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SCOM Technical Preview in a LAB – Installation Guide (Install SCOM)

Install System Center Operations Manager Technical Preview

In my Lab example, I am using the following:

  • Windows Server Technical Preview
  • SQL Server 2014
  • Web Server (IIS)

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, you MUST 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 SCOM

Start by copying the EXE file into the SCOM VM. As of this writing, the Technical Preview EXE is labelled as “en_system_center_technical_preview_operations_manager_x86_x64_5650266.exe“.

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

SCOM vNext - 01 - Setup Wizard

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

SCOM vNext - 02 - Location

On the Ready to Extract screen, click Extract.

SCOM vNext - 03 - Extract

On the completion screen, click Finish.

SCOM vNext - 04 - Complete

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

On the splash screen click the Install link.

SCOM vNext - 06 - Splash Screen

On the Select Features screen, select the feature you want to install. In our example, we are installing all features on  the same server, so we will select all of them and click Next.

SCOM vNext - 07 - Select Features

Next chose the location that you want to install the software to, and ensure there is enough space. Then click Next.

SCOM vNext - 08 - Install Location

The Setup Wizard will then check the prerequisites that are needed, based on what features you selected to install. If there are any issues you will need to address these before you can continue. Review the information and the resolution(s) provided.

For example, you will need to install the Web Server (IIS) role, including some non-default elements along with the Microsoft Report Viewer 2012 Redistributable Package.

Once you address all prerequisite needs, the setup wizard should appear as follows. Click Next.

SCOM vNext - 09 - Prereqs

On the Installation Option screen, choose the appropriate option. In our example, since this is the first Management Server that we are installing, we will choose the ‘Create the first Management server in a new management group’ option, and also enter a Management Group Name, then click Next.

SCOM vNext - 10 - Management Group

Next read and accept the license terms, and click Next.

SCOM vNext - 11 - License Terms

On the Configure Operational Database screen, fill in the SQL server and instance name. When you do, the data and log folders paths will auto-populate. Now click Next.

SCOM vNext - 12 - Operational Database

On the Configure Data Warehouse screen, fill in the SQL server and instance name. When you do, the data and log folders paths will auto-populate. Now click Next.

SCOM vNext - 13 - Data Warehouse Database

Next select a SQL server instance to use for the Reporting Services, then click Next.

SCOM vNext - 14 - Reporting Services

Next select the IIS website to use for the Web Console, and then click Next. Note: if you chose to use SSL, you will need a certificate already installed/configured in IIS.

SCOM vNext - 15 - Web Console

For the Authentication Mode, chose the applicable option based on how you plan on using the web console. For our example, we will only use it in an Intranet environment, so we will choose ‘Use Mixed Authentication’ and click Next.

SCOM vNext - 16 - Authentication Mode

For the Operations Manager accounts, fill in the appropriate information and click Next. Note: As part of your preparation for installing SCOM, you can follow your provisioning process and have these accounts pre-created. You should also take note of the level of access each account requires.

SCOM vNext - 17 - Accounts

You can choose if you want to participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP). Make your choices, and then click Next.

SCOM vNext - 18 - Help Improve

For the Microsoft Update screen, choose if you want to automatically apply updates. Note: In a Production environment, you will probably not want to turn this on, because there are applicable change management procedures to follow, and you should test updates in a non-Production environment.

SCOM vNext - 19 - Microsoft Update

On the Installation Summary screen, review the input and selections made, and click Install.

SCOM vNext - 20 - Summary

The installation may take several minutes, but once it has been completed, click Close. Note: If you do not want to launch the SCOM console immediately, then de-select the ‘Start the Operations console when the wizard closes’ checkbox.

SCOM vNext - 21 - Setup Complete

Congratulations, you have now successfully installed SCOM!

As you can see from the About screen, the version of SCOM, even though it shows “System Center 2012 R2”, the version is: 7.2.10015.0 (whereas the actual 2012 R2 product is version 7.1.10226.0).

SCOM vNext - 22 - 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.

