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SCOM2007: How to document your SCOM Installation

2:17 pm in Uncategorized by Dieter Wijckmans

This blog post is part of a series how to backup your SCOM environment.

You can find the other parts here:



After we have backed up all the other necessary bits of our environment in the previous blog posts just a little more bits remain to make sure we can successfully restore our environment when there has been a disaster.

Document your Scom installation

This can save you a lot of time and can even be useful when you just have to pull up a report on what actually get’s monitored in the environment.

I’ve based my script on a nice blog post of Kristoper Bash which can be found here:

I’ve adapted the script so it will be in line with the script I uses in this post: How to backup your unsealed management packs

You could combine the 2 into 1 script but for now I’ll leave them separate just in case you only need to document the environment instead of backing up + documenting everything.

The script, open the pictures to read out or download the script here: List mp script download location

The markings in yellow you need to modify to your own liking + environment.


Variables to change in the next session:

  • $locationroot: This will be the root folder in which the folders with the date as name will be stored
  • $outFile: Here you can change the filename. The filename consists out of “a name you choose”_”date of today”.html


Note that in the next session the mailing capability is completely commented. If you would like to send out a mail with the result of the script you can just uncomment and thus activate this feature by removing the ‘#’ in front of each line.

Variables to change in the next session:

  • $Sender: This will be the sender of the mail to notify you whether it has been successfully finished.
  • $OKRecipient: Specify the email address to where the mail in case of ok needs to be sent.
  • $ErrRecipient: Specifiy the email address to where the mail in case of error needs to be sent.
  • smtpserver: fill in the smtp server used to send out mails in your environment.


Schedule this with a scheduled task in windows on your RMS and you’re ready to go.

Tip: If you need both the documentation and the backup you could combine this script with the script I featured in this post: How to backup your unsealed management packs

Virtualize your summer with Microsoft

7:29 am in Uncategorized by Dieter Wijckmans

Hmmm here in Belgium our pools look like this these days:


So maybe it’s a good chance to dive in the “Virtual summer” with Microsoft!


If you dive in here—sumitprovirt1tnug you can find all the necessary goodies on Virtualization wit Microsoft to keep you occupied inside while you enjoy your nice view of your pool in the rain Smile

There are tracks for:

  • half an hour ( a mediate shower)
  • half a day (Things will get better in the afternoon)
  • a full day (Might as well dedicate a full day)
  • a full week (Monsoon season is early this year)

So for every weather type there’s something in there. Get ready for the next virtualization wave an read up on all the different techniques and components used to get you going.

Microsoft Virtual Academy


When you are done with browsing through the vast amount of info please also do not hesitate to put your knowledge to the test and visit the Microsoft Virtual Academy. Another great resource on the various Virtualization topics. Here you’ll find different tracks on:

  • Office 365
  • SQL Azure
  • How Microsoft and Citrix are teaming up to build a solid Virtualization platform
  • Windows Azure

First check out the training material and then take the test. The tracks are nicely build up and you can take them at your own pace.

They give you a nice overview of the different techniques and provide a nice mix of in-depth knowledge and overview of the products and features used.

Make sure to check out the virtualization tracks. They also hold a lot of info on the new upcoming version of SCVMM2012.

Each track provides you also with the materials and links to related eval versions of the software.


You see enough to keep you busy when things aren’t going as planned weather wise Smile

SCOM 2012: Beta is live today

8:54 pm in Uncategorized by Dieter Wijckmans

A new milestone in the development of System Center Operations Manager 2012 (SCOM2012) today. The release of the beta to the public.


More info on the team blog here:

SCOM 2012 blog

A small portion of the SCOM 2012 FAQ which is something most people are very curious about:

“We’ve made significant investments to help our customers build more comprehensive monitoring for their private cloud environments, while integrating their existing datacenter investments.

