Mar 14, 2014

03.28.2014 atlanta systems management user group

it’s been awhile. you guys ready to meet up again?

bluestripe, if you recall from system center universe 2014, offers a really compelling way to use opsmgr 2012. it’s magic! they also happen to be sponsoring our event! pretty exciting. topics will include security compliance manager, configuration manager, operations manager, and azure.

got all the details over on www.atlsmug.org, including our schedule, speakers, and registration link. the link is a little bare right now but will be filled out soon. please do register so we know how much food to get.

looking forward to seeing you there, fellow geeks. click HERE for the event post.

compact headers in outlook 2013 sp1

i nearly missed this new feature, confusing it with how the usual ribbon bar folds and unfolds. have you made the switch yet? if not, allow me to illustrate. here’s the old, massive, gigantic header in outlook 2013.

image

 

and now, after sp1…

image

 

to each their own, i guess… but i really do prefer this new compact view. flip it on or off using the button indicated above. more information about it is available on the office blog.

Feb 13, 2014

configuration manager support center

this tool kind of came out of the blue. it’s pretty cool though! the next time you’re on the phone w/ premier, don’t be surprised if you’re asked to use it for log gathering. in order to get the tool, you will have to join the configmgr open beta community. here’s the link for the file: https://connect.microsoft.com/ConfigurationManagervnext/Downloads/DownloadDetails.aspx?DownloadID=52192

after the installation, you’ll have two programs you can use, the support center utility and the support center viewer. since the viewer is really just designed to open up archive bundles, we’ll skip that. support center has some very cool things you can do (much of it you can find in client center, though) and works locally and remotely.

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looking across the ribbon, you will find the following areas:

  • data collection: where you go to do exactly that. you can pick which data elements you want to collect. it grabs a lot of good stuff – logs, policies, certs, configuration data, registry, wmi info, dumps, etc. don’t overlook it.
  • client details: you can find a few, scant client details here – version, site code, mp, etc.
  • client policy: good stuff. load up the client policy (illustrated above), request and evaluate, or listen.
  • content: all of the local content (programs and applications on the client.
  • troubleshooting: this section appears to go through the logs and validate that your client is healthy. that’s kind of nice!
  • logs: this is basically like trace – except with a few neat features like using a quick filter to find information or (my favorite) opening sets of logs (below).

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i recommend you join the beta, spin it up, and give it a try. :)

Jan 14, 2014

system center universe 2014

if you are in the system center space, you know about SCU from the past successful events… and most likely know about the 2014 date. it all happens 1/30/2014. for those of you in the atlanta area, ATLSMUG is hosting a viewing party if you’d like to come watch it with us. get all the details at http://systemcenteruniverse.com. while you’re there, check out the oppressive theme music for sc-uminator.

Atlanta, GA
Microsoft Office
1125 Sanctuary Pkwy
Alpharetta, GA 30009
Register

don’t worry. if you can’t make it in person, you’ll be able to watch it online. if you come out though, we’ll feed you breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

here’s the agenda (CENTRAL TIME) of what you can expect to see:

7:00am - 8:00am
Registration

8:00am - 8:10am
Welcome - Your Emcee, Cameron Fuller, MVP

8:10am - 8:55am
Become the Hero of the Day - Master ConfigMgr 2012 R2 with a Limited Budget and Free Community Tools

  • Presented by Kent Agerlund
  • No doubt that Configuration Manager 2012 R2 is a very powerful product that can be used “right out of the box. However, with the help from the massive list of free community tools, you can take the standard features to a whole new level of automation. In this session, Kent Agerlund will demonstrate how to solve daily challenges like managing clients, software updates, operating system deployment, application management and much more using nothing but Configuration Manager and free tools - Expect a session full of demos.

