Tag: SMA

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Summary: Update Rollup 8 for System Center 2012 R2 and Azure Pack now available

Yesterday Microsoft released Update Rollup 8 for System Center 2012 R2 and Windows Azure Pack. Again with the Update Rollups for Windows Azure Pack and System Center, Microsoft not only delivers bug fixes, they also release new features.

There are some really cool highlights in this Update Rollup:

  • Network Virtualization Improvements (Multiple External IP Addresses,…)
  • SCDPM bug fixes
  • Better Checkpoint Integration (Checkpoint Quotas,…)
  • Support for SQL Server 2014 SP1
  • Support of Tier Storage in VMM for Storage Spaces
  • Hyper-V ACL Support in VMM
  • New Network devices in SCOM

Here you can get a quick update on what’s new in Update Rollup 8:

  • Data Protection Manager (KB3086084)
    • The DPM Agent crashes intermittently during a backup.
    • If you are trying to recover data from an imported tape, DPM may crash with a “Connection to the DPM service has been lost” error.
    • If you try to back up a SharePoint site that uses SQL Always On as a content database, SQL logs are not truncated as expected.
    • You cannot verify tape library compatibility for tapes that use RSMCompatmode settings such as IBM 35xx, 2900, and so on.
    • If you have multiple SharePoint farms hosted on the same SQL cluster with different instances but the same database names, DPM cannot back up the correct SharePoint farm content.
    • If you run Update Rollup 7 for Data Protection Manager 2012 R2, and you have already configured online protection for one or more protection groups, trying to change the protection group populates the default DPM settings for the “Select long-term goals” wizard instead of the previous configured values.
    • When you try to protect a SQL failover cluster, the Data Protection Manager UI crashes for every backup or synchronization operation.
    • If you install Update Rollup 7 for Data Protection Manager 2012 R2, self-service recovery for SQL databases may not work.
  • Operations Manager (KB3096382)
    • Slow load of alert view when it is opened by an operator
      Sometimes when the operators change between alert views, the views take up to two minutes to load. After this update rollup is installed, the reported performance issue is eradicated. The Alert View Load for the Operator role is now almost same as that for the Admin role user.
    • SCOMpercentageCPUTimeCounter.vbs causes enterprise wide performance issue
      Health Service encountered slow performance every five to six (5-6) minutes in a cyclical manner. This update rollup resolves this issue.
    • System Center Operations Manager Event ID 33333 Message: The statement has been terminated.
      This change filters out “statement has been terminated” warnings that SQL Server throws. These warning messages cannot be acted on. Therefore, they are removed.
    • System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager: Report event 21404 occurs with error ‘0x80070057’ after Update Rollup 3 or Update Rollup 4 is applied.
      In Update Rollup 3, a design change was made in the agent code that regressed and caused SCOM agent to report error ‘0x80070057’ and MonitoringHost.exe to stop responding/crash in some scenarios. This update rollup rolls back that UR3 change.
    • SDK service crashes because of Callback exceptions from event handlers being NULL
      In a connected management group environment in certain race condition scenarios, the SDK of the local management group crashes if there are issues during the connection to the different management groups. After this update rollup is installed, the SDK of the local management group should no longer crash.
    • Run As Account(s) Expiring Soon — Alert does not raise early enough
      The 14-day warning for the RunAs account expiration was not visible in the SCOM console. Customers received only an Error event in the console three days before the account expiration. After this update rollup is installed, customers will receive a warning in their SCOM console 14 days before the RunAs account expiration, and receive an Error event three (3) days before the RunAs account expiration.
    • Network Device Certification
      As part of Network device certification, we have certified the following additional devices in Operations Manager to make extended monitoring available for them:

