Infrastructure

Managing from the Cloud: Summary for Geeks (#SYSCTR, #MMS2012, #MMSB319, #scadvisor, #CatMMS)

Paul Mestemaker presented a solid session today on System Center Advisor at MMS. The following is my summary from the session:

System Center Advisor:

  • Microsoft support sees common underlying root causes. Advisor is designed to identify these root causes – what is the issue and  how to resolve it in a cloud based solution.
  • Available for Exchange, SQL, SharePoint, Windows Server (The Advisor team is in talks with the Lync folks but there is nothing official at this point in time)
  • How much data flows between the Gateway to the cloud? About 150 kb of data per server per day, very little CPU and memory for the gateway
  • Advisor uses the Operations Manager agent under the covers (specially the 2007 R2 Health Service from OpsMgr)
  • Will this be compatible with the OpsMgr 2012 agent – yes! (And if the system has the OpsMgr 2012 agent installed it will auto-multi-home the agent)
  • Send-SCAdvisorGatewayData powershell to send data to Advisor, data files are cab files which are retained by default 5 days (this default behavior can be changed via a registry setting)
  • Deployment to a large number of systems? ConfigMgr or psexec to install and configure the agent and gateway in a single string
  • Redundancy on gateway is not currently available, but can point an agent to a different gateway manually
  • Top deployment issues:
    • Make sure that the servers clocks are synced with internet time correctly (will refuse connection if > 5 minutes of time difference).
    • Cannot download registration certificate due to secure IE on Windows Server. Recommendation: Download setup and certificate on a client OS. Or uncheck “do not save encrypted pages to disk” in Internet Explorer properties.
    • Agent cannot talk to a remote gateway in a workgroup but you can have a gateway on each on-domain joined server. Each server in the workgroup will need internet connectivity in this approach. This may improve in the future.
  • Tuning in Advisor – If you like an alert, you can use a happy face, if you don’t like an alert you can use a frowning face.

Key take-a-ways:

  • System Center Advisor is available as part of software assurance (SA for Windows Server or SQL Server)– fully globally in 26 different markets at this point in time (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and more).
  • A 60 day trail version is available now at www.systemcenteradvisor.com 

P.S. – I heard a shout out to one of the OpsMgr MVP’s (not me, if you are reading this you know who you are) who did some cool stuff with Advisor MP’s and OpsMgr. I’m just sayin’.

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