OMS: Manage your Linux servers with OMS (step1)

November 3, 2015 at 8:28 pm in OMS by Dieter Wijckmans


Today the OMS agent installation bits for Linux came online in public preview giving OMS the possibility to pull in performance and event data into the OMS workspace from Linux machines.

This is basically the next step to get OMS to monitor your entire environment. It is a clear example of the possibilities of OMS to monitor your entire datacenter not bound by OS or system.

Where do I get it?

Log on to your workspace and go to your overview => settings => connected sources and download the Agent for linux:

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How do I install it?

Obviously you will need the access to your Linux machines.

The install docs can be found on github on this url:

In general you just need to run these commands:

$> wget
$> md5sum
$> sudo sh ./omsagent-1.0.0-47 --install -w <YOUR OMS WORKSPACE ID> -s <YOUR OMS WORKSPACE PRIMARY KEY>

What distro’s are supported?

The following distro’s are supported:

  • Amazon Linux 2012.09 –> 2015.09 (x86/x64)
  • CentOS Linux 5,6, and 7 (x86/x64)
  • Oracle Enterprise Linux 5,6, and 7 (x86/x64)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server 5,6 and 7 (x86/x64)
  • Debian GNU/Linux 6, 7, and 8 (x86/x64)
  • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, 14.04 LTS, 15.04 (x86/x64)
  • SUSE Linux Enteprise Server 11 and 12 (x86/x64)

More will come pretty soon but the mainstream distro’s are already on there

Can I give feedback?

YES and you are very entitled to do so!

These are the channels to get your feedback / suggestions to Microsoft:

  • UserVoice: Post ideas for new OMS features to work on here
  • Email: scdata@microsoft. Tell us whatever is on your mind
  • Monthly survey: if you are an OMS customer, you know we send out a survey every month asking our customers about the features we’re working on next.
  • Elite Linux customer panel: If you are a die-hard OMS Linux user and want to join our weekly calls and talk directly to the product team apply through this survey.


What can I see in the OMS workspace?

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All data will flow in and your events and performance will be uploaded to your OMS instantly.

Expect a more detailed post in a short while. In the meanwhile just try it!

OMS phone app now available on all platforms: First look

October 22, 2015 at 3:03 pm in OMS, operations manager by Dieter Wijckmans


This is one thing I really like about the new strategy of Microsoft: All platforms (I know it’s not the official statement but still)

The OMS app was already available on WindowsPhone platform (in preview) and quite frankly it makes sense to actually develop for your own native platform first.

But today Microsoft has announced the availability of the OMS app across all the different platforms (Ios, android and winphone).

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The install is crystal clear as you are used to through the store.

More info here:

Direct link:

NOTE: Fellow MVP Cameron Fuller has a blog post about the experience on an ipad here:

A first look:

A couple of screenshots of the possibilities and look and feel on iPhone:

First start of the app (really like the look and feel):


Login screen looks very familiar:


Auto switch between corporate or personal


Signed in and detected that your workspaces, it’s indeed possible to switch between the different workspaces:


You have 3 options:

  • Dashboard: Is your personal dashboard which you can change by using the familiar pen icon
  • Overview: The general overview of you environment with all the solutions installed
  • Searches: Launch different searches in your workspace

Starts into your dashboard:




Also possible in landscape :)




Settings tab can be reached by tapping the 3 red dots on the top of the screen.

My wishlist:

  • Push notifications on home screen for predefined scenarios
  • Add new searches in the app to answer specific questions of people calling outside office hours
  • Ability to choose where to start (dashboard or overview)
  • change order of the solutions in the overview pane


The app is intended as an extension / dashboard for your OMS workspace. It’s not possible to add servers or delete servers from your workspace nor add solutions. This is not a drawback in my opinion as you only want to see things happening in your workspace on the go. This is a first version of course but I had no issues installing and connecting it. I will keep an eye on the data usage on my cell phone plan though just to see how it will affect my usage of mobile data and of course my battery life.

Technet Belux Webinar: 16/10/2015: OMS, What’s it all about…

October 15, 2015 at 12:15 am in LiveMeeting, technet, Webinar by Dieter Wijckmans

It has been a while since I actually did a webinar for Technet Belux but it’s an honor and a privlege to be back on this platform answering one of the biggest question I get almost everyday at clients and at conferences:

“OMS, What’s it all about?”

During this session I’m going over the basics of the new OMS platform so you can be armed to position it in your environment or just have a starting point to start exploring the vast possibilities of OMS.


Expect the answers to the following questions during this session:

  • What can it do for me?
  • Do I need to take a look at it?
  • What can it do to make my life as an ITPRO easier?
  • Is this yet another tool that Microsoft is pushing us to use?
  • Will it replace my good old on prem SCOM solution?
  • ….

All these questions are actual questions I got from the community and clients.

“But hey… my question isn’t on there!”

No worries use the Q&A and get a chance to get yours answered!

So what are you waiting for? Make sure to register today to reserve your virtual seat for Friday 16/10/2015 as they are unlimited!


Register here:

Hopefully see you there!


RECORDING is live and can be found here:

SCOM: Add community power and keep the engine running…

July 28, 2015 at 5:11 pm in operations manager, SCOM, SCOM 2012 by Dieter Wijckmans


Let’s face it: a good program is like a car. You need to maintain it properly to keep it in running condition. Well this is also the case with SCOM. I visit a lot of clients and one of the main questions I get is in fact how to make sure SCOM stays healthy and running.


Well there are some indicators in SCOM itself suggesting that there are issues with the install but unfortunately they are easily missed or looked over.

So this is where the awesome SCOMunity steps in!

This post should become your one stop location to find some of the leading community management packs you’ll need to keep your SCOM environment going or at least very easily pinpoint where there are (potential) issues.

These are management packs I actually install at almost every client I visit:

TAO Yang’s Self Maintenance management pack

Tao has been an active member of the Scomunity for quite some time now  and his self maintenance management pack is already in version 2.4.0. This management pack features a lot of tasks and checks that every SCOM admin should perform but it’s always cool to have a management pack doing it for you. Before I used TAO’s management pack I had a standard PowerShell toolkit to automate some of the tasks but now if the customer approves it (remember it’s still an unsealed MP so sometimes you need approval of customers) I load up the management pack and configure it. TAO really went all in and included also a PDF to assist you in installing and configuring the MP.


Image (Tao Yang)

Some of the tasks I like the most (this is not a full list but just to highlight the things I personally find handy in there):

  • Automatic scheduled distribution of agents across the  management servers. Even with the possibility to limit the amount of agents distributed between the management servers
  • Auto approve agents in management pending based on a input mask to make sure they are allowed in the MG.
  • Check whether a management server is placed in maintenance mode
  • Find orphaned alerts
  • ….

This is an invaluable management pack for every scom admin out there. Whether you are visiting a lot of clients and need to get a clear view on the health of the management group or have only one client. This will free up a lot of your time and also reduce the chance of problems because there are early warning systems build-in. More info here:

SCOM Health Check Reports V3 (Oskar Landman + Pete Zerger)

One of the other hard things to do is in fact give a small report to the SCOM admin / supervisor telling how SCOM is actually doing and whether things are well in your SCOM environment.

Just recently Oskar Landman and Pete Zerger have updated their SCOM Health Check reports to give you a proper status in one glance.

This set of reports will give you an even more in depth view how you’re environment is doing and what are the key points to work on to further enhance your environment. One of the key benefits is the fact that you can check in detail that every aspect of your dbase and what is coming into them is valid and not too much. This is really helpful if you start your noise cancelling to really focus on the big consumers concerning space and cpu time of your SQL dbase.

Make sure you read the manual thoroughly before proceeding as you need to take additional steps prior to installation.

More info here:


Image (SystemCenterCentral)

Check the article here:

Download here:

Let’s crank up that download count because this is definitely something you need in your SCOM environment

TAO Yang’s SCOM datawarehouse health script

This one is clean and simple. All the different things you would need to check on your datawarehouse but actually probably never did combined in a PowerShell script.

