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How to Audit and Alert Server Restarts with SCOM 2019 (2012/16)

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How to Audit and Alert Server Restarts with SCOM 2019 (2012/16)

Often IT admins suffer from small to big outages due to unscheduled patches, failures, power, or someone mistakenly restarting a server in the middle of the workday without notifying anyone. I've created this "How to Guide" to help you set up this in your SCOM environment.

  1. On your SCOM Console, navigate to authoring and create a new Rule

  1. Fill in the Rule Name and Description, select Rule Category (Alert), rule Target (Windows Computer) and make sure Rule is enabled is checked.

  1. Event Log Type System

  1. Build Event Expression insert Event ID and Source

  1. Insert values where Event ID = 1074 and Event Source = User32.

  1. Set Alert Priority and Severity to fit your needs then Finish and Close

  1. Overview of your recently configured rule on the Squared Up HTML5 Console

That's it, you will now start tracking those restarts. 

Thanks for reading, please share and subscribe.

Integrating VMware vCenter ESX Hosts and Clusters with Virtual Machine Manager VMM

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Integrating VMware vCenter, ESX Hosts and Clusters with Virtual Machine Manager VMM

Virtual Machine Manager helps IT administrators to combine multiple products such as Hyper-V, VMware or Citrix in one administrative console. Having this type of integrations really helps your security, monitoring, and management. 

Step by Step

Go to your Virtual Machine Manager Console, Fabric workspace then Infrastructure.

On the Infrastructure folder expand and then right-click on the vCenter Server to add a resource. You could also click on Add resources and then VMware vCenter Server

Specify vCenter Server you would like to add

Import the certificate the monitor add job

Job progress


Under Fabric verify the vCenter Server is responding

Add VMware ESX Hosts and Clusters

Browse the Root or Admin account to your ESX server then Next.

Select VMware resources and Next.

Review your configuration and Finish to add your ESX Servers to VMM.

SCOM 2019 UR1 - Simplified Patching Finally Arrived!

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SCOM 2019 UR1 - Simplified Patching Finally Arrived! 

Microsoft has released Update Roll Up 1 for SCOM 2019 and it comes with some great fixes and additions that will ease the upgrade process in your current environment. 

Simplified management server patching

UR1 introduces a frictionless way of patching the SCOM servers. This new funtionaity will enable you to update your MGMT servers, update configs for Operational and DW DBs and MPs  easly with just one step versus in the past that you pretty much needed to update each component separately. 

To see more details on What's New click here.

Improvements and fixes 

Web Console fixes and changes

  • The State widget now supports sorting by health and age. 
  • Alert widgets can now be searched on by Date Time and sorted based upon age and severity.
  • The alert link in an email notification returned the following error message when it's browsed: “Your session with the Web Console server expired." This occured even though the user was not logged in to web console. You will now see the login page post this fix.
  • The Alert summary view window in SCOM Web console can now be expanded as required.
  • When the Alert state was changed to some custom state, these alerts were not displayed in the web console. Alerts that have custom resolution states are now displayed.
  • Some additional scrollbars appear if a customer widget is created in the web console or if the browser window size is reduced.
  • Improvement: SCOM views load and save much faster than previously. 
For more fixes and improvements click here

Repost: Microsoft Docs and Support. 

One-Click Patching coming for SCOM 2019 Update Rollup 1 (UR1)

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One-Click Patching coming for SCOM 2019 Update Rollup 1 (UR1) 

I'm so glad this is finally happening as it is quite a challenge to perform the upgrades on all servers + the DB scripts. There are also lots of great improvements for the Storage Spaces Direct monitoring,  Azure MP, gMSA support. 

Based on the MS Ignite presentation the first UR should be coming up on Q1. WIll be posting more updates once the official announcement is published. 


Configuring Auto-Shutdown on your Azure Virtual Machines

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Configuring Auto-Shutdown on your Azure Virtual Machines
The auto-shutdown feature is definitely one of those extremely helpful ones as it provides a simple interface to configure those VM's you might not want to pay the extra cost when they are not being used. Having a function like this will certainly reduce cost and help better manage your cloud infrastructure. This feature also allows you to enable notifications 15 minutes before the auto-shutdown will occur so you can postpone or even skip the Virtual Machine. See the step by step below on how you can get started with the Auto-shutdown feature.  

Step by Step

  1. On the Azure Portal go to your VM blade and select the Virtual Machine.

  1. Navigate to Schedule, select Auto-Shutdown under the Operations Section and click On to enable.

  1. Schedule Shutdown on the preferred Time and Time Zone.
  2. Send notification if needed and specify the email address.

  1. Review and then Save.
  2. This is the email that you will receive when the scheduled Auto-shutdown is about to take place.

Thank you for reading, have a nice day!

