Happy new year to all!  A few things I thought might be of interest!

 

Maintenance mode

Questions relating to maintenance mode in SCOM 2007 have come up frequently.  There are two common questions.  First, how is maintenance mode different in SCOM?  Second, is it possible to place an agent in maintenance mode from the command line like was common in MOM 2005.

 

Maintenance mode differences

In MOM 2005 we placed a system in maintenance mode and that was it – only one type of maintenance mode.  In opsmgr we have three different components (the agent, the agents health service and the agents health service watcher)  that must be placed in maintenance mode to fully achieve an ‘offline’ state for the agent.  You could also choose to place all of these components in maintenance mode (which would replicate maintenance mode in MOM 2005) or choose just one of the three components for maintenance mode – which would allow all monitoring by the other pieces not in maintenance mode to continue.

 

Command line maintenance mode

Command shell

The command shell scripts below are useful for putting an agent into FULL maintenance mode.  The use of these scripts assumes power shell is installed on the local system, which very likely will not be the case.  Please also note that it is not supported to place a RMS into maintenance mode while it is operational as an RMS.  These script examples are taken from the blog post at http://scom2k7.blogspot.com/2007/08/new-maintenance-mode-tool-for.html

Individual system

AgentMaintenanceMode.ps1 –rootMS: ‘omrms1.contoso.com' -computerPrincipalName: 'ql1tmactest1.mi.corp.rockfin.com' -numberOfHoursInMaintenanceMode:4 -comment:'ql1tmactest1.mi.corp.rockfin.com MaintenanceMode'

Group

GroupMaintenanceMode.ps1rootMS: ‘omrms1.contoso.com' -groupName: '_AU 3AM Sunday Reboot' -numberOfHoursInMaintenanceMode:4 -comment:'_AU 3AM Sunday Reboot MaintenanceMode'

Agent Maintenance Mode tool

This tool is similar to the MOM 2005 MOMInfo resource kit tool.  Running this tool on an agent will place the agent in maintenance mode without the need to interact with the operations manager console.  The tool and more information are available at This tool is similar to the MOMInfo or maintmode utilities in MOM 2005.  The tool may be downloaded from Clive’s blog post at http://blogs.technet.com/cliveeastwood/archive/2007/09/18/agentmm-a-command-line-tool-to-place-opsmgr-agents-into-maintenance-mode.aspx

 

Objects and Targeting

Opsmgr 2007 is significantly different from MOM 2005.  One of the key differences is seen in the way that Opsmgr 2007 does monitoring.  In MOM 2005, for example, all monitoring was based on individual computers.  In Opsmgr 2007, monitoring is based on the service being monitored, independent of what computer it is running on.  This offers some clear advantages in that we no longer need to know every server that is hosting a particular service – instead, all we have to know is that we want to monitor the service.  Opsmgr will find all of it’s agents that are hosting the service and begin monitoring.  If the service moves from one monitored system to another, opsmgr will automatically detect the change and monitoring will adjust and continue.

 

There are some advanced configurations where this type of approach really shows benefit!  Consider an application that requires a website that  depends on a backend SQL server for proper function.   In opsmgr we are able to tie these two (or more) dependent services together and monitor the total application health as a unit.  If the SQL server goes down, the health/status of the application as a whole would be impacted rather than just noting the impact on individual services.

 

While this new approach has interesting advantages it also is a very different way of thinking.  Administrators now need to think in terms of monitoring services rather than monitoring computers.  This requires a retool in the way we think about targeting rules, monitors, views and even reports.  If targeting is done improperly, results may not be what is anticipated.

 

One of the best documents I’ve seen to explain targeting is the BestPractice_Rule_Monitor.PDF file available for download at microsoft.com.  It’s a bit large but if you have the ability to print it out it servers as an excellent reference when getting familiar with targeting.

 

Intel vPRO NIC capabilities

The following chart may be of interest to you if your organization is using systems with the Intel vPRO NIC installed.

 

Hardware-based capability

of Intel® Centrino® Pro and

Intel® vPro™ processor

Technology

Configuration Manager 2007* Service Pack 1 with native support for

Intel® AMT

Intel® AMT Management Pack for:

Ops Manager 2007

Security capability

Remote power up/down/reset

Yes

Yes

System isolation (system defense)

No

Yes

Problem resolution capability

Remote/redirected boot

Yes

Yes

Console redirection

Yes

Yes

Out-of-band alerting

No

Yes

Access to BIOS settings anytime

Yes

Yes

Access to critical hardware asset information anytime

Yes

Yes

Asset-management capability

Persistent universal unique identifier (UUID)

Yes

Yes

Access to hardware asset information

Yes

Yes

Boot integrity (chain of trust)

Yes

Yes

 

SQL Server Management Pack Updated
The SQL server management pack has been updated to version 6.0.6247.5

 

This is applicable to both RTM and RC1-SP1 environments.

This updated version addresses many script errors, and some counters not collecting data correctly.

It is recommended that you upgrade to this version as soon as convenient.  It should not affect any overrides you already have in place.

 

Steve