      • Cisco ASA5515
      • Cisco ASA5525
      • Cisco ASA5545
      • Cisco IPS 4345
      • Cisco Nexus 3172PQ
      • Cisco ASA5515-IPS
      • Cisco ASA5545-IPS
      • F5 Networks BIG-IP 2000
      • Dell S4048
      • Dell S3048
      • Cisco ASA5515sc
      • Cisco ASA5545sc
    • French translation of APM abbreviation is misleading
      The French translation of “System Center Management APM service” is misleading. APM abbreviation is translated incorrectly in the French version of Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager. APM means “Application Performance Monitoring” but is translated as “Advanced Power Management.” This fix corrects the translation.
    • p_HealthServiceRouteForTaskByManagedEntityId does not account for deleted resource pool members in System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager
      If customers use Resource Pools and take some servers out of the pool, discovery tasks start failing in some scenarios. After this update rollup is installed, these issues are resolved.
    • Exception in the ‘Managed Computer’ view when you select Properties of a managed server in Operations Manager Console
      In the Operations Manager Server “Managed Computer” view on the Administrator tab, clicking the “Properties” button of a management server causes an error. After this update rollup is installed, a dialog box that contains a “Heart Beat” tab is displayed.
    • Duplicate entries for devices when network discovery runs
      When customers run discovery tasks to discover network devices, duplicate network devices that have alternative MAC addresses are discovered in some scenarios. After this update rollup is installed, customers will not receive any duplicate devices discovered in their environments.
    • Preferred Partner Program in Administration Pane
      This update lets customers view certified System Center Operations Manager partner solutions directly from the console. Customers can obtain an overview of the partner solutions and visit the partner websites to download and install the solutions.
  • Orchestrator & SMA (KB3096381)
    • SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 1 (SP1) is now supported in Orchestrator 2012 R2.
    • After you export and then import a Runbook, the Password field of Run Program activity is corrupted.
    • SMA: SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 1 is now supported in Service Management Automation 2012 R2.
    • SMA: Service Management Automation 2012 R2 does not let you stop jobs that are in the queued state.
  • Service Provider Foundation (KB3096384)
    • Installing update rollups for Service Provider Foundation causes additional bindings to be created, and this makes a Service Provider Foundation website inaccessible.
    • Quotas for multiple NAT connections are not supported. For more information about this feature, see WAP Update Rollup 8 documentation.
  • Virtual Machine Manager (KB3096389)
    • Support for SQL Server 2014 SP1 as VMM database
      With Update Rollup 8 for SC VMM 2012 R2 you can now have Microsoft SQL Server 2014 SP1 as the VMM database. This support does not include deploying service templates by using the SQL profile type as SQL Server 2014 SP1. For the latest information about SQL Server requirements for System Center 2012 R2, see the reference here.
    • Support for VMWare vCenter 6.0 management scenarios
      With Update Rollup 7, we announced support for management scenarios for vCenter 5.5. Building on our roadmap for vCenter and VMM integration and supportability, we are now excited to announce support for VMWare vCenter 6.0 in Update Rollup 8. For a complete list of supported scenarios, click here.
    • Ability to set quotas for external IP addresses
      With Update Rollup 7, we announced support for multiple external IP addresses per virtual network, but the story was incomplete, as there was no option to set quotas on the number of NAT connections. With UR8, we are glad to announce end-to-end support for this functionality, as you can now set quotas on the number of external IP addresses allowed per user role. You can also manage this by using Windows Azure Pack (WAP).
    • Support for quotas for checkpoints
      Before UR8, when you create a checkpoint through WAP, VMM does not check whether creating the checkpoint will exceed the tenant storage quota limit. Before UR8, tenants can create the checkpoint even if the storage quota limit will be exceeded.
    • Ability to configure static network adapter MAC address during operating system deployment
      With Update Rollup 8, we now provide the functionality to configure static network adapter MAC addresses during operating system deployment. If you have ever done Bare Metal provisioning of hosts and ended up having multiple hosts with the same MAC addresses (because of dynamic IP address assignment for network adapters), this could be a real savior for you.
    • Ability to deploy extended Hyper-V Port ACLs
      With Update Rollup 8 for VMM, you can now:

