You are browsing the archive for 2011 July.

Best of MMS 2011 – Introduction to Opalis and a Sneak Peek at System Center Orchestrator

12:21 pm in Uncategorized by Christopher Keyaert

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Get a sneak peak preview of System Center Orchestrator and see what Opalis can do in your environment today.

By combining the power of the system center suite, we will demonstrate an entire workflow automated through Opalis. This will provide the attendees a view of the Opalis solution and how to implement runbook solutions with or without other System Center Products.

Watch the video : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/edge/introduction-to-opalis-and-a-sneak-peek-at-system-center-orchestrator

Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 Resources :
Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 beta is available as public beta at the Microsoft Download Center : http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=26503

Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 Team Blog : http://blogs.technet.com/b/scorch/

TechNet Forums for System Center Cross Platform and Interoperability :http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/category/scinterop

Cheers
Christopher KEYAERT
http://twitter.com/keyaertc

System Center Orchestrator 2012 : Activate the Audit Trail

9:40 am in Uncategorized by Christopher Keyaert

The Audit Trail is a collection of text file logs that contain information about the interaction of a Runbook with external tools and systems. This provides a quick method to identify what and who made changes for audit purposes.

How to activate/deactivate the Audit Trail:
  • Open a command prompt with the Run as administrator privilege.
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  • and go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft System Center\Orchestrator 2012\Opalis Integration Server\Management Service
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  • To activate the Audit Trail: atlc /enable
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  • To deactivate the Audit Trail: atlc /disable
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Where are the audit files ?

In the folder : C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft System Center\Orchestrator 2012\Opalis Integration Server\Management Service\Audit
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The file contains information about the date and time at which the policy was launched, the user name and domain that launched the policy, the name of the computer where the policy ran, and the name of the policy that was launched.image

In the folder : C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft System Center\Orchestrator 2012\Opalis Integration Server\Action Server\Audit
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The file contains information about the date and time at which the activity ran, the name of the action server it ran on, the ID of the Policy Module that ran it, and the Object XML.
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For having a better view, I advise your to copy/paste the output into a XML indenter tool (Example : http://xmlindent.com/).
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Depending on how many policies you run and how many objects those policies contain, the Audit Trail may consume a large amount of disk space on the computer that runs the management server and action server. (When a file reaches 200 megabytes in size, a new file is created) Two solutions, active it only when needed and cleaned the files after, or create a little Runbook for archiving these files to another location.

Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 Resources :
Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 beta is available as public beta at the Microsoft Download Center : http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=26503

Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 Team Blog : http://blogs.technet.com/b/scorch/

TechNet Forums for System Center Cross Platform and Interoperability :http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/category/scinterop

TechNet Library – Audit Trail : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg464925.aspx

Cheers
Christopher KEYAERT
http://twitter.com/keyaertc

Best of MMS 2011 – Operations Manager 2012: Overview, Setup and Configuration

9:24 am in Uncategorized by Christopher Keyaert

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This session will provide you with an overview of the capabilities in OpsMgr 2012. With Operations Manager 2012 public beta, this session will get you started by explaining the new OpsMgr 2012 configuration – without an RMS!! We’ll also look at configuring high availability and pooling of management servers, as well as other new concepts to be sure that you are ready to get the most out of the upcoming beta.

Watch the Video : Operations Manager 2012: Overview, Setup and Configuration

Resources :
System Center Operations Manager 2012 Beta : Installation step by step
System Center Operations Manager 2012 Beta : Available for download

Cheers
Christopher KEYAERT
http://twitter.com/keyaertc

System Center Orchestrator 2012 : Copy Folder activity

2:13 pm in Uncategorized by Christopher Keyaert

Hi All,

As you probably notice, in the default activities available with Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 Beta, there is no Copy Folder activity.
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Someone asked why during one of the Community Evaluation Program meetings and the answer was quite simple : “RoboCopy could easily take care of this task”. Here we go, I will show you how to simply use Robocopy in a System Center Orchestrator 2012 Runbook.

