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Interesting news…

1:50 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

Just had my first week of vacation for this summer (I actually went cooking with a scouts group together with my wife and kids so it was also a bit working ;-)) and when I came back, my inbox, tweets and other stuff had some real interesting information.  An overview:

System Center Data Protection Manager

Six! new posts on the Data Protection Manager technet blog:

Jason has also posted an update about his book, Data Protection for Virtual Data Centers.

You can find more information and the first chapter on and the post on

David Allen from SCDPMOnline has posted a great article about Centralised DPM Availability Reporting.  Check it out here

System Center Essentials

The Essentials 2010 resource kit is launched.  Find more information here and here

Dell has announced a partnership with Microsoft to deliver a solution around SCE 2010.  Information can be found here and here

That’s it for now, still a lot of catching up to do for OpsMgr, Virtual Machine Manager and ConfigMgr, but at least I already read the SCE and DPM information :-)

Enjoy the holidays



Presentation: How To Manage your Sharepoint Environment With System Center

9:04 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey all, yesterday I had the pleasure of giving a presentation on the Belgium Community Day (  This event, organized by some members of the Belgian Community is getting more popular every year.  It was the fourth edition and received a speaking slot for the first time here.

It is amazing that just a few people of the community succeed in organizing such an event (almost 500 people registered) and find the necessary sponsors, funding and helping hands to do this event, which was still free for everybody, as it is always been.

The big man behind the event is Gill Cleeren ( and his team did a fantastic job at Utopolis in Mechelen, Belgium

So, for my session.  The title was How to Manage your Sharepoint Environment With System Center and for the first time in my life I had to present in a cinema room.

I presume this should have made me nervous but instead I actually was quite excited

Here’s a picture from before the session when the audience wasn’t arrived yet.  Still hope that there are pictures when I am actually doing the presentation so if anybody has one… let me know :-)


Although the majority of the attending people were developers, there was quite some people in the room considering that I am giving an IT pro session.  So I was quite happy to start.

In the end, I was quite happy with my presentation except for one moment were my wireless connection to my demo environment dropped.  Small ackward moment but for the rest everything went ok.

Unfortunately I only got one hour and in that presentation I had to discuss how to manage your environment (SCOM) and protect it (SCDPM).

Here are the highlights:


One of the first items I addressed was the growing pains of SharePoint.  Because of the nature of SharePoint, it can be a pain in the **** for IT Pro administrators.

Through the years, SharePoint became more and more popular, which gave additional challenges to administrators.

  • Mission Critical information is kept on SharePoint
  • More utilization meant that the performance become worse, and because of the above situation, users started to complain because their data was on there
  • Companies (read Management) started to ask about redundancy plans for this application
  • The capabilities of SharePoint gave the possibility that different regions, different business units had different functions, but this also created headaches for admins
  • Everybody knows by know that custom development is the key to success, but how are we going to keep track of this?  Because of the great platform, developers loved it, creating additional applications and workflows.
  • SharePoint became quite quickly the new datacenter application, so it needed to be managed as an datacenter application
  • Another issue is the fact that SharePoint is everywhere.  It is distributed by nature.  Additional project sites, sites, document libraries and so on are created with ease.
  • This also created additional load and admins needed to provide quickly additional resources which wasn’t always that easy.
  • Luckily there was virtualization, but that also give another problem, the so-called server sprawl


My next slide was about what benefits can give you when you use it to manage SharePoint

  • With SCOM you can easily do proactive monitoring and reporting.  It even integrates with SharePoint’s native monitoring capabilities.
  • With SCVMM you can manage the capacity and provide additional SharePoint resources as needed (and then I didn’t talk about Opalis who can automate this workflow based on SCOM’s performance data.)
  • SCDPM can help you with rapid and reliable data backup and recovery
  • SCOM will also validate your SharePoint environment through the use of prepackaged validated best practices.  Hey, and if your environment has a good reason for not being setup according to the best practices, then you adapt the monitors to your own best practices
  • Everybody who ever managed a SharePoint environment knows that patching it is a terrible work.  By using SCCM you can automate parts of the entire process.
  • With the new ServiceManager, you can describe your entire farm as a business service (most of it is automated if you are also using SCOM) and get the entire incident and change management process to the application, according to your ITIL or MOF workflows
  • Through SCOM you can manage not only SharePoint, but also the OS, the hardware and even the network if you want, giving you an overview of the health of the entire datacenter for this application.
  • And last but not least, a consistent user interface through the complete suite makes it easy for your IT admins to administer them all.

