System Center

All posts concerning the System Center suite including but not limited to Configuration Manager, Operations Manager, Virtual Machine Manager, Service Manager, Data Protection Manager and Orchestrator. Quite often, posts relating to Hyper-V will crop up here due to the link with Virtual Machine Manager.

Configuring Global Service Monitor for SCOM

As System Center people, we all know that SCOM is very powerful and capable at monitoring but unless you deploy Management Servers or Gateway Servers into a public cloud environment like Azure, all of your monitoring comes with the perspective of inside your environment. If you are hosting web services that are externally accessible, one important aspect to consider is outside-in monitoring, otherwise known as monitoring your externally facing services from outside of your organisation.

Automatically Label the OS Drive on New VMs

Since I posted my previous article Automatically Assign DVD Drive Letter VMM Private Cloud, I’ve made a couple of improvements to the environment that I wanted to share with you all and in this first post, I will cover off how to automatically label and name the OS drive on our newly deployed virtual machines. This process involves applies registry keys.

Cireson Announce Partner Only Channel Sales Model

This week, Cireson, the company best known for their System Center Service Manager extensions such as the Self-Service Portal have made an exciting announcement regarding their sales channels.

Historically, Cireson have offered customers both a direct and a partner channel for purchasing their products however this week, it has been announced that Cireson are moving to a partner only model to align themselves with the Microsoft global partner ecosystem.

Update Rollup 6 for System Center Service Manager

On the 28th April 2015, Microsoft are going to make available Update Rollup 6 for System Center Service Manager 2012 R2. Microsoft have provided the details of the update in a blog post at http://blogs.technet.com/b/servicemanager/archive/2015/04/22/it-39-s-time-for-ur6.aspx.

This update heavily focuses on performance enhancements including improvements to the AD and SCCM connectors as well as improvements to the MPSyncJob, one of the many Data Warehouse jobs which causes no end of problems in my experience.

Changing SQL Server Instance Collation

Working in my home lab over the last couple of evenings, I have been installing some additional SQL Server instances ready for me to install System Center Service Manager. As anyone who has worked with System Center 2012 or 2012 R2 knows, getting your SQL instance collation right is critical. To compound matters, when you think you’ve got an instance setup right, you could end up finding that although one product has the correct collation, another does not.

Automatically Assign DVD Drive Letter VMM Private Cloud

Like many administrators, I like to move my DVD Drive to the Z: drive so that it is still there to allow me to mount .iso files on the VM using stored .iso files in the VMM Library Share but that way, I know that all my data drives are kept together. Unfortunately, Windows Server will automatically assign the DVD Drive to the D: letter which means a manual task is required to move it to another letter however I have a nice little solution that will move it to the Z: drive or any letter you desire using the VMM GUI Run Once commands.

Nvarchar Data Type Error with SCSM 2012 R2 Update Rollup 5

There is a bug in Update Rollup 5 which only effects systems which use a System Locale that results in a change to the date and time format. US systems store their date and time in the MM/DD/YY format however here in the UK and many other countries, we store the date as DD/MM/YY. The bug in Update Rollup 5 meant that SCSM isn’t able to understand how a month could have more than 12 days as it isn’t able to use international date formatting.

SCCM OSD Part 2: Consolidating the Captured Images

In part of one this series, SCCM OSD Part 1: Building Reference Images, we setup task sequences to capture reference images for all of the required operating systems. Further on in this series, we will be using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit to create a User-Driven Installation (UDI) with the Configuration Manager integration and in order for this to work, we need to consolidate our images into a single master .wim file.

SCCM OSD Part 1: Building Reference Images

This is the first in what will become a multi-part series of posts on configuring Operating System Deployment in Configuration Manager 2012 R2. The end goal will be to use Configuration Manager with MDT integration to provide a rich end-user experience for deploying operating systems.

In this first part, we will lay the foundation for what will become the core of the deployment – the Windows Operating System images. In this part, we will create task sequences to build and capture the reference images and update them as needed.

Extending SCUP with the Patch My PC Catalog

If you read my two previous posts, Preparing Certificates and GPOs for System Center Update Publisher and Setting Up System Center Update Publisher, you will have already a working SCUP installation and integration with Configuration Manager and you will have the certificates and Group Policy Object settings in place for your clients to trust the updates distributed by SCUP. The downfall to the work done with SCUP up to now is that the out of the box catalogs that Microsoft give you access to are subject to that provided to Microsoft by the software vendors. Adobe, Dell, Fujitsu and HP all provide catalogs however none of these are complete and cover their entire product line but the gesture is most welcome none-the-less.