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What do golf and baseball have in common with automation?

If you work in the Dallas or San Antonio IT industry and would like to learn more about automation, then here’s your chance to find out! Catapult Systems is hosting events next week in both San Antonio and Dallas to provide you with the chance to hear more about IT automation, to socialize over food and beverages, and to enjoy either golf or baseball.Join us at Top Golf in San Antonio on Monday the 25th: us at the Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Dallas on Thursday the 28th: Registration is limited, so sign up quickly if you want the chance

Automation By Example with the Nest Thermostat

I am excited to launch a new series of blog posts and videos which will provide information on a variety of automation technologies and give my perspective from having worked with these technologies in my own life and home over a period of time. Technologies in this series will span home automation, personal automation and more (with a few surprises along the way if all goes according to plan). The goal for “By Example” posts like this are to give one geek’s personal experiences with a product or technology in as much of a step-by-step example as possible.Please note, as

Don’t be the admin who cried Alarm!

Have you ever felt like you could be the boy who cried wolf when you are doing your daily work as an Operations Manager administrator? You know, that wonderful feeling when you need to go to another group with an alert (or a group of them) and you do not know if they will or will not care about what you are bringing to their attention? The alert may be critical to their job or it may be irrelevant and often it’s hard to tell the difference. If so, join Clint Wyckoff and I as we help to point towards

Using Power BI and OMS to visualize event and alert information

In the first blog post of this series we discussed how to visualize security information gathered into OMS through Power BI. In the second blog post we showed how performance information gathered into OMS can be visualized through Power BI. In this blog post we will show how you can visualize all event information gathered by OMS in Power BI. As it should be apparent by now, the formula and approach to get this data into Power BI is the same in each case. The steps are: Activate OMS ( Add systems into your OMS (direct attached or through integration

Operations Manager and the psychic network

What in the world does Operations Manager have to do with the psychic network? Let me tell you about it…   I was on a client site several years ago and I was called into a meeting with a vendor. The vendor explained that they could send an email which Operations Manager could then respond to. I politely explained that Operations Manager does not take an email as a source of information and then I proceeded to explain options available which Operations Manager can use as a source of information. The vendor continued talking for a while and then said

Using Power BI and OMS to visualize performance information

In the previous blog post we reviewed how OMS can be integrated with Power BI to visualize security information (including how to activate Power BI integration with OMS). In this blog post we will look at how the same concepts can be applied to performance information by sending performance information from OMS to Power BI.   Sending performance information from OMS to Power BI: To gather performance data, we can use a starting query such as this: Type=Perf From there we can export our performance information to Power BI using the Power BI button. If we wanted to filter this

Using Power BI and OMS for security dashboards and reports

Microsoft OMS provides an easy to use method to gather security information from a variety of systems into a single repository of information through using the Security solution. This solution includes pre-built visualization which showcase a wide variety of security related information in an easy to read format (a sample of this is shown below). You can also query this data directly in OMS through digging into the above dashboard to get to the underlying details. When you dig in this way it is running the Log Search functionality with a pre-built query such as the one below. Through the

Using Azure Alert Rules in Azure to notify on key performance indicators

There are a variety of methods available to provide you with alerting on key performance indicators (KPI’s) for your servers. System Center Operations Manager provides this as built-in functionality (for details see the article available at: I also recently completed a blog post series on how to monitor these types of KPI’s using Microsoft OMS which is available at: During testing on my blog posts I received alerts which were generated by alert rules which I had defined on one of my Azure IaaS systems. These alerts (shown below) were easy to read and provided insights into what

What account names are used in brute force attacks?

My son (who you may remember from our video on Operations Manager, Live Maps & Kinect) and I teamed up again recently to gather information on what accounts hackers are using when attempting to brute force attack systems. To do this we configured a honeypot server with the proper level of auditing, combined with a hard to randomly guess user account and password, and integrated with Microsoft OMS ( This blog post will review: How did we setup the honeypot system? What does the security and audit system look like in OMS A list of the top accounts for hackers

MMS is coming to town…

If you are interested in System Center it is equally exciting to how it sounds. MMS is returning and it’s returning very soon! MMS returns to the Mall of America on May 16th (pre-con day) through the 19th so we are just under two months away from one of the best System Center focused events on the planet!For my last two year’s summaries, check out the following for highlights of MMS:Year 1: 2: attend the Midwest Management Summit? (MMS)MMS is unique as they limit the number of attendees to a small enough number that it feels more like