OpsMgr by Example: Server 2008 POC – Part 2 (Database Server)

This is the second of a five part series discussing lessons learned when installing System Center Operations Manager onto a fully Windows 2008 environment (DC, RMS, SQL, and Reporting servers). Since we now have a functional Windows 2008 domain controller (see Part 1 of this series at http://weblog.bassq.nl/?p=233 ), our next step is installing and configuring the Operations Manager database server.

SQL Installation

Installation prerequisites for the Operations Manager database components included first performing a standard SQL 2005 installation, and then installing SQL 2005 SP2.

Windows Server 2008 adds the Web Server as a role. If you have not the Web Server and the asp.net option, this shows as a warning during the SQL Server installation. Since this server will not provide reporting services or other web based features, we can ignore those warnings during our installation process. We installed SQL Server using default configurations, with the exception of choosing a domain user account to be the SQL Server service account.

Hotfixes for OpsMgr 20007 – Windows 2008 Servers with Agents

Each of the servers in this configuration needed to have three hotfixes applied:

After applying these hotfixes, you will need to reboot the system.

Additional OpsMgr Prerequisites

The database server for this environment will host both the Operations Manager database and the Data Warehouse functions. After installing SQL 2005 and patching it with SQL 2005 SP2, a prerequisites check indicated the server was ready for installing both the Operational Database and Data Warehouse OpsMgr components.

The next step was installation of the Operations Manager database. We used the default configurations, as shown in the video below.

Firewall change

To allow the SQL Server to communicate on the default port we need to create a new inbound rule to allow SQL Server port TCP port 1433. This assumes of course that you are using the default port, if you use a different port (such as installing a second instance), you will need to change the firewall to allow that port to communicate.

After installing this rule, log into another system in your environment and validate that telnet can connect to the SQL server on port 1433. Windows Server 2008 does not install the telnet client by default in Windows Server 2008, so you must add that feature prior to testing the ability to connect to the SQL Server.

Lessons Learned

Installing the Operations Manager database components is straightforward as long as you remember to install the appropriate hotfixes and create a firewall rule to allow inbound communication to port 1433.

Some great blogs have been covering information on Windows 2008. Definitely look into:

OpsMgr by Example: Server 2008 POC – Part 1 (Domain Controller)

This is the first of a five part series that discusses lessons learned when installing System Center Operations Manager in a Windows 2008 environment. Windows Server 2008 introduces some features that impact how applications are deployed and configured. Specific areas that affect application deployment and configuration are server roles and the Windows 2008 firewall.

Windows 2008 Server Roles

Windows 2008 uses server roles to simplify the process of installing and to minimize the maintenance and potential security vulnerabilities of the system. Windows 2008 Server initially installs without activating any of these server roles. Examples of server roles include:

  • Active Directory Certificate Services
  • Active Directory Domain Services
  • Active Directory Federation Services
  • Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services
  • Active Directory Right Management Services
  • Application Server
  • DHCP Server
  • DNS Server
  • Fax Server
  • File Services
  • Hyper-V (64-bit OS only)
  • Network Policy and Access Services
  • Print Services
  • Terminal Services
  • UDDI Services
  • Web Services
  • Windows Deployment Services

The Windows 2008 Firewall

The Windows 2008 firewall, by default, is active on Server 2008. As you install various roles, the Operating System adapts the firewall rules so that the new roles will function. As an example, port 80 is opened inbound to the server if web services are activated.

Since Windows 2008 does not define SQL Server as a server role, firewall rules are not automatically configured when you install SQL Server. http://cameronfuller.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!A231E4EB0417CB76!1427.entry includes a discussion on how SQL Server needs to have firewall rules changed so the configuration manager can access the SQL Server databases.

Server Roles for our OpsMgr Configuration

The servers involved in the configuration we will be discussing in this series include a domain controller, database server, Root Management Server (RMS), data warehouse, and reporting server. We will discuss them in the following order:

  • OpsMgr by Example: Server 2008 POC – Part 1 (Domain Controller)
  • OpsMgr by Example: Server 2008 POC – Part 2 (DB)
  • OpsMgr by Example: Server 2008 POC – Part 3 (RMS)
  • OpsMgr by Example: Server 2008 POC – Part 4 (DW)
  • OpsMgr by Example: Server 2008 POC – Part 5 (Reporting)

Installing the Domain Controller

The first step to build our Windows 2008 environment was installing a Windows 2008 domain controller using default configurations. Each server in our configuration was installed within Windows 2008 Hyper-V (a good discussion on installation of Hyper-V is available as part of http://cameronfuller.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!A231E4EB0417CB76!1273.entry , look at the first step). The following video shows the steps involved in the installation of a new domain controller into a new forest/new domain.

Once the domain controller reboots, validate that Active Directory Users and Computers shows the new DC appearing in the Domain Controllers container. You will want to validate DNS by verifying that the DNS Server role is installed and the forward lookup zone is created correctly.

With the domain controller installed and DNS functional, we can start installing prerequisites on the various Operations Manager components. The first step in this process is the Operations Manager database, which we will discuss in part 2 of this series.

Lessons Learned:

Windows 2008 affects how you install and configure applications; through using server roles and configuration changes required to the Windows 2008 firewall.

Microsoft Office Visio 2007 Pro SCOM & SCCM Connectors

Download the Visio add in and the web server component to connect and generate datasets to connect to your existing diagrams or auto generate your diagrams for your infrastructure monitoring needs. See your data from OpsManager and ConfigManager live in Visio diagrams.