All the different aspects of what you need to know about your Datawarehouse are reported and gathered on a html page. This is one of the things you actually need to do at every customer site you come across to get an instant view on how the datawareshouse and more important the SCOM environment is setup and performing.

More info can be found here:

In conclusion

These are just 3 community provided tools which are freely available to help you get more insight in your environment or the environment you need to troubleshoot.

Special thanks goes out to TAO Yang, Oskar Landman and Pete Zerger in particular to invest their time in making these solutions possible / available and of course also thanks to all the other active community members who keep developing new things for SCOM and system center in general.

If you are just starting with SCOM: This is not an exhaustive list of all the add-ons out there. If you are looking for a 1 place stop to start your journey take a look at my: SCOM Link overview blog which is currently under revision:

Microsoft Operations Management Suite: Remove workspace

May 13, 2015 at 4:59 pm in OMS, operations manager, SCOM, SCOM 2012 by Dieter Wijckmans


This blog post is part of the Microsoft Operations management Suite Quick start guide which can be found here:


One of the things I’ve noticed right away when I fist opened the Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) was the fact that I had different workspaces. They were all created in opinsights because the fact I added 3 different management groups in their respective SCOM console.

No sweat of course. I now build 1 management group in my lab environment where I configured everything so I wanted to get rid of the other workspaces.

Turns out there are 2 ways you can delete a workspace and in fact this was not clear in the beginning.

How to get to the “close workspace” option

The remove option is well hidden in the menu’s to probably avoid deletion by accident which is actually a good thing but it’s a little bit too hidden in my humble opinion.

To get to the remove option follow the steps below:

Log on with your account. You will actually get all the different workspaces which are configured and hold data:


In this case I would like to remove the DWIT workspace as this is my ancient lab environment.

Select DWIT and open the workspace.


Select DWIT in the right upper corner and select the DWIT EUS | administrator wheel:


At this point you will have the settings of your workspace and right at the bottom there’s an option to close the workspace.

NOTE: Make no mistake your workspace will be removed and your data will be erased!


Now here is where things can go either way. There are 2 different options here:

  • Workspace connected to a MS account
  • Workspace connected to a Azure subscription

Close a workspace connected to a MS account

This one is actually very simple.

If you see the printscreen of the post above just click close workspace…


OMS will present you with a nice message box with what’s going to happen and kindly asks you why you want to close.

Note: It’s not required to select an option but please do so to help Microsoft further develop the product to whatever direction you want it to go.

Close a workspace linked to an azure subscription

When your workspace was created with the azure management portal you will not be able to close your workspace from the OMS interface but you will need to delete the workspace in azure itself. You will get the message “This account can only be deleted from the Azure Management Portal”

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Open your Azure management portal and navigate in the bar in the left to Operation Insights (note this name can be changed when you read this article as MS is aligning all the naming toward the OMS brand):


Select the account you want to delete and press the delete button at the bottom of the page

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Are you really sure?


At this point the account is deleted and within a couple of minutes it should disappear from the available workspaces.


Note: The accounts that are created outside of the Azure portal will have a GUID like name. This name is generated when you link a workspace to your Azure account.

Microsoft Operations Management Suite: Connect Datasources

May 8, 2015 at 5:08 pm in OMS, operations manager, SCOM, SCOM 2012 by Dieter Wijckmans


This blog post is part of the “Microsoft Operations Management Suite: Quickstart guide” which can be found here:


After we have successfully created our workspace and have installed our Solutions it’s now time to bring in our data to start the magic and witness the insight in our data that OMS can bring

Here you have 3 options:

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  • Attach Servers directly (limited to 64 bit): This is used if you want to attach a server which is not monitored by SCOM. A certificate will be generated and inserted into a package that downloads and installs the Microsoft monitoring agent service onto the desired server and connects the server to your OMS.
  • Attach System Center operations manager: You can attach various management groups in OMS. If you click connect you will be guided to the on boarding process for connecting a SCOM environment to OMS. More on this later
  • Attach Azure Storage account: you can add a Azure storage account to facilitate the availability options regarding backup restore etc. More on this later in this blog series.