      • Define ACLs and their rules
      • Attach the ACLs created to a VM network, VM subnets, or virtual network adapters
      • Attach the ACL to global settings that apply it to all virtual network adapters
      • View and update ACL rules configured on the virtual network adapter in VMM
      • Delete port ACLs and ACL rules
    • Support for storage space tiering in VMM
      With Update Rollup 8, VMM now provides you the functionality to create file shares with tiers (SSD/HDD).
    • Issue 1
      Creation of Generation 2 VMs fails with error 13206
    • Issue 2
      VMM does not let you set the owner of a hardware profile with an owner name that contains the “$” symbol.
    • Issue 3
      HA VMs with VLAN configured on the network sites of a logical network cannot be migrated from one host to another. Error 26857 is thrown when you try to migrate the VM.
    • Issue 4
      The changes that are made by a tenant administrator (with deploy permissions to a cloud) to the Memory and CPU settings of a VM in the cloud through VMM Console do not stick. To work around this issue, change these settings by using PowerShell.
    • Issue 5
      When a VM is deployed and put on an SMB3 file share that’s hosted on NetApp filer 8.2.3 or later, the VM deployment process leaves a stale session open per VM deployed to the share. When many VMs are deployed by using this process, VM deployment starts to fail as the max limit of the allowed SMB session on the NetApp filer is reached.
    • Issue 6
      VMM hangs because of SQL Server performance issues when you perform VMM day-to-day operations. This issue occurs because of stale entries in the tbl_PCMT_PerfHistory_Raw table. With UR8, new stale entries are not created in the tbl_PCMT_PerfHistory_Raw table. However, the entries that existed before installation of UR8 will continue to exist.
    • Issue 7
      In a deployment with virtualized Fiber Channel adapters, VMM does not update the SMI-S storage provider, and it throws an exception.
    • Issue 8
      For VMs with VHDs that are put on a Scale out File Server (SOFS) over SMB, the Disk Read Speed VM performance counter incorrectly displays zero in the VMM Admin Console. This prevents an enterprise from monitoring its top IOPS consumers.
    • Issue 9
      Dynamic Optimization fails, leaks a transaction, and prevents other jobs from executing. It is blocked on the SQL Server computer until SCVMM is recycled or the offending SPID in SQL is killed.
    • Issue 10
      V2V conversion fails when you try to migrate VMs from ESX host to Hyper-V host if the hard disk size of the VM on the ESX host is very large.
    • Issue 11
      Live migration of VMs in an HNV network takes longer than expected. You may also find pings to the migrating VM are lost. This is because during the live migration, the WNV Policy table is transferred (instead of only delta). Therefore, if the WNV Policy table is too long, the transfer is delayed and may cause VMs to lose connectivity on the new host.
    • Issue 12
      VMM obtains a wrong MAC address while generating the HNV policy in the deployments where F5 Load Balancers are used.
    • Issue 13
      For IBM SVC devices, enabling replication fails in VMM because there is a limitation in SVC in which the name of the consistency group should start with an alphabetical character (error code: 36900). This issue occurs because while enabling replication, VMM generates random strings for naming the “consistency groups” and “relationship” between the source and the target, and these contain alphanumeric characters. Therefore, the first character that’s generated by VMM may be a number, and this breaks the requirement by IBM SVC.
    • Issue 14
      In Update Rollup 6, we included a change that lets customers have a static MAC address even if the network adapter is not connected. This fix did not cover all scenarios correctly, and it triggers an exception when there’s a template with a connected network adapter, and then you later try to edit the static address in order to disconnect the network adapter.
    • Issue 15
      Post Update Rollup 6, as soon as a host goes into legacy mode, it does not come back to eventing for 20 days. Therefore, the VM properties are not refreshed, and no events are received from HyperV for 20 days.This issue occurs because of a change that’s included in UR6 that set the expiry as 20 days for both eventing mode and legacy mode. The legacy refresher, which should ideally run after 2 minutes, now runs after 20 days; and until then, eventing is disabled.Workaround:
      To work around this issue, manually run the legacy refresher by refreshing VM properties.
    • Issue 16
      Post-UR7, deleting a virtual network does not correctly clean up the cluster resources for the Network Virtualization Gateway. This causes the cluster role (cluster group) to go into a failed state when a failover of the HNV gateway cluster role occurs.
  • Windows Azure Pack (KB3096392)
    • Administrators cannot offer and tenants cannot use multiple external IP addresses through a Network Address Translation (NAT) connection.
      Even though Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) has functionality to allocate IP addresses for this purpose, the WAP administrator and tenant experiences do not provide such functionality. Administrators can now allocate a set of external IP addresses for tenants to use when you create NAT rules. The administrator can set up the IP address quota through the Administrator Portal virtual machine (VM) extension.
    • Tenants can create only one checkpoint per virtual machine.
      Administrators can create plans that include quotas that let tenants create multiple VM checkpoints.
    • An unexpected exception is generated by the PowerShell command “Get-MgmtSvcSqlDatabase.”
      The command Get-MgmtSvcSqlDatabase does not retrieve SQL database information. The following examples return exception “Object reference not set to an instance of an object”:

      • Get-MgmtSvcSqlDatabase -AdminUri $AdminUri -Token $Token -HostingServerId “someid” -DisableCertificateValidation
      • Get-MgmtSvcSqlDatabase -AdminUri $AdminUri -Token $Token -HostingServerId $hostserver.ServerId -Name “somename” -DisableCertificateValidation
      • Get-MgmtSvcSqlDatabase -AdminUri $AdminUri -Token $Token -HostingServerId ” someserverid” -Name “datatest” -DisableCertificateValidation
    • An unexpected exception is generated by the PowerShell command “Remove-MgmtSvcMySqlHostingServer.” 
      This command fails with the exception “Index (zero-based) must be greater than or equal to zero and less than the size of the argument list” when you run statements such as the following:

      • Remove-MgmtSvcMySqlHostingServer -AdminUri $AdminUri -Token $Token -HostingServerId $HostServer[0].ServerId -DisableCertificateValidation
      • Remove-MgmtSvcMySqlHostingServer -AdminUri $AdminUri -Token $Token -HostingServerId “someserverid” -DisableCertificateValidation
    • When you create a virtual machine through the Tenant Portal, the menu dropdown boxes are not sorted.
      When a tenant tries to create a VM and the list of items is larger than some items, it becomes very difficult to find the necessary machine image or template.
    • Attaching ISOs in a generation 2 (gen 2) VM fails after three or four attach or detach operations.
      The attach and detach operations on ISO disks and VM gen 2 allocate adapters never releases the adapters for reuse.After you apply this update, detaching the disk adapter enables the adapter to be reused again.

