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System Center Service Manager 2010: Error when registering the Datawarehouse

4:57 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

While registering a Datawarehouse with Service Manager 2010 I got the following error in the eventviewer of the Datawarehouse server…

A module of type “Microsoft.SystemCenter.Orchestration.Module.WorkflowWorkItemModule” reported an exception System.FormatException: String was not recognized as a valid DateTime.
   at System.DateTimeParse.Parse(String s, DateTimeFormatInfo dtfi, DateTimeStyles styles)
   at System.DateTime.Parse(String s, IFormatProvider provider)
   at Microsoft.SystemCenter.Orchestration.WorkItem.ShredReader(XmlReader wiInstance)
   at Microsoft.SystemCenter.Orchestration.WorkItem..ctor(XmlReader wiInstance)
   at Microsoft.SystemCenter.Orchestration.WorkItem.GetWorkItem(String processCategory, String process)
   at Microsoft.SystemCenter.Orchestration.Module.WorkflowWorkItemModule.PollForNextWorkItemItem()
   at Microsoft.SystemCenter.Orchestration.Module.WorkflowWorkItemModule.OnDataItem(DataItemBase dataItem, DataItemAcknowledgementCallback acknowledgedCallback, Object acknowledgedState, DataItemProcessingCompleteCallback completionCallback, Object completionState) which was running as part of rule “WorkflowOrchestration.DeploymentRule” running for instance “Deployment Workflow Target” with id:”{0B09E978-69C6-709F-5D5E-B03C5477393C}” in management group “xxxxxx”.

The problem here was that the system locale from the service account used wasn’t set to English-US

After that change (and rebooting the server) the job succeeded

Cheers,

Mike

System Center Service Manager: Questions Answered

7:43 am in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

As said in my previous posts, I had a few questions concerning the product (probably more to come but…) so I asked them at the Microsoft Forum.  I also promised to let you know the results so here they are:

 

Q1: No R2 Components Allowed

As stated in the documentation, you can’t install no Operations Manager R2 components on the server(s) running the Service Manager Components.  This is the answer I’ve got

 

Quote from Anders Bengtsson

With the current version it is not supported to install any operations manager 2007 SP1 or R2 components on a service manager server, doing that might result in collisions as both the products are built on the same platform. This will be fixed before RTM.

Unquote

Fair answer, let’s hope they fix this indeed before RTM

 

Q2: I’ve noticed that you had to fill in a name for the management group, and that I had to do it twice (once during the DataWarehouse installation and once during the Service Manager installation).  I’ve installed it with entering two times the same name and this seemed to be the correct decision.  I’ve asked the support team what the meaning is of these management groups and if my decision was the right one.  Here is the answer, again from Anders Bengtsson

Hi,
With the current installation wizard you have to input the name twice, that might change before RTM. If you look under the hood it is two seperate installations of the R2 platform, that is why you have to input two management group names. There are more info about what a management group is at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc540367.aspx . In operations manger a management group name is the name of the logical installation, most often based on responsibility or geography, for example EMEA or "Exchange Team".

 

Cheers,

Mike

System Center Service Manager: Installation Part III: The Service Manager Management server, CMDB and a console

6:50 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All, this is part 3 of the installation of System Center Service Manager Beta 1.  This time I’m going to install the Service Manager Management server, the CMDB and a console.  Please note that you can’t install this on the same computer as the Data Warehouse because according to Microsoft, this will work but the results will be unpredictable.

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After running setup.exe, I got the start screen again.  This time I have chosen for Install Service Manager management server. 

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Again I have the Product registration page.  I’ve changed username, company and accepted the license agreement.  Again, no key is needed for the time being.

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Choose the location where you want to install the program.

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The prerequisite wizard has run, and again I got a warning.

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In the SCSMSetupWizard log (in my case found under the directory where the installation media was extracted) I notice (again) that I don’t have enough memory.  Still I continue (It is a virtual after all, I can add more memory if necessary)

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On this page, I needed to tell the program where the SQL server was located.  Since this was the same as where my Data Warehouse was located, I choose that one and again he listed me the only possible instance.

I wanted to create a  new database and choose that one.  The setup program filled in the rest for me.

