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Adding new Alert Resolution States in SCE! May 21, 2007

Posted by Björn Axéll in SCE.
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For you that worked in Opsmgr 2007 you might have seen that you have an option to add new “Alert Resolution States”! In SCE, this setting was removed, but it looks like it will be implemented in SP1 and if you need to add new states now – Clive Eastwood has written a tool that you can use to add them!

http://blogs.technet.com/cliveeastwood/archive/200…

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Update – HP has released Proliant Management Pack for Opsmgr 2007! May 18, 2007

Posted by Björn Axéll in MP, SCE, SCOM.
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HP released an updated version of the Management Pack for Proliant servers. This new Management pack is build on Microsoft’s System Definition Model (SDM).

Download HP ProLiant Management Pack

 

Update – After input from a friend at http://www.msfaq.se/, I got the information that this management pack is not supported for SCE. I have now also been in contact with HP and I received the following information:

“We have not completed  our plans for SCE and will keep you informed once we have something we will announce. We ask SCE customers to wait”

 

I have also noted that HP will deliver different MP for 32 and 64 bit platforms!

Issues when using the "Import Updates from Partner Catalogs" in SCE May 15, 2007

Posted by Björn Axéll in SCE.
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In System Center Essentials (SCE), you have the option to import updates from partners by using the “Import Updates from partner catalogs”.

The two problems I have found is:

  1. Even if the wizard state that the import was successfully, the actual update files are not downloaded. In my tests I have tried to download updates from both of the partners that are provided in the wizard (Citrix System Inc. – Citrix Hotfix Catalog, 1E – 1E Updates Catalog). I have also tested to add Adobe and I get the same results.
    To verify this issue, open file explorer after the Wizard is done and brows to the “UpdateServicesPackages” directory. Here you will see a directory with the same name as the update and inside you will see a empty cab file!

    Example with a Citrix update:
    c:\UpdateServicesPackages\Presentation Server 4_0 Hotfix Rollup 3 for Windows 2003_d966ef96-4f41-498e-8f14-aabd2ef38a84
    Inside this directory you will find a empty directory and a empty cab file
    b7affa0c-78eb-47c5-af1e-e06cb7ac2308
    b7affa0c-78eb-47c5-af1e-e06cb7ac2308_1.cab

  2. One of the partners that have a “catalog file”, but not included in the “Import Updates from partner catalogs” is HP. Unfortunately HP host the “catalog files”  at a FTP site which SCE doesn’t support  (SCE only support http and https at the moment but this will hopefully be fixed in future versions). To “override” this, you can download the file and host it on your own web server, but then you will find the other problem – during the import of the updates the SCE Console will crash. The reason for the crash is the cab file itself that includes some errors.

Both of these issues have been reported to Microsoft and they are working on updates to fix it!

 

The server I used to test this has the following configuration:

  • Windows 2003 SP2 Eng (x86)
  • SQL Express
  • All SCE components on the same box
  • Swedish Regional Settings

 

If you have successfully imported partner Updates, please add a comment to this post with you configuration!

Problem when installing SCE and Opsmgr Reporting May 15, 2007

Posted by Björn Axéll in KB, SCE, SCOM.
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There is a known issue when you try to install SCE or Opsmgr 2007 Reporting in an environment where the Netbios name is not the same as the Active Directory DNS name (FQDN) for example:

Netbios name:contoso

AD DNS name (FQDN):contosodomain.local

In the SCE scenario, this will happen in the last step of the setup when it starts to install the reporting part. Since it will fail, all other part will “roll-back” and the installation will fail.

In the Opsmgr scenario, this will occur when you try to install the reporting “add-on”. Since this is a standalone component in Opsmgr, the only thing that will “rollback” is reporting and you can still use the Opsmgr console.

 

To verify this issue, look in the reporting log file (SCEReportingX.log) located under C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Temp. In the log file, you should find the following error:

Property(S): UnableToGetUserNameFromManagementServerActionAccount = SetPropertiesToManagementServerActionAndSDKAccountCA error: Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.Common.UnauthorizedAccessMonitoringException : The specified domain does not exist or cannot be contacted.
Property(S): UnableToGetUserNameFromManagementServerSDKAccount = SetPropertiesToManagementServerActionAndSDKAccountCA error: Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.Common.UnauthorizedAccessMonitoringException : The specified domain does not exist or cannot be contacted.

Another way to verify this issue is to start a network monitoring trace from the SCE/Opsmgr reporting server. During the installation, you will see that the setup is trying to contact the domain with the AD DNS name, but without the suffix. In my example above, you would see the installation trying to contact the domain contosodomain!