This Update Rollup is one of the bigger one Microsoft released in terms of Azure Pack IaaS Scenarios. This update brings several great improvements to the implementation of Checkpoints and Network Virtualization. Update Rollup 8 finally bringing end to end support for multiple external IP Addresses for the NVGRE Gateways inside WAP as well as VMM. Also better support for Checkpoints on Hyper-V in the WAP Portal as well as VMM.

As always, before you deploy an update rollup in production, make sure, you have tested it in your test or lab environment.



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Summary: Update Rollup 7 for System Center 2012 R2 and Azure Pack now available

Last week Microsoft released Update Rollup 7 (UR7) for System Center 2012 R2 and Windows Azure Pack. And as always, Update Rollup 7 does not only include a bunch of fixes, it also includes some new features. This time especially Windows Azure Pack and System Center Virtual Machine Manager got some nice updates. Components that are fixed and updated in this update rollup

  • Data Protection Manager (3065246)
    • Support for Windows 10 Client operating system
    • Ability to use an alternative DPM server to recover from Azure Backup Vault
    • Improvements for backup on Hyper-V Replica VMs
    • Other improvements and fixes…
  • Orchestrator & SMA (3069115)
    • Orchestrator: some small fixes
    • SMA
      • SMA runbook execution fails if a PowerShell execution policy is set to Unrestricted through a Group Policy Object.
      • Fixed an error when you try to save or import a runbook in SMA
  • Operations Manager (will be released later)
    • The rollup is delayed by few weeks, as engineering team is working on recently reported issues.
  • Service Manager (3063263)
  • Service Provider Foundation (3069355)
    • This update includes general API changes to improve product quality.
  • Virtual Machine Manager (3066340)
    • Support for Windows 10 Client Operating System
    • Support for new Linux Operating Systems (Debian 8)
    • Support for VMWare vCenter 5.5 management scenarios (more infos VMWare vCenter 5.5 management scenarios)
    • Support for Multiple External IP Addresses per Virtual Network
    • Option to Reassociate Orphaned virtual machines to their Service or VM role
    • Support for VMM DHCP Extension PXE/TFP Forwarding
    • Some scale improvements if you have more than 50 Hyper-V Hosts
    • Some Hyper-V Network Virtualization (HNV) fixes and improvements
    • Other fixes…
  • Windows Azure Pack (3069121)
    • Tenants cannot delete the checkpoints of their virtual machines
    • Support for VM names of up to 15 characters
    • Displaying VHD items during virtual machine creation when there are no hardware profiles in the plan
    • Incompatible VHDs are offered to the tenant when attaching a VHD to a virtual machine
    • Support for tenant plan viewing and self-subscription permission based on security groups
    • Support for Shielded Virtual Machine Management when it’s run on Windows Server 2016 Preview
    • Virtual Machine performance data displayed in the tenant portal
    • Other fixes and improvements…
  • Windows Azure Pack Web Sites (3069358)
    • Adds support for IPv6 to IP SSL functionality
    • Changes Web Deploy publishing from publish.domain.com to site.scm.domain.com.
    • Other fixes and improvements…

One of the new features I want to highlight is the possibility to add multiple public (external) IP addresses to  Virtual Network (Using Hyper-V Network Virtualization HVN). This means a tenant can assign multiple public IP addresses on his NAT gateway and do port forwarding, for example if he runs multiple webservers in that VM Network. This is a feature a lot of customers especially service provider have missed for a long time.

Another improvement we can see is the support for the next release of Windows Server and also support for Windows 10.

 



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Update Rollup 3 for System Center 2012 R2 available

Today Microsoft released Update Rollup 3 for System Center 2012 R2. With the release Microsoft did not only fix some bugs they also added some features. Especially Data Protection Manager (DPM) and Virtual Machine Manager got some new features and fixes which will help especially in large scale Cloud and Virtualization deployments.

Data Protection Manager

Features

  • Scalable VM backup
    This update rollup improves the reliability at scale for Virtual Machine (VM) backups on Hyper-V and Windows Server 2012 R2 infrastructures. This feature is supported on both Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) and scale-out file server (SOFS) storage configurations for VM.
  • Backup and consistency check windowImportant This feature is supported only for disk protection for VM data sources.This feature, configured through Windows PowerShell, enables specific time windows to restrict backup and consistency check (CC) jobs. This window can be applied per protection group and will limit all jobs for that protection to the specified time window.After the backup job has ended, all in-progress jobs can continue. Any queued jobs outside the backup and consistency jobs will be automatically canceled.This feature affects only scheduled jobs and does not affect specific jobs that are triggered by the user.Windows PowerShell script examples

    are available on Microsoft TechNet. These examples show how to use PowerShell cmdlets to create the backup and consistency window.

