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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Monitoring Nano Server using SCOM

This post is covering Windows Server 2016 and SCOM 2016 TP4. A new post covering Windows Server 2016 and SCOM 2016 TP5 can be found here.

So its time for some blogging again. With all that we have in front of us with a new generation of System Center but also Windows Server 2016, there´s plenty of fun stuff to write about. In my last post I showed how to get started with the Nano server which is a part of Windows Server 2016. If you havent already, find it below.

The topic for this post is to show you how to monitor your Nano server that you created in the previous blog post using System Center 2016 Operations Manager TP4. For this post I have created a brand new Nano server according to the steps of the previous post meaning I will set up a new IIS server once again. I did run into some trouble while preparing this post so thanks to the Nano server product team for helping me out with some issues.
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A first look at the SCOM 2016 Technical Preview 2

As I mentioned in my last post which you can find here, SCOM 2016 has quite a lot of nice new features such as the scheduled maintenance mode. What I will show you briefly here is how to install the technical preview 2 of SCOM 2016 and what it takes to do so. You will also get a glimpse of the new scheduled maintenance mode feature 🙂 Download the Technical Preview of System Center 2016 here.
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System Center 2016 Operations Manager – What´s new

So as i mentioned in my last post, I was one of the lucky 23.000 persons who got to attend Microsoft Ignite in Chicago where IT professionals, exhibitors and Microsoft came together in a large conference to share all the news and to meet new people. Since I´m a SCOM fanatic and have been for a long time, I want to share some of the news that came up during the week on what we can expect from System Center 2016 Operations Manager.
Below is just a summary of what´s to come, I will evaluate the news in upcoming posts to give you a hint on what to expect.
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Send mail from SCOM

Have you ever wanted to send mail from SCOM just to notify someone of an alert and to easily provide them with all the information they need? Do you wish you could do this without adding notifications etc. inside SCOM? If you answered yes to those two questions, then you really should keep reading. The standard way in SCOM to send alerts via mail is to configure a SMTP server, add subscribers and then add subscriptions. That is great and provides you with the information you need but there might also come a time when you want to forward an alert to someone who´s not a subscriber in SCOM.
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Set up Azure Client Backup

A couple of weeks back I had a not so interesting (to put it mildly) moment when one of my hard drives failed and I lost contact with it. This wouldn´t have been a great issue if it wasn’t for the fact that 10 minutes later, another sudden disk death situation appeared. Of course, I had backup of (almost) all of the data meaning I just had to buy a couple of new disks and restore the information I could access from one of the failed hard drives. However, the other disk were completely dead and the only thing I could do was to return it to the manufacturer and get it replaced on the warranty. As I mentioned, almost all of the data were recovered (thank you OneDrive for keeping a lot of my files safe) and parts of it were recovered using Azure Client Backup. Continue reading

Visualize services and SLAs using SCOM and Live Maps

Operations Manager is to some people just known as a monitoring tool which can help you monitor your servers and applications. The monitoring can go really deep into both OS and applications to give you a real overview of your environment and you will also be warned when something´s about to go wrong followed by a critical alert if not taken care of. When you run your services and applications, such as web shops or other business critical systems you would want to know the status and availability of these services to be sure that they are up and running as supposed. Continue reading

Setting up the brand new Office 365 Management Pack for SCOM

During TechEd North America which took place in Houston in May, the OpsMgr product team gave us a sneak peek of the upcoming Office 365 Management Pack. This is something that I´m getting more and more questions about so this announcement just made me even happier about attending the session. So, yesterday when i got back from a week of vacation Microsoft had provided me with a gift by releasing the Management Pack last week. So what to do you may ask? The answer is simple, Try it out of course to see what it can do 🙂
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Group your virtual machines in SCOM

For a while, I´ve been struggling with a problem when configuring Operations Manager. As a consultant, I run into a lot of different issues to solve and one day isn’t like the other. However, this doesn’t mean I never run into the same issue twice. My problem have been to group all virtual machines in Operations Manager several times now. This is easy, at least if your VM´s are running on Hyper-V. So, what if you’re running your virtual machines on VMware? After having imported the management pack for Windows Server, there is a property named “Virtual Machine” that you can include in the views that comes with the MP or your custom views. This property however is only populated by Hyper-V machines leaving the VMware VM´s outside.
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Backup unsealed Management Packs in SCOM

When Operations Manager has been up and running for a while, a couple of overrides MP’s are created that we don´t want to lose. A while back, I wrote a blog post about how to schedule a backup of the custom MP’s using Powershell and Task Scheduler. Since that script were a bit longer than necessary, I decided to erase some lines of code to make it an easier script. If you want to read the old blog post, you can find it here.

So what does the script do?

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