Today scenario will be a content copy of the folder C:\SCO\FolderSource (including files / sub-folders)

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into another folder C:\SCO\FolderDestination.

For that we will use the command Robocopy and two default Orchestrator activities, the Initialize Data and the Run Program.
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Once done, we will create two new variables, one for our Source folder and the other for our Destination Folder.
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Back to our Runbook, we could go directly in the properties of the Run Command activity.
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  • Mode : we choose Command execution.
  • Details > Computer : I chose to run the command by the Orchestrator server, so right click in the Computer Field, choose Returned Data, check the box Show common Returned Data and select Runbook Server Name.
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  • Details > Command : Robocopy is built-in in Windows 2008, so we could call it directly. If you are running Windows Server 2003, you will have to download it and to specify the path in the command field.

After calling robocopy, we specify the two variables (FolderSource and FolderDestination) that we defined earlier, and finally we specify the parameters : /E /COPYALL /TS /FP

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All the details about the parameters could be found here : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc733145(WS.10).aspx

Our Copy Folder Runbook is now ready to run. Just press on the Run button and check the log history :
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A little look in our destination folder, we could see that all the content has been well copied.
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Of course this is a really simple activity, now you could re-use it in any of your existing Runbooks.

This Runbook is available here : DOWNLOAD

Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 Resources :
Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 beta is available as public beta at the Microsoft Download Center : http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=26503

Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 Team Blog : http://blogs.technet.com/b/scorch/

TechNet Forums for System Center Cross Platform and Interoperability :http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/category/scinterop

Cheers
Christopher KEYAERT
http://twitter.com/keyaertc

System Center Operations Manager 2012 Beta : Installation step by step

8:47 am in Uncategorized by Christopher Keyaert

As you are already aware, System Center Operations Manager 2012 Beta is now available for public download. Smile The download link is available in my previous post : System Center Operations Manager 2012 Beta : Available for download

Once the file downloaded, you have to uncompressed it and let takes a look to the SCOM2012 installer.
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Here the first screen of the new System Center Operations Manager 2012 installer.
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So let’s go, click on install and we have now the license agreement.image

In the following screen, you could choose which components you want to install. In my lab, I’m using a separate SQL Server which is also hosting the SQL Reporting service role. So I will uncheck the box for the Reporting Server component for the moment and we will install it later in this post, directly on the SQL server.image

If you keep the box checked without having the Sql Reporting service installed on your current computer, you will be block later in the setup process.image

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So, we continue the setup process without the Reporting Server component. Here we just have to choose the Installation folder.
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The new prerequisites checker is now in progress.
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And the result. In my lab, two blocking prerequisites.
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First one, I have to install the Report Viewer Controls. This is available as free download at the following url : http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=3841
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The second one is the IIS 6 Metabase Compatibility role missing.image

Go the Server Manager, add role and now check the IIS 6 Metabase Compatibility.image

We recheck the prerequisites, and we just still have two warnings. As I’m using Virtual Machines in a lab environment, we could ignore it and continue the setup process.
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Totally new environment, so we create a new management group.image

We are now at the SQL part of the setup, I specified my SQL 2008 R2 server name and the setup directly detects that the SQL Server Full-Text-Search is not installed on it.
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Go to the SQL Server and run the SQL installer.
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In the setup, we just have to add a component to an existing instance and we check the Full-Text-Search component.
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Go back to our SCOM2012 installation, the setup is now ok with the configuration of the Operational database and to let us continue.
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Now, the parameters for the Warehouse database.image

For the web console, we choose the Default Web Site :image

Choose your authentication mode for the web console. As it’s for internal use only, the Mixed Authentication is the one that we have to choose.image

