorting Knowledge Articles by Date Does Not Work

Tag Cloud

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 85 other followers

%d bloggers like this: