Getting started with Azure Automation DSC

One of the things I work with in my role as a product manager for Operations Management Suite (OMS) is the automation part of the suite. In this case, it means Azure Automation that can do a lot for us in terms of automating our recurring tasks. This post will be the first post about what you can do with Desired State Configuration (DSC) as a part of Azure Automation.

Before we get started there are some things worth knowing. As a part of OMS, the licensing for DSC is based on per-node and the listing price is at $10 per node/month. This means that each server you want to configure using DSC is assigned this license.

Getting started

Before we get started there is one prerequisite you need to take care of; the latest version of WMF 5 (Windows Management Framework) needs to be installed on the server about to be configured as a DSC node. This makes is possible for the node to communicate with Azure Automation. You can find WMF 5 here. This isn´t necessary if you’re running Windows Server 2016 as I will be doing for this post.

The first thing we need to do is to create a file stating what to communicate with and what to do. This is called a MOF file and is what makes is possible to retrieve configuration, but also to register the server as a node to Azure Automation DSC.

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OpsLogix & Approved present: Predictive analytics for Microsoft System Center

In about a week from now (April 12th), my employer Approved is running a webcast together with OpsLogix about our analytics solution for SCOM.

You will get to know more about “IT Service Analytics” and what it can do for you and your organization. I have previously mentioned “IT Service Analytics” in my blog, and if you want to know more right away you can do so here at SCOM Reporting made easy and intuitive and here at Creating dynamic distributed applications in SCOM.

Also check out Kevin Greene´s post here; Scandinavian SCOM solutions with global reach.

“IT Service Analytics is a free plug ´n play business intelligence and process support platform for Microsoft System Center. IT Service Analytics enables your IT organization(s) to make qualified decisions based on intelligent and accurate information gathered throughout your IT landscape.”

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A deeper look at OMS Service Map

A while back I wrote a post where I went through the basics and how to get started with the new feature Service Map, which is a part of OMS nowadays. Read the post here. That post only showed how to get started and what kind of information you will get from the solution, but it didn´t say anything about troubleshooting. And at last, it did just explain how to get started with your Windows servers (or clients for that matter).

Today I will go through how to get up and running with Linux servers as well, as well as some troubleshooting.

The prerequisites

When considering the Service Map agent, the following Windows operating systems are supported.

Windows Server

  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

Windows Desktop

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7

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Update Rollup 2 for System Center 2016 Operations Manager

So the time has come for the second update rollup of this generation of System Center 2016 Operations Manager to be released. Microsoft made it available today through the update catalog for us to download it. I have been waiting for this update for a while now since Update Rollup 2 for System Center 2016 has been partially release over the past few weeks.

The update rollup solves the following issues

  • When you use the Unix Process Monitoring Template wizard (adding a new template) to monitor processes on UNIX servers, the monitored data is not inserted into the database because of the following failure:

Log Name: Operations Manager
Source: Health Service Modules
Date:
Event ID: 10801
Task Category: None
Level: Error
Keywords: Classic
User: N/A
Computer:
Description: Discovery data couldn’t be inserted to the database. This could have happened because of one of the following reasons:
– Discovery data is stale. The discovery data is generated by an MP recently deleted.
– Database connectivity problems or database running out of space.
– Discovery data received is not valid.

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Creating dynamic Distributed Applications in SCOM

For the past two years or so I have been talking a lot about how to monitor business services, and most of the time I have done this with Savision Live Maps as a great solution for this. But what about those that haven´t invested in Live Maps? Are they left out of this great way of monitoring? The short answer to this question is no.

When using Live Maps to monitor the services we´re using Distributed Applications which is a big part of SCOM and has been for a long time now. A while ago a colleague of mine, Mats Augustsson came up with a brilliant idea of how to make dynamic Distributed Applications (DA´s) a lot easier (and better). Often when creating DA´s you´re pointing out single objects to include in the service which of course is a great way of doing it, but it doesn´t make it easy to maintain.

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A first look at OMS Service Map

A couple of months back, Microsoft made Service Map available as a part of OMS. It all began about 18 months ago when Microsoft acquired Bluestripe and their product FactFinder. FactFinder helped SCOM users to visualize connections and let them see what relationships there were between different components in their environment.

Soon it became clear that this was about to be rebuilt and launched as a part of OMS. About a month or so ago, Service Map were made available as a public preview in the Azure region West Europe as well. This meant that I could add this solution to my Log Analytics workspace, and now here we are!  🙂

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Savision IT Quiz: SCOM, Azure, OMS and more!

How much do you know about Microsoft trends and technologies covering aspects of SCOM, OMS and Azure? A galaxy of MVPs and Savision have come up with a quiz that will let you test your knowledge on SCOM, Azure, OMS and more.

This fun IT Quiz is brought to you in cooperation with subject matter experts: (MVP) Nicolas Prigent, (MVP) Thomas Maurer, (MVP) Anoop Nair, (MVP) Sam Erskine and (MVP) Bob Cornelissen.

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Installing OMS agent with PowerShell

Operations Management Suite (OMS) is a great thing and easy (and fast) to getting started with just installing an agent on a server. However, installing OMS agent would be nice to get automated and instead of doing it with the command line it could be done with PowerShell, compared to doing it manually which would take s significant amount of time. Keep reading to find out how to install OMS agent with PowerShell.

I have checked the command line installation option and that isn´t as good and fancy as doing it with PowerShell, hence this post. I have put together a PowerShell Script that will download the agent, install it and remove the installation files. All you need is the Workspace ID and Workspace Primary Key.

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