    Notes

    • This feature is not supported for tape or cloud protection jobs.
    • This feature is not supported for non-VM data sources.
    • Setting these windows is the same as running a Modify Protection Group workflow.
  • Support for synthetic fiber channel-to-tapeThis update rollup introduces support for the synthetic fiber channel-to-tape process. Follow the tape certification process

    for third-party tape devices when you use Data Protection Manager 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

 

Fixes

  • A backup of a mirrored SQL instance fails if the principal SQL instance that was first backed up is now the mirror.
  • DPM console crashes while a recatalog or “mark as free” operation is performed on an imported tape.
  • The MSDPM service crashes when protected data sources have long names.
  • The DPMRA service crashes during replica creation when the database name on one of the SQL instances matches or is a substring of a SQL instance name that is hosted on the protected server.

More information can be found on the Microsoft Page for: Update Rollup 3 for System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager

Virtual Machine Manager

Features

  • This update includes a Linux guest agent upgrade to support the following new operating systems:
    • Ubuntu Linux 14.04 (32-bit)
    • Ubuntu Linux 14.04 (64-bit)
  • This update also includes the following:
    • Host DHCP extension driver upgrade
    • Several performance improvements
    • Several Management Pack package improvements

 

Fixes

  • Total storage for a User role is reported incorrectly. For example, the User role can use only half of the allowed quota.
  • A host cluster update fails intermittently because of a locked job.
  • Virtual machine (VM) refreshers do not update highly available virtual machines (HAVMs) after failover to another node.
  • A cluster IP address for a guest cluster configuration in a Hyper-V Network Virtualization (HNV) environment is not updated correctly by using HNV policies during failover. For more information about this issue, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    2981736

    The cluster IP address in an HNV environment is updated incorrectly during failover

  • Server Message Block (SMB) shares may not be usable by high availability (HA) workloads if they are also connected to stand-alone hosts.
  • Storage objects discovery does not occur on a Virtual Machine Manager server if the discovery item is too big.
  • A Virtual Machine Manager job that assigns network service backend connectivity fails.
  • Enable maintenance mode fails when you evacuate failed-state VMs.
  • The Virtual Machine Manager service cannot be restarted because of database corruption.
  • The ZH-TW language incorrectly appears in the tooltip of the VM Network icon.
  • Library refresher rewrites the alternative data stream on every file during every update.
  • For iSCSI hardware storage-based array, when the MaskingPortsPerView property option is set to “multi-port per view,” the target endpoint is not obtained as the port address.
  • The virtual hard disk (VHD) is left in the source folder after storage migration is completed.
  • The addition of a bandwidth limitation to an existing virtual private network (VPN) connection is not added to the generated script.
  • A VM that is attached to an HNV VM network loses connectivity when it is live migrated to another node in the failover cluster that is not currently hosting other VMs that belong to the same VM network.
  • VM network shared access is lost after a service restart or an update interval.
  • The Remove-SCFileShare command fails for a network-attached storage SMI-S provider.
  • Setting the template time zone to UTC (GMT +0:00) is incorrectly displayed as “Magadan Standard Time.”
  • The System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager crashes when you add groups that contain the at sign (@) character in User roles.
  • VM deployment fails in a VMWare environment when you have virtual hard disk (.vmdk) files of the same size in your template.
  • Deployment of an application host on HAVMM fails and generates a 22570 error.
  • Live migration of an HAVM cross cluster creates a duplicate VM role in the target cluster.
  • An error occurs when you apply physical adapter network settings to a teamed adapter.
  • A VMM agent crashes continuously when the HvStats_HyperVHypervisorLogicalProcessor query returns a null value.
  • A host refresh does not update the VMHostGroup value of a VMWARE cluster after the cluster is moved from VCENTER.
  • VMM reports an incorrect Disk Allocation size for dynamic VHDs that are mapped to a virtual machine.
  • A VMM service template script application does not work for a self-service role.
  • VM creation fails if Virtual Machine Manager undergoes failover during the creation process.
  • The Access Status value of a file share is incorrect in the user interface.
  • The Virtual Machine Manager service crashes because of an invalid ClusterFlags value.
  • VMs cannot be deployed from a service template to a cloud across multiple host clusters (multiple datacenters).

