You are browsing the archive for SCOrchestrator.

System Center Orchestrator notes from the field

12:35 pm in Uncategorized by Christopher Keyaert

Hi Everyone,

Kurt Vanhoucke and myself will present two sessions about System Center Orchestrator 2012.

Event Details

Come and join us for our first event after the hot summer months. During this event we will discuss the new System Center Orchestrator, what has changed, new integration packs and also how to migrate from Opalis 6.3 to SCORCH.

Agenda

Thursday, September 29, 2011 from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM (GMT+0100)

TimeSlot

Speaker

Title

18.00 – 18:30

 

Welcome and Pizza

18.30 – 19:30

Kurt Vanhoucke

System Center Orchestrator 2012 : Overview

19:30 – 20:30

Christopher Keyaert

System Center Orchestrator 2012 : Migration Plan

Location

Microsoft Belgium
Leonardo Da Vincilaan 3
Zaventem
Belgium

or Online via LiveMeeting (Lync)

Registration

Go to the registration website.

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

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

12:21 pm in Uncategorized by Christopher Keyaert

image001

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.
    image
  • and go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft System Center\Orchestrator 2012\Opalis Integration Server\Management Service
    image 
  • To activate the Audit Trail: atlc /enable
    image
  • To deactivate the Audit Trail: atlc /disable
    image 
Where are the audit files ?

In the folder : C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft System Center\Orchestrator 2012\Opalis Integration Server\Management Service\Audit
image

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
image

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.
image

For having a better view, I advise your to copy/paste the output into a XML indenter tool (Example : http://xmlindent.com/).
image

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

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.
image

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)

image

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.
image

Once done, we will create two new variables, one for our Source folder and the other for our Destination Folder.
image

Back to our Runbook, we could go directly in the properties of the Run Command activity.
image

  • 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.
    image
  • 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

imageimage

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 :
image

A little look in our destination folder, we could see that all the content has been well copied.
image

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 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 :
image

The Initialize Data activity is just use here as the start command of the Runbook, no need of any configuration.
image

The Read Line activity will return the raw data that we want to manipulate. We simple read the first line of a text file.
image

The Send Platform Event activity will be use for manipulating the data and showing the result.
image

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 :
image

In the details part of the Send Platform Event properties, we call the use the Upper function into brackets :
image

Now just run the Activity and check the result in the Events pane:
image

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 :
image

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 :
image

Just have to Run the Runbook and here the result :
image

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 :
image

We just have to nested the Upper function with the Field function, like below :
image

We could now run our Runbook and here the expected result, the email address is well in upper case :
image

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 :
image

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.
image

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.
image

This activity allows to monitor http website availability, but not only, the following protocols are available in General  part :
image

4. If the website is available the activity returns Success
image 

5. Thanks to the Send Platform Event activity, We could now write in the log that the site web is available.
image

6. Now, if the website is not available, the Get Internet Application activity returns Failed.
image
image

We have to edit the link between the Get Internet Application activity and Start/Stop Service activity for using the failed condition.
image
image

7. The Start/Stop Service activity will restart the World Wide Web Publishing Service on the webserver.
image

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.
image

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.
image

10. Send Platform Event activity configuration:
image

11. Last but not least, we could use the Send Email activity for being notify of the website unavailability.
image

image
image

12. Let’s testing the policy, the web site is available.
image

13. Start the Runbook :
imageimage
image

14. Stop the World Wide Web Publishing Service, the website is now unavailable. 
image
image

15. The Runbook detects this unavailability, start the service, check again the availability and notify that the site a now available.
image
image
image

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.
image
image

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.
image

2. Create a new folder and in it, create a new Runbook.
image

3. We will use the following activities :
image

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.
 image

5. We will now create the variables that we will use in our Runbook. Go to Global Settings > Variables and create a new folder.
image

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.

image

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.
image

9. Check the box Show common Returned Data, and select the Activity start time variable.
image

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.
image

11. The Format Date/Time activity must be similar to that:
image

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.
image

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 :
image

14. Still in the Run .Net activity don’t forget to publish the output :
image

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”}

image

16. “Et voilà”, now we just have to test our new PingList Runbook. Go to your input file and specify some computer names.
image

17. Start the PIngList Runbook :
image

18. Confirm that the Runbook ran successfully:
image

19. Go to the output folder, we have now a new file with the results of our Ping. 
image

20. Finally, enjoy the result Smile 
image

You could download this complete PingList Runbook at the following address : DOWNLOAD

Cheers
Christopher KEYAERT

System Center IPs and QIK for use with Orchestrator 2012 : Installation & Overview

6:26 pm in Uncategorized by Christopher Keyaert

Adam Hall, Senior Technical Product Manager for Orchestrator, just posted new Orchestrator Integration Packs for the System Center 2007/2008/2010 releases and the Quick Integration Kit (QIK).