  • Visio based Management Pack Authoring for Operations Manager
    • Status in System Center Technical Preview: Removed.
    • Replacement: Use the complimentary version of Silect’s MP Author to design and develop MPs for Operations Manager or customize existing MPs.

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

See the referenced TechNet article for workarounds.

  • The Management Catalog does not return Management Packs
  • PowerShell Run space failed to start
  • Using sudo elevation with Solaris operating systems requires a configuration change if sudo executable is not in an expected path
  • Namespace value for performance tracking will be ignored
  • Monitor the Windows Server Technical Preview Release

SCOM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Configuration Guide (Configure Computers and Devices to Manage)

Hello everyone, if you have been following along with my guides, you should now have SCOM installed.

But SCOM wont do you any good if it doesn’t have any computers or devices to manage, so that’s where we will start as part of these Configuration guides.

First, start by launching the SCOM console.

SCOM Install 18

Now, navigate to the Administration pane. From there, under Device Management find ‘Agent Managed’. Right-click on the Agent Managed item, and choose Discovery Wizard.

SCOM Agent Install 01

The Computer and Device Management Wizard will start. You must first choose why type of device you want to discover and manager. You have 3 choices, Windows Computers, UNIX/Linux Computers, or Network Devices. For our example we will choose Windows Computer, and then click Next.

SCOM Agent Install 02

On the Auto or Advanced screen, you can choose to let SCOM scan the domain to find the computers, or if you want more control over which systems are monitored, you can choose the Advanced Discovery.  If you choose the Advanced option, you can also choose if you want to discover only servers, clients, or both. Additionally, you can choose which Management Server you want the discovered systems to be managed by.

Since we only have one Management Server in our lab, we only have one option, but in a Production environment you can use this to balance the load between multiple Management Servers.

Make your appropriate selections, and click Next.

SCOM Agent Install 03

Next you need to specify the Discovery Method that will be used. Again, you can allow SCOM to scan Active Directory, or you can manually type the computer names for it to check against.

From my own personal experience, it is usually best to manually type the names of the computers, as this gives you more control over what systems are added to SCOM, and how many at a time.

Choose your appropriate options, and click Next.

SCOM Agent Install 04

You can now specify the Administrator Account to use. We will accept the default selection to use the Management Server Action Account, and then click Discover to initiate the process.

SCOM Agent Install 05

SCOM will then go off and attempt to communicate with the specified systems.

Here is a diagram that shows how computer discovery works in SCOM.


The systems that SCOM is able to communicate with will appear in the Discovery Results. From there, select the device(s) that you want to install the SCOM agent on.

In our example we will install the SCOM agent on all systems in our lab environment.

Make your selection(s) and click Next.

SCOM Agent Install 06

On the Summary screen, you can control where the SCOM Agent will be installed. In my personal experience, the default location is sufficient. You can also provide an Agent Action Account. In a lab environment, we can use the Local System, however, in a Production environment I have personally seen a designated Agent Action Account (usually a Service Account) be used in this context.

Make the appropriate selection/input, and click Finish.

SCOM Agent Install 07

SCOM will then start the Agent installation task. Depending on your network, the number of devices, etc. it may take a while to complete.

SCOM Agent Install 08

When the discovery and agent installation completes, it should look like this. You can click Close on the status window.

SCOM Agent Install 09

Returning back to the SCOM console, you will now see the system(s) that you discovered and installed the Agent on.

SCOM Agent Install 10

Congratulations, not only do you have a working SCOM environment, but you also have SCOM actively monitoring!

Here is a video walk through of these steps:

SCOM 2012 SP1 in a LAB – Installation Guide (Install ACS)

Install Audit Collection Services

Since Audit Collection Services (ACS) is not a part of the main SCOM installation, we have to install it separately.

NOTE: In a Production environment, ACS is normally implemented in a segregated space. The reason for this is because ACS is used to audit security and logons. Since the Administrator of SCOM will more than likely be a part of an Operations team, and have access to various Production/Non-Production servers, for security reasons, the ACS installation would be on a server that the Operations team would not have access to (since they would be among the logons being monitored/audited).