9:00am - 9:45am
SCSM SSP WAP SMA PS - How a Bunch of Letters Can Help Deliver Solutions Faster, with Fewer Issues, Save Money, Impress the Boss, and Get You a Promotion

  • Presented by Travis Wright
  • In this presentation, Travis Wright will get into the details of the new Service Management Automation (SMA) platform built on Power Shell (PS) that is part of the new Windows Azure Pack (WAP) and show how to integrate with SCSM (System Center Service Manager) using the new SMA Connector and Self-Service Portal (SSP). You'll leave the session with a clear understanding of the importance of PS and WAP/SMA in Microsoft's systems management strategy and how that ties into SCSM for process control and automation. Advanced concepts of SMA will also be covered such as how to create custom modules and programmatically interact with SMA.

9:50am - 10:10am
Applications in Operations Manager - Dynamic Maps and Status with BlueStripe

  • Presented By Nick Burling, VP Product Development, BlueStripe
  • IT organizations have made System Center the foundation of their infrastructure management strategy. The challenge is how to manage the performance of applications and business services that run on that infrastructure.
    Microsoft partnered with BlueStripe Software to deliver complete, multi-tier application management in System Center. Nick Burling, VP of Product Management at BlueStripe, will provide an introduction to the System Center + BlueStripe solution for delivering dynamic application mapping, monitoring, and service-level alerting in System Center. Attendees will learn how System Center + BlueStripe FactFinder delivers:
    • Dynamic application mapping, monitoring, and service-level alerting in Operations Manager
    • Application management across platforms (Windows and non-Windows systems) and architectures (physical, virtual, cloud, and hybrid cloud)
    • Application context for Orchestrator and Service Manager

    With System Center + BlueStripe, IT Operations teams can tie System Center's infrastructure management capabilities to applications, and greatly expand their ability to deliver business services.

10:10am - 10:25am
Morning Break

10:25am - 11:10am
Identity Management for Hybrid IT with Windows Azure and Windows Server 2012 R2

  • Presented by Maarten Goet
  • In the 13+ years since the original Active Directory product launched with Windows 2000, it has grown to become the default identity management and access-control solution for over 95% of organizations around the world. But, as organizations move to the cloud, their identity and access control also need to move to the cloud. As companies rely more and more on SaaS-based applications and the range of cloud-connected devices being used to access corporate assets continue to grow, along with the increased use of more hosted and public cloud capacity, companies must expand their identity solutions to the cloud. With this in mind, Microsoft set out to build a solution. Join seven-year Microsoft MVP Maarten Goet in this hands-on session featuring Windows Azure and Windows Server 2012 R2 and get your identity management for Hybrid IT fast-track started today!

11:15am - 12:15pm
Managing Modern Mobile Devices with System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager

  • Presented by Wally Mead
  • Are you struggling with allowing your end users to use their own devices to access company resources while still providing the desired level of control and security? Microsoft's System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, when integrated with Windows Intune, can provide great capabilities for managing mobile devices in addition to its support for your on premise Windows, Mac, and Linux/Unix server support. This session will cover the mobile device support to help you, the IT admin, with providing support for BYOD scenarios.

12:20pm - 12:40pm
Extending Microsoft System Center to Monitor and Manage Virtual Environments

  • Presented By Chris Henley, Veeam
  • Veeam® Management Pack™ extends deep VMware monitoring, management and capacity planning to Microsoft System Center, providing complete visibility of both physical and virtual infrastructures and applications - all from one console. In this session you will learn how to get state-of-the-art monitoring and management of your virtual environments and how to extend that capability into the realm of virtual data protection.

12:40pm - 1:25pm
Break for Lunch

1:25pm - 1:40pm
Service Manager Solution Showcase

  • Presented By Gord Watts, Provance
  • Microsoft System Center provides a rich platform for extensibility and customization. This session gives you a quick "speed dating" style introduction to the inspired third-party extensions that add powerful functionality and enhanced capabilities to Service Manager. From mobility and web access to IT asset management and more, this showcase of partner offerings shows you how you can get even more value from Microsoft System Center 2012. Don't miss this presentation highlighting the most exciting options to supercharge your Service Manager deployment!