Quick Integration Kit (QIK):
http://download.microsoft.com/download/9/B/2/9B262883-BDF9-465D-99A8-9836539F4323/Opalis_Quick_Integration_Kit.EXE

image

1. System Center 2007/2008/2010 IPs direct download: http://download.microsoft.com/download/C/F/3/CF375506-F342-4974-B7B5-F06EFDEC159C/Opalis_SystemCenter_IntegrationPacks.EXE

2. Extract the files:image

3. Start the System Center Orchestrator Deployment Manager, right click on Integration Packs and select Register IP with the Orchestrator Management Server.image

4. Pass the welcome screen by clicking Next:image

5. Click on add and select the IPs that you extracted:image

6. Once all the Integration Packs added, click on Next:image

7. Validate the information and click on Finish:
image

8. you will be prompt for license agreement, accept all of them:
image

9. Confirm in the log of the console than all the IPs has been well imported:
image

10. Go to Integration Packs view:
image

11. Select all of them, right click and select Deploy IP to Runbook Server or Runbook Designer:
image

12. Pass the Welcome screen:
image

13. Select all the IPs that you want to deploy on your Runbook server/Runbook designer:
image

14. Enter the name of your Runbook server/Runbook designer:
image

15. If you want to deploy immediately, left the options unchanged:
image

16. Review the information and click Finish:
image

17. Deployment in progress:
image

18. Confirm that the IPs has been well deployed on the Runbook Server/Designer:
image
image

19. Start the System Center Orchestrator Runbook Designer and take a look to the new IPs:
image

20. System Center Configuration Manager activities:
image

21. System Center Operations Manager 2007 activities:
image

22. System Center Service Manager activities:
image

23. System Center Data Protection Manager activities:
image

24. System Center Virtual Machine Manager activities:
image
image

That’s all for this first overview Smile

Christopher KEYAERT

System Center Orchestrator 2012 : Installation step by step

9:49 pm in Uncategorized by Christopher Keyaert

Hi everyone,

Microsoft just released the beta of System Center Orchestrator 2012 (previously know as Opalis). http://blogs.technet.com/b/systemcenter/archive/2011/06/15/announcing-the-system-center-orchestrator-beta.aspx

This beta is public, could be downloaded and tested by everyone.

First, I invite you to read the Pre-requisites :
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh201965.aspx

But also the Release Notes :
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh204684.aspx

In these TechNet articles you will find useful information, like this one : Even if you are in a lab environment, don’t try to install System Center Orchestrator 2012 Beta on a Domain Controller, It will not pass the requirement check. (thank you to Adam and Ravi to notice that to me).

You will see that Microsoft did an awesome work on the installation process. It’s really easier than installing Opalis 6.3.

Basically, for installing this beta you will need a server with :

  • Windows 2008 R2 Server (RTM or SP1, both supported)
  • SQL 2008 R2
  • IIS
  • .Net Framework 4
  • Silverlight

1. Download the System Center Orchestrator 2012 Beta file at the Microsoft Download Center : http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=26503 
image

2. Extract the content of the file.
image

3. Run the setupsco.exe file.image

4. If you want to install all the features (Runbook Designer, Console/Web Service, Runbook server) on the same server, select Install Orchestrator. The installer also gives the possibility to install each features independently.
image

5. No product key required for the beta, just accept the license agreement.
image

6. Select all the features that you want to install. Select everything for this first install.
image

7. By expanding, you have information about each features and their prerequisites :
image
image
image
image

8. The installer has a prerequisites checker :
image

9. Two level in the prerequisites, Critical will block the installation process, warning could be pass.
image

10. Orchestrator requires a service account to run runbooks and access remote system resources.
image

11. Go to your Active Directory console, create a new account, and add it in the Local Administrator Group of the server.
image

12. You also have to authorize this account to "Log on as a service". Enable this right in Administrative Tools -> Local Security Policy -> Local Policies -> User Rights Assignment.
image

13. Open "Log on as a service" policy and enter the service account that you just created.
image

14. Back to the Orchestrator 2012 beta installer and click on the Test button.
image

15. Database connection, Go to your SQL server, open the management studio, and create manually the Orchestrator database.
image

16. Add your service account as Credentials for the SQL server.
image

17. Grant this account as db_owner of the Orchestrator DB.image

18. Go back to the Orchestrator installer, select Existing database and chose the database that you just created.
image

19. Orchestrator use a group (local group or Active Group) for authorizing access to the Run Book Designer. Go to your Active Directory console, create a new security group, add your user account and the service account created above as group member.

20. Back to the Orchestrator installer and select the group just created :image

21. Check the box Grant remote access for the Runbook Designer.
image

22. Configure the port for the web service and Orchestrator Console.
image

23. Select the installation folder.
image

24. Review the summary, note that you could change any parameter directly from there.
image

25. Installation in progress…
image

26. After a few minutes, the installation is finished.
image

27. You could now enjoy the new Runbook designer.
image

28. And also the new Web Console based on IIS, .Net and Silverlight.
image

As you could see, Microsoft really did an awesome work on the installation process. Next post will present all the new features of System Center Orchestrator 2012 in details.

Christopher KEYAERT