Operations Manager 2007 Service Pack 1 is Now Available

Posted February 27, 2008 by gchollar
Categories: System Center Operations Manager 2007

Service Pack 1 (SP1) is an update to Operations Manager 2007 that addresses feedback from our customers. The high level themes of Operations Manager 2007 SP1 are to make the product easier to deploy, easier to use, and easier to support.

 The main Operations Manager SP1 page can be found here:



XML Notepad

Posted February 5, 2008 by gchollar
Categories: System Center Configuration Manager 2007, System Center Operations Manager 2007

I just thought I would post a link to Microsoft’s free XML Notepad tool. I have found it very useful when parsing through XML files (in both SCCM and SCOM).

Handy features include:

  • Tree View synchronized with Node Text View for quick editing of node names and values.
  • Incremental search (Ctrl+I) in both tree and text views, so as you type it navigates to matching nodes.
  • Cut/copy/paste with full namespace support.
  • Drag/drop support for easy manipulation of the tree, even across different instances of XML Notepad and from the file system.
  • Infinite undo/redo for all edit operations.
  • In place popup multi-line editing of large text node values.
  • Configurable fonts and colors via the options dialog.
  • Full find/replace dialog with support for regex and XPath.
  • Good performance on large XML documents, loading a 3mb document in about one second.
  • Instant XML schema validation while you edit with errors and warnings shown in the task list window.
  • Intellisense based on expected elements and attributes and enumerated simple type values.
  • Support for custom editors for date, dateTime and time datatypes and other types like color.
  • Handy nudge tool bar buttons for quick movement of nodes up and down the tree.
  • Inplace HTML viewer for processing xml-stylesheet processing instructions.
  • Built-in XML Diff tool.
  • Support for XInclude
  • Dynamic help from XSD annotations.
  • Goto definition to navigate includes and XSD schema information.

You can download it here:


Excerpts from the System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Administrator’s Companion Chapter 11

Posted January 29, 2008 by gchollar
Categories: System Center Configuration Manager 2007

I saw this posted over on www.myitforum.com and found it interesting. The book from the same authors for SMS 2003 was excellent, so I am really looking forward to this being released! (as of now it is listed as being released on 02.20.08). Anyway’s , here is a link to the excerpts and a podcast:


Microsoft Deployment Has Been Released

Posted November 14, 2007 by gchollar
Categories: Desktop Deployment, System Center Configuration Manager 2007, Systems Management Server 2003


Microsoft Deployment unifies the tools and processes required for desktop and server deployment into a common deployment console and collection of guidance. The fourth generation deployment accelerator adds integration with recently released Microsoft deployment technologies to create a single path for image creation and automated installation. Microsoft Deployment’s tools and end-to-end guidance reduce deployment time, standardize desktop and server images, limit service disruptions, reduce post-deployment help desk costs, and improve security and ongoing configuration management.Microsoft Deployment technologies eliminate interaction time required to install desktop and server operating systems. Interaction at the targeted computer may take a few moments using the Lite Touch Installation (LTI) method or it can be completely automated using Zero Touch Installation (ZTI). Zero Touch Installation utilizes Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 or Systems Management Server 2003 with the Operating System Deployment Feature Pack. Lite Touch Installation can be used when software distribution tools are not in place.

Microsoft Deployment also uses Configuration Manager 2007’s stand-alone media-initiated operating system deployment feature. This release offers project management guidance for all deployment roles and separates technical documentation for the products and technologies to facilitate automation tasks.

Microsoft Deployment enables deployment of the following Microsoft products:

  • Windows Vista Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate (32 and 64 bit)
  • Office Professional, Professional Plus, Enterprise, and Ultimate 2007
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 (32 and 64 bit)
  • Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 (32 and 64 bit) or Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
  • Pre-release versions of Windows Server 2008 (32 and 64 bit)

Choosing the Right Version
Microsoft Deployment is offered in two versions to support Solution Accelerator component installation on x64 or x86 hosts. Select the version that corresponds with your host hardware type. Both versions of Microsoft Deployment support deployment of x86 and x64 Windows operating systems. Additionally, the Microsoft Deployment Process guidance is offered as a separate set of best practice documentation for organizations using deployment technologies not described in Microsoft Deployment technical documentation.

The Microsoft Deployment Quick Start Guide is available as a separate download on this page for anyone who wants to learn more about the accelerator before downloading the full package.

 Top of page

System Requirements

  • Supported Operating Systems: Windows Server 2003; Windows Server 2003 R2 (32-Bit x86); Windows Server 2003 R2 x64 editions; Windows Vista; Windows XP; Windows XP Service Pack 1; Windows XP Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft Word or a Word viewer such as Word Viewer 2003 is required to view the documentation.
  • MMC 3.0 is required to run the Workbench and view the documentation on Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP.
    Note MMC 3.0 is included in Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 and in Windows Vista.
  • Windows Script Host (WSH) 5.6.
  • The tools portion of Microsoft Deployment relies on several Windows deployment tools. After installation of the microsoftdeploymenttoolkit.msi and start-up of the Deployment Workbench, the user can choose to automatically download and install the following major tools from the Components:
    • Windows Automated Installation Kit
    • Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.0.2
    • User State Migration Tool 3.0.1
    • MSXML 6.0

It can be downloaded here:


 Cheers! – Geoff

Monitoring VMWare ESX Server with OpsMgr 2007

Posted November 13, 2007 by gchollar
Categories: System Center Operations Manager 2007

I just got done going through a document that Jonathan Hambrook has posted over on his blog, and must say it is extremely useful. If you have the need to monitor VMWare ESX Server with OpsMgr 2007 and don’t know where to start, this how-to is definitely a great place to start! You can find the document here:


Cheers! – Geoff

New System Center Catalog is live

Posted November 12, 2007 by gchollar
Categories: System Center Configuration Manager 2007, System Center Operations Manager 2007

 I saw this posted over at www.systemcenterforum.org:

The new System Center Catalog is live for SCOM 2007, SCE 2007, MOM 2005 and SCCM 2007. 