The credentials part is one of the most interesting and important of the setup. I decided to use one dedicated account as Server Action Account. This account will be use for agent deployment, tasks, …. and a second account for reading and writing into the databases.
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We have to create two news users domain.
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Adding them as local admin of our future SCOM2012 management server and also as local Admin of the SQL Server.
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Now, there is a part on which I’m not really sure. For installing the DB, is the setup will use my current credentials ? Or is the setup will use the service account that we provided. (I will update the post when I ‘ll receive the answer Winking smile)

In doubt, we go to the SQL server credentials and we add the SCOM2012_DB account as SysAdmin. Like this, the setup process will be able to create the DBs and assign it the rights.
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Go back to the SCOM Installation, We just have to provide the credentials of the two accounts that we created.
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My lab VMs don’t have internet access, so I’m not able to participate to the Customer Experience Improvement Program, but if you could, please do it.
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SCOM2012 seems to be part now of the Microsoft Update program. Option that I will test when I will have a lab with internet access.
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The installation Summary where we could review all the information we provided.
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Installation in progress……
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Woua, setup completed Smile
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I opened the new SCOM2012 console… and first surprise…. I’ve got already some alerts Confused smile
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So, It’s seems that the Action Account that we provided during needs to have Read/Write to the WareHouse Db ? What for ? As we already provided a separate service account for the DBs access. Personally, I think that this is a little bug of this first beta release, I will retrieve it to the Microsoft Connect Site.

Ok, but how to solve this ? Simply go to the SQL server, in the credentials part. We open the properties of the Action Account (SCOM2012_AA) and in the User Mapping part, we set the same rights than the SCOM2012_DB account has on the OperationsManagerDW database.
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As we already are in the SQL Studio, we could also remove the SysAdmin right that we granted to the SCOM2012_DB account during the setup process. This is not needed anymore.
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Once done, all the alerts disappeared Smile
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Ok, so now, what’s about the reporting ? Go to the SQL server where we have the Sql Reporting Services installed and Run the SCOM2012 Setup, click on Install.
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Select only the Reporting Server component.
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Installation folder location.
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Prerequisites checker.
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We have to specify one management server of our SCOM2012 infrastructure.
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We are now able to select the SQL Server instance for reporting services.
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Red Cross, this is not good Confused smile
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Hopefully, Microsoft did a great work on the SCOM2012 installer, and simply by clicking on the Red Cross, we have the reason of the failure.
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We simply have to start the SQL Server Agent service and to set it to Automatically.
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We specify the DB reader account that we already used before.
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If you server has internet access, please choose Yes.
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As I said before, my lab servers don’t have internet access, so I will handle the updates manually.
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The installation Summary report.
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Go for the installation.
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Once done, we’re now able to generate reports in your all new SCOM 2012 infrastructure.
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Stay tune for next posts about SCOM2012 Smile

Cheers
Christopher KEYAERT
http://twitter.com/keyaertc

System Center Operations Manager 2012 Beta : Available for download

5:39 pm in Uncategorized by Christopher Keyaert

System Center Operations Manager 2012 Beta is now available for public download.

Here’s what’s new

  • Rich application performance monitoring and diagnostics for .NET applications plus JEE application health monitoring
  • Support for monitoring heterogeneous environments
  • Integrated network device monitoring and alerts
  • Simplified management infrastructure (no more RMS)
  • Common console across datacenter and clouds with customizable dashboards

Microsoft Download link : DOWNLOAD
Microsoft Official announcement : Read it

Cheers
Christopher KEYAERT
http://twitter.com/keyaertc

System Center Orchestrator 2012 : Data Manipulation

9:45 am in Uncategorized by Christopher Keyaert

In some of your Runbooks, you will have to read text files, csv files, SQL results, and you have to extract, to manipulate these data for using it into other activities.

Orchestrator 2012 enables you to manipulate string data from text files, Published Data items, or other sources, and convert it into a usable form. You can also perform arithmetic operations, such as calculating sums and differences, and performing division and multiplication operations. For example, you can extract text from a text file using a text file management object, trim leading and trailing spaces from the text, and then retrieve specific parts of the text that you can pass to other objects as Published Data items.