 

I know that the team is working on a hotfix and I hope it will be release this week! Update – The KB article is KB937831.Note that you will need to call CCS to receive the QFE (but they won’t charge for it)

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/937831

Three good ways to learn more about System Center Essentials (SCE) May 13, 2007

Posted by Björn Axéll in SCE.
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Would you like to learn more about System Center Essentials? Now you have three good ways to accomplish this:

  1. Download the pre-configured VHD from Microsoft. This is a pre installed and configured environment that you can use for testing.
  2. Try the System Center Essentials Virtual lab. Here you can test the product  without doing any installation. You can also follow a couple of scenario documentation to get un understanding of how the product works.
  3. Download the Evaluation of System Center Essentials and test to install it on your own.

New Management packs for SCE 2007 and Opsmgr 2007 May 11, 2007

Posted by Björn Axéll in MP, SCE, SCOM.
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There is two new management packs for System Center Essentials 2007 (SCE) and System Center Operations Manager 2007 (Opsmgr):

Windows Vista Client Monitoring Management Pack for Operations Manager 2007

Microsoft SMS 2003 Management Pack for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007

Note that the Vista Management Pack is un updated version compare to what is included in SCE!

System Center Essentials 2007 is released May 2, 2007

Posted by Björn Axéll in SCE.
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As a member in the System Center Essential TAP, this is a big millstone. I have been working with Microsoft the last 2 years and I think the product has really good potential as a System Management product for small and medium companies.

For you that haven’t heard about System Center Essentials (SCE), here is short review!

SCE is a “all in one” System Management product, design for small and medium companies. So, what is a “small and medium” size company? SCE is has a built in limit to monitor 30 servers and 500 clients. The “core” of SCE is built on two products, Windows Server Updates Services 3.0 (WSUS) and System Center Operations manager 2007 (SCOM 2007). With these products “under the hood”, SCE will provide:

Patch Management

SCE is able to handle patch management for all Microsoft product (the same as you have in a standalone WSUS), but it also has the function to import patches from other vendors. As of today, you can import updates from Adobe, Citrix, 1E and HP. Hopefully this list will grow! If this wasn’t enough, you can add “special” updates though a simple wizard.

Software Deployment

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to deploy all of your standard software in the same way you deploy patches? Since SCE uses WSUS, this is exactly what you get. Through a simple 3 step wizard you can add both msi and exe based setup files. When the files has been added to the server, you have the option to select a target for your applications!

Inventory

SCE delivers both Software and Hardware inventory. When you open the console, you get some inventory data that is valuable when trying to help/troubleshoot a client. If you need more detailed information you have a couple of reports that can be used.

Monitoring

Since SCE utilize System Center Operations Manager 2007 (SCOM), you get all the monitoring functionality you have in that product (some functions has been removed since it doesn’t “fit” the small and medium companies, for example Audit Collection Services and role based security). If you are familiar with MOM/SCOM, you probably know what a management pack is. SCE utilize the same management packs as SCOM, but some default values are change during import since the small and medium companies has other “needs” (this doesn’t mean you can’t turn them on). Except for monitor Windows computers, you can also monitor any SNMP device!

 

This is just the “overall” functions SCE will deliver, in the next couple of weeks I will post more details on different functions!

 

Download System Center Essentials 2007 Evaluation

Note! The evaluation copy of SCE has a limitation of 10 servers and 50 agents!

Network Device Monitoring in System Center Essentials 2007 May 1, 2007

Posted by Björn Axéll in SCE.
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Pete Zerger has written a very good article that describe the “Network Device Monitoring” feature in SCE.

Link to Pete’s Management BLOG….: Network Device Monitoring in Essentials 2007

Windows Server Update Services 3.0 (WSUS)Released May 1, 2007

Posted by Björn Axéll in WSUS.
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Microsoft has released a new version of there “Patch Management Tool”. There is a lot of new and enhanced functions in this release. One of the biggest change is the console, they removed the web console and added a new MMC based console. The new version can’t be installed on Windows 2000 server, you need Windows 2003 server or “Longhorn”. If you have your WSUS 2.0 on a Windows 2003 box, you will be able to do a in-place-upgrade.

 

Learn more about the new features in WSUS 3.0

Download WSUS 3.0

Management Pack Authoring Console available on connect May 1, 2007

Posted by Björn Axéll in SCE, SCOM.
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For all of you that would like to build Management Packs for System Center Operations Manager 2007 and System Center Essentials 2007, download the new Authoring Console from http://connect.microsoft.com. Note that the console is still a beta version, but it works against the RTM version of Opsmgr 2007 and SCE 2007.

You can install the console on both x32 and x64 platform (The authoring console requires the Operations Manager 2007 UI components to be installed before running)