More information can be found on the Microsoft Page for: Update rollup 3 for System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager

Orchestrator and Service Management Automation

Fixes

  • When a runbook calls other runbooks, Service Management Automation (SMA) concatenates all the participating runbooks into a single script and then passes the script to the PowerShell Workflow engine for compilation. The resulting script may contain multiple signature blocks, and SMA receives a compilation error from the Powershell Workflow.
  • When child runbooks contain a signature block, the child runbooks cannot be compiled into inline runbooks. If there is more than one signature block, the resulting runbook will be corrupted.
  • Cmdlets should request information from the server, up to a limit on the number of records that are returned, and then request the next “page” of records, until all records are retrieved.
  • When a Windows PowerShell user uses the Set-SmaCertificate cmdlet, the user cannot receive private key information when he or she uses the Get-AutomationCertificate activity.
  • The Automation menu stops working in Administrator Portal, and you may notice that the Orchestrator ODATA API controller cannot return Modules data. Additionally, you receive the following error message:
    Microsoft.Data.OData.OdataInnerError
    Message: The file exists.
    TypeName: System.IO.IOException
  • Service Management Automation (SMA) resources are paged. The cmdlets have to evaluate the response from the web service for the presence of a continuation token and then make a sequence of ListNext web requests if a continuation token is present.
  • SMA may not return the latest job ID for the runbook. The Invoke-ConfiguratorRunbook activity will have the job ID when it calls the Start-SMARunbook cmdlet, and the job ID should be returned to the caller. This occurs because SMA does not return the most recent job for a runbook. This issue occurs occur in a multiple-run scenario. If the configurator passes the first run, this issue has no effect.
  • The Orchestrator Runbook Service (RunbookService.exe) may crash, and you receive the following error message:
    Application: RunbookService.exe
    Framework Version: v4.0.30319
    Description: The process was terminated due to an unhandled exception.
    Exception Info: System.ServiceModel.CommunicationException
  • If a runbook is large enough to exceed the default Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) channel size, an exception occurs. This issue causes the job to be stuck in the “New” state.
  • When Update Rollup 2 is uninstalled, the connection properties to the instance of Microsoft SQL Server are cleared.

 

 

More information can be found on the Microsoft Page for: Update Rollup 3 for System Center 2012 R2 Orchestrator

Service Manager

Fixes

  • The Microsoft Systems Center 2012 Operations Manager configuration item (CI) connector does not retrieve disk mount point information for the Service Manager database.
  • When a service request is created from a request offering in the console and when every user prompt is of the Simple List prompt type, the console shows options from all simple lists in each user prompt.
  • When you try to close a customized change request, you cannot close the change request, the task throws an error, and the close is not actioned.
  • MPSync job failures that are logged to the event log do not contain enough information to allow for a quick diagnosis of the problem.
  • All Service Manager workflows may stall when any invalid XML characters (control characters) are used in a work item property.
  • Using the “Set First Response or Comment” task in a service request creates a “Private” flag that cannot be used for evaluation in a notification action log or a user comment update. This behavior occurs because the private flag is undefined.
  • If the configuration management database (CMDB) is down (that is, if it is offline or unable to connect because of network issues) at the time that the Health service is restarted and if the CMDB continues to be offline for a long time, the Health service may enter an unrecoverable state even if the database comes online again later.
  • Configuration Manager Connector synchronization may stop after Update Rollup 2 for Service Manager 2012 SP1 or Update Rollup 6 for Service Manager 2012 R2 is applied. This issue occurs when the connector tries to synchronize malformed or incomplete software version information from the Configuration Manager database.

More information can be found on the Microsoft Page for: Update Rollup 3 for System Center 2012 R2 Service Manager

Operations Manager

Fixes

  • A deadlock condition occurs when a database is connected after an outage. You may experience this issue may when one or more HealthServices services in the environment are listed as Unavailable after a database goes offline and then comes back online.
  • The Desktop console crashes after exception TargetInvocationException occurs when the TilesContainer is updated. You may experience this issue after you leave the console open on a Dashboard view for a long time.
  • The Password expiration monitor is fixed for logged events. To make troubleshooting easier, this fix adds more detail to Event IDs 7019 and 7020 when they occur.
  • The Health service bounces because of high memory usage in the instance MonitoringHost: leak MOMModules!CMOMClusterResource::InitializeInstance. This issue may be seen as high memory usage if you examine monitoringhost.exe in Performance Monitor. Or, the Health service may restart every couple of days , depending on the load on the server.
  • The Health service crashes in Windows HTTP Services (WinHTTP) if the RunAs account is not read correctly.
  • Windows PowerShell stops working with System.Management.Automation.PSSnapInReader.ReadEnginePSSnapIns. You may see this issue as Event ID 22400 together with a description of “Failed to run the Powershell script.”
  • The PropertyValue column in the contextual details widget is unreadable in smaller widget sizes because the PropertyName column uses too much space.
  • The update threshold for monitor “Health Service Handle Count Threshold” is reset to 30,000. You can see this issue in the environment, and the Health Service Handle Count Threshold monitor is listed in the critical state.
  • An acknowledgement (ACK) is delayed by write collisions in MS queue when lots of data is sent from 1,000 agents.
  • The execution of the Export-SCOMEffectiveMonitoringConfiguration cmdlet fails with the error “Subquery returned more than 1 value.”
  • The MOMScriptAPI.ReturnItems method can be slow because a process race condition may occur when many items are returned, and the method may take two seconds between items. Scripts may run slowly in the System Center Operations Manager environment.
  • When you are in the console and click Authoring, click Management Pack, click Objects, and then click Attributes to perform a Find operation, the Find operations seems unexpectedly slow. Additionally, the Momcache.mdb file grows very large.
  • A delta synchronization times out on SQL operations with Event ID 29181.
  • Operations Manager grooms out the alert history before an alert is closed.
  • The time-zone settings are not added to a subscription when non-English display languages are set. Additionally, time stamps on alert notifications are inaccurate for the time zone.
  • Web Browser widget requires the protocol (http or https) to be included in the URL.
  • You cannot access MonitoringHost’s TemporaryStoragePath within the PowerShell Module.
  • The TopNEntitiesByPerfGet stored procedure may cause an Operations Manager dashboard performance issue. This issue may occur when a dashboard is run together with multiple widgets. Additionally, you may receive the following error message after a time-out occurs:
    [Error] :DataProviderCommandMethod.Invoke{dataprovidercommandmethod_cs370}( 000000000371AA78 )
    An unknown exception was caught during invocation and will be re-wrapped in a DataAccessException. System.TimeoutException: The operation has timed out.
    at Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.Monitoring.DataProviders.RetryCommandExecutionStrategy.Invoke(IDataProviderCommandMethodInvoker invoker)
    at Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.Presentation.DataAccess.DataProviderCommandMethod.Invoke(CoreDataGateway gateWay, DataCommand command)

