Archive for the ‘Operations Manager’ Category

So, here is the scenario, we managed a lot of customer’s System Centre Operations Manager (SCOM) environments. One of the most common issues we run into, it is the “Grey Agent” issue, where an agent is no longer reporting into SCOM. There might be a few reasons for this, however one of the most common and effective ways to fix this to clear the agent cache. By this, we simply mean connecting to the agent, stopping the “SCOM” service, deleting the content of the “Health Service State” folder and then restarting the “SCOM” service.

Yes, this is a perfect candidate for PowerShell and their a quite a few scripts that do this in numerous ways using PowerShell, I have a script for this, but they are usually dependant upon a list of some and then loop through this, I decided to use my friend, System Centre Orchestrator (SCO) to facilitate this is in a time manner, with more flexibility and log building as well as inputting the results into a database. With SCO, we also have more avenues available to us for error handling, like logging a call within SCSM or “richer” email or the like.

So, I have learnt with SCO, the best thing to do is to actually sit down and whiteboard you solution, simply draw out the steps you want to follow and think of some error handling. With my example, my logic was as follows. I have added a VIsio diagram as my handwriting is barely legible even to me 🙂

1. Query Database for grey agents, there is a SQL Script for this.

2. Create Folder for logging

3. Read SQL results into a file for “’looping”

4. DNS Test

5. Ping Test

6. Determine Service Name and folder path (Remember we might be dealing with multiple versions of SCOM here

7. Check Service status, to determine if a stop of the service is needed

8. Stop if needed

9. Delete files

10. Wait 10 Seconds

11. Start Service

12. Write log to Database


The SQL query will be part of the Runbook file, it can be found here, please change the extension to .ois_export.

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So, recently I decided to take the plunge and upgrade to SCOM 2012. So, there were a few pre-requisites that I needed as per the prereq checker that is built into OpsMan 2012.

The “big ones” were as follows.

1. OpsMan 2007 R2 CU5

2. And FTS (Full Text Search) for SQL.

So, these seem easy enough to fix.

1. Simple download Cumulative Update 5 for System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 and install. To be honest, I found this article super helpful for the installation of this Cumulative Update, nice and easy to follow. Kudos to Kevin Holman. So after running through the process step by step, I found that the build number had NOT increased to 6.1.7221.81. Very strange indeed. This needed some more investigation, but more on that just now.

2. Simple go and add this feature to your SQL instance, not very difficult to, so I simply walk through the wizard and add the feature.

So, now time to run the Pre-Req checker again, and what do you know the Cumulative Update 5 is NO LONGER showing (but remember the build version in the console is NOT reflecting the correct build number. Also, the FTS (Full Text Search) requirement is still there and I am have installed the FTS feature.


However as you can see below.


Very strange indeed, so like I said some further investigation is required.

I remember being at some Microsoft IT Bootcamps, and the continued emphasis on SQL Collation and OpsMan in general. So I decided to check this. My Version below.


As per this TechNet Article, the only supported collation for English is SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS. Oh oops!

Never fear though, his can be fixed, however the articles must be followed very carefully and within a reasonable amount of time as while you are doing this whole process, your OperationsManager and OperationsManagerDW databases will not be collecting all of the information all of the time. So, there WILL be some (very minimal) data loss in terms of agents reporting into the Management Group.

All the articles are TechNet Articles, see below.

How to Move the OperationsManager Database in Operations Manager 2007

How to Move the OperationsManagerDW Database in Operations Manager 2007

How to Move the Operations Manager Reporting Server in Operations Manager 2007

Once, I had made my way through all the articles, I tried my original steps again and this time, without any issues, I was able to install Cumulative Update 5 for System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 and successfully able to get the pre-req checker to list all pre-reqs met.

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Just recently I had the need to “rebuild” the client cache on a lot of my servers, due to a slight hiccup with our Network and subsequently our Operations Manager Server. So I decided to use PowerShell, if you need to repeat it, script it.

So, I simply built a script to connect to the required machine, stop the “Health Service”, delete the files from the required folder and then restart the “Health Service”. I know it is not spectacular but it is AMAZINGLY helpful.

The script is on the TechNet Gallery


More to come soon,

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