Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Update Rollup 7 for System Center 2012 R2

It's that time of the Quarter again that we see Microsoft give us a lovely new set of Update Rollups to play with for System Center 2012 R2.

This time round we have updates for:
  • Orchestrator (Tradditional)
  • Service Management Automation (SMA)
  • Service Provider Foundation (SPF)
  • Data Protection Manager (DPM)
  • Virtual Machine Manager (VMM)
  • Operations Manager (SCOM) - This is now delayed
  • Service Manager (SCSM)
  • Windows Azure Pack (WAP)

Orchestrator (Tradditional)& Service Management Automation (SMA)



  • The Monitor SNMP Trap activity publishes incorrect values for strings when a Microsoft SNMP Trap Service connection is used.
  • When you select Stop Job or Stop Runbook, you receive the following error message:
  • Error executing the current operation. Cannot change the job status to 'Canceled'.
Service Management Automation (SMA)
  • SMA runbook execution fails if a PowerShell execution policy is set to "Unrestricted" through a Group Policy Object.
  • When you try to save or import a runbook in SMA, sometimes the following error in is logged in the event logs: Error occurred while uploading media resource.

Service Provider Foundation (SPF)



  • General API changes for quality improvements

Data Protection Manager (DPM)


New Features:

  • Windows 10 Support
  • Ability to use an alternate DPM Server to recover from Azure Backup vault


  • Hyper-V Replica Backup preference functionality change.
  • You try to create a new Protection Group or change the Protection Group but DPM sometimes does not show the latest folder structure on the File Server.
  • When you open the Recovery tab and try to obtain all the recovery points for a data source by using the “Show all recovery points” option, DPM does not show online recovery points. With this update, DPM shows online recovery points also. However, in case that you have many online recovery points, it might take some time to fetch and display all recovery points.
  • End User Recovery/SSRT may not work in some cases for mirrored SQL databases.
  • You receive an error while you install DPM update rollups.
  • The Azure portal has some restrictions on Import Job name and Storage Account Name strings. These validations were missing in DPM causing an error when you try to transfer initial backup copy Offline to Azure by using the Azure import/export functionality.
  • You cannot protect an SQL database on an Availability Group (AG) in case different AGs have the same database name.
  • In some cases, alerts resolved in DPM are not synced up in the DPM Central Console.
  • If you try to protect large number of VMs in a single Protection Group and have the VMM Helper Service enabled, few backups may fail and you receive the following exception: System.TimeoutException

Virtual Machine Manager (VMM)

Two other updates are available, but don't seem to have a KB page yet - KB3078314 & KB3078315

New Features:

  • Support for Windows 10 Client Operating System
  • Support for new Linux Operating Systems
  • Support for VMWare vCenter 5.5 management scenarios
  • Support for Multiple External IP Addresses per Virtual Network
  • Option to Reassociate Orphaned virtual machines to their Service or VM role
  • Support for VMM DHCP Extension PXE/TFP Forwarding


Too many to list, check the KB Articles.
However, I haven't spotted it, but I was hoping for a fix to the constant MSI reinstallation issues.
I'll check further and update.

Service Manager (SCSM)



  • Service Manager does not let users save any changes in a form, and the user receives the following error message. This issue occurs if any workflow or another user has made changes to same item at the same time. - Fixed (Kindof)
  • Employee-Manager relationship is not established when both the users are imported through different Active Directory connectors.
  • MPSync Data Warehouse job stops responding very frequently because deployer jobs in Data Warehouse try to re-create already existing Primary & Foreign keys.
  • During execution of the Active Directory connector, the Console may experience a significant decrease in performance because the Active Directory connector performs a full sync after every Domain Controller failover.
  • With this update installed, the Active Directory connector should sync only those items which have changed after a previous sync, including after a Domain Controller failover.
  • If a user changes from having a manager in Active Directory not to having a manager, the relationship is not removed or updated in the configuration management database (CMDB).
  • The Get-SCDWInfraLocations cmdlet (included in Update Rollup 5) is improved to support Automation and all PowerShell standards including the following:
    • Now it is renamed to “Get-SCDWInfraLocation” – It was done to make it follow powershell naming convention standards.
    • Originally it expected “DWServer” parameter but now it was removed. Now it accepts the same parameters as other DW Cmdlets and parameter “ComputerName” can be used to pass DW Server name. and the parameter “Credential” is used for passing Credentials to log on to the DW Server. These parameters are same across most of the DW Cmdlets.
    • Now it returns an object to Powershell pipeline instead of just text output. It enables this Cmdlet to be automation friendly which means this Cmdlet can be used in scripting.
    • Default format of the output is Table format and can be customized.
    • Detailed Help documentation is added to the Cmdlet.
  • The Actual Start Date and Actual End Date fields are not populated for most activities. After this update is installed, these fields should be populated for all types of activities in Service Manager.
  • The Service Manager console crashes when you try to open an email message with a colon (:) in its name that was attached to an Incident through Exchange Connector (such as for prefixes “RE:” and “FW:” that are added by Outlook).
  • The SLA information that appears in the Service Manager console does not reflect an updated status in Data Warehouse if there are multiple status changes during extract.
  • The request offering wizard displays a cryptic "XML parsing error" and prevents the user from continuing with the request offering creation. This causes a problem if management packs are changed in Visual Studio (or any program that "pretty-prints" XML).