Note: If you receive errors when connecting these servers to your environment review this troubleshoot article to set the firewall correctly:

Connecting a standalone server to OMS:

If you want to attach several servers which are not monitored by SCOM you can easily download the agent and installed. No need to fiddle with the certificates yourself any more!

Download the agent and install it on a server:

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The agent package is around 25mb and will be downloaded to your local machine. Transfer the package to a machine which is not monitored by SCOM and install the package.

Note: The same restrictions as installing an agent from the console apply. It’s not possible to onboard a server which has a SCOM component installed such as a gateway server , management server,… Which makes sense because if you have these servers in place you have a SCOM environment and it’s far more easy to onboard the management group entirely instead of doing this per server.

Copy the MMASetup-AMD64 package to your server and run as administrator

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The standard manual install dialog for a Microsoft Monitoring Agent Starts

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click through the first screens

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The next screen is interesting. Here we need to decide whether we are going to actually install the microsoft monitoring agent exclusively for OMS or also for the on prem SCOM. In this scenario we are choosing to exclusively use the agent for OMS

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Now we need to fill in the GUID keys which are shown on the OMS page right under “connect a server”.

The workplace ID is straight forward: The workplace ID noted in the OMS console

The Workspace key is in fact noted as the “private key” in the OMS console.

Note: Again this probably will be aligned after the SCOM console is aligned with the new OMS system.

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Click next and install

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Finish. Wait 5 min and refresh your console:

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Note: if you have more than one workspace make sure you select the correct workspace where you want to connect the server to as the id will be unique per workspace.

Connecting a System Center operations manager management group:

Open your SCOM environment and navigate to Administration > Operational Insights > Operational Insights Connection

Note: These names will probably change in the next UR or management pack release.

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Click configure or Re-configure Operational Insights

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Select whether you are using a work or Microsoft account. I’m using a Microsoft Account:

The associated workspaces with your account are loaded and selectable


Select your workspace and click update or create

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Next choose which groups or servers you would like to send data to your OMS workspace. Click add a computer / group in the tasks bar on the right.

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Select the servers / groups you want an click add

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So now all the servers are coming into your Operational Insights Managed view.


This management group will show up in your OMS workspace as 1 connected management group:

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The name / number of servers and the last data received is shown to give you a clear view on the status of your management groups.

Configure log collection

A lot of solutions are dependent on the logs received. As this was one of the first valuable additions that opinsights brought this is almost mandatory to have in OMS as well.

Go to the last step of the “wizard” and select what logs that need to be gathered on the connected servers:

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When configured we’ll get a nice 100% mark and we are ready to go!

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Connecting is a breeze if your servers are able to reach the OMS service on port 443. You can connect individual servers or entire management groups where you decide which servers are actually sending data to the OMS service.

For now the agents for linux are not available yet but they will become available very soon.

So now you are all set to start playing with the Solutions you have installed while data is pooring in!

Microsoft Operations Management Suite: Configure Workspaces

May 8, 2015 at 4:04 pm in OMS, operations manager, SCOM, SCOM 2012 by Dieter Wijckmans

This blog post is part of the Microsoft Operations management Suite Quick start guide which can be found here:


A wokspace is basically the same as your management group in SCOM. It contains all the differernt Solutions, connected datasource and azure account to start working. You can have several workspaces based with one account but interaction between different workspaces is not possible.

Create a workspace

In this scenario we are going to build a new workspace. Just choose the name / email and the region and click create

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Next up we need to link the Azure subscription we have associated to our Microsoft or corporate account. Note that having an Azure subscription is not a prerequisite for this step (you can just click not now) but it is highly recommended.

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To make sure you are the proper owner of the email (note that it doesn’t have to be an email that is by default the email address associated to your account) Microsoft is sending you a confirmation mail which you need to follow.

Click confirm now and continue.


At this point your workspace will be ready and you will have all the standard tiles but no data is poring in just yet.

