Archive for the ‘SCOM 2012’ Category

Creating a map with server locations in OpsMgr 2012

June 15, 2013 Leave a comment


There are two new dashboards which use the new SCOMLocation information to provide information for Web Application Availability Monitoring.

Summary Dashboard – Map: This dashboard (and the Detailed Dashboard – List) are available when Web Application Availability Monitoring synthetic transactions have been created in the authoring pane. These dashboards are available in the Monitoring pane under Application Monitoring / Web Application Availability Monitoring / Test State by highlighting a synthetic transaction navigating to the Detailed Dashboard – Map option. This dashboard displays a map dashboard for the items which were highlighted when the task was run. Locations can be set for objects in OpsMgr 2012 using the New-SCOMLocation (which requires the display name, latitude and longitude) and Set-SCOMLocation PowerShell scripts. There are a variety of websites which can provide locations for various cities including

Detailed Dashboard – List: This dashboard displays a variety of information including the test status, total transaction time, time to first byte, content time, dns resolution time, time to last byte and content size for the Web Application Availability Monitoring synthetic transactions which were highlighted when this dashboard was navigated to.

PowerShell scripts related to location:

PowerShell scripts are used to work with the SCOMLocation information as shown below:



Script name                           Synopsis:

Get-SCOMLocation            Gets a location.

New-SCOMLocation          Creates a location to which you can assign agents.

Remove-SCOMLocation     Removes a location.

Set-SCOMLocation             Associates one or more agents with a location.

Update-SCOMLocation       Updates the settings of a geographic location instance.


To configure the location for an agent we can perform the steps shown below: (to define the location, to define the agent and then to assign the location to the agent)


How to remove duplicate or non-required location information? Avoid running this script multiple times as I have yet to find an easy way to remove a location once it has been defined.  Marnix Wolf has written a blog article on this topic available (and other good tips on web application availability monitoring at):


To create locations and assign latitude and longitude:

As an example, the first script below creates the locations and assigns them to latitude and longitude locations:

New-SCOMLocation –DisplayName “Austin” –Latitude 32.85 –Longitude -96.85

New-SCOMLocation –DisplayName “Tampa” –Latitude 27.9667 –Longitude -82.5333

New-SCOMLocation –DisplayName “Denver” –Latitude 39.75 –Longitude -104.867

New-SCOMLocation –DisplayName “Phoenix” –Latitude 33.4333 –Longitude -112.017

New-SCOMLocation –DisplayName “Washington” –Latitude 38.8900 –Longitude -77.03

To assign locations to agents:

The next script assigns the locations to the agents:

$Location = Get-SCOMLocation -DisplayName “Austin”      $Agent = Get-SCOMAgent -Name “”       set-SCOMLocation -Location $Location -Agent $Agent

    $Location = Get-SCOMLocation -DisplayName “Tampa”      $Agent = Get-SCOMAgent -Name “”       set-SCOMLocation -Location $Location -Agent $Agent       $Location = Get-SCOMLocation -DisplayName “Denver”       $Agent = Get-SCOMAgent -Name “”       set-SCOMLocation -Location $Location -Agent $Agent

$Location = Get-SCOMLocation -DisplayName “Washington”    $Agent = Get-SCOMAgent -Name “”     set-SCOMLocation -Location $Location -Agent $Agent

$Location = Get-SCOMLocation -DisplayName “Phoenix”      $Agent = Get-SCOMAgent -Name “”       set-SCOMLocation -Location $Location -Agent $Agent

[Note: Be very careful when cut and pasting in samples for creation of locations, an incorrect dash can be misinterpreted as the positive value instead of the negative and put your location on the other side of the world! (yes, it happened to me a couple of times writing this blog post)]

Using agents with locations assigned:

Now that agents are assigned, we can use these agents as part of the Web Application Availability Monitoring synthetic transaction. To do this use the Add Monitoring Wizard


Displaying the Summary Dashboard – Map:

From the Monitoring pane, open the Application Monitoring, Web Application Availability Monitoring, Test State and highlight the new Web Application Availability monitor which was defined.





Displaying the Detailed Dashboard – List:


From the Monitoring pane, open the Application Monitoring, Web Application Availability Monitoring, Test State and highlight the new Web Application Availability monitor which was defined.