  • Common console across datacenter and clouds.
    • You get a consistent view across the Operations Manager 2012 console, web console, and SharePoint, with the information you need to keep IT services running across datacenter and cloud resources. In addition, you can use dashboard templates to create custom views tailored to your specific needs.
  • Rich Application Performance Monitoring:
    • With newly integrated AVIcode technology for monitoring .NET applications, Operations Manager 2012 delivers .NET application performance monitoring and diagnostics. Additionally, support for JEE application health monitoring has been added to help ensure the availability of a broad number of business-critical applications and services.
  • Support for heterogeneous environments.
    • If you run a variety of operating systems—Windows, Linux, and UNIX servers and their workloads—Operations Manager 2012 provides a single console to monitor this heterogeneous environment.
  • Integrated network device monitoring and alerts.
    • Operations Manager 2012 now includes network device monitoring. Instead of simply monitoring each server, it is now possible to look at the underlying network topology that connects the servers. You get a single end-to-end view to help you understand how your server and network infrastructure is working as a whole—from node to network to servers to applications and services.
  • Simplified management infrastructure.
    • The use of management servers and server pools enables a highly available monitoring infrastructure without expensive hardware or complicated configurations. And with one-step setup for high availability, you get support for automatic failover.”

Here’s the direct download link:

Technet info link:

The final release is still planned for the first half of 2012. But you can evaluate it now already.


As this is beta software it’s not supported to run this in a production environment.

We’ll be blogging more on the install process and first findings soon.

System Center Unlimited blog + Overview of Team blogs

6:22 am in Uncategorized by Dieter Wijckmans

Just recently in my ever during quest for information I stumble upon a great blog post which basically gathers all the different product team blogs of System Center and feeds them into one blog.

System Center Unlimited

It’s named System Center Unlimited and is maintained by J.C. Hornbeck. All the different posts on the different product team blogs are fed into this ever growing and very active blog. If you’re looking for one place to get a full overview of the System Center products this is the place to go…


If you’re looking for a System Center specific product blog make sure to check out his extensive list of all the different product team blogs RSS feeds which he monitors :

I’ve included the links below to the different product team blogs :

Name URL
Application Virtualization
Configuration Manager 2007
Data Protection Manager
Mobile Device Manager
MS Enterprise Desktop Virtualization
Out of Band management
Opalis/ Orchestrator
Operations Manager
Service Manager
System Center Essentials
System Center Virtual Machine Manager
Windows Software Update Services
Server Application Virtualization
The System Center Teamblog

If there are things missing please don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

Hopes it helps you to find your way through the System Center universe Hot smile

SCOM 2007: Automated Backup of Unsealed Management packs

11:35 pm in Uncategorized by Dieter Wijckmans

As part of my series how to back up your SCOM environment I ‘ve created a backup strategy for my unsealed management packs.

The setup I choose is to use a PowerShell script with error handling included which is run by the Task Scheduler on the RMS and monitored by a management pack in SCOM.

The advantages of this setup are:

  • No additional load on the RMS (although this script is light you never know what will happen)
  • Better control over when the script is running.

The PowerShell script I used is based on the UnsealedMPbackup management pack which is posted here:

Although this is an excellent script I modified it to have Error handling in there. If you look at the script there’s also a mailer included in the script but it’s commented out for now. If you would like to use this as a standalone script without the monitoring of SCOM over the process you can easily switch on the email function and be alerted when things went wrong.

This script will:

  • Create a folder with the date of today in a root folder you define
  • export all unsealed management packs to this folder
  • Delete folders which are older than 15 days.

The script:

The parameters you will need to fill in are marked in yellow.

You can download the PowerShell script here.

Section 1:

  • Reading out the parameters which will be used through the script:
    • RMS: A simple $rootMS = ‘Local host’ would do the trick as well but I like a WMI approach so added that in. The WMI approach will not work if you use it on a clustered environment. In this case it’s best to just add the name of the cluster hardcoded in the script.
  • Initializing the ops MGR 2007 snap in: Just loading the necessary cmdlets.
  • Set Culture Info: In my case this is Dutch Belgium. This is important for the date format so please don’t forget to change it as you please.
  • Error handling Setup: Defining the error handling for further use in the script.