References: Microsoft Docs and Azure Portal

How to connect Operations Manager 2019 (SCOM) to Azure Log Analytics (AKA OMS) in 4 simple steps

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How to connect Operations Manager 2019 (SCOM) to Azure Log Analytics (AKA OMS) in 4 simple steps

Monitoring is a Key element in your IT infrastructure.  System Center a d Azure Cloud offers some phenomenal advantages when properly integrated. Connecting you on-premises SCOM environment to your Azure Log Analytics enhances monitoring while utilizing advanced analytics and machine learning which help identify issues and automatically respond to alerts. Hybrids environments certainly help that next level of productivity and even more when two exceptional platforms are integrated. SCOM +Azure Log Analytics helps to improve your operational workflows on your infrastructure.

Architecture Overview

1. Have your SCOM environment to be allowed to connect to 443 port over the internet.
2. An Active Azure subscription (This could be a trial one)
3. Admin Credentials to your Azure environment. 
More details at Microsoft Docs

Step by Step

1. Register or Connect to Azure Log Analytics

2. Sign in to your Microsoft Azure Account

3. Select Azure Log Analytics Workspace

4. Review and Create and after a couple of minutes, your workspace will be configured.

Heres my workspace

Thank you for viewing, please follow my LinkedIn and Twitter for more solutions and fixes.

References: Microsoft Docs

How to Deploy Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) on Windows Server 2019

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Deploying Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) on Windows Server 2019

Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) also popularly known as SAML/Federation Services/SSO. It provides Web single-sign-on (SSO) to authenticate a user to multiple Web applications while utilizing a single account which makes end users life much easier at the time to login to their HR cloud-based app etc. ADFS also facilitates Azure AD Connect deployment for Office 365 and Azure deployments and integration.
ADFS 2019 had so many great features to facilitate and improve our deployments for more details see What's new in Active Directory Federation Services for Windows Server 2019

ADFS Requirements

This will be the setup on my lab, this might vary depending on your environment and needs.
  1. One Application Server with Windows Server 2016
  2. One SSL Certificate CRS or AD Request Template
  3. Federation Services DNS name
  4. Service Account or Group Managed Service Account (gMSA)
  5. Domain Admin Permissions
More info at Microsoft Docs : AD FS Requirements

Installing Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) Role on Windows Server 2019

To install utilizing PowerShell (Preferred/Easier method)

  • Open PowerShell as administrator and run the following command:
Install-windowsfeature adfs-federation –IncludeManagementTools

Installing via the Server Manager interface

  • Open Server Manager console, then navigate to Manage and select Add Roles and Features:

  • On the Before You Begin page, click Next.
  • On the Installation Type page, Select Role-Based and Next.
  • On the Server Selection page, Select ADFS Primary Farm Server and Next.
  • On the Server Roles page, Select Active Directory Federation Services Role and Next.

  • On the Features page, Next.
  • On the ADFS overview page, Next.
  • On the Confirmation page, click Install.
  • On the Results page Review and Close.

Configuring the ADFS Primary Farm Server Role

  • Open the Server Manager, navigate to the Flag Icon click and Select Post-Deployment Configuration for ADFS.

  • On the Welcome page of the Configuration, wizard select Create the first federation server in a federation server farm and click Next.

  • On the Connect to AD DS page, specify a Domain Admin account and Next.

  • On the Specify Service properties page, Import/Select Certificate, Select Federation Service Name and Specify Federation Service Display Name then Next.

Note: In my case, I will import a CSR cert which will prompt for the password. For more details see Microsoft, How to enroll an SSL Certificate for ADFS

  • On the Specify Service Account page, you can either Create a Group Managed Service Account (gMSA) or Specify an existing Service or gMSA Account.
Important: KDS Root Key needs to be set at this step or previous in order to enable AD to operate with gMSA's. One key benefit of gMSA's is auto-negotiated password update feature.

  • In order to enable set the KDS Root Key, proceed to login to one of your Domain Controllers and run the below PowerShell Command: Add-KdsRootKey –EffectiveTime (Get-Date).AddHours(-10)

  • After the command is successfully run go back to your ADFS Server and go to the previous page and then Next.
  • Select Create a Group Managed Service Account, enter the preferred name then Next.

  • On the Specify Database page, select Create a Database on this server Using WID and Next.

Note: you could also specify a SQL Server, make sure you have a sysadmin or a least dbcreator permissions. For more details see Microsoft

If using a gMSA then you will need to pre-create gMSA Account via PowerShell unitizing the following script:
#User at your own risk :)
#Define gMSA account name.
$gMSA_Account = 'ADFS_gMSA_Farm'
#gMSA DNS Name.
$gMSA_FQDN = ''
#gMSA Servers Group Name (Optional, you could pre-stage servers that will need to retrieve the passwords such as SQL)
$gMSA_ServersGroupName = 'gMSA_ADFS_Farm_Group'
#Create new gMSA Account
New-ADServiceAccount -Name $gMSA_Account -DNSHostName $gMSA_FQDN -PrincipalsAllowedToRetrieveManagedPassword $gMSA_ADFSServersGroup
  • On the Review Options page, Review and Next.
  • On the Pre-requisite Checks page, review and click Configure.

  • On the Results page, review any warnings and close.

Verify ADFS Services

  • Open the Event Viewer and navigate to the ADFS View and search for the Event ID 100.


ADFS Deployment

I hope you've found this article helpful, have a nice day and thank you for reading. :)