By highlighting a synthetic transaction we can navigate to the Detailed Dashboard – List and see the systems which were identified to a location and their health state details as shown below!


Additional resources:

For further details on Web Application Availability Monitoring synthetic transactions on these dashboards see



[MMS 2013] Session in video are available

April 13, 2013 Leave a comment


The Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) brings together the brightest IT professionals from around the world to increase their technical expertise through an intensive week of training led by experts in desktop, device management, datacenter, and cloud technologies.

Microsoft published the videos of the sessions and you can watch them on Channel9 :

Demo OpsMgr 2012 network monitoring with Network device simulator

February 25, 2013 Leave a comment

There has been discussion lately around running SCOM 2012 and other SC products in the cloud for DEMO and POC purposes. One problem with running SCOM in a cloud solution is not having access to network device/s. There is a solution to this. You can run a network device emulator. This is available as software and will simulate a full network device that SCOM can then discover and monitor. You will find several network device emulation software packages out there with from a quick internet search. Here is a good tool that is free. It is called Xian SNMP Device Simulator and can be downloaded here:

SNMP Simulator Screenshot

The devices it can simulate are:

  • Cisco Switches
  • Cisco Router
  • Cisco Firewalls
  • Cisco VPN Concentrators
  • Cisco Wireless devices
  • 3Com Switches
  • HP Pro curve Switches
  • F5 Big Ip Nortel

You can simulate up to 15 devices with Xian SNMP Device Simulator . This same company has another tool that can be used as well that actually simulates network devices and traffic. This tool is called Xian NetFlow Simulator  and can be downloaded here:

The Xian NetFlow Simulator is not free but you can obtain a trial. The Xian NetFlow Simulator sends packets between a given source and a destination. You could use SCOM to monitor actual network traffic using this second tool.

The first tool has been around for some time but I thought I would post about it again with talk of running SCOM in the cloud for demos. Here is a reference to an old blog post on setting up Xian SNMP Device Simulator and monitoring it with SCOM.

Test/Demo OpsMgr 2012 network monitoring with Jalasoft’s network device simulator

Monitoring the Hybrid Microsoft Cloud

February 25, 2013 2 comments

he Microsoft Hybrid cloud, as it stands currently, is a mixture of a Hyper-V private cloud with an Azure public cloud, managed by System Center App Controller (formerly Concero).  One of the key pieces of the Microsoft solution is monitoring the health of the application (that the business really cares about) using System Center Operations Manager (OpsMgr).

Management packs make monitoring of Hyper-V, Windows, SQL, Exchange, CRM, hardware, storage, etc, easy.  You can put together end user perspective monitoring from the basic ping test to the advanced synthetic transaction, build service-centric distributed application models, and provide SLA monitoring of the LOB applications.  That’s got the private cloud covered.

There is also a management pack for Azure.  This allows you to monitor the availability, health, and performance of your public cloud services.  Let’s face it – even if Microsoft does/did provide a monitoring solution within Azure – can you really use a monitoring solution that is a part of the thing you are monitoring, i.e. the Microsoft public cloud?  I say no – and that’s the first reason why you should use OpsMgr and this management pack.  The second reason is that it allows you to integrate your monitoring of public and private clouds, giving you that mythical single pane of glass for monitoring.

  • The features of this management pack are:
  • Discovers Windows Azure applications.
  • Provides status of each role instance.
  • Collects and monitors performance information.
  • Collects and monitors Windows events.
  • Collects and monitors the .NET Framework trace messages from each role instance.
  • Grooms performance, event, and the .NET Framework trace data from Windows Azure storage account.
  • Changes the number of role instances via a task.

The prerequisites of it are:

  • The management group must be running Operations Manager 2007 R2 Cumulative Update 3.
  • The Windows Azure role must be published with full trust level. For more information about Windows Azure trust levels, see Windows Azure Partial Trust Policy Reference.
  • Windows Azure Diagnostics must be enabled. For more information about Windows Azure Diagnostics, see Implementing Windows Azure Diagnostics.
  • Windows Azure Diagnostics must be configured to forward diagnostic data to a Windows Azure storage account. For more information about configuring Windows Azure Diagnostics, see Transferring Diagnostic Data to Windows Azure Storage.
  • Microsoft .NET Framework version 2.0 or newer must be installed on the computer that you designate as the proxy agent when you configure the Monitoring Pack for Windows Azure Applications.