This was more a general slide, and then I started to talk about one of the two actual topics.  First one: The SCOM Management Pack for Sharepoint.


The first slide on this topic discussed the improvements over the previous management pack.

  • The architecture had changed so now it looked on a server level but also on logical components
  • The new SPHA (SharePoint Health Analyzer) rules that are embedded in SharePoint are integrated in the new Management Pack
  • There are only two management packs left, the SharePoint foundation and SharePoint Server management pack

Also the differences in rules, monitors etc were shown


And then it was time to just demo the Management Pack.  It is pretty difficult to explain this Management Pack, you just have to see it for yourself to see the value.  This was also the moment I lost my wireless and freezed my remote desktop.  Luckily it returned shortly afterwards so I could continue the demonstration.

Finally, to close this topic, I explained the pitfalls when installing this Management Pack


  • Make sure you have all the hotfixes necessary.  They are all described in the manuals that come with the management packs.  Another great example of Read The Fine Manual.
  • Make sure that you also install the additional management packs such as the SQL management pack, the IIS management pack and ofcourse the OS management pack.  And if you have a management pack for your hardware and/or network, use them too.
  • When you install the Management Pack on an x64 system, there is a little problem that it installs them in the “%Program Files (x86)\System Center Management Packs” directory while it needs to be in the “%Program Files\System Center Management Packs” directory.  Copy the files to there
  • Don’t forget to create the Run As Account, this account needs to be Farm Administrator and have the correct rights on the SQL databases.
  • Resize your event logs (the windows application log and sharepoint foundation\operational log) to at least 10 MB.
  • Disable event log replication when your environment is running on windows clusters.  Otherwise you will get alerts two times.
  • And last but not least, but this is a best practice for every SCOM administrator, use an override management pack for your overrides.  This is created by default when you run the config task.

Second part was protecting SharePoint.  And here I wanted to discuss DPM of course, but I also discussed the built-in tools from SharePoint.  The reason for that is quite simple.  Yes you need a backup, yes you need to be able to recover but when a user deletes one document and calls the helpdesk, you don’t want to start recovering that one document because you will have a lot of work.  Yes DPM can do that but you will use this when the user wants the document back but realized it way too late.

Anyway, here are the important takeaways when you are planning a SharePoint project and are thinking about Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (which you should always do in the planning phase but hey, it doesn’t always go as it should right…)

  • Understand what you need to protect.  Get an overview of the install base (use SCOM for this), understand for what it will be used. 
  • Get clear goals with your management.  I can’t afford to loose a document and it must be online all the time is only achievable if they want to spent a lot of money.  If they don’t want that, then ask how much they want to loose, and how long it can take to bring everything up again.  Based on that, decide what you need, get pricing and talk again to your management.
  • Read about SharePoint, know what is already included with the product.  Use it in your advantage.
  • Make sure that when the product is online, that Business Continuity management in an ongoing process.

Another slide is showed is what is already inside the box.


Oke, the first point was merely explain what the difference is between Warm high availability and Cold availability.

But the other points are extremely useful.

  • Recycle bin.  Use it, train your users, and set it on a few days so that you have less work when a user deletes a document by accident.
  • Use versioning, force it.  This way, users can’t take an old version and overwrite the newer one.  They can return whenever they want.
  • There is the Read-Only Database option.  This is nice.  Take a content database with important information that doesn’t need to be changed again, make it read-only in SQL and SharePoint see this and handless to it.
  • If you have custom development, let your developers package all solutions.  If it is a real disaster, then you can reinstall that package easily.
  • And finally, there is the possibility of an Unattached Content Database.  You can take a snapshot in SQL or recover one through DPM and read it through SharePoint without the need of being attached to SharePoint.

After that, some slides on how DPM works, but since I already addressed this topic I’m not going to repeat myself.

After a demo of a document recovery, I finalized the session with the takeaways which are all described here.

After the session, I still got a lot of people coming up and ask me a lot of questions on DPM.  Glad to hear that it finally is getting the buzz it needs in Belgium :-)

One last thing that I forgot to mention yesterday (shame on me) but I will mention it here:

All the things that I showed yesterday and described here can also be achieved with System Center Essentials 2010.  Certainly now that Microsoft has released System Center Essentials Plus which gives you licensing for SCE and DPM.

Till next


Mike Resseler

PS: For those who are interested, my presentation can be found at this address:

Session 1, room 9

DPM and SCE go RTM

9:40 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey Guys,


DPM and SCE 2010 are RTM-ed!!!!!

Check out:

For more information:

Enjoy these new cool tools