I will demonstrate all that by using the following activities :
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The Initialize Data activity is just use here as the start command of the Runbook, no need of any configuration.
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The Read Line activity will return the raw data that we want to manipulate. We simple read the first line of a text file.
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The Send Platform Event activity will be use for manipulating the data and showing the result.
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For using the Orchestrator embedded data manipulations functions, we have to enclosed in square brackets (‘[‘ and ‘]’). Keep also in mind that the functions are case-sensitive.

Upper/Lower – converts text functions

The contain of our text file :
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In the details part of the Send Platform Event properties, we call the use the Upper function into brackets :
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Now just run the Activity and check the result in the Events pane:
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Our text is now well completely in Upper case. Of course the otherwise function, Lower(‘Text’), also exist.

Field – returns text in a specific position

One other useful function is the Field function, this allow you to extract a part of a line base on a delimiter.

Field(‘Text’, ‘Delimiter’, Field Number)

Our text file is now compose of information about users, separate by a comma, you could imagine a csv file that contains the list of your collaborators :
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In the Send Platform Event, we use the Field function for extracting the information from the line that we just read in the previous activity :
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Just have to Run the Runbook and here the result :
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Nested Functions

You have also the capability to use data manipulation function within another function, here a example :

Upper(Field(‘Text’, ‘Delimiter’, Field Number))

We keep the same text file than the previous case and we just want to have the email address in Upper case :
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We just have to nested the Upper function with the Field function, like below :
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We could now run our Runbook and here the expected result, the email address is well in upper case :
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I hope this help Smile This Runbook is available for download here : DONWLOAD
Below you have a description of all the available functions and the System Center Orchestrator 2012 Resources.

All the available functions

Function and Definition
Usage Parameters Example
Upper – converts text to upper case. Upper(‘Text’) Text – the text that is being converted to upper case. Upper(‘this will be converted to uppercase’) returns ‘THIS WILL BE CONVERTED TO UPPERCASE’
Lower – converts text to lower case Lower(‘Text’) Text – the text that is being converted to lower case. Lower(‘This Will Be Converted To Lowercase’) returns ‘this will be converted to lowercase’
Field – returns text in a specific position Field(‘Text’, ‘Delimiter’, Field Number) Text – the text that is being searched Field(‘John;Smith;9055552211′, ‘;’, 2) returns ‘Smith’.
Delimiter – the character that separates each field
Field Number – the position of the field that is being returned (starting at 1)
Sum – returns the sum of a set of numbers Sum(firstNumber, secondNumber, thirdNumber, …) Number – the number being added, you can put any set of numbers each separated by a comma (,). Sum(2,3,4,5) returns ’14’
Diff – returns the difference of two numbers Diff(Number1, Number2, <Precision>) Number1 – the number that will be subtracted from Diff(9, 7) returns ‘2’
Number2 – the number that will be subtracted from Number1 Diff(9.3, 2.1, 2) returns ‘7.20’
Precision <Optional> – the number of decimal places that the result will be rounded to  
Mult – returns the product of a set of numbers Mult(firstNumber, secondNumber, thirdNumber, …) Number – the number being multiplied, you can put any set of numbers each separated by a comma (,). Mult(2, 3, 4) returns ’24’
Div – returns the quotient of two numbers Div(Number1, Number2, <Precision>) Number1 – the number that will be divided Div(8, 4) returns ‘2’
Number2 – the number that will divide Number1 Div(9, 2, 2) returns ‘4.50’
Precision <Optional> – the number of decimal places that the result will be rounded to  
Instr – returns the position of first occurrence of text within another text Instr (‘SearchText’, ‘TextToFind’) SearchText – the text that is being searched Instr(‘This is a string that is searched’, ‘string’) returns 11
TextToFind – the text that you are searching for
Right – returns a subset of the text from the right side of the full text Right(‘Text’, Length) Text – the full text Right(‘Take from the right’, 9) returns ‘the right’
Length – the number of characters from the right side that will be returned
Left – returns a subset of the text from the left side of the full text Left(‘Text’, Length) Text – the full text Left(‘Take from the left’, 4) returns ‘Take’
Length – the number of characters from the left side that will be returned
Mid – returns a subset of the text from the middle of the full text Mid(‘Text’, Start, Length) Text – the full text Mid(‘Take from the middle’, 5, 4) returns ‘from’
Start – the starting position in the text where you want to begin returning characters
Length – the number of characters starting from the Start position that will be returned
LTrim – Trims leading spaces from text LTrim(‘Text’) Text – the text being trimmed of leading spaces LTrim(‘ Remove the leading spaces only. ‘) returns ‘Remove the leading spaces only. ‘
RTrim – Trims the trailing spaces from text RTrim(‘Text’) Text – the text being trimmed of trailing spaces RTrim(‘ Remove the trailing spaces only. ‘) returns ‘ Remove the trailing spaces only.’
Trim – Trims leading and trailing spaces from text Trim(‘Text’) Text – the text being trimmed Trim(‘ Remove leading and trailing spaces. ‘) returns ‘Remove leading and trailing spaces.’
Len – returns the length of text Len(‘Text’) Text – the text that is being measured Len(‘Measure this text’) returns 17

Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 Resources :
Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 beta is available as public beta at the Microsoft Download Center : http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=26503

Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 Team Blog : http://blogs.technet.com/b/scorch/

TechNet Forums for System Center Cross Platform and Interoperability :http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/category/scinterop

TechNet Library – Opalis 6.3 Data Manipulation : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg440683.aspx

Cheers
Christopher KEYAERT
http://twitter.com/keyaertc

System Center Orchestrator 2012 : Internet Application monitor

10:02 am in Uncategorized by Christopher Keyaert

Today, a new Runbook based only on the default activities, I will show you how to monitor an Internet Application with System Center Orchestrator 2012 beta.

Work case : we have an intranet website, we want to ensure the availability. If the website is not available we want to restart a service, re-check the availability, and if still unavailable, we want to be notify.

For that we will use the following activities :
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1. Runbook design : Every x seconds, we check the availability of the website. If available, we just do an entry in the log with the information “Site up”. If the website is not available, we restart the World Wide Web Publishing Service. If the site become available after the service restarted, we do an entry in the log with the information “Site up”, if still available, we do an entry in the log with the information “Site down” and we send an email.image

2. Monitor Date/Time activity : We decide to run this Runbook every 30 seconds.
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3. Get Internet Application activity : In that activity, we define the website that we want to monitor. It’s also possible to check a particular word on the website.
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This activity allows to monitor http website availability, but not only, the following protocols are available in General  part :
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4. If the website is available the activity returns Success
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5. Thanks to the Send Platform Event activity, We could now write in the log that the site web is available.
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6. Now, if the website is not available, the Get Internet Application activity returns Failed.
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We have to edit the link between the Get Internet Application activity and Start/Stop Service activity for using the failed condition.
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7. The Start/Stop Service activity will restart the World Wide Web Publishing Service on the webserver.
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8. If the service successfully started, we re-check the website availability for a second time. If available we could now link back to the previous Send Platform Event activity, that will write in the log that the site web is available.
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9. If the Start/Stop Service activity didn’t succeed to restart the service, or if the website is still unavailable at the second check, we will use a second Send Platform Event activity for writing in the log that the site is down.
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10. Send Platform Event activity configuration:
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11. Last but not least, we could use the Send Email activity for being notify of the website unavailability.
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12. Let’s testing the policy, the web site is available.
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13. Start the Runbook :
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14. Stop the World Wide Web Publishing Service, the website is now unavailable. 
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15. The Runbook detects this unavailability, start the service, check again the availability and notify that the site a now available.
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16. If the Runbook doesn’t succeed to start the service, or if the site is still unavailable after the service restart, we are notify.
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Et voilà, how to simply monitor a website availability. As always, the Runbook is available here : DOWNLOAD

Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 Resources :

Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 beta is available as public beta at the Microsoft Download Center : http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=26503

Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 Team Blog : http://blogs.technet.com/b/scorch/

TechNet Forums for System Center Cross Platform and Interoperability : http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/category/scinterop

Cheers
Christopher KEYAERT
http://twitter.com/keyaertc

System Center Orchestrator 2012 : PingList RunBook

10:48 am in Uncategorized by Christopher Keyaert

Hi community members,

Today, I will show how to create a simple Ping List Runbook with System Center Orchestrator 2012.

