Sunday 31 October 2010

IPD Guide - Microsoft System Center Service Manager 2010 (SCSM)

I'm back from sunny Florida and thought I'd reopen the blog with this post:

A new Infrastructure Planning and Design Guide has just been released as an open Beta for Microsoft System Center Service Manager 2010.

I've personally used a few of the IPD guides now and have found them extremely useful, if for nothing else they give a great start to any documentation that you might need to support a business case to implement a technology in a smart and presentable fashion that senior management will be impressed by.
Blurb taken from the connect site:
This IPD guide takes the IT architect through an easy-to-follow process for successfully designing the servers and components for a System Center Service Manager implementation, resulting in a design that is sized, configured, and appropriately placed to deliver the stated business benefits, while also considering the performance, capacity, and fault tolerance of the system.
The guide covers these key steps in the System Center Service Manager infrastructure design process:
  • Defining the project scope by identifying the necessary System Center Service Manager features, the requirements of the process management packs, and the targeted population of the organization.
  • Mapping the selected features and scope to determine the required server roles.
  • Designing the fault tolerance, configuration, and placement of the management servers, portals, and supporting SQL Server databases.
The IPD Guide for System Center Service Manager 2010 can help you reduce planning time and costs, and ensure a successful rollout of System Center Service Manager—helping your organization to more quickly benefit from this platform for automating and adapting IT Service Management best practices such as those found in Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) and the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL).

Sunday 17 October 2010

Holiday Time!

It's going to be quiet on here for the next couple of weeks (Really bad timing with ConfigMgr R3 being released!!) as I'm off on my travels.

So I've not abandoned blogging, just taking a well earned break.


Friday 15 October 2010

3rd Party Extensions for Service Manager

Looking to increase the features and flexibility of Service Manager 2010?
Then it’s worth taking a look at some of the available features offered by Microsoft Partners:
Seven Winds Call Script Manager Solution
This tool is the solution for an elementary problem existing within each service desk organization, consistency in the manner upon which incidents are registered at the 1st line of support.

Intel® vPro™ Management Pack for System Center Service Manager 2010 is used to provide access to KVM Remote Control, IDE-Redirection and Power Control of systems.

Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) Management Pack
The IT GRC Process Management Pack for System Center Service Manager provides end-to-end compliance and risk management covering people, process, and technology.

Partner Demo: Absolute Software Locks Stolen/Lost Computers Remotely from Service Manager Console
Not sure if this is available yet, as I can’t find it listed on Absolute’s website, but it looks great.

Savision LiveMaps
Live Maps extends Microsoft’s System Center allowing for networks, systems, services and business processes to be dynamically visualized onto easy-to-understand displays.

End-to-End Compliance Management with Full Armor Policy Portal
PolicyPortal is a Software + Services offering built on top of Windows Azure that provides scalable endpoint management through the cloud. PolicyPortal can deliver applications, secured documents, security policies through Group Policy Objects and manage compliance for any remote, heterogeneous end-point.

ATEA/Spintop Accelerator Service Request Portal
Accelerator is a self-service portal for ordering and managing IT services including process automation for executing orders. The main purpose of the portal is to provide users a single point for ordering services and an automated process for delivering the services, thereby replacing manual tasks in the IT-organization.

Provance IT Asset Management Pack
It extends Microsoft System Center Service Manager with additional functionality to manage the financial, contractual and organizational information necessary to support Software Asset Management, License Compliance, IT Asset Life Cycle Management, and more cost-effective and efficient IT Service Management.

Bay Dynamics IT Analytics
IT Analytics™ for System Center leverages advanced business intelligence and analytics technology to enable users to maximize the value of the data that resides within System Center databases by providing multidimensional ad-hoc analysis, Key Performance Indicators, and robust graphical trending.
Dundas Dashboards
More of a Proof of Concept, but it looks really good.
Check here for the
Engineering Team Blog post which also has a link at the bottom to a demo site to see it in action.

Service Manager 2010 Dashboards
These dashboards not only deliver actionable information out of the box, but also provides a flexible framework which allows easily customizing and extending these dashboards to meet their specific needs.