Here are the URL’s: 

System Center Operations Manager 2007 SP1 – RC1 is now available

Posted November 5, 2007 by gchollar
Categories: System Center Operations Manager 2007

You can find it here: http://connect.microsoft.com

If you aren’t already part of the beta connect group you will need to add it.

The new features that are in Operations Manager 2007 SP1 are:

·         Improved performance and reliability when working with alerts, overrides, and searches.

·         In all Alert views, performance has been increased through better fetching and yields alert row selection that is three times quicker. Actions and reports are fetched in the background, which further improves performance. Alert knowledge that is displayed in the Alert Details pane can be shown or hidden according to the user’s preference.

·         Operations Manager 2007 advanced search has been improved by enabling the ability to search across monitors and rules by their overrides.

·         Support for the discovery and monitoring of both SNMP v1 and SNMP v2 network devices. Users can select which SNMP Community Version to search for in the Discovery Wizard.

·         Support for exporting Operations Manager 2007 diagrams to Microsoft Visio VDX file format. Note that the Visio button is located on the toolbar when in a diagram view. Diagram layouts can now be saved and will be remembered when the diagram view is selected again.

·         Support for copying and pasting (CTRL+C and CTRL+V) from the Alert details pane.

Setup and Recovery

The following are improvements in setup and recovery:

·         To make backup and recovery easier, setup in Operations Manager 2007 SP1 starts the Secure Storage Backup Wizard at the end of setup, by default, to back up the RMS encryption keys. This is the same command-line tool used in the original version of Operations Manager 2007, but with an easier-to-use wizard interface. The wizard is actually started by using the command-line version of the tool when no parameters are passed to the tool or it is started from Windows Explorer. The Secure Storage Backup tool is located on the installation media in the Support Tools directory. The Secure Storage Backup Wizard can be started according to the user’s preference.

·         To make the recovery of a clustered RMS easier, Operations Manager 2007 SP1 enables the repromotion of the RMS cluster to the RMS role after it is fixed. This addresses the situation where a clustered RMS has failed and another management server in the management group has been promoted into the RMS role.

User Interface and Experience

The following are improvements in user interface and experience:

·         To make the creation of new management packs easier, Operations Manager 2007 SP1 introduces the ability to copy views from any existing management pack to an unsealed management pack. This is done in the Monitoring view. For example, if you have created a management pack for SQL Server overrides and want to use one of the SQL Server management pack views in the SQL Server overrides management pack, you would simply select the desired view, right-click to copy it, and then paste it into the target management pack folder.

·         In all Alert views in the Monitoring space and in the Web console, Operations Manager 2007 SP1 ensures that the Repeat Count value is incremented correctly.

·         After you have created an override for any management pack object, you can look at the summary of overrides for the object type in the Overrides Summary box. Operations Manager 2007 SP1 ensures that the description of the override target is complete. For example, if you create an override for Logical Disk Free Space for the C:\ of Server1, the summary will display ‘server1/c:’

Core Product

The following are improvements in the core Operations Manager 2007 product:

·         SP1 ensures that when agents are uninstalled from a computer in the Administration space\Device Management container\Agent Managed node of the Operations Console, that they are also removed from the computer views in the Monitoring space.

·         Scripts can now be used for diagnostic tasks.

·         View names, data and, display strings in the Operations Console that have been collected from computers running different language versions of Microsoft Windows operating systems are displayed correctly.


The following are improvements to reporting:

·         When you are in a report, you can now choose to publish the report by selecting Publish from the File menu. This will allow you to publish reports to multiple locations, such as Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services Web sites.

Web Console

The following are improvements in the Operations Manager 2007 Web console:

·         The Operations Manager Web console provides access to performance data. Users can then select specific counters to graph. In Operations Manager 2007 SP1, it is now possible to construct a filter for the desired performance counters to ease searching and navigation. This ability is available when a performance view is selected and displays in the Performance legend pane. The search options available are All items, Items in the Chart, Items not in the Chart, and Items by text search.

·         The Web console has been further improved so that the Favorite Reports container is now available in My Workspace.

Audit Collection Services (ACS)

The following are improvements for ACS:

·         New discoveries and views have been added. These features detect and indicate which agents and servers are ACS-forwarding enabled.

·         There are more monitors and alert generating rules to track the health state of the ACS collectors. For example, Operations Manager 2007 SP1 includes the ability to watch the DB Queue % full level against default thresholds, such as the back-off threshold or disconnect threshold.

·         The ACS forwarder feature is now supported on the Management and Gateway Server roles. The ACS Forwarder is disabled by default. When enabled, it will allow the inclusion of security auditing data for these server roles.

·         When using ACS, one of the most common tasks is to enable forwarding on ACS agents. In Operations Manager 2007 SP1, an Operations Manager Command Shell script can be used to enable forwarding for entire computer groups, thereby greatly easing the deployment and administration of ACS.

Agentless Exception Monitoring (AEM)

AEM now provides an improved appearance and functionality of AEM reports.