The main idea is to have a text file as input, this text file contains just a list of computers that we want to ping. As output, we want to have the computer name and next to it, a False or True value depending of the ping command succeeded or not.

So Let’s playing with System Center Orchestrator 2012 Smile

1. Open the System Center Orchestrator Runbook Designer.
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2. Create a new folder and in it, create a new Runbook.
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3. We will use the following activities :
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4. Link each activity with the one on the right, and we will rename the activities for having a clear view of what our Runbook will do.
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5. We will now create the variables that we will use in our Runbook. Go to Global Settings > Variables and create a new folder.
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6. Create 3 new variables :

  • Filepath : Path to the text file that contains the computer names that we want to ping.
  • OutputFolder : Folder that will contain the result file of this PingList runbook.
  • TimeOut : Value that we want to use with the ping command.

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7. Go back to the PingList Runbook and open the Initialize Data activity. As in this Runbook, we will directly use variables, we don’t have to add anything here. So leave it blank as default. image
I supposed that you notice that this Initialize Data activity correspond to the Custom Start activity available in Opalis, Microsoft just renamed it.

8. We use the Format Date/Time activity to add the Date and Time in the name of the output file. In the Input part, Date/Time field, do a right click and select Subscribe > Returned Data.
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9. Check the box Show common Returned Data, and select the Activity start time variable.
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10. In the Output part, we format the date in that way : M-d-yyyy_h-m-s. Of course, you could chose your own date/time format, just don’t forget that file name has some character restrictions.
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11. The Format Date/Time activity must be similar to that:
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12. In the Read Line activity, we have to specify the file in which we will read the computer names. In the File field, do a right click > Subscribe > Variable and select the FilePath variable that we defined earlier. As we want to read the input file until the end, we have to add the 1-END in the line numbers field.
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13. The Ping activity is in fact a PowerShell function that I wrote some years ago. This function simply takes the computer name and a timeout value as input and return TRUE if the computer answered to ping and FALSE if not.

Here the PowerShell function :
function Ping (  [string]$strComputer,[int]$timeout=500)
{
trap { continue; }
$ping = new-object System.Net.NetworkInformation.Ping
$reply = new-object System.Net.NetworkInformation.PingReply

$reply = $ping.Send($strComputer, $timeout);
if( $reply.Status -eq “Success”  )
  {
  return $true;
  }
  return $false;
}

EDIT :
TrondHindenes, one
of our user group member noticed that indeed of the PowerShell function that I
propose, we could simply use the following PowerShell command : test-connection –quiet Which return directly
True or False. Thanks to him !

Just below this PowerShell function in the Run .Net activity, we have to call the function and specify the inputs like below :
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14. Still in the Run .Net activity don’t forget to publish the output :
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15. In the Output activity, we will specify the name of the output file like below:{OutputFolder}\PingResult-{format Result from “Format Date/Time”}.txt

Each line will have the following format:
{Line text from “Read Line”},{PingStatus from “Ping”}

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16. “Et voilà”, now we just have to test our new PingList Runbook. Go to your input file and specify some computer names.
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17. Start the PIngList Runbook :
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18. Confirm that the Runbook ran successfully:
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19. Go to the output folder, we have now a new file with the results of our Ping. 
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20. Finally, enjoy the result Smile 
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You could download this complete PingList Runbook at the following address : DOWNLOAD

Cheers
Christopher KEYAERT