Savision announces Live Maps version 2.0.

Today Savision announced Live Maps version 2.0.

After a successful launch of Live Maps 1.0 for Operations Manager 2007 we are proud to announce Live Maps version 2.0. Live Maps 2.0 comes with a number of new features that enable you to get even more out of your System Center Operations Manager investment.

So what’s new in Live Maps 2.0?
• Web console – share your maps over the web
• Audible alarms – never miss a critical alert anymore
• Improved performance – solve your problems faster
• New editions and prices – more value for money

Live Maps 2.0 is available for download today and will be on display at the Teched IT Pro in Orlando (booth 1530). The new features can also be watched in this webcast.

Ops Mgr 2007 and Win Srv 2008

I saw an interesting blog post from the Operations Manager product team about Ops Mgr db and reporting running at Windows Server 2008 (Longhorn). Of course I wanted to test that and what is a better occupy on a winter day then try some new technologies.

OpsMgr2007 in Hyper-V

I already had a Windows Server 2008 RC1 ENT X64 box running so I simple added the Hyper-V role. I installed a new virtual machines in Hyper-V, a virtual machine running 2008 RC1 ENT X64. There was no real issue during the setup of Ops Mgr. The blog post from the product team is pretty accurate about the SQL setup. But I didn’t do any changes to my applicationHost.config files as the blog post tells you to. I first did, but after a lot of trouble with SQL reporting I restored my original file and SQL reporting started to work. I install all components of Ops Mgr and then installed SP1 RC too. The only issue was the AcsConfig.xml permission issue, there is a KB about that problem here.

After I had installed Ops Mgr Reporting and also applied SP1 RC I had to re-run Reporting Services Configuration Manager. I had some problem with the encryption key and also the web service identity. My ReportServer application pool also reconfigured it self during the setup, so I had to reconfigure that application pool identity too in the IIS console. My Reporting configuration now looks like this

-Report Server Virtual Directory

  • Name: ReportServer
  • Website: Default Web Site

-Report Manager Virtual Directory

  • Name: Reports
  • Website: Default Web Site

-Windows Service Identity

  • Service Name: ReportServer
  • Service Account: NT Authority\LocalService
  • Built-in Account: Local Service

-Web Service Identity

  • ASP -NET Service Account: NT Authority\SYSTEM
  • Report Server: ReportServer
  • Report Manager: ReportServer

-Database Setup

  • Server Name: OpsMgr
  • Database Name: ReportServer
  • Credentials Type: Windows Credentials
  • Account Name: CORP\svc_dra (Data Warehouse Read Account)

-Execution Account

  • Account: CORP\svc_dra

Later I had a problem when running reports, I recived “Value cannot be null, parameter name: GroupList”. The problem seems to be with the “Data Warehouse Main” data source. You can edit it from http://servername/reports. It is in the root and it is hidden, but if you click “show details” you will se it. The problem was that the connection string was blank and that the security settings was incorrect.

-Connection string

  • data source=servername;initial catalog=OperationsMnaagerDW;Integrated Security=SSPI

-Connect using

  • Credentials are not required

I have seen that issue in news groups before so I am not sure that has to do with Windows Server 2008. I think it is because I reconfigure the application pool and interrupt the encrypted content in SQL Reporting. 
Some word about working with Hyper-V.

Last time I tried Microsoft Virtualization was in some early beta of Windows Server 2008. Virtualization was not very fast in that version. But this version is really nice to work with, installing OS don’t take many minutes, I have tried Windows Server 2003 and 2008 as guests, both X64. I recommend you all you try it in your lab.

As you all understand this setup of Windows Server 2008 and Ops Mgr 2007 is not supported at all, so dont try this in your production environment.

OpsMgr on Cross Platform First Screenshots!

The Cross Platform and Interop team have launched their blog, right after the announcement at the Microsoft Management Summit. You can check it out here:

  • System Center: Cross Platform and Interop team
  • Here are the screenshots, with thanks to Techlog.org

    But of course you want to play with it for yourselves, you can follow their directions to download it:

    The System Center Operations Manager 2007 Cross Platform Extensions, which enable customers to manage Unix/Linux systems from Operations Manager 2007, was delivered as a beta today. The second beta announcement was the availability of the System Center Operations Manager 2007 Connectors for HP OpenView (Unix/Windows) and IBM Tivoli Enterprise Console (TEC).Both betas are available on http://connect.microsoft.com – search for systemcenter.Remember — your need Service Pack 1 for Operations Manager 2007 to run this and it is NOT recommended to run this in your product environment..

    Operations Manager 2007 Service Pack 1

    The release of OpsMgr 2007 SP1 is just around the corner!
    It will be released in English as well as Japanese, German, French, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Korean, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), and Brazilian Portuguese.

    What’s new in the Service Pack? http://connect.microsoft.com/SystemCenter/content/content.aspx?ContentID=6859 lists some of the improvements and major changes in functionality. Some of the more interesting ones include:

    * Support has been added for SNMP v1 network devices, to complement the existing support for SNMP v2
    * The ability to search across monitors and rules by their overrides
    * Support for exporting OpsMgr 2007 diagrams to Visio VDX format from the Diagram view
    * The ability to copy and paste from the Alert Details pane
    * Invoking the Secure Storage Backup Wizard at the end of setup to backup the RMS encryption keys
    * The ability to repromote a RMS cluster to the RMS role after the cluster is fixed
    * Capability to copy views from an existing management pack to an unsealed management pack
    * Improved performance

    This is just a partial list. See the above URL for full details. (more)