Configure a Workspace

Head over to the Settings tile where you will be guided to connect your sources to the OMS service. In the past this involved setting up proxy servers and complicated settings as since the integration with SCOM this has become peanuts. OMS is also using the same entry point that Opinsights was using to get connected.

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First step is in fact to add solutions. Formerly known as Integration packs (IPs) these solutions each will have their own purpose to tailor the way you want to use OMS. There are by default already some Solutions installed so you can click “connect a data source” to continue.

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Now that you have your workspace configured it’s time to connect your datasources to get your data in!



Microsoft Operations Management Suite: Quickstart guide

May 8, 2015 at 3:27 pm in OMS, operations manager, SCOM, SCOM 2012 by Dieter Wijckmans


So Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) was launched during Ignite 2015 and is awaiting your data to show its power to give you the insights in your environment and actually manage your environment not limited to the boundaries of your own environment or your azure environment. But before we can play with the goodies we need to configure everything correctly.

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This guide will grow in time to be your one stop to get you going, configuring and using Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) . Bookmark this post to get regular updates on my journey through OMS to help you save some time while exploring the possibilities of OMS.

Below is a list of topics that can be used to already start your journey:

Microsoft Operations Management Suite: A first glance

May 6, 2015 at 4:03 pm in OMS, operations manager, SCOM, SCOM 2012 by Dieter Wijckmans

This blog post is part of the “Microsoft Operations Management Suite: Quickstart guide” which can be found here:

It has been a while since i was been blown away by news about SCOM and monitoring in general. During the recent keynote of Ignite in Chicago however Microsoft delivered… I personally was surprised by the vast number of announcements regarding System Center in general and monitoring and management tools in particular.  One of the coolest things for me personally was the announcement of Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS).

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A little bit of history is in its place to show you this is not a product which was born overnight. The first sign that Microsoft was working on a service to monitor and aggregate data in the cloud emerged when System Center Advisor was launched. System Center Advisor was a small tool which gave you a quick overview of your compliance level of your environment and check to see how you are doing in installing and configuring System Center. With an update of once a day and not a lot of adoption this tool was not widely spread. Although it wasn’t this heavily used it actually paved the road for Opinsights preview. The Opinsights preview was leveraging the power of Azure to give you even more control on finding out how your data center was doing by using serveral free apps to make assessments based on data you’ve sent to the Azure cloud services. The integration was created in SCOM making it a usable tool and easier to configure. The service was free so I personally encouraged a lot of customers to start exploring it. The fact you could also connect machines directly without having SCOM added to the level of adoption.

So what brings OMS more than the previous versions?

Well in OMS will give even more integration to different services you will need to do to manage your datacenter, it will integrate even more into your Azure environment to become your one tool to deal with different aspects of exploring your datacenter.

The following 4 groups of tools are at this point integrated into OMS:

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Log Analytics

Log Analytics was already present in Opinsights but has been fine-tuned. You can now gather all logs of different tools and servers and see what events are actually the most common in your environment and take corrective actions accordingly. This is in my  personal opinion a very valuable addition if you would like to find out what the most common problems on your servers are. In fact in SCOM you actually need to configure what to monitor. Log Analytics however uses the power of the Azure storage to collect and keep all the events for you to easily query them and find out patterns and such.


This feature is new and will actually integrate Automation across the different components you have in your datacenter. The Automation module will integrate with  Websites, Virtual Machines, Storage, SQL Server, and other popular Azure services. The automation runbooks will be easily created through a drag and drop interface giving you basically the opportunity to create automation in seconds. Tying in to all the different components you can automate repetitive tasks across your on-prem and cloud services. This will decrease the margin for human error and like all the different automations if it’s done correctly you will actually lower downtime and increase your view on your environment.


Availability is not only keeping your applications and data online but also making sure that they stay online or can be restored after a breach in service. The availability tools will give you the power to actually synchronize data between different locations to facilitate the different dataflows between the different locations to ensure that your data will be safe. In this automation tap the different tools will be place to make sure you have all you need to keep your environment up and running and restore as quick as possible. The automation apps will actually tie in to your Azure backup services such as: azure backup, azure site recovery,…


Besides getting everything online and keeping it online a lot of companies are also concerned about keeping everything safe. In the modern world it is a challenge to find a right balance between a workable system and a secure system. The security apps will give you the insights you need to actually Identify malware and missing system updates, collect security related events, perform forensic, audit and breach analysis.