Thursday 14 October 2010

Missing R3 KB977384 Hotfix

Thanks to Jason Sandys for posting the link on the ConfigMgr forums:

SCCM (ConfigMgr) R3

ConfigMgr R3 is available to download from the MVLS site so I'm off to put it in the test lab and write up a quick install guide.

Until then, the release notes can be found here:

Main things to note is it advises downloading the latest help file for SCCM as it's not updated during install, but the link provided relates to the March 2010 updated help file which does not contain any of the R3 information.

However, the help file is up-to-date on the Media until they fix the link.

Also, don't forget that all the new Power Management reports in R3 require SQL Reporting Services, so if you haven't got it installed and working yet, time to get it ready!

As Marnix Wolfe is a fan of the saying.. RTFM, RTFM, RTFM!

I've already started to notice a few bits in the documentation, the main thing being the need to deploy the hotfix mentioned in Article 977384.  Fine, except this article doesn't seem to actually exist. I'm wondering if it's actually supposed to be a reference to (Update 14/10/2010 - maybe not actually.)

Angie Stahl however does have a really good blog post about using SCUP to send this update out.

Configuration Manager 2007 R3 - Finally Released!

To the sound of a fanfare of trumpets......

Configuration Manager 2007 R3 has finally been released!!

It's been a while coming and I've been patiently waiting since MMS 2010 when I thought it was almost ready.  Shame I'm away on holiday for the next two weeks, can't wait to get started.

Here's the link to the System Center Nexus release post:

Wednesday 13 October 2010

System Center Support Document RSS Feeds

I noticed a blog post on the Operations Manager blog today regarding the RSS feeds found on the Solution Center page for SCOM 2007.

I've been to each Solution Center page for the System Center products and consolidated the RSS feed links here:

Operations Manager
Configuration Manager
Service Manager - No current Solution Center RSS Feed, but I've linked the Engineering Team Blog Feed
Virtual Machine Manager
Data Protection Manager
Opalis - No current Solution Center RSS Feed, but I've linked the TechNet Wiki Feed

System Center Hotfixes, Updates and Articles

Kevin Holman has maintained for a while now the most useful list of hotfixes (imho) required/available for Operations Manager.

That got me thinking, are there any other useful collections of updates, service packs, knowledge base articles etc available for the other System Center products?

Couple of hours later.......
** Updated 14/10/2010 - List of ConfigMgr KB Articles Link Added  and more Opalis Information**
** Updated 07/01/2011 - Service Manager SP1, ConfigMgr R3 & Opalis 6.3 information **
** Updated 18/06/2011 - Service Manager SP1 CU2, ConfigMgr Driver Hotfix **

WMI Hotfixes:
Not strictly a System Center product, but WMI is critical for ConfigMgr & OpsMgr.
WMI related hotfixes post SP2 for Server 2003
WMI related hotfixes post SP2 for Server 2008
WMI related hotfixes post RTM for Server 2008 R2

Microsoft KB2591403 on Suggested WMI Hotfixes

Configuration Manager 2007 Hotfixes/KB Articles

Configuration Manager 2007 R3 Eval download - for Select & Technet users check the MVLS and Technet sites for the download.
KB977384 Hotfix for ConfigMgr 2007 SP2 - Needed for R3

KB2213600 - Duplicate Driver import for ConfigMgr 2007 SP2 - changes the driver import behavior.

SCCM 2007 Asset Intelligence - Certificate Update
Steve Rachui's ConfigMgr R3 Introduction

SP2 Download
List of hotfixes and updates contained in ConfigMgr Service Pack 2

Excel File with Post SP2 Hotfixes listed along with KB Article Links

ConfigMgr 2007 Troubleshooting: List of ConfigMgr KB Articles

List of ConfigMgr 2007 Log Files

Service Manager 2010

Service Pack 1 Product Documentation Download
Service Pack 1 Technet Documentation

Service Pack 1 Retail/Eval Download - If you're using the Select or Technet version then download SP1 from either the MVLS site or Technet

Cumulative Update 2 for Service Pack 1

AD Connector hotfix for System Center Service Manager 2010 SP1 CU2 (KB2561415)

The most Service Manager information you could imagine gathered into one place by Kurt Van Hoecke