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Here I need to point to the server which contains the Data Warehouse.  This is optional if you have installed a data warehouse.  Otherwise, this is not necessary to fill in.

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Again I need to tell the name of the management group which I can’t change afterwards, so I decided to take the same name for the management group as I did for the Datawarehouse.  I’m not sure if that is the good decision so I’m gonna post a question on the Microsoft forums and let you know what their answer is.

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The account for Service Manager, which is in my case the SM_Acct account.

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Finally the installation summary.

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And job done.  Again, this took less then 10 minutes to install.

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To check if everything works, I started the console on the server.

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I get this window, where I filled in the servername of the Service manager management server.

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And yes, it worked.  The first view on Service Manager 2010 beta 1.

To check for more, find the logs that I talked about in the previous post.

Next posts will be the first configuration.

Cheers,

Mike

System Center Service Manager: Installation Part II: The Datawarehouse

6:18 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All, this is part two of the installation post of System Center Service Manager Beta 1.  In this part, we will install the Service Manager Data Warehouse.

I started the installation with the Setup.exe (of course ;-))

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I choose Install Service Manager Data Warehouse

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Now he is asking for some data. The traditional name, organization and key.  Since this is a beta, I don’t need a key yet.  I’ve checked the License acceptance box and continued.

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Here I choose the installation location.

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Now the prerequisite checker has run and he has given me warnings.

 

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In the SCSMSetupWizard.log (in my case found under the directory where the installation media was extracted) I can read that he warns me that I don’t have enough memory (Still I’m going to try with the 2 GB ;-))

 

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In this screen, I need to give the instance for the Databases.  Since he only shows the possible instances, this is an easy one :-)

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On the next page, I need to choose the Data Warehouse Management group name.  I left it as default, but be aware that you can’t change this name afterwards.

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And finally, on that same screen, I need to choose the admin(s) for that management group.  I choose for the created admin group, SM_Admins.

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For the Data Warehouse account, I chose the user we created in the 1st post named sm_acct.  The great thing here is that you have a button to test the credentials to see if your account is ok.

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Finally the summary and of we go.

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The installation is running

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After less then 10 minutes the installation was finished.

For more information about the installation, or to troubleshoot a failed installation, check the log @ \users\<user name>\AppData\Local\SCSM\Setup or at the location where the installation files are located.

And finally, to validate if everything is ok, check if the following databases are created: DWSMDB, SCDM and SCDW

Up to the next part of the installation

Cheers,

Mike

System Center Service Manager: Installation Part 1: The prerequisites

6:10 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

In the next 3 posts I will give a walkthrough how to install System Center Service Manager Beta 1.  Before I start with the installation, I would like to tell what kind of environment I’ve used to test the Beta and the prerequisites.

To be able to test the product, you need two servers. One for the datawarehouse and one for the management server.  I’ve created two virtual servers in my testdomain names VD-FCSD-SCSM01 and VD-FCSD-SCSM02.

VD-FCSD-SCSM01 is a hyper-v virtual machine (not yet R2), will  and has the following specifications (this one will be used as the management server):

CPU: 2 times 3.60 Ghz Xeon

RAM: 2048 MB

Harddrive: 40 GB (C:\ drive)

Nic: 1

OS: Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition x64 SP2 fully patched

VD-FCSD-SCSM02 is also a hyper-v virtual machine, will be used as the datawarehouse and has the following specifications

CPU: 2 times 3.60 Ghz Xeon

RAM: 2048 MB

Harddrive: 40 GB (C:\ drive) 60 GB (E:\ drive)

Nic: 1

OS: Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition x64 SP2 fully patched

 

I’ve downloaded the Beta 1 from the connect website (connect.microsoft.com) and started reading the SM_Initial_Config_SxS.doc that is included with the download.