1:45pm - 2:30pm
Master Class: Orchestrating Daily Tasks Like a Pro

  • Presented By Pete Zerger and Anders Bengtsson
  • In this class, through live demonstration, you will learn the secrets to more effective process automation with System Center 2012 R2 in the context of two common enterprise use case scenarios. Professors Bengtsson and Zerger will share methods and strategies to answer some of the toughest challenges to enterprise automation, including:
    • How to maximize runbook reusability
    • Making your process automation more reliable
    • Providing hooks for 3rd party ITSM integration
    • Taking steps in Orchestrator today to prepare for Service Management Automation (SMA) in the future
    If you want to raise the level of your game...please arrive to class on time!

2:35pm - 3:20pm
Monitor Your Interstellar Cloud

  • Presented by Dieter Wijckmans
  • What is that strange Interstellar cloud floating through space holding all your servers, services, data, etc.? Make this not a huge unknown in your universe but send out your probes to get the data back to your mother ship and start monitoring it. Use the force of this massive cloud to even monitor your servers at the mother ship. The possibilities are out there... Just grab them, combine the forces and become a true master of your universe.

3:25pm - 3:45pm
Managing Third Party Updates with Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager

  • Presented By Meaghan McKeown, Secunia
  • Attend this session and learn tips and tricks on how to solve the daily challenges around patching your environment with Microsoft and non-Microsoft updates. We will outline best practices and demonstrate how to effectively patch 3rd party applications in System Center Configuration Manager.

3:45pm - 4:00pm
Afternoon Break

4:00pm - 4:45pm
Building the Perfect Windows 8 Image

  • Presented by Johan Arwidmark
  • In this session you learn how to create the perfect, real world, production ready, master image of Windows 8. Learn how Sysprep and the Unattend.xml really work in Windows 8. Discover how to automate builds of think, hybrid and thick images, along with what to add and what not to add to an image. MDT 2012 Update 1 and ADK is used as a foundation for creating the master images. Expect lots of live demos in this session.

4:50pm - 5:35pm
Custom Data Collection and Reporting with ConfigMgr

  • Presented by Jason Sandys
  • This session will cover the multiple different vectors for importing, collecting, or using custom data within ConfigMgr. This mostly demo session will showcase actual techniques used at companies to fulfill their non-default data gathering and reporting requirements.

5:45pm - 6:30pm
Q&A

  • Our panel of distinguished speakers will answer questions from the live and virtual audience members

Jan 3, 2014

sccm: ccmmigratepolicysettingsinit returns code 1603 during pull dp installation

as i sat down to write this, I realized a fellow mvp, alex zhuravlev, wrote about a very similar thing which is corrected by the same fix. it’s posted here if you’d like to read it: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/4709.configmgr-2012-beta2-site-component-manager-failed-to-install-this-component-because-the-microsoft-installer-file-for-this-component-mp-msi-could-not-install.aspx

recently, we started deploying pull DPs out to our regional locations. one of my engineers indicated that we were having issues where the DPs appeared to be in a waiting for content state. we narrowed the issue down to an error that popped up in the pulldp_install.log file. the end of the installation exits in 1603, which i’m sure you know is a very vague error.

going backward in the log file, we spotted an where the originating 1603 was logged. here are the log lines:

   1:  Getting settings from WMI and storing in <Program Files>\SMS_CCM\polmig.mof
   2:  CustomAction CcmMigratePolicySettingsInit returned actual error code 1603 (note this may not be 100% accurate if translation happened inside sandbox)

at this point, it was pretty clear the problem was happening while trying to retrieve the information from WMI and writing out to polmig.mof. apparently our methods for installing the ConfigMgr 2007 client was SO GOOD that it installed it on the new DP that was recently deployed. (We’re in the middle of a migration.) that was the issue. :|

the client and distribution point role were both removed from the affected server. the 2012 client was loaded, and the server was added back as a pull dp. after that, the installation went through successfully.