You are browsing the archive for 2015 December.

SCU 2016: Prepare to have your mind blown!

4:47 pm in OMS, operations manager, SCOM, scu, scu2016 by Dieter Wijckmans


I got the news that I have the privilege (that’s how I definitely see it) to speak once again at SystemCenterUniverse in Dallas on the 19th of January 2016.


I consider this a huge privilege as I have a special relationship with this particular event. This is in fact where my wild journey through the System Center Universe as a speaker started. 2 years ago SCU held a fierce battle to determine who would be the new SCU_Jedi winning a session at this event… I was lucky enough to pull it off and suddenly I was presenting among the (what I consider) big shots in the System Center world…

Most of them are still presenting today if you look at the list of speakers it is quite impressive:

The first but not complete list:

As you can see al the usual suspects are there!

For the full agenda please check here:

this year again there’s a 2 track approach so you have the ability to cross over and see a session out of your comfort zone to learn really new cool stuff!

My session will be about the vast power of OMS and how it can create new possible insights in your environment. A truly not to miss session if you ask meSCUheader

Can’t fly in?

Too bad… You are missing out…

Not really! Because SCU is (I think) the only event who offers free streaming of the event over the web. There are even a lot of viewing parties organized near your location where you can easily follow the event from your location!

OK but why should I fly in then?

Well that’s very simple as well! IF you have the ability to fly in you get a chance to mingle with peers and talk to the speakers. There are no designated areas for speakers or whatsoever so everyone is really accessible to have chat or answer your questions…

So this is probably expensive right?

A full day of training on different subjects for only 150$ that’s a bargain if you ask me!

Last but not least

This is one of the events who are really embracing the social media (twitter, facebook,…) to reach out to attendees onsite but also across the world to engage during and after the event.

Make sure you follow: @scu2016 and #scu2016 on twitter for the latest updates and feeds!


Hopefully see you all there!

Use OMS to calculate SCCM patch window

4:12 pm in Azure, OMS, SCCM by Dieter Wijckmans

This blog post is part of the Coretech Global Xmas blogging marathon. To find all cool content please take a look at

Recently I have been exploring OMS a lot and came across a cool user scenario which really showcases the benefits of having all data in one place. Using this big data to connect the dots between different systems and creating even more insights in your environment and the relationships between the different systems.

One demo which really had some eyes popping was in fact the calculation of the SCCM patch window with OMS. A lot of people already know that there’s a specific System Update Assessment solution which points out which machines are missing which updates. But there’s more to this solution that meets the eye on first sight.

You can use this solution, but also the data gathered by OMS for all your updates, to calculate very precisely how long it will take to patch a particular machine to create a patch window accordingly.

Let’s get started shall we!

For this demo I presume you already have an active OMS subscription + workspace. For more info please refer to my OMS quick start guide to get you going fast:

Log on to your workspace and make sure you have machines connected + the solution installed:

First click on Solutions Gallery:

printscreen-23-12-2015 0000

Find System Update Assessment Solution and make sure it is added to your workspace. If it’s not yet added make sure to click the icon and add in the next screen

printscreen-23-12-2015 0001

Make sure to add the Solution to your workspace

printscreen-23-12-2015 0002

If you add the Solution for the first time it will perform an Assessment to gather the data for your environment:

printscreen-23-12-2015 0003

When the Initial Assessment has been complete you will get your info on the tile which represents the System Update Assessment:

printscreen-23-12-2015 0004

TIP: No worries my environment is not that badly patched but if you are looking into taking this solution for a test drive you can always install Azure VM’s with an earlier image (a couple of patch Tuesday’s ago) to have a machine which is in fact missing updates)

Click on the tile to open the detailed pane shown below:


printscreen-23-12-2015 0005

Click on the Required Missing updates pane:

printscreen-23-12-2015 0006

The next window will give you by default a graphical overview of the patches missing + the days ago the patches were released. This gives you a nice overview of how severe your machines are not patched. You also get a nice pie chart to give you an overview on how many patches are missing + the category of the patches.

printscreen-23-12-2015 0007

Note on the right there’s an indication in minutes how long it will take on Average to install these missing updates:

printscreen-23-12-2015 0011

This is not just a “Guesstimate” but OMS is actually using data out of the logs collected by all machines to give you an accurate time of install of this particular set of patches missing on this machine.

The number (in this case 81) is indicating that in fact they have data for all patches missing regarding the install time they will take to install.

At this time you can clearly state that the machine will probably be patched in approximately 14 minutes. You can build in some margin but definitely don’t need an hour to patch this machine.

Create your own insights!

printscreen-23-12-2015 0012

This is just the pretty eye candy view of the Solution!

If you want to have the data by update you can dive into the big data gathered and create your own insights in your patch strategy. This can be achieved by using the “raw data” in the Search Query view and creating your own views. Let’s see how we can find out for example which patches will take more than 60 seconds to install so we can put them in a different patch group:

Click on “results” next to updates right underneath the search query window

printscreen-23-12-2015 0007

At this point you get the 81 results with all their data but… no install time?


printscreen-23-12-2015 0008

Click “Show More” on the bottom of the screen to unveil the InstallTimeAvailable / InstallTimePredictionSeconds / InstallTimeDeviationRangeSeconds properies

printscreen-23-12-2015 0009

 printscreen-23-12-2015 0010       

This is the data gathered for all the updates which are identified as missing on my systems.

InstallTimeAvailable: Will give you an indication whether enough data is gathered in the OMS system to give you an actual prediction of the install time. For new updates it can take some time to find the right data to be reliable to give you an accurate prediction of course.

InstallTimePredictionSeconds: This is the prediction based on all the data gathered through the OMS system (note this is not only based on your environment but across all environments connected to OMS showing the huge advantages of the Big Data approach of Microsoft Operations Management Suite.

InstallTimeDeviationRangeSeconds: Will give you an indication how much fluctuation is possible on the prediction. In this case the value is 0,83 meaning this can either be minus or plus.

Now to find out how many of the updates (81 of them) have an install time of more than 60 seconds we need to use the Search Query power:

Click in the Search Query window on the top of the screen and start typing Install at the end of the line:

printscreen-23-12-2015 0013

OMS will give you suggestions on which parameter you want to search. In this case we are going to search on “InstallTimePredictionSeconds =”

So just click on it to get it into the Search query as shown below. At this point we can put “Greater than” 60 and run the search query by clicking the search Icon on the right or hitting Enter:

printscreen-23-12-2015 0014

There we go… We have 6 patches will take longer than 60 seconds to install so we can take appropriate action regarding these patches in SCCM:

printscreen-23-12-2015 0015


This is just a small example of the huge amount of insights you can create with OMS to help you further tune the management of your environment.