To start the installation, mount the SCOM ISO and run the setup.exe. From the splash screen, click the ‘Audit Collection Services’ link.

ACS Install 01

On the Welcome screen click Next.

ACS Install 02

Read the License Agreement, accept the agreement, and click Next.

ACS Install 03

On the Database Installation Options screen, choose whether you will create a new database or use an existing one. In our example, we will choose the ‘Create a new database’ option, and click Next.

ACS Install 04

 On the Data Source screen, enter a new for the data source or accept the default, and then click Next.

ACS Install 05

On the Database screen, enter the database server name and instance name, and change the database name if you do not want to use the default. Since this is a lab environment, we will choose the ‘Database server running locally’ because we have SQL Server installed on the same server as SCOM. Make the appropriate choices, and then click Next.

ACS Install 06

For Database Authentication, we are going to choose the ‘Windows authentication’ option for our lab since it’s in its own domain. Read the information for each option, and make the applicable choice, and then click Next.

ACS Install 07

For the Database Creation Options, in a Production environment you would specify different disks for the database and log files, but since we are in a lab, we will chose the ‘Use SQL Server’s default data and log file directories’ and click Next.

NOTE: I believe, though am not 100% sure, that if when you first setup/install SQL Server and specify different disks for the database(s) and log(s), then choose the ‘use SQL default’ would be appropriate since the defaults would already be offloaded to appropriate separate disks.

ACS Install 08

On the Event Retention Schedule screen, you can specify the time for the database maintenance to occur, as well as the number of days to retain. This last option is very important, as in Production your organization may have some legal/security obligations to meet. However, just remember that the longer the retention, the more space the database will need. Usually, when planning ACS in a Production environment, most use the SCOM Sizing Helper Tool to know how large the database will be, and how much to plan for growth.

For our lab environment, we will accept the defaults and click Next.

 ACS Install 09

Make the appropriate selection for the Timestamp Format, and click Next. In our lab example, we will use ‘Local’.

ACS Install 10

On the Summary screen, review the selections and input, and click Next.

ACS Install 11

Immediately after you click Next from the Summary screen, you will be prompted for the SQL Server Login. By default it will assume the login for the account that is currently logged in. If this is accurate, just click OK.

ACS Install 12

Wait for the Installation Wizard to complete, which didn’t take too long in our small scaled-down environment.

ACS Install 13

Finally, the installation will complete. Click Finish.

ACS Install 14

Congratulations, you have now installed ACS! But there is still more to do. We need to setup reporting, and the event forwarder.

Here is a video walk through of these steps:

ACS Reporting

For ACS Reporting, you first need an instance of SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). If you have been following these guided series, we will be using the same SSRS instance that we originally setup/configured for SCOM Reporting, since we are in a lab environment.

For our process, we are going to be following the steps outlined in this TechNet article: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh299397.aspx.

First, we need to log onto the server that we will use for hosting the ACS reports. In our example, this is the same server that we installed SCOM on. From within that server, we need to create a temporary folder. We’ll create one on the root of C:\ and call it ACS (i.e. C:\ACS).

ACS Reporting 01

Mount the SCOM ISO, and navigate to \ReportModels\ACS (in my example it is D:\ReportModels\ACS\) and copy everything from this location into the temporary folder that we created.

ACS Reporting 02

Next, still within the mounted ISO, navigate to \SupportTools\ (in my example it is D:\SupportTools\AMD64\ReportingConfig.exe) and copy the ReportingConfig.exe file into the temporary folder that we created.

 ACS Reporting 03

Now we need to run a command through an elevated command prompt. In Windows Server 2012 to do this, mouse over to the bottom left corner, which will cause the Start ‘square’ (not sure what the official name is) to appear. Right-click on the Start square, and click on ‘Command Prompt (Admin)’ to launch an Administrative Command Prompt.

