Sponsored post: Free Windows Admin Center Webinar from Altaro

If you’ve ever attended an Altaro webinar before, you’ll know these sessions are always highly informative and worthwhile events to remember. And this upcoming webinar on Windows Admin Center looks to be no exception!

Windows Admin Center is a powerful suite of management tools that was released along with Windows Server 2019, however with such a large number of features it can be difficult for regular Windows Server administrators to know what to focus on. This webinar, presented by Microsoft MVPs Andy Syrewicze and Eric Siron, is designed to do exactly that and demonstrate live the features of Windows Admin Center that give the greatest benefit to managing Windows Server!

How to Manage Windows Server Like a Boss will be held on April 9th and as always the webinar will be presented live twice at 2pm CEST/8am EDT/5am PDT and at 7pm CEST/1pm EDT /10am PDT. The reason they go through it all twice is to try and cater for live audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. Both sessions have the same content so it’s just a way of enabling as many people as possible to attend live and have the opportunity to ask questions while the guys present the content!

I’ll be attending the event and if you run Windows Server then this is a must-attend event for you too! Join me and save your seat today

Webinar Title: How to Manage Windows Server Like a Boss with Windows Admin Center

Presenters: Andy Syrewicze (Microsoft MVP) and Eric Siron (Microsoft MVP)

Date: Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Session 1: 2pm CEST / 8am EDT / 5am PDT

Session 2: 7pm CEST / 1pm EDT / 10am PDT

Save your seat for the webinar!

Sponsored post: Celebrate World Backup Every Day and WIN the CONTEST!

World Backup Day is something we’re used to mark as an event every year, as a reminder we need to take good care of our data. But this year Altaro challenges us to change our mindsets and start considering the value of a good backup solution not just once, but every day.

On this occasion, they’re launching this contest where you might win an Oculus Rift & Touch Virtual Reality System! Let’s hope you’ll be the lucky winner, but if not, they’re giving free eGift Amazon cards as well for all the valid entries. So, for those who want to give it a try, this seems to be a good time to do it.

To enter the contest, click here. Good luck and happy backup!

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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SCOM 1801 has been relased

Yesterday the news finally came, System Center 1801 has been relased. An with that, of course SCOM 1801.

This is the first release in the new Semi-Annual Channel which will release twice a year while the Long-Term Servicing Channel will be released at a much lower cadence.

But what´s the difference between these two tracks?
The Semi-Annual Channel

  • You will receive the latest updates and features with releases twice a year
  • Each build (1801,1807 etc.) is supported for 18 months, then you must move to a newer build
  • New features added (all the new features will be put into this channel)

The Long-Term Servicing Channel

  • You will receive new versions at a much slower pace (think SCOM 2012 and SCOM 2016 as an example)
  • 5 years of mainstream support and 5 years of extended support
  • Update Rollups only, mostly fixes and probably around zero new features added

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News about SCOM 1801

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced a coming big change for the System Center suite. Instead of launching new versions every fourth or fifth year as before, they will now release continuous updates. This means they will launch two new versions per year to fasten up the release cycles and to really keep the products up to date.

This isn´t anything new, it´s been done for Configuration Manager ever since Windows 10 launched about two years ago. This schedule, called “semiannual channel release” will now also include the other parts of the System Center suite. Except for System Center, this goes for Windows Server as well. Besides from Windows Server 2016, you can now download and install Windows Server 1709 (YY/MM).

The first release I will be looking at is the one that in the end will be named 1801. Last week Microsoft launched a Technical Preview of System Center 1711, a preview that will later become 1801 which is meant to be released in January.

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