According to Microsoft, the hardware requirements are as following:

For the CMDB: Quad-core 2.66 Ghz, 8 GB Ram, 10 GB of available disk space en RAID 1 or 10

For the Management Server: Dual-core 2.66 Ghz, 4 GB Ram, 10 GB of available disk space

For the Management Console: 2.0 Ghz, 2 GB Ram, 1 GB available disk space

For the Data warehouse: Quad-core 2.66 Ghz, 8 GB Ram, 100 GB of available disk space

As you can see, this is much more than I have foreseen, but considering that Microsoft tested the environment for these specifications for 10000 computers, 10000 users, 50 configuration items per computer, 5500 incidents and 1500 change requests, I figured I can do with a little less since I have no access to an environment the size of that :-)

 

For the software requirements:

For the Management Server: Windows Server 2008 x64 Standard or Enterprise (check) and Microsoft .NET framework 3.5 with SP1 (check). The .NET is also included with the installation media of SCSM

For the CMDB and the Data Warehouse: Windows Server 2008 x64 Standard or Enterprise (check), SQL Server 2008 x64 (Check) and the SSRS component of SQL Server 2008 (Check)

For the Service Manager Console: Vista 64-bit (Damned), Windows Server 2008 x64 Standard or Enterprise (Check) and .NET framework 3.5 SP1 (Check)

 

For SQL Server 2008

The configuration has to be:

  • Default SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS collation with a default instance
  • Service Account configured as Local System
  • SSRS service configured and running

 

SMTP Server

  • A valid SMTP Server is necessary if you want to use the notification features.

 

Preparation for the installation

After the software prerequisites are ready, I’ve started with the preparations for the deployment.

  • One of the important things is that there could be no R2 components of SCOM 2007 on the system.
  • Created a group called SM_Admins that will be used as the security group for the Service Manager Administrators.
  • Created an account FCSD_MResse which is my testuser and which has the following rights:
    • SQL Server sysadmin on the SQL Server
    • Member of the SM_Admins group
  • Created a service account called SM_Acct
    • Member of the SM_Admins group
    • Member of the local administrators group of both servers
    • Sysadmin role of the SQL Servers
    • Content Manager role of the SQL Server Reporting Services
  • SQL instances have to use port number 1433 (Hope this will change…)

 

So, as you can read, a lot of preparation work.

Cheers,

Mike

System Center Service Manager: What’s this?

7:23 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

In early 2010, Microsoft will release a new application as part of the System Center family.  The name, System Center Service Manager.  A much awaited application because it will be the Ticketing System from Microsoft.

 

Why is everybody waiting for this application?

Every time I’m talking to IT decision takers about the future of IT management, the discussion will be about a helpdesk system sooner or later.  Why?  Because may IT decision takers admit that this is a very strategic asset for their environment.  Whether it is a small internal IT team or a large IT team, a ticketing system is necessary for all of them.  But what is on the market for the moment?  Or you have some small ticketing systems (opensource, from a vendor…) that simply do what it is, a ticketing system.  Disadvantages… manual adding of the assets (which you all know starts good the first week and after that…).  Larger IT teams will implement expensive “service desk” solutions with sometimes built-in scanning to build up a CMDB and others implement large solutions but have spend hours, days, months and even years to integrate the solution in their environment.

Again, why is everybody so eager of this application?

Because of the success of the other System Center products (SCOM, SCCM) and the promise of Microsoft of a full integration with their ticketing system, many IT Decision takers are thinking about this product for implementation.  Why?  SCCM will do the scanning and the SCCM CMDB will be fully integrated into the ticketing system.  The alerts coming from SCOM will be automatically created as a ticket in the system so many manual work will be done automatically.

But can this ticketing system be a solution for many companies?

Yes, and maybe.  For many smaller IT teams, this will be a great solution.  It will have everything that they need.  It can be customized easily to their own processes and procedures, it has a self-service portal and it can be integrated with two very popular management applications (sccm and scom) which is very popular in those environments.

Maybe, because I’m not sure yet for the larger environments.  Will they be able to compete with for example a CA?  Will it be possible to insert SLA’s for different suppliers, or for different internal divisions?  Will the system be able to be used as a commercial service desk for ICT providers?  I can continue to think of questions but I’m not gonna do this.  Instead, I will start investigating what can be done with the system and how far we can go. 

One thing I know for sure.  Microsoft really build the platform so that it can be compliant with COBIT, ITIL, MOF (Their own version of COBIT) and so on.  If they would be able to get it ITIL certified, then the story for success is created.  And if it is flexible enough to alter the product with not too much code so that it can be used for large environments, then I think the larger ticketing system companies have a new, dangerous competitor.

In the next months, I will start with my investigation

Till then,

Cheers,

Mike