So how does it work?

If you were already using the opinsights preview feature your account is automatically transferred to a free account in OMS. This frree account will give you a 7 day retention and a maximum amount of data uploaded of 500Mb. This is solely for testing purposes to get you going. The integration remains in the SCOM management group and will actually upload all the data in CAB files to the OMS cloud service. Your tools will still be there in your dashboard with the possibility to actually connect more data sources to the OMS service. For more detailed instructions make sure to check out my series on OMS found here on my blog.

Check out the following links for more info:

SCOM: Automatically create management packs with PowerShell

April 8, 2015 at 10:56 am in operations manager, SCOM by Dieter Wijckmans

Recently I was asked by a customer to make a multi tenant SCOM setup with different environments. There are several ways of doing this with connected management groups and all but I opted to keep one management group and make the separation there as this was the best fit for the client. I’m not saying that this is the best fit everywhere but for this particular case it was.

They have a very strict DTAP (Development – Test – Acceptance – Production) lifecycle for their software release model so this should be reflected in the SCOM model as well making things a little bit more complicated.

So to sum up the requirements:

  • Naming convention of the override management packs needed to be consistent
  • An override management pack needs to be created for all management packs introduced in the environment and for all stages in the DTAP process
  • An easy way has to be setup in the procedures for the engineer to create the override MP’s for all environments

You could create a procedure to instruct the engineer to create the management packs as part of implementing a new management pack in the environment but this creates tedious repetitive work which will lead to errors or will just be forgotten.

download (1)

That’s why I’ve automated the process of creating these override management packs with PowerShell following the naming convention which is in affect in your company.

# This PowerShell script will create override management packs for all management packs which fall into a specific
# patern documented in $orgmanagementpackname
# Usage: CreateManagementPack.ps1
# Note: You can change the parameters below and pass them with the command if desired.
# Based on the script of: Russ Slaten
# Updated the script to create a management pack for all environments in the array $environments

# Declaration of parameters
$ManagementServer = "localhost"
$orgmanagementpackname = "*"
$Environments = "P", "A", "D", "T"

# Find the managementpacks which fit the filter documented in $orgmanagementpackname
$managementpacks = Get-SCOMManagementPack |where{$_.Name -like "*$orgManagementPackName*"} | select name
Foreach ($managementpackocc in $managementpacks)
$name = $
# For all managementpacks in array managementpacks create a new override management pack with a correct naming convention
# and 1 override management pack per environment
Foreach ($env in $environments)
# fill in the name of the management packs
$ManagementPackID = "*Fill in company name here (no spaces!)*."+$env+".$managementpackocc"+"."+"overrides"
$ManagementPackName = "*Fill in company name here*: "+$env+" : "+$managementpackname+" overrides"
Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.OperationsManager.Client
$MG = New-Object Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.ManagementGroup($ManagementServer)
$MPStore = New-Object Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.Configuration.IO.ManagementPackFileStore
$MP = New-Object Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.Configuration.ManagementPack($ManagementPackID, $ManagementPackName, (New-Object Version(1, 0, 0)), $MPStore)
$MP = $MG.GetManagementPacks($ManagementPackID)[0]
$MP.DisplayName = $ManagementPackName
$MP.Description = "Auto Generated Management Pack"

Download the script from the technet gallery:


This script will actually find all the management packs which fit the input mask in $orgmanagementpackname and create for each of these management packs an override management pack following the naming in $ManagementPackID and $ManagementPAckName.

This results in the following structure:

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  • Run this script preferable on a management server or a machine which has the SCOM console installed. If you don’t run this on a management server make sure to change the $managementserver variable to point to a valid up and running management server in the management group you would like to have the override packs created in.
  • Because we run this via PowerShell and not execute the work manually there are no “rogue” empty folders created in the monitoring view thus we are not clogging up our console view.