More information can be found on the Microsoft Page for: Update Rollup 3 for System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager



SMA Author RunBooks in Windows Azure Pack

Service Management Automation – The Next Step in Cloud and Datacenter Automation

With System Center Orchestrator Microsoft already had an datacenter automation engine in his portfolio. Microsoft acquired Opalis added it to the System Center Suite, after a while Microsoft renamed Opalis to System Center Orchestrator. As we have a look at modern datacenters and our cloud environment automation is a key part of it. With the latest release of System Center 2012 R2 and Windows Azure Pack, Microsoft release a new automation engine based on PowerShell Workflows called Service Management Automation (SMA).

Windows Azure Pack Automation with SMA

SMA is integrated as one of the key Resource Provider in Windows Azure Pack, and allows you to manage your PowerShell Workflows in so called Runbooks. Service Management Automation enhances PowerShell Workflows in several different ways.

  • Centralized management
  • Centralized store for variables, credentials, certificates, connections, modules, workflows, checkpoints and schedules.
  • High availability workflow execution
  • Versioning
  • Odata web service (HTTP API)
  • Historical view of workflow jobs and their output

Architecture

SMA is build form several different components.

  • Web Service – HTTP/HTTPS API which distributes runbook jobs to runbook workers and builds the connection to Widnwos Azure Pack
  • Runbook worker – Executes Runbooks
  • PowerShell module – Enables SMA to be managed by Windows PowerShell
  • Windows Azure Pack – UI for administrators to create and manage runbooks
  • SQL database – Store for Runbooks and settings

SMA Architecture

  • The Automation web service communicates with Windows Azure Pack and authenticates users.
  • The SQL Server databases store and retrieve runbooks, runbook assets, activities, integration modules, and runbook job information.
  • Runbook workers run the runbooks, and they can be used for load balancing.
  • The management portal in Windows Azure Pack is where you author, debug, and start and stop runbooks.

Source: TechNet

One of the greats enhancements Service Management Automation together with Windows Azure Pack brings is the possibility to link runbooks to SPF and VMM activates used in the Virtual Machine Cloud. What does this mean? For example you link a runbook to a Create Virtual Machine activity, so every time a VM gets created the runbooks starts and also gets as input object the VM which was created. This is just one example what you can do with SMA and Windows Azure Pack VM Cloud, there are a lot of other possibilities as well.

If you compare System Center Orchestrator to Service Management Automation, SMA looks a little bit more complex if you have used a lot of Integrations Packs in SCORCH but if you have done a lot of work in PowerShell you will really like SMA and see the advantages of it.

Service Management Automation does not offer an user interface by itself, instead it is using the Windows Azure Pack portal, where admins can author, run, schedule and link runbooks.

SMA Author RunBooks in Windows Azure Pack



Microsoft Azure Update at Build 2014

At the Build Conference 2014 Microsoft already announced a lot of new stuff for the whole Microsoft or IT ecosystem. There is absolutely no time to cover all the changes and announcements Microsoft has made in the past 2 days. So I will just focus on the things I care about.

