Azure Monitor – Getting started with alerting

Azure Monitor is a quite new addition to the monitoring sphere when talking about monitoring Microsoft technologies. Traditionally it has been System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) that´s been the go-to guy but with the new addition of Azure Monitor some things have changed. From time to tome one can hear the phrase “SCOM is dead” and that you should go all-in with Azure Monitor instead. But is it really that easy?
In my opinion, no it’s not. While Azure Monitor has a lot of strengths being cloud-based with regularly updates and additions, it still lacks some things that we´re used to from using SCOM for all these years.

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Migrating lots of agents to Azure Log Analytics

A while ago we were involved in a project with one of our customers where our goal was to connect a large amount of servers to Azure Log Analytics. They had already done this with a connection through SCOM, but when they added another management group to their servers, so called multi-homing it stopped working. This was a huge issue since the data they were sending to Log Analytics were really important to them, and we started discussing how to do this the best way. We eventually decided to go with a direct connection to Log Analytics, instead of going through SCOM as they had done before.

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A new look for the blog

I decided it was time for the blog to change it´s looks since the old look has been around for several years now. And since I never really got over the fact that it had some “HTML for dummies” feeling over it, it was time for a change to a more modern and cleaner look.

If you see something that looks odd or just does´nt work, please let me know through the comments and I´ll take a look at it.

Otherwise, just keep your eyes open for more content in the near future.

Sponsored post: How to Get the Most Out of Windows Admin Center

If you already use Windows Admin Center, there’s probably a lot more to it than you realize. For those just starting out, a guidebook is the ideal way to ensure you use it properly. How to Get the Most Out of Windows Admin Center  covers all you need to get started and maximize its potential.

In this free 84-page eBook from Microsoft Cloud & Datacenter MVP Eric Siron, you’ll learn everything about the free Microsoft management tool, Windows Admin Center, from the basics of requirements, to installation, optimization, configurations, managing extensions and more!

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The OMS portal is retired

Last week on January 15th was the last day of the OMS portal before its retirement. It has now completely moved to the Azure portal instead.

Since Operations Management Suite (OMS) have been retired for a few months and is no longer available for new customers, the portal had served its purpose and have now been retired. Nowadays administration of the included services is handled through the Azure portal instead.

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What´s new in SCOM 2019 and 1901

A few weeks ago, we (Approved) held our annual event called SCOM Day in Gothenburg with about 80 attendees. This year we focused on hybrid monitoring using SCOM 2019/1901 and Azure. It was a full day of sessions where we had Thomas Maurer talking about Azure Stack, Martin Ehrnst who was talking about API integrations in SCOM. And lastly, we had Marcel Zehner who showed us how he monitors and interacts with his Tesla using Azure.

I also held a session along with my colleague Jonas Lenntun about the news in SCOM 2019 and 1901 where we focused on the parts that we think makes most sense and will most likely come to use for most users. The news was announced during Microsoft Ignite that took place in Orlando in September. But to those of you who didn’t attend any of these events, the news is still important to know about.

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Monitoring the VMware environment – Part 1

Lately I have been working a lot with monitoring VMware using SCOM for some of our largest customers and have gotten to think about this more and more. Even though cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure keeps on showing great numbers of growth (and profits for that matter), the absolute majority of customers IT are still on-prem. Since about ten years, virtualization has been about the coolest thing there is and the largest player in this area is still VMware.

Thinking about how large this area is and the importance for the organization, we need to monitor the VMware platform. Just as well as we need to keep track of what’s happening with our services, such as web shops or other business critical systems, we need to monitor the foundation it all relies on as well.

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Looking at the news in SCOM 1807

As I said in my last post, SCOM 1807 was released a few weeks back and I explained a little about the news and what they meant. This time it´s about showing them off to see how they work and what you can do with it. I have picked out some of the biggest news and played around with it to see how it works.

Removing the APM components from agents

The first new thing I will show is how you can control whether APM should be installed on an agent or not. As I mentioned this has been an issue where APM might cause an IIS application pool to crash, especially concerning SharePoint.

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SCOM 1807 has been released

So, the summer is almost over and I´m back from my vacation. In other words, time to dig into things again. A couple of weeks ago Microsoft launched System Center 1807 as an update for the previous version, 1801. So let us dig into SCOM 1807.

When System Center 1801 was launched, it marked the start of the Semi-Annual Channel which means that a new version will be released twice a year. You can read more about the different release models in my blog post here.

So what´s new in SCOM 1807 then?
There are some nice additions in this new version as you can see below;

Configure APM component during agent install or repair
With this new possibility, we get to choose whether APM should be enabled for the agent or not. This was a problem with earlier agents (2016 and 1801) that could cause a crash with IIS Application Pools. This could also lead to a crashing SharePoint Central Administration application pool running .Net Framework 2.0. Now you can enable or disable APM for an agent either during installation or a repair of the agent.

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Sponsored post: Altaro VM Backup Review

Recently Altaro VM Backup was released in a new version, 7.6. This VM backup solution works for Hyper-V and VMware and this version introduces a bunch of new features. In my lab environment I´m using their backup solution to back up my servers. I have written about this once before a couple of years back but since a lot has happened during the years, it´s time to write a new review.

The new stuff in this version are the following;
Continuous Data Protection (CDP)
When CDP is enabled, VMs can be backed up as frequently as every 5 minutes or the maximum frequency permitted by the backup location and environment. This ensures that in a data loss scenario only a few minutes of data would be lost.
Grandfather-Father-Son (GFS) Archiving
GFS enables users to choose to archive the backup versions over and above their continuous and daily backups instead of deleting them (local backups only).
Now you can easily set up separate backup cycles to store a new backup version every week, every month and every year.

And then a couple of bug fixes. Read more about the news and bug fixes here.

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