Introducing the SCOM Alert Update Connector Pro

SCOM Alert Update Connector Pro is the ultimate solution that will solve all of your alerting and ticketing problems.

Avoid all of the alert noise and save time by creating personalized alerts for each team. Easily choose which alerts should be ticketed from our fast web interface. Enhance the alerts with team specific data to inform the ticketing system how to handle the alert.

With an easy to use interface, SCOM will quickly become the essential monitoring and alerting tool for your company.

SCOM Alert Update Connector Pro Solves for:

  • Hundreds of alerts sitting in a new state
  • Important alerts being missed because your organization won’t tune out the noise
  • Complex rules in your ticketing system that need constant updating
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AlertUpdate2

Quickly create your workflow

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Here is an example of a few workflows:

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Alerts matching the criteria will be updated with the custom information you have specified.

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Your downstream ticketing system, alert management system, or e-mail system can subscribe to the alerts with the SendToConnector resolution state. Now you are only sending alerts that are important to each team. Our custom fields feature allows you to send alerts to the proper ticketing queues.

SCOM Alert Flow Diagram with Alert Update Connector Pro

Additional Information

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Fix SCOM Maintenance Mode Scheduler schedules after a DST time change

If you are using the SCOM Maintenance Mode Scheduler with SCOM 2016 or above and you had a Daylight Savings Time change.

We recommend you running Kevin Holman’s PowerhShell script to fix any schedules that were created with a Start Date time before the change. If you look at an existing schedule, you can see that the intended run time for Maintenance Mode is 6pm, however, since the DST event, the next run time is calculated at 7pm:

PowerShell Script:

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More information can be found on Kevin’s blog post here.
https://kevinholman.com/2020/03/09/fix-maintenance-mode-schedules-after-a-dst-time-change/

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SCOM DataWarehouse Grooming Settings is now Super Easy with new GUI tool

Do you find it a huge pain to run the outdated and buggy command line tool DWDATARP to adjust SCOM DataWarehouse settings?  This little GUI based tool makes it super easy to adjust the settings.

This new GUI tool can be ran from the SCOM servers or your desktop if you have access to the SCOM DataWarehouse Server.

Free Download

How to use

Before you start make sure you have DB Owner to the SCOM DataWarehouse Database.

Run the Tool.

Check you have the correct SQL server that has your SCOM DataWarehouse.  Then confirm the name of the Database.

Click Get Current Settings

 

This will show all of the DataWarehouse Datasets ordered by Percent of Database.

Then select the Dataset Name, Aggregation Type.  Then adjust Max Age (Day) of how long you want the data to stay in the SCOM DataWarehouse.

Then click Set

You should then get a confirmation that the settings have been changed.

 

It typically takes 24 hours for all the DataWarehouse grooming jobs to run.  After 24 hours run the tool again to confirm than your SCOM DataWarehouse Datasets have gotten smaller.

Kevin Holman has an excellent blog post on explaining DW Grooming in detail located here.  https://kevinholman.com/2010/01/05/understanding-and-modifying-data-warehouse-retention-and-grooming/

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Awesome hidden super powerful updatable SCOM class property that has unlimited possibilities like Tags in Azure

Imagine if you had an empty property in SCOM that was in every class that you could set and update.  The possibilities for this property are endless.  First dynamic grouping comes to mind, but there are many more such as notifications, reports etc..

Thanks to PFE Hugh Scott for sharing this cool “feature”.

How to set or access this property?

You can set this property using SCOM PowerShell or the SCOM SDK.

Here is how you do it.

First let’s get all windows computers using powershell. (Note this can be any class not just a windows computer class)

Now lets grab one of my windows computers and set it to a variable named $myComputer

Now lets look at the properties of that computer.

As you can see their is a property called [System.ConfigItem].Notes that is not used.  This is the property we will be using.

To set this property you need to set the value of it.   [System.ConfigItem].Notes needs to be in single quotes.

You also need to commit the changes using Overwrite()

Now when I query the object again I can see the Notes property has been set to Production.  (This is a free rich text field so you could list multiple values like Environment:Production,Team:SQL   Then use regex queries when you are creating groups)

 

Now how do I use this property when creating groups?

If I create a dynamic group in SCOM called Production Servers

I add Windows Computer, and then add the Notes Property and set it Equals to Production

Now I select the group and click View Group Members

I can see my group contains all Windows Computers with “Production” in the notes field.

 

The only downside to this property is that it is not viewable in the console state views.  But you can query it with PowerShell, SQL,  create a Dashboard view in the Web console https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/system-center/scom/manage-create-web-dashboard-posh?view=sc-om-1807 to view it, or a PowerShell Grid widget https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/stefan_stranger/2014/04/28/new-powershell-grid-widget-walkthrough/

 

Another similar example that inspired much of this work using asset status can be found here.  https://randomnote1.github.io/scom/using-the-asset-status-property-in-scom/  This property uses enum type so it is a little less powerful.

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Why Azure Monitor Workbooks are awesome and you should be using it now to supplement SCOM

With Azure Monitor Workbooks you can now quickly and easily make intelligent decisions about your infrastructure.

One of the things SCOM has never been good at is reporting or dashboards. I recently on-boarded a few VMs in my lab that have been running for months. If I look at SCOM everything looks great.  No performance issues or problems.

Now if I have a look at the same VMs in Azure Monitor Workbooks I see a totally different story.

I can quickly see that my DB07 server has CPU pegged.

I log into my server.  Yep CPU is pegged at 99%.  Even worse its not even SQL that is consuming the CPU.   Where were you at on this one SCOM?

 

Let me give another example.   If I scroll down in my workbook I can see another chart for available memory.

I can quickly see that one server DB01 has a ton of available memory.

I log into the SQL server and verify that I am wasting memory (relative to my lab size) on this server.

You might say well its because SQL Server is limited right?  Nope not the case.  SQL is set to consume as much as it needs.  I am just wasting memory.

Can’t I get this same data in SCOM? Not easily as most of the time with medium to large SCOM environments, the reports and dashboards take forever to show up or timeout. Azure Monitor can scale to hundreds of thousands of servers and still return this data in seconds.

How to use Azure Monitor Workbooks

First you will need a Log Analytics workspace.  https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-monitor/learn/quick-create-workspace

Once you have a workspace you will need to point your SCOM agents at the workspace.  I recommend this method.  https://kevinholman.com/2017/08/16/adding-direct-agent-oms-workspace-and-proxy-via-powershell/

Then go to Azure Monitor, Workbooks, and select Performance.

 

Select your Subscription, Workspace, and Counter

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