Operations Manager 2007
Kevin Holmans recomended list of SCOM Hotfixes
Cumulative Update 5 (CU#5) for SCOM 2007 R2


Opalis 6.3 Upgrade Package
Opalis 6.3 WITH 6.2.2 Package
*Please note you can only download and use this software if you are a licensed holder of a qualifying Microsoft System Center Server Management Suite Enterprise (SMSE) and/or Microsoft System Center Server Management Suite Datacenter (SMSD) license.*

Opalis 6.2.2 SP1 Release Announcement and Workflows
SP1 for Opalis Integration Server 6.2.2
Opalis Operator Console Installer Script
Opalis Operator Console Software Requirements - Provided by Marnix Wolfe in this post

Compehensive walk through of an Opalis Installation

Opalis on CodePlex

Opalis Operator Console installer from Kelverion

This is not a definitive list by any stretch of the imagination, and is more for my referrence so I can dump update links etc as I find them to save having to memorise yet another url.

Yong Rhee [MSFT] - The Troubleshooters and Problem Solvers... - WMI Hotfix lists
Configuration Manager Support Team Blog
Kevin Holman - SCOM Updates
Marnix Wolf - Opalis Links
Kurt Van Hoecke
Cliff Hobbs - ConfigMgr KB Articles Link
Graham Davies - Opalis Installation Walkthrough

Friday 8 October 2010

Updating user details in Active Directory from changes within Service Manager

Travis Wright has just posted a brilliant video on the SCSM Engineering blog on how to use a workflow and a powershell script to modifiy an attribute in Active Directory based on a change in the CMDB in Service Manager.

The blog post concentrates on updating the Business Phone number in AD, but this is equally valid for any attribute on any change and not just for AD.

Tuesday 5 October 2010

Microsoft System Center Service Manager - Asset Management Pack

I thought I'd post a quick one regarding the Asset Management MP that I'm currently working on since it's getting nearer completion.

If I'm feeling brave enough I might just release this to the community, but it will obviously need some tweaking as it's geared towards Local Government.

Here's a few screenshots for now:

Console Folders & Views

Peripheral View

Peripheral Custom Form

I'm currently just finishing off the reports for the MP (Stock levels, items deployed in defined timescale etc)and I'll start work on a detailed blog post later tomorrow.

Saturday 2 October 2010

IT Governance, Risk & Compliance for System Center

The IT GRC accelerator was released this week and uses a combination of Service Manager, Configuration Manager (DCM) and processes aligned to ITIL and MOF to help organisations assess and remedy compliance and risk issues.

I'm hoping to put this in our test environment next week so post back once I've had a play.

From the initial notes it looks like the first management pack will only check Server 2008, 2008 R2 and Windows 7 devices.  I really hope that either this isn't the case or they get on with releasing a 2003/XP pack soon!

Friday 1 October 2010

Server 2008 R2 Print Services Management Pack - Workaround

I've been complaining for ages about Microsoft's lack of support for Print Services on Server 2008 R2 via their SCOM print management pack.

Finally I'd had enough of it and made some time to sit down with Rob to take a look.

The end result is that Rob has produced a simple management pack that runs a discovery with the correct WMI query to look for 'Print and Document Services' rather than 'Print Services' and populate the group used by the Microsoft MP so that the rest of the Microsoft MP will discover the printers on the R2 server and collect the performance data.

You can find the MP at the bottom of Robs blog post.

This is NOT a supported method; this pack has been created as a personal temporary fix so use at your own discretion.
Use at 'your own risk' and AS-IS with no warranties. As always use a test environment.

SCSM - What's using my DB Space?

Useful query pulled from the Service Manager forums where a user (Victor Gacitua) stated they were having issues with a rather large Service Manager DB.

This will show the top 100 items in the DB and the page counts etc they use.
TOP 100, OBJECT_NAME(i.object_id), dps.used_page_count, dps.in_row_used_page_count, dps.lob_used_page_count, dps.row_overflow_used_page_count, dps.row_count
FROMsys.dm_db_partition_stats dps
JOIN sys.partitions p
ON dps.partition_id = p.partition_id
JOIN sys.indexes i
ON p.index_id = i.index_id AND p.object_id = i.object_id
ORDERBY dps.used_page_count DESC