Section 2

In this section we are actually defining the location and exporting the management packs:

Define the backup location:

  • Get Date: Here we are reading the system date to name our folder to backup to.
  • Define Backup location: Create the folder to backup to
  • Delete backup location older than 15 days: All the folders older than 15 days will be deleted. If you want to change the retention just change the parameter $Retentionperiod.

Export the unsealed management packs. With this command we’ll export all the unsealed management packs to the folder. If you (for one reason or another) want to backup all your management packs you can change this code to:

$all_mps = get-managementpack

foreach($mp in $all_mps)


export-managementpack -managementpack $mp -path “C:\backups”


Thanks to Maarten Goet for providing this example.

Error handling

In this section the script is writing to the Operations manager eventlog a event whether it was successful (id 910) or unsuccessful (ID 911). This can be used to monitor the process.

Feel free to change the ID’s as you please but don’t forget to modify the supplied management pack later on.


Section 3

The mailing section:

If you choose not to monitor this process with SCOM you can activate the mailing section that warns you about the outcome of the process.

Make sure to change the highlighted sections.


Scheduling the script on the RMS

As said before I’m scheduling this script on the RMS using the build-in Windows Task Scheduler.

The command to schedule should be (if you save the file in c:\scripts):

powershell -command “& ‘c:\scripts\backup_mp.ps1′ “

Monitor the process with SCOM

You can easily monitor the process with SCOM and setup notifications whenever there’s an error. I’ve created a small management pack which contains a monitor to check the status of the backup.

This monitor is healthy by default and comes in critical error when event 911 is logged. However when the next backup is successful, when event 910 is logged, it will return back to healthy. I don’t mind to miss one backup Smile

There’s an automated recovery task included as well to restart the backup when failed.

You can download this small MP here.

Don’t forget to setup your notifications and you’re all done.

SCOM 2007: How to backup your unsealed management packs

1:32 pm in Uncategorized by Dieter Wijckmans

This blog post is part of a series how to backup your SCOM environment.

You can find the other parts here:

Next step in our backup process is to take a backup of our unsealed management packs to make sure we don’t loose all the customization we’ve made to the environment.

First a little bit of explanation about the difference between sealed and unsealed management packs. At my clients I sometimes see some misunderstanding about these 2 sorts of management packs.

Difference between sealed management packs and unsealed management packs.

The difference is rather simple. All the management packs you download from vendors such as Microsoft, Dell, HP,… are sealed once. They have been developed by the vendors and sealed to prevent any further customizations. These management packs often include a variety of Rules, monitors, views and even reports which are installed when you import the management pack.

All the management packs you create yourself are by default unsealed ones. In here you store all your customizations such as: overrides on the sealed management packs, custom reports, custom made rules, custom made monitors…

Notice the word “custom”… In my book the word “custom” equals a lot of time and effort are spend to create them… Don’t want to loose them in case of a disaster then!

So how do we back these up… There are basically 2 ways: Manually or automated.


If you have one unsealed management pack that you want to backup or you want to quickly back it up while working in the console you can use the following method:

Open the console and navigate to Administration > management packs > select the management pack you wish to backup and right click > choose Export Management Pack…


Select a location for your backup:


Click ok and your management pack is successful.


If you check your location you’ll see the management pack in XML format.


While the above method works like a charm for a quick backup before changing something in your management pack it’s not workable and a hassle when you want to backup several management packs. Not to forget the human factor… You have to remember to take backups of your management packs…

Automated Backup of Unsealed Management packs

Therefore the preferred way to backup is by automating it via script using PowerShell.

Microsoft has actually gave the proper tools to do so in the powershell cmdlet set for SCOM.

The command to use:

$mps = get-managementpack | where-object {$_.Sealed -eq $false}
foreach ($mp in $mps)
export-managementpack -managementpack $mp -path “C:\Backups”

There are basically 2 approaches to automate this: SCOM scheduled rule or Scheduled tasks on the RMS itself

You can make your choice based on this nice discussion to compare the 2:

I choose to use the Scheduled task method to avoid the extra (although it’s minimal) load on the server and create a management pack to monitor the process.

I’ve explained my setup here.