Operations Manager (SCOM) - This is now delayed


The update is now available - https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3064919

  • The home page link in the Web Console Noscript.aspx file is vulnerable to cross-site scripting (XSS)
  • "Agents by Health State" report shows duplicate entries and inconsistent data
  • Dependent tables are not groomed (Event.EventParameter_GUID table)
  • Management Packs do not synchronize between management servers
  • Leaked transaction causes over 100 SPIDs in SCOM database to be permanently blocked by the "p_DataPurging" stored procedure
  • Operations Manager SDK crashes because of SQL errors when QueryResultsReader.Dispose is called
  • You can't view dashboard performance counters that are created by using the TCP Port Monitoring template
  • Dynamic inclusion rule is added to a group definition unexpectedly if an explicit member instance of the group disappears
  • You can't create group by using the SQL Server 20XX Installation Seed
  • Add MPB support to the SCOM online catalog
  • Active Directory Integration in Perimeter Network fails when there is only an RODC present
  • System Center Operations Manager subscriptions that use the filter to search for specific text in the description (of the message) do not work
  • CLR load order change
  • Problems in obtaining monitoring objects by using "managementGroup.EntityObjects.GetObjectReader"
  • The "Threshold Comparison" setting in the consecutive-samples-over-threshold monitor cannot be configured
  • Agentless Exception Monitoring (AEM) causes the Health Service to crash because the maximum path length of 248 character is exceeded
  • After you update management packs, the newly added default (visible) columns to view are not visible automatically
  • Branding update for Operations Management Suite

Unix and Linux Management Packs
  • In some cases, Unix and Linux agents report incorrect CPU Percent Processor Time
  • A Logical Disk Health alert is not generated for a UNIX or Linux Logical Disk (file system) that is unmounted if the mount point exists after the file system is unmounted
  • Debian 8 Support

Windows Azure Pack (WAP)



  • Tenants cannot delete the checkpoints of their virtual machines
  • Support for VM Names of up to 15 characters
  • Displaying VHD items during virtual machine creation when there are no Hardware profiles in the plan
  • Incompatible VHDs are offered to the Tenant when attaching a VHD to a Virtual Machine
  • Support for Tenant Plan viewing and self-subscription permission based on Security Groups
  • Support for Shielded Virtual Machine Management when it is run on Windows 10 Server Preview
  • Virtual Machine performance data displayed in the tenant portal
  • This update includes other fixes to improve overall product quality.

Friday, 17 July 2015

No software shown in the SCSM CMDB

This is an old one, but just saw it again in a customers environment so thought I'd quickly blog it.

On a new implementation of Service Manager (SCSM), the Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) connector was put in place to the customers existing ConfigMgr 2012 R2 deployment and the computer objects started to synchronise across.

However, when the checking the CMDB in SCSM it was noticed that there was no software listed as installed on the Computer CI's and nothing showing in the Software view.

A quick check showed that the customer, while having Asset Intelligence enabled, didn't have the SMS_InstalledSoftware class enabled.

Enabling this class then allows for the related software to be synchronised across via the connector.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Removing default Support Group Tiers (and other bits) from SCSM 2012 R2 with PowerShell

When you install Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Service Manager and open the console, one of the first things you see are some default views for Incident Management for Support Groups based on the default supplied Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 list items.

This is to give newcomers at least a bit of a view of how you can start to organise the system, however these are supplied as part of the default ServiceManager.IncidentManagement.Configuration management pack are can't just be deleted from the console as the list enums are linked to some of the default Templates as well as the views.
It's already a fairly well documented process and can be found here for example:

However... I've never been a fan of doing things manually and after forgetting to remove them the other day and having an issue after importing a custom management pack, I thought I'd try to make the process easier.
So I've uploaded a PowerShell script to the TechNet Gallery that automates the process.


This script can be used with or without any parameters and should be run from an SCSM Management Server (it may work from a workstation with the console installed, I just haven't had chance to try) and will do the following:

  • Export the ServiceManager.IncidentManagement.Configuration management pack
  • Read in the XML
  • Increase the version count of the MP by 1
  • Remove Support Group Tier Enums
  • Remove the Category references
  • Remove the Tier 1 Support Group assignment from the default Incident templates
  • Remove the Incident Support Group (Assigned and Unassigned) views
  • Remove the Support Group folder
  • Removethe Folder Items
  • Remove Image References
  • Remove String Resources
  • Remove Display Strings
  • Save the XML back to the file
  • Reimport the management pack
Bear in mind that updates and future versions of Service Manager may replace this management pack and add the removed items back. If they do (and things haven't changed too much) you should only need to re-run this script to remove them again.

As always, the usual disclaimer...
Please test this script first in a non production test environment. While it works for me, I cannot take responsibility if it damages your environment.