Monitoring Windows Server 2003 with SCOM 2016

First let me say this isn’t supported. But then again Windows Server 2003 is no longer supported anyways. Even if you have a Custom Support agreement, that just gives you the latest security hotfixes. Not support to monitor it with SCOM.

I have been to many customers recently that want to upgrade to SCOM 2016 but can’t because they have a significant number of systems still running Server 2003.

One option is to setup a new environment running SCOM 2012 R2 and move the old 2003 servers to the new environment. Then upgrade the existing environment with the majority of their servers to SCOM 2016. This creates more overhead keeping the two systems running and up-to-date.

Getting the Agents Working

You cannot install the SCOM 2016 agent on SCOM 2003 as the installer will fail.  But you likely already have a SCOM 2012 R2 Agent installed.  The differences in the SCOM Agent from SCOM 2007 to SCOM 2012 were major as we changed from XML 1.1 to XML 2.0 and included MP Binaries.  The changes from SCOM 2012 R2 to SCOM 2016 are relatively minor.

So, all we need to do is point the SCOM 2012 R2 Agent at SCOM 2016, right?  Maybe.

In my testing a Server 2003 system with a SCOM 2012 Agent, pointing at a SCOM 2016 management server went green but then went grey.

Why is this happening?  Many of the new management packs in SCOM 2016 require PowerShell.  By default, PowerShell is not part of the Windows Server 2003 OS.  To fix this follow these steps.

 

First we need to get WMI working.   Apply these Server 2003 hotfixes from Kevin’s list of recommended hotfixes.

932370 The number of physical hyperthreading-enabled processors or the number of physical multicore processors is incorrectly reported in Windows Server 2003
933061 WMI Stability in Server 2003
955360 Cscript 5.7 update for Server 2003

 

Then we first need .net 2.0 SP1 as it’s a prerequisite for PowerShell.

Download x64 Here:  https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=6041

Download x86 Here” https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=16614

 

Lastly we need to install the Windows Management Framework Core for Windows Server 2003

Download x64 Here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=909bbcf1-bd78-4e03-8c83-69434717e551

Download x86 Here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=f002462b-c8f2-417a-92a3-287f5f81407e

 

 

Now I can see the Windows Server 2003 Server is being monitored.

You may also want to disable the “Microsoft System Center Advisor Monitoring Server Opt-In/Out Rule” on these 2003 Systems as I have seen this fail.

Another helpful tool is to install Kevin Holman’s Agent Management Pack. https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/kevinholman/2017/05/09/agent-management-pack-making-a-scom-admins-life-a-little-easier/

This management pack will help you identify which of your 2003 Systems are missing PowerShell.

 

3 Responses to Monitoring Windows Server 2003 with SCOM 2016

  1. J Austin May 19, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    “You cannot install the SCOM 2016 agent on SCOM 2003 as the installer will fail.”

    Well I would certainly hope so. 🙂

  2. Tyson Paul May 19, 2017 at 5:08 pm #

    Excellent post! I have a customer facing this issue right now. Thanks.

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