In Part 1 of this short series, I explained my reasons for wanting to create my own custom Distributed Application Template and also kicked off the download and installation of the Windows SDK software that will be needed later on.
In this post, we will build the custom distributed application the way we want it and then export it out of SCOM as an unsealed .XML Management Pack. Once that's done we will start the process on sealing the management pack using the Windows SDK tools.
Open the SCOM console and click on the 'Authoring' tab on the left hand side of the screen, then right mouse click on 'Distributed Applications' and select 'Create a new distributed application'
In the Distributed Application Designer window, type a name and description, select the 'Blank (Advanced)' option, choose an unsealed management pack to store the distributed application into and then click on 'OK'
Within the Distributed Application Designer workspace window, add the component groups and relationships as you wish but don't add in any servers or objects. Just the base template is all that we need at this point. It can be as complex or as basic as you like, to keep things simple, I have just added in three component groups below with some basic relationships
Once you're happy with your template, click on 'File' and then select 'Save as Template' from the drop down menu
Give the template a meaningful name and try to avoid any unusual characters as you will be referencing this name at a later step in this process. When you've named the template, save it to the local drive of your server as a .XML file
Click 'OK' from the message below confirming that you will have to make some changes to the template before it can be imported back into SCOM
Now, on the server that you installed the Windows SDK files to (in this case it's a SCOM 2012 Management Server), browse to the Microsoft Windows SDK 'CMD Shell' shortcut from the Start Menu and open it with adminsitrative permissions
When you have the CMD Shell open, you need to use the 'Strong Name Tool' (sn.exe) utility that comes with the Windows SDK to create a key file that will be used to seal the unsealed distributed application template management pack.
Type the following (you can change the .SNK file name to whatever you wish) in the CMD Shell to create your key file:
sn -k scomkey.snk
Once the above command completes, browse to the location of the installed SDK files and you should see your new .SNK key file ready to go. The default location of the SDK files is:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.0
When you have located your new key file, create a new folder on the C:\ drive of your server called 'MP' and copy the new .SNK keyfile and the unsealed custom distributed application template along with the 'MPSeal' utility from the SCOM Support Tools directory all into this new folder.
The SCOM 2012 RC Support Tools are located at the following location for a 64 Bit server:
At this point, you should now have three files in the new C:\MP folder on the local disk of your SCOM 2012 Management Server as the screenshot above shows
In Part 3 of this series, I will go through the process of editing the ID and Name of the custom template along with sealing it and importing it back into SCOM to complete the process.
If you want to learn more about System Center 2012, then you can sign up for the Microsoft System Center 2012 Private Cloud CEP from the link below: