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.

SCOM Hyper-V Management Pack Extensions

If you’ve ever been responsible for the management or monitoring of a Hyper-V virtualization platform, you’ve no doubt wanted and needed to monitor it for performance and capacity. The go to choice for monitoring Hyper-V is System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) and if you are using Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) to manage your Hyper-V environment then you could have and should have configured the PRO Tips integration between SCOM and VMM.

With all of this said, both the default SCOM Hyper-V Management Pack and the monitoring improvements that come with the VMM Management Packs and integration are still pretty lacklustre.

UK Regional Settings for Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2013

This week, I’ve been working with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) for a customer to image client machines in their environment. In MDT, we want to use the Deployment Share Rules configuration to hide the wizard selection panes for setting the time zone, region and locale settings and automatically set them to the UK settings and as such, prompt the user for one less piece of information, making our Lite Touch Installation (LTI) as Zero Touch Installation (ZTI) as possible. The MDT documentation tells us that we need to use the SkipLocaleSelection and SkipTimeZone properties to hide the panels in the wizard but it doesn’t give us the values for overriding the default values.

DPM Replica Recovery Point Run Out of Space

If you receive an alert in System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) that a replica or recovery point volume has run out of space, you will probably find this is a result of your DPM Storage Pool being out of space and head off to talk to your storage administrator to get some additional disk presented. While this is obviously the correct thing to do, you also need to take into consideration the impact this may have on your Recovery Point and Replica volumes.

Automating SharePoint Online with System Center Orchestrator

Recently, I’ve been working with a customer who uses Office 365 SharePoint Online and were looking to automate the creation of new sub sites in SharePoint Online with System Center Orchestrator. In addition to the requirement for automating the creation of the sub sites, the customer wanted this to be available as a self-service offering which they can make available to their users.

License Types with Automatic Virtual Machine Activation

A couple of weeks ago, I posted an article on how to use Automatic Virtual Machine Activation (AVMA) with Windows Server 2012 R2 and Hyper-V. I wanted to follow this up with a brief note on license types Microsoft provide and how they seem to work with AVMA.

In production environments you will be using keys purchased through either a Select, Volume License or other commercial agreement and in test and development, you may well be using keys from MSDN or TechNet according to how you operate.

Hyper-V Integration Services Error in VMM 2012 R2

When working with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 recently, I encountered an issue whereby deploying a Windows Server 2012 R2 virtual machine from template worked great but deploying a Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual machine from template reported a failure in the VMM Jobs view. The error shown is that Hyper-V Integration Services reported an error installing and generated the error code 60001.

SQL 2012 and System Center 2012 R2 Guide

Over on the TechNet Gallery a great new guide has been published titled SQL 2012 and System Center 2012 R2. The guide delves into the configuration of SQL Server best practice, how to deploy SQL Server and how to protect SQL Server, all specifically focused around using SQL Server with System Center 2012 R2 products such as Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM), Operations Manager (SCOM), Orchestrator (SCO). The guide also looks at SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn HADR, Hyper-V Replica and SQL Azure.

Configuration Manager 2012 OSD Fails After Restart

I was working today testing the operating system deployment capability of System Center Configuration Manager 2012 (not R2) for a Windows 7 task sequence. In the environment, I am using a VMware vSphere virtual machine as my target for the deployment but sadly, the networks available to the host don’t have access to client DHCP enabled VLANs which means that everything needs to be done manually including booting the pre-execution environment as there is no way of getting this from the network as without DHCP to provide the Option Codes 66 and 67 which contain the TFTP server name and the boot image path the client doesn’t know what to do.