ACS Reporting 04

ACS Reporting 05

Next, you will need to change the directory to the temporary folder that we created. You will then have to run the following command: UploadAuditReports “<auditdbserver\instance>” “” “”. In our lab example the command line would be: UploadAuditReports “SCOM\SCOMSQL” “http://SCOM/Reports_SCOMSQL&#8221; “C:\ACS”

NOTE: The reporting server URL needs the reporting server virtual directory (ReportingServer_<InstanceName>) instead of the reporting manager directory (Reports_<InstanceName>).

IMPORTANT: If you encounter the following error: “CreateSRSDataSource: Exception Invalid URI: The URI scheme is not valid“, the solution is simple (although it took some searching to find). Thanks goes to ThoughtsOnOpsMgr‘s blog for detailing the simple solution.

SOLUTION: Remove the quotes (” “) unless the path/file name has a space in it. So, my lab example would literally be: UploadAuditReports SCOM\SCOMSQL http://SCOM/Reports_SCOMSQL C:\ACS.

This creates a new data source called Db Audit, uploads the reporting models Audit.smdl and Audit5.smdl, and uploads all reports in the acs\reports directory.

IMPORTANT: In order for the import to function properly make sure you have the .NET Framework 3.5 installed. If you have been following these guides, this will already be installed from when we installed SQL Server 2012. ACS Reporting 06

Next, open Internet Explorer and navigate to the following URL: http:///Reports_, in our example it will be http://SCOM/Reports_ SCOMSQL.

ACS Reporting 07

Now click on the ‘Audit Reports’ directory folder, and then click the ‘Details View’ button in the top right corner.

ACS Reporting 08

Now click the DB Audit data source to open it.

ACS Reporting 09

Finally, under the ‘Connect Using’ selections, ensure that ‘Windows Integrated Security’ is selected, and click Apply.

 ACS Reporting 10

You can now go into the SCOM console, under Reporting, and view the Audit Reports.

REMINDER: It is acceptable to have the Audit Reports accessible via the SCOM console in a lab environment. But in a Production environment your organization may have strict security policies that you are required to follow, which would include auditing of IT to be handled by some security department.

ACS Reporting 11

Congratulations, you have finished configuring/deploying ACS Reporting. But, there is still one last step we need to complete, the Event Forwarder.

Here is a video walk through:

ACS Event Forwarder

Now that we have ACS installed, and the Reporting configured, we can now turn on the Event Forwarder to start collecting security events.

We are going to follow the TechNet article here: http://technet.microsoft.com/library/hh272397.aspx. As stated by this article: “By default, the service needed for an agent to be an Audit Collection Services (ACS) forwarder is installed but not enabled when the Operations Manager agent is installed.” Therefore, in order to audit security events, you need to have the SCOM Agent installed on the system(s) first.

Log onto the SCOM server and open the SCOM console and click on the Monitoring pane. From there, navigate to Operations Manager > Agent Details > Agent Health State.

ACS Event Forwarder 01

In the details pane (the middle pane), in the Agent State area, select the system(s) that you want to enable Audit Collection on. When you select a system, in the right-hand Actions pane, under the Health Services Tasks, click the ‘Enable Audit Collection’ link.

 ACS Event Forwarder 02

This will launch the Enable Audit Collection task. From this window, you will need to enter the Collector Server for the Forwarder to report to. To do this, click the Override button.

 ACS Event Forwarder 03

On the Override dialog, enter the FQDN of the Collector Server. In our lab example, we will enter the only Management Server in our environment (i.e. SCOM.SC.LAB). Enter the appropriate information and then click the Override button.

 ACS Event Forwarder 04

The Enable Audit Collection dialog will now show the Collector Server that you just entered. At this point, you can also add a specific account to use within the Task Credentials section, or accept the defaults. Once you are ready to enable ACS, click the Run button.

ACS Event Forwarder 05

Once the task runs and completes successfully, the dialog will appear similar to the following. You can click Close.

ACS Event Forwarder 06

Congratulations, not only do you now have SCOM installed, along with Reporting; you additionally have setup ACS and enabled security auditing in your environment.

Here is a video walk through:

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