  • Prior to the Build Conference Microsoft announced that Windows Azure will be renamed to Microsoft Azure. This will show how Microsoft is not only building on top of the Windows platform, they also have opened up for other platforms an solutions a long time ago. One example for that maybe was the announcement of supporting Oracle Software in Microsoft Azure around a year ago.
  • Mark Russinovich announced some great new changes to Microsoft Azure IaaS. You can now capture and deploy images, you can Puppet and Chef as well as PowerShell DSC support, to configure you server environment. An this is great for developers, some of the features will show up directly in Visual Studio. Microsoft also did some work on the Networking site which was really important, for example you can now change the subnet for Virtual Machines.
    Microsoft Azure Announcements
  • Microsoft also launched a lot of new preview features like Azure Cache and a lot more. What I love the most is the new Microsoft Azure feature called Azure Automation. Azure Automation allows you to automate the creation, monitoring, deployment, and maintenance of resources in your Azure environment using a highly-available workflow execution engine. Orchestrate time-consuming, error-prone, and frequently repeated tasks against Azure and third party systems to decrease time to value for your cloud operations. This is basically Service Management Automation (SMA), which was released with System Center 2012 R2 as a on premise version, now running up in Microsoft Azure. For those how haven’t heard about SMA, SMA is a new automation engine and Runbooks in Service Management Automation and Microsoft Azure Automation are Windows PowerShell workflows.
    Microsoft Azure Automation
  • Microsoft also release a new preview of the Microsoft Azure portal. Since Microsoft released a huge number of new features in Azure, the “old” management portal didn’t really fit the requirements anymore. The new Azure management portal helps you to be much more organized and is using a lot of new concept like “blades” to help you navigate through your Azure environment. The new dashboard also gives you a quick overview about the Microsoft Azure datacenters and there service status, and the new touch friendly dashboard also allows you to customize it for your need. You can check it out on portal.azure.com
    New Microsoft Azure Portal
  • I am not a developer but I was really impressed what Microsoft did for developers. They are just generating a huge numbers of new opportunities with their new platforms not only in Microsoft Azure using IaaS, mobile Services or PaaS, Microsoft also announced a new concept of Universal Apps which allows developers to write apps which run on Windows Phone, Windows and Xbox One. Some days ago Microsoft also showed the new Kinect v2 hardware which I hope developers will use to write some really cool stuff. If we have a lot back at Microsoft Azure, what I really liked about the new Portal is the  integration of Team Foundation Server or “team projects”.
    Microsoft Azure Team Projects

This are just a few of the cool new things Microsoft announced at Build 2014, there is a lot more which is definitely worth to talk about.



Building Clouds

Windows Azure for your Datacenter

Some years back, when Microsoft launched Windows Azure and I was working for a Hosting company, I remember that we were thinking and talking about this and were hoping that Microsoft would make Windows Azure available for hosters. At the beginning of last year Microsoft made this step by releasing Windows Azure Services for Windows Server and together with Windows Server, Hyper-V and System Center you could build your own Windows Azure. With the R2 wave of System Center and Windows Server, Microsoft also renamed Windows Azure Services for Windows Server to Windows Azure Pack (wow what a great idea ;-)) and added some great new functionality to the product it self.

Windows Azure Pack Archtiecture Overview

Windows Azure Pack is a collection of Windows Azure technologies, available to Microsoft customers at no additional cost for installation into your data center. It runs on top of Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 and, through the use of the Windows Azure technologies, enables you to offer a rich, self-service, multi-tenant cloud, consistent with the public Windows Azure experience.

The Windows Azure Pack is basically a framework which offers you to build several offerings for customers.

  • VM Cloud – This is an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering which allows customer to deploy and manage Windows and Linux Virtual Machines including VM Template, scaling and Virtual Networking options.
  • Web Sites – a service that helps provide a high-density, scalable shared web hosting platform for ASP.NET, PHP, and Node.js web applications. The Web Sites service includes a customizable web application gallery of open source web applications and integration with source control systems for custom-developed web sites and applications.
  • Service Bus – a service that provides reliable messaging services between distributed applications. The Service Bus service includes queued and topic-based publish/subscribe capabilities.
  • SQL and MySQL – services that provide database instances. These databases can be used in conjunction with the Web Sites service.
  • Automation and Extensibility – the capability to automate and integrate additional custom services into the services framework, including a runbook editor and execution environment.

Source: TechNet

On top of this Windows Azure Pack offers two management portals, one for tenants and one for administrators which are build on top of the Service Management API. The Service Management API is a RESTful API which allows you build some custom scenarios such as custom portals or billing integrations on top of the Azure Pack framework.

Windows Azure Pack IaaS

In the last months I had time to work within several different project with the integration of Windows Azure Pack, mainly with the VM Cloud and automation integration and also some work with the Service Management API and some customization together with Stefan Johner and Fulvio Ferrarini from itnetx. I will write some blog post about Windows Azure Pack, the stuff we have done and we are doing right now.

If you are looking for some good blogs around Windows Azure Pack you should definitely checkout the blogs from Marc van Eijk, Hans Vredevoort and Kristian Nese or the Windows Azure Pack Wiki on TechNet. And btw. Windows Azure Pack is not just made for hoster and service providers, it is also a great solution for enterprises, check out why by reading Michael Rueeflis blog.