SCOM – Enable Agent Proxy Setting for all Installed Agents

February 16, 2013 1 comment

This is a quick post and mostly for my own reference but some people may find it interesting or useful.

When deploying SCOM agents in an environment, there is an ‘Agent Proxy’ setting that is disabled by default on all newly installed agents titled:

Allow this agent to act as a proxy and discover managed objects on other computers

If you install an agent onto for example, an Active Directory, SQL or Exchange server and leave this setting disabled, then SCOM will detect the agent as only being of the ‘Windows Server’ class and will not allow discovery of Active Directory, Exchange or SQL roles and attributes.

This setting is disabled by default as there is a potential risk associated by allowing an agent to discover external managed objects.

When installing a new SCOM solution, I tend to deploy agents to all of the servers that I know will need this setting switched on first (Exchange, AD, SQL, Hyper-V etc.). I then run a powershell command that turns this setting on for all of these agents in one quick swoop!!

Once all of the agents that I want to have this enabled on have it enabled, then I install the remaining Windows agents and leave the setting as its default of ‘disabled’.

Here’s how to do it:

Go to the ‘Security’ tab within the newly installed agent from the SCOM Administration console tab and check to see if the settings is disabled as below


Open up the ‘Operations Manager’ shell from a SCOM Management Server with administrative permissions as below:



When you have the Operations Manager Shell window opened as above, copy the script below into it and hit ‘Enter’

## Enable Agent Proxy for all agents where it is disabled
$NoProxy = get-agent | where {$_.ProxyingEnabled -match “false”}
$NoProxy|foreach {$_.ProxyingEnabled = $true}
$NoProxy|foreach {$_.ApplyChanges()}

Updated 5th May 2012: The script above will only work on SCOM 2007 R1/R2 and not SCOM 2012. See below for the SCOM 2012 equivalent:

## Enable Agent Proxy for all agents where it is disabled
$NoProxy = get-scomagent | where {$_.ProxyingEnabled -match “false”}
$NoProxy|foreach {$_.ProxyingEnabled = $true}
$NoProxy|foreach {$_.ApplyChanges()}

Updated (again!) 24th August 2012 – My good buddy Bob Cornelissen (fellow co-author of Mastering System Center 2012 Operations Manager and SCOM/OpsMgr ninja warrior) has just posted an even easier one-liner PowerShell command to enable agent proxy for all of your machines. Check out his post here and see his script below:

Get-SCOMAgent | where {$_.ProxyingEnabled.Value -eq $False} | Enable-SCOMAgentProxy

Once you have run the script above in the Operations Manager Shell window, go back to the ‘Agents’ window and open up your agents ‘Security’ tab again. You should now see that all agents present when you ran the powershell command have changed their ‘Agent Proxy’ setting to enabled!!



Keep in mind that this is just a simple powershell script that will enable the setting for all agents so if you want to specifically enable just a small amount and not the whole lot of them, then this isn’t the script for you!!

Operations Manager (SCOM) 2012 Upgrade Planning

January 11, 2013 Leave a comment

Since many organisations with SCOM 2007 will already be thinking about the upgrade to 2012 when it’s released, now is a good enough time as any to start planning the migration.

To help with the migration, Microsoft have recently released some process flow diagrams to help with the migration.

These can be found here and do a really good job with laying out the processes that need to be thought about and should hopefully help with a smooth migration as they’re very comprehensive.

OpsMgr MP Update: Lync Server 2010 MP version 4.0.7577.203

December 18, 2012 Leave a comment


Changes in This Update

Version 4.0.7577.203 of the Lync Server 2010 Management Pack includes the following changes:

Added functionality to support co-existence of management packs during migration from Lync Server 2010 to Lync Server 2013. For more information, see Coexistence with Lync Server 2013 Management Packs in the guide.
Fixed an issue that caused alerts from non-Windows computers that were not used by Lync.

Mostly this is about co-existing with a migration to Lync 2013, however the second bullet affect a lot of people, especially Unix/